Rape can ruin lives. The sexually violent act is associated with a long list of public health concerns, including disease, unwanted pregnancy, physical trauma, mental and emotional suffering, and death. While rape can be simply defined as sex without consent, the impact rape has on society is complex. Victims are often stigmatized. They feel ashamed, weak and at fault. An estimated 18 percent of women in the US reported being raped at least once in their lifetimes, according to a 2007 study cited by the Center for Research on Violence Against Women. For college women, the numbers are slightly higher: 1 out of 5 women report being raped during their college years (as cited in Lawyer, Resnick, Von Bakanic, Burkett, Kilpatrick, 2010, p. 453). To better contextualize those numbers let’s look at SF State. A little more than 17,000 women went to school here in 2013, according to the demographics listed on the SF State website. If we were to follow those women over the entire span of their college years, we can assume that 2,400 of them would get raped. These are alarming statistics, especially since we know that rape is widely underreported, suggesting the percentages of rape might be even higher. College students drink more alcohol than the normal public (as cited in Gunby, Carline, Beynon, 2012, p. 88). This is troubling for women because alcohol is known to increase the risk of victimization. In most alcohol-involved rape situations, women voluntarily drank large amounts alcohol before being raped. It is more common for college women to be raped after being incapacitated by alcohol than it is for them to be raped by force (as cited in Messman-Moore, Ward, DeNard, 2013, p. 50). Alcohol intoxication often affects ...
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...m accurately reading consent-relevant cues.
Messman-Moore, L. T, Ward, M. R., & DeNArd, A. K. (2013). The impact of sexual alcohol expectancies and risky behavior on alcohol-involved rape among college women. Violence against women, 19(4), 449.
Crawford, E., O’Dougherty, W., & Birchmeier, Z. (2008). Drug-facilitated sexual assault: College women’s risk perception and behavioral choices. Journal of American College Health, 57(3). 261.
Lawyer, S., Resnick, H., Bakanic, V., Burkett, T., & Kilpatrick, D. (2010). Forcible, drug-facilitated, and incapacitated rape and sexual assault among undergraduate women. Journal of American College Health, 58(5). 453.
Gunby, C., Carline, A., & Beynon, C. (2013). Regretting it after? Focus group perspective on alcohol consumption, nonconsensual sex and false allegations of rape. Social & Legal Studies 22(1). 87.
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