“I felt his hands start to move down towards my shorts as if he was trying to unbutton them or pull them off. I was still crying at this point and felt so scared that I couldn’t move” (Henneberger, 2012). These are words written by a college freshman after she had been raped, but they are true for many others as well. According to the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties, “every two minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted” (Get the Facts). “Girls ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the than the general population to be victims of sexual assault” (Get the Facts). These women may be described as slut, cheap, or ready for action, rather than victim, sufferer, or survivor. Rape myths encourage these demeaning terms for women and conceal the reality of rape culture. I will describe the pervasiveness of sexual assault on college campuses as well as the systems and procedures in place to address it. Power plays a role in this issue, including the powerful men on campus such as athletes and fraternity members as well as the administrators in power who regulate the punishments and actions that are taken against the perpetrators. The influence of those in power often goes overlooked in our society because it has become so intertwined with our culture. Starting at an early age and seemingly harmless, these teachings, values, and gender socialization help create rape myths and perpetuate a rape culture that is especially prevalent on college campuses.
Throughout the course of these investigations a few central research questions influenced the compilation and analysis of information. The first basic question simply asks what is going on in terms of sexual assault o...
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...ce, from non-penetrating acts of sexual assault, to physical and sexual abuse of children, to battery of domestic partners. None of these undetected rapists had been prosecuted for these crimes” (Lisak). These men are “measurably more angry at women, more motivated by the need to dominate and control women, more impulsive and disinhibited in their behavior, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes, less empathic and more antisocial” (Lisak). As defined by the Collins Dictionary hyper-masculine is “characterized by an exaggeration of traditionally masculine traits or behavior” (Hypermasculine). These different factors associated with hyper-masculinity increase the prevalence of rape on campus, while the acceptance and encouragement of hyper-masculinity in our society creates a lack of accountability for attackers, perpetuating the rape-supportive culture.
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