[Note: This post will discuss rape and thus is not suitable for readers under the age of about 13. Furthermore, I ask that if there are any readers here under the age of 18, please ask your parents’ permission before reading this post.
Also, the word rape in this essay refers to the legal definition used by the FBI, which is:
“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”]
I once queried the male readers on a different site about whether rape was something they ever fantasized about doing since feminists are always yammering on about rape culture on campus while simultaneously encouraging young women to put themselves into dangerous situations by engaging in casual sex as a form of “empowerment”. The men all assured me that men don’t want to rape women and that only an extremely tiny minority of men would ever consider raping a woman under any circumstances. Even then I wasn’t sure if that was exactly true, but it turns out that although those particular men were probably sincere in their feelings about rape, they may not be correct in their estimation of how many men would rape a woman if they thought they could get away with it.
A recently-published study, Denying Rape but Endorsing Forceful Intercourse:
Exploring Differences Among Responders, yields some preliminary results which suggest (not prove, but suggest) that actually a much larger minority of men would rape a woman if they thought they could get away with it. The study can only be considered preliminary because the sample size was only 86, but what the authors did was administer a self-reporting scale to college men:
This scale measures self-reported likelihood to engage in a variety of sexual behaviors ‘‘if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences’’ for the participants. The behaviors that were included were heterosexual intercourse, forcing a female to do something sexual she does not want to, and rape.
Out of the 86 college guys, 26 (31.7%) said they would force a woman to have sexual intercourse with them if no one would find out and there would be no repercussions. When the word rape was used, that number dropped to 11 out of the 86 (13.6%). But just let that sink in for a moment: 31.7% of these college men would force a woman to have sexual intercourse (though they wouldn’t call it rape) if they thought they could get away with it.
That’s not an extremely tiny minority.
Could the study be poorly designed? Yes. Might the results not be replicated? Maybe not. Does this mean one-third of men will rape someone? Of course not.
All it means is that rape is something that a sizable minority of young men say they would do if the opportunity presented itself and they knew for sure there would be no negative consequences. This is why we have laws against rape and why there are negative consequences for it if you get caught doing it. This is why historically fathers were protective of their unmarried daughters and husbands were protective of their wives.
I’m not especially angry that some men find rape vaguely appealing and would consider doing it. Rape is a terrible thing, but given the average intensity of the male sex drive compared to the female sex drive, it isn’t terribly shocking information to learn. It’s just a facet of reality that we have to deal with.
And you know what? I don’t think we are ever going to be able to socialize this desire out of all men and “teach” them not to rape. All we can do is make sure that men know rape is a crime and that they’ll go to jail if they get caught doing it.
Oh, but there is one more thing we can do, and this is the only reason I’m even posting this study at all:
We can encourage girls to keep themselves safe.
We know for sure there are men who want to rape women – all that is in dispute is how common this desire it – so how do we keep girls safe from them? Will passing a law like Yes Means Yes do anything to help?
No, it will not. That is because, if this study is valid, the men already know it’s wrong to rape – that’s why they’d only consider doing it if they could get away with it. Encouraging girls to believe the fantasy that they’re going to be able to say no to a rapist is ludicrous. It is even more delusional to believe that a rapist will be stopped because a woman didn’t say yes. You can’t stop a rapist from raping you by saying no to him, nor can you stop him from raping you by not saying yes to him. And you can’t identify a potential rapist terribly easily beforehand because he probably looks like all the other guys – the 68.3% of young men who wouldn’t rape even if they could get away with it – on campus.
Gee, let me wrack my brain and try to figure out how we can fix this problem…
Oh wait, I know! How about telling girls not to get drunk, not to go out to bars and nightclubs alone or with other women, and not to go home with guys? All the Yes Means Yes laws in the world, all the campus rape tribunals that convict men who thought they were engaging in a consensual hookup, all the feminist tripe about the empowerment of casual sex or even “relationship” sex is not going to do a darn bit of good when she finds herself alone with a real potential rapist – and that is possibly 31.7% of young men if this study is at all correct – who sees an opportunity and believes he can probably get away with it.
You’re never going to “teach” these guys not to rape; they already know that rape is wrong, which is why they say they’d only do it if they could get away with it. But you can teach women to avoid the vast majority of situations where they could be the victim of rape (other than the rare case of a stranger who violently assaults a woman who is just walking down the street or sitting alone at home). You can teach them that drinking is dangerous and that pre-marital sex – especially casual sex – is also potentially dangerous.
Teaching young women this would have the immediate effect of keeping them out of the hands of young men who ADMIT they would rape if they could. So why do feminists always and everywhere oppose this? Why when Emily Yoffe, hardly a beacon of traditionalism or conservatism, wrote College Women: Stop Getting Drunk, It’s closely associated with sexual assault, did feminists go nuts and denounce Yoffe as a tool of the Evil Patriarchy™?
I don’t suppose rape was this much of a problem when The Patriarchy was in charge.
Lesson for women: There are men out there who will not respect your no. They will rape you if they think they can get away with it. You are largely responsible for your own safety. Do not get drunk, do not hook up (whether you know the guy well or not); just by refraining from these two activities alone, you will remove yourself from most situations where a man who would rape if he could will think, “I can probably get away with this right now” and go for it.
Feminists can shriek about the misogyny of telling women to avoid premarital sex. Manospherians can shriek about the misandry of stating the fact that there are significant numbers of men who would rape if they could get away with it.
But you, Young Woman, you ignore both of them and realize that there are a lot of potential rapists out there and your no or yes doesn’t mean squat to them. You be realistic and responsible, and you will greatly decrease your chances of ever being raped.