A third of those who responded said they believed she was to blame if she had been flirtatious. One fourth believed that wearing provocative clothing made women at least partially responsible if she was sexually assaulted. and, one fifth of respondents felt that having numerous sexual partners also led to the woman being partly to blame if she was raped. In all of these survey questions, men were more critical of women's behavior than women, except where alcohol was involved.
A rape case in Illinois demonstrates how so-called victims may not be just that. The girl in question was intoxicated, and the encounter, with multiple young men, was captured on video tape. However, jurors, having reviewed the evidence and watching the tape, said they saw hints that the girl may have been agreeing to sex (Yednak). It demonstrates that although when recovering from a drunken a person may regret their sexual indiscretions, caused by the alcohol-induced lack of inhibition, but it does not necessarily make them a victim of rape. it's a blurry area of responsibility.
At what point does a purported victim get to lay the blame of their promiscuousness on drugs and alcohol, and claim sexual assault? Was it not their responsibility to ensure they remained in a state of coherence, enough to make choices that affected their safety? At what point does society also give the same lenience to the perpetrators, who often are equally as intoxicated, and as such their ability to understand sometimes confusing cues from the would-be victims, such as flirtations and other sexual contact, becomes impaired?
Is it possible that gray rape is most often a case of simple misunderstanding, where one person believes they are getting consent, while the other questions whether they truly did?
No does mean no; but, what if it's combined with so many other yeses that as Stepp notes, "the current equal opportunity hookup culture is that a lot of guys may feel as uncomfortable and confused as their dates do when things end up in bed."
Alcohol and Gray Rape:
hook-up, sexually promiscuous culture makes gray rape even more complicated when alcohol is added to the mix, or drugs for that matter. Sexual assault and heavy drinking seem to go hand-in-hand, and this is compounded when one takes into consideration the fact that young women's drinking habits have risen almost equal to that of men's. As a result of alcohol, they become more vulnerable to guys who are pushing for sex. On the other side of the gender coin, as the George Washington University student discovered, even men can be coerced into having sex when plied with liquor. There is a disturbing pattern for women in their 20s relating sexual assault and alcohol. A Harvard School of Public Health study discovered that approximately 75% of rape victims were intoxicated at the time the assault occurred (Stepp).
In the end, rape is no longer the simple concept it was a generation ago. The traditional scenario of rape, where a man physically forces a woman or coerces her to have sex, is no longer the only possibility. Today's gray area of rape can involve a victim instigating a sexual relationship, but then decide that they are not giving consent. It can include scenarios where the victim is voluntarily intoxicated that they simple don't remember if they did or did not give consent, and gender is irrelevant as both men and women have found themselves in this situation.
But, are these people truly victims? Determining the level of responsibility for one's own actions is often difficult. One attorney that specializes in sexual assault surmises that if a person is drunk, or in a state that they are incapable of making a sound decision, and another person knowingly has sex with them, that they are indeed guilty of rape. but, when alcohol and/or drugs are thrown into the mix, proving that consent was not given is often difficult to prove, and thus makes up the gray area of rape.
Do women sometimes rape men? 2007. Planned Parenthood. December 12, 2007 http://www.teenwire.com/ask/2003/as-20030624p592-rape.php.
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Newsom, M. "The dark side of 'hooking up'." Sun Journal. 8 Apr 2007: p. B8. ProQuest Newstand. ProQuest. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ. December 12, 2007 http://proquest.umi.com.
Robertson, D. "Consensual sex or a drunken fumble." Journal. 14 Mar 2006: p. 15. ProQuest Newsstand. ProQuest. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ. December 12, 2007 http://proquest.umi.com.
Stepp, L. "A new kind of date rape." Cosmopolitan. Sept 2007: p. 198. ProQuest Newsstand. ProQuest. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ. December 12, 2007 http://proquest.umi.com.
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Yednak, C. "Despite rape laws, accusers still judged; for jurors, consent remains gray area" Chicago Tribune. 12 Mar 2006: p. 4C.4 Chicago Tribune.…