Date Rape Essay, Research Paper
November 20, 1996
Craft of Language
When people hear the word “rape” they might imagine a stranger leaping
out from the shadows of a dark alley and attacking someone. Although this is
partly true, most rapes are committed by people who know their victims. When
intercourse is unwanted and forced upon by someone you know, it is known as ?
date rape.? It occurs daily and is prevalent on virtually all college campuses
across the nation and in cities all over the world.
Date rape generally occurs when a man is alone with a woman. Although it
has been reported that men have been raped by women, it is much more common for
a woman to be raped by a man. There are several reasons why date rape might
occur. Sometimes a man thinks that a woman ?owes? him something if he has taken
her out for dinner and a movie or if a woman acts in a friendly manner towards
him. The presence of drugs and alcohol are also a contributing factor to the
occurrence of date rape.
An example of date rape that occurs commonly, especially within a
college campus, is when both the man and women are drunk. In an environment such
as a college or university, parties are commonplace for students. It is a place
where friends can gather, listen to loud music, and get loaded. Typically, a man
will coerce a woman back to his apartment or dorm. This is dangerous for both
parties. The man may think that the woman is leading him on, that if she agrees
to go with him that it is an invitation to have sex. If the female seems to be
enjoying kissing or fooling around with the guy, he may think she is teasing him
if she decides to stop. The man may feel angry or rejected if this happens, and
may want sexual gratification anyway. The result can be rape.
If only the woman is drunk, the man may see this as an opportunity to
take advantage of her because she will most likely be less defensive towards him.
Some men plan the act of rape, and may use alcohol or drugs in order to lesson a
woman’s judgment. In some cases, someone may slip a drug into a women’s drink,
causing her to forget what had happened the night before when she wakes the next
morning. If a woman is intoxicated and has seemingly consented to having sex,
she may feel the next morning that she only acted that way because of the her
condition at the time. In a court of law, the man would be found guilty of rape.
Even if substance use is not involved, another factor is mixed signals
between the man and the woman. If a woman acts in a friendly or outgoing manner
towards a man, he may interpret this as a proposal to have sex. Even if a woman
says ?no,? the man may think that she is playing hard to get, that the ?no?
really means ?yes.? Some men are sexually aroused when a woman struggles, and
may continue in an aggressive no matter what she says to him. This can occur to
people who have just met, those who are dating, or even to people who have known
each other for years.
There is a thin line between what is known as “mutual consent” and “date
rape.” They can be confusingly similar because a women may give consent at the
time, but if she is high or drunk, though, she may find the next day that she
did not want to have sex. It is difficult to say when a woman has given her
consent because in many cases, at least one of the people involved is under the
influence and cannot give genuine consent. When that line is crossed, it is date
rape. Some men feel that just the fact that a woman is alone with him is willing
consent to having sex whether she says ?no? or not. But the fact is that if she
is not sober and in a correct state of mind, she cannot consent to have sex.
There are many contributing factors to the increased date rape that
occurs. Alcohol and drugs obviously play a large role. Some may say that women
wearing loose or revealing attire is an open invite to men. Others say that
pornography desensitizes men to women so that they do not know when a women is
or is not willing to have sex. Men who are sexually frustrated often attempt to
rape women they know because they cannot get sexual contentment any other way.
Whatever the reasons, date rape is a commonly occurring but very
scarcely reported act. It is usually more traumatic to a woman than being raped
by a stranger especially if the woman had known or trusted the man before. Date
rape is a problem that that involves everyone today, men and women. Date rape
prevention programs need to be taught to people everywhere so that women know
how to protect themselves and so men can understand the issue of rape and that
when a woman says ?no,? you must stop. If we can educate ourselves on the
dangers of date rape, we can make the environment in which we live safer for