According to a statement addressing the sexual victimization of college women The Crime and Victimization in America states that, “ One out of four women will be sexually assaulted on a college campus.” This disturbing fact has not minimized throughout the years, instead it is continuing to worsen throughout college campuses. Sexual assault is not an act to be taken lightly. Society must stop pinpointing the individuals who commit these crimes one by one, but rather look at the problem as a whole and begin to understand the main cause of sexual assault and possible methods to reduce these acts of sexual coercion.
Definition of Rape
It was once acceptable for men to have full control over women, declaring when they will marry and when they will have children. However, over the past centuries, women have established a place in society, proving themselves much more than someone's property. This is why the word “rape” today is not taken lightly. According to findlaw.com, “Rape generally refers to non-consensual sexual intercourse that is committed by physical force, threat of injury, or other duress.” When one does not give consent to sex, it is considered a felony, possibly putting the rapist in jail. Contrary to sexual assault, “Sex is reified as penile-vaginal intercourse while an extremely diverse group of pleasurable and sexually stimulating activities are dismissively relegated to the category of foreplay...” (Reinholtz, Muehlenhard, Phelps, & Satterfield, 1995.) Although consented sexual intercourse is much more out in the open and accepted in society, the problem of rape is still very relevant behind the scenes.
College campuses are one of the most popular scenes for crimes of rape to occur. A disturbing statistic researched by Muehlenhard and Linton (1987) states, “65% of their sample of college-aged women reported unwanted sexual aggression, with almost 15% of the women reporting that they had sexual intercourse against their will.” Many young women in colleges are often put in vulnerable situations, causing them to be easier targets in rape crimes. A majority of these sexual assaults occur in college parties, especially private house parties, known as “fraternity or athletic team parties” Fraternity or athletic teams often express their masculine characteristics, trying to prove their dominance and popularity over the college campus. It is said that, “Several aspects of fraternity culture serve to create an environment for sexual coercion. Fraternities define masculinity in a very narrow way, emphasizing traditional male roles, such as athleticism, power, money, dominance, and an ability to consume alcohol” (Boeringer et al., 1991). The consumption of alcohol at college parties plays a dominant role on the actions of sexual assault that take place. It is due to these wild, unsupervised, gatherings that girls are put in unsafe situations.
Although in many situations the male figure is the one initiating the “spontaneous” act of...