The path to success can be sidetracked if you do not, if at all possible, avoid one of the largest risks in college – being raped or becoming a rapist.
Study suggests 'epidemic' of campus rape, researchers say
Almost one in five female freshmen say they were raped or the victims of attempted rape during their first year at college, according to a new study of nearly 500 first-year women at an unnamed university in New York state.
The study, conducted by Brown University researchers, was published online this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
The findings relied on self-reported data, Alexandra Sifferlin writes at TIME magazine:
- The women filled out four questionnaires, roughly every three months, across the first year they arrived on campus.
- During the course of the study, about 9% of the women reported that they were victims of attempted or completed forcible rape.
- About 15% of the women also reported that they were the victims of attempted or completed incapacitated rape involving drugs and alcohol.
The study's authors say the findings suggest that campus rape has reached "epidemic" levels.
"We find that the likelihood of incapacitated rape compared with forcible rape is higher in college than in the community," said lead author Kate Carey, comparing the new findings with previous reports.
Freshmen are especially susceptible because "it's "a big period of transition," Carey told HealthDay. "Many are moving away from home and establishing new social and living arrangements. We knew that was a period of time when health behaviors get shaken up, and opportunities as well as risks present themselves."
The findings are likely to stir continued conversation over the prevalence of sexual assault on campus.
"With its relatively small sample size, the survey doesn't promise to end an ongoing debate over the prevalence of campus rape," Washington Post reporter Abby Ohlheiser writes. "Researchers have had difficulty collecting authoritative data on national sexual assault rates for several reasons, including the reluctance of some victims to report assaults to law enforcement" (Carey et al., Journal of Adolescent Health, June 2015; Sifferlin, TIME, 5/20; Ohlheiser, "Grade Point," Washington Post, 5/20; Thompson, HealthDay, 5/20).
- View the 17-minute video, “Rape on College Campus: Uncovering the Truth,” (uploaded by SpookyPrds on YouTube.com) found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebr6N0f9Guw.
- Then read the following article, reproduced below with permission from the author: “Acquaintance Rape of College Students,” Guide No. 17 (2002) by Rana Sampson.
- After watching the video and reading the article below, then write a short essay in your journal. Will you use more caution in the future? Will you encourage your friends to use more caution? Are you more likely to intervene to prevent an occurrence of date rape?
- "Men view the world in a more sexualized manner than women do and, consequently, are more likely than women to interpret ambiguous cues as evidence of sexual intent."
- Some studies have found that men (more so than women) view certain cues as evidence that a woman is interested in having sex, such as her wearing revealing clothing, agreeing to a secluded date location such as the man's room or the beach, drinking alcohol, complimenting the man during the date, and tickling the man (Abbey 1991).
- Alcohol increases misperceptions because it reduces a person's capacity to analyze complex stimuli. Alcohol (and drug) use increases the risk that men and women will misinterpret messages between them.
- Some men believe in stereotypes about women and drinking. Some men believe that women who drink are more sexually available than those who do not.
- Some men use alcohol as a justification or an excuse. Some men use alcohol to justify or excuse acting out, misbehaving, or committing a crime.
- Alcohol causes poor sending and receiving of friendly and sexual cues. "While drinking alcohol, a woman may not notice her date's persistent attempts to get her into an isolated location or encourage her to consume even more alcohol." In one study, "three-quarters of the acknowledged date rapists interviewed...said that they sometimes got women drunk in order to increase the likelihood of having sex with them."
- In one study, researchers found that women did not see being alone with a man and drinking as putting them at risk. Women tended to appropriately estimate the risk to others, but not to themselves, perhaps because on prior occasions being alone with a man and drinking did not result in rape. The researchers found that women drinkers believed they could drink a lot before being at increased risk for sexual aggression (Norris, Nurius and Graham 1999).
- Alcohol decreases a women's ability to resist rape. Alcohol slows motor functions, reducing the likelihood that a woman can verbally or physically resist a rapist.
- Research has found that when alcohol or drugs are involved in acquaintance rape—which is frequently the case—peers tend to hold women more responsible for the rape and men less responsible for it.
Dr. Rhoades also serves as a consultant to the Garrett Planning Network, a nationwide network of independent, Fee-Only financial planners making competent, objective financial advice accessible to all people. He is the author of several books, dozens of articles, and he is a frequent speaker at financial planning and investments conferences. He is the recipient of many awards for his advocacy on behalf of the fiduciary standard. Dr. Rhoades is also a member of The Florida Bar, and he practices estate planning and transfer taxation for select current clients.
Dr. Rhoades and his wife, Cathy, reside in Bowling Green, Kentucky.