Aquaintance Rape Essay, Research Paper
There are many types of rape. A very important type of rape is acquaintance rape. According to a researcher named R. Lance Shotland, there may be five kinds of acquaintance rape: beginning, early, relational, rape within sexually active couples (RSCA) with battery and RSAC without battery. They are “described both in terms of length of the relationship and previous sexual activity.”
The first type of acquaintance rape is the beginning date rape. This form of rape happens within the first few dates while the couple is still getting to know each other. College students usually do not have sex on the first couple of dates, so the biggest cause is most likely not miscommunication. In this case, the perpetrator probably thinks that he will have a better chance of not being accused of rape because he knows his victim. The date is more of a plot than a social gathering to get the female alone and take advantage.
Early date rape is the second type of acquaintance rape. Since the beginning date rape is within n the first few days, then early date rape is after several dates. This is still way before sex has been discussed. A major cause of this form if also miscommunication. One common reason for miscommunication is the “rape myths” of our society. Rape myths are statements such as: “She deserved to get raped because that outfit was way too tight,” or “She wanted to have sex because she went up to that guy’s room. How many girls do you know that go up to a room just to talk?” Men who believe these myths might misread some of the women’s signals and not take no for an answer. However, miscommunication probably is not the only problem this early in the relationship.
Relational date rape, this form of acquaintance rape occurs later in the relationship. Miscommunication is not likely in this form because attitudes and values toward sex are established, although sex is still not involved in the relationship. Men in this situation tend to rape to keep control. They may feel it is a sign of love or commitment. Or, perhaps, they just think it would be romantic to have a night that would be appropriate in a steamy novel. Regardless of intentions, one should remember that forced sex is still rape.
Rape within sexually active couples with battery and without battery. The only difference between these two types of rape is that one is with battery and one is not. RSAC with battery is mare prevalent in married couples, but it is still possible in unmarried couples. “Many states only recognize rape as a crime if the woman is not married to her attacker.” This is a very scary statement. The fact is that abuse in married couples is usually more violent. Because of laws not including married women in rape situations, men do not have to worry about being charged with something that is obviously a crime. RSAC without battery is usually in nonmarried couples. There is still a possibility of ending the relationship quickly, which usually keeps the man from committing the extra physical abuse.
What is the solution to how do we prevent rape from happening? I believe the best solution is education. Women need to become more aware of surroundings and situations that lead to date rape. Because of the low report rate, many women think that the problem is minimal and it will not happen to them. They also believe they will have the ability to control the situation if it happens. These myths can be dissolved through proper education programs.
A date rape education program for women should include training in assertiveness. Many people both male and female have a problem discussing issues concerning sex. A female must realize that it is o kay to say no. Women should know where to draw the line between consented activity and aggression; more victims will come forward and face their attackers. Another feature of the education program is grouping discussions. In-group discussion, talking about date rape may help women realize that acquaintance rape can happen to anyone. Rape myths can be talked about and destroyed. Statistically, there is also a good possibility that rape survivors will also be in the group. Talking about their experiences may help other women to become aware of different situations that lead to date rape. Watching and analyzing video assaults as a group can further expand this knowledge. This will allow them to see the situations in real time and avoid those conditions on future dates.
There is only one problem with all of the education I have described for women. Rape is not the women’s fault. Because of this, I believe that men should also have to go through a date rape awareness program. In order for acquaintance rape percentages to fall, “men must be portrayed as part of the solution, not just the source of the problem, of date rape. Men are effected by rape myths as much as women are. The myths must be clarified and borderlines drawn. If men are included, perhaps miscommunications will decrease and acquaintance rape will not be as frequent. I think it should be a required portion of first-year student orientation. The knowledge should be given out before the students have to use it. At these sessions, counseling numbers should also be distributed in case the are needed during the college years. Women should know that help is always available and where to find it.