Washington, DC, June 22, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Despite extensive publicity about various strategies to reduce campus date rapes, one has now been scientifically proven to slash the incidence of date rapes, and it strongly suggests that many of the rapes reported to colleges and on campus surveys were not rapes at all, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine: "In this randomized, controlled trial, the risk of completed rape (the primary outcome) was significantly lower over a period of 1 year among first-year university women who participated in a sexual assault resistance program than among those who were provided access to brochures on sexual assault... The 1-year risk of completed rape was significantly lower in the resistance group than in the control group." The researchers reported that the percentage of rapes was slashed by almost 50% (9.8% to 5.2%).
The program, according to U.S. News, "Aimed at teaching women how to recognize dangerous situations and resist sexual coercion... (The program) taught women how to effectively assess the risk of sexual assault by men they knew, recognize the danger in coercive situations, get past emotional roadblocks to resist unwanted sexual behaviors and practice verbally resisting the behavior or actions."
It appears, therefore, says Banzhaf, that the women largely simply learned how to say "no" earlier and more effectively.
This is reinforced by the study's author, psychologist Charlene Y. Senn, who said that the program "may have increased women’s ability to detect and interrupt men’s behavior at an early stage... My idea is that the more confident and sure women are of what they desire, and what they want, the easier it is to say, ‘No, I’m not doing that’ — and there wouldn’t be that prolonged pressure that results in sexual assault or clearly unwanted sex."
In short, many so-called “rapes” may not have occurred if women had been "more confident and sure" of their own sexual desires and limits, Banzhaf suggests.
Interestingly, as the Los Angeles Times reported: "An additional 14% said they had been subject to coercive sex in which a perpetrator pressured or manipulated them into compliance." Coercion, according to the study, "Was considered to have occurred when perpetrators used pressure or manipulation (e.g., 'threatening to end the relationship' or 'continually verbally pressuring me') to induce compliance."
But, notes Banzhaf, such tactics, however objectionable, would probably not be seen by many as rape, or grounds for expulsion.
Seep explained that most women, faced with unwanted sexual advances by people they know, try pleading and crying, instead of voicing a firm and unequivocal “no,” or even screaming if necessary.
Sending signals which aren’t clear, and therefore might seem ambiguous - especially if students have been drinking heavily - may not work, says Banzhaf.
The study suggests that a clear loud “no” or “stop” apparently is far more effective, especially if uttered before penetration occurs, than vague protestations like “I’m not comfortable,” suggests Banzhaf.
Indeed, he notes, in many rape complaints, one ore more third parties were nearby; people who presumably would have intervened had the female complainant said or screamed “no,” says Banzhaf.
Perhaps, before casual sex became so commonplace with hookups and “friends with benefits,” women going off to college would be warned by parents, older siblings, or friends about what the study called “dangerous situations,” and how to avoid them - or at least how to make their objections clear both to the male and to those in the immediate vicinity, says Banzhaf.
If this is what has now happened, says Banzhaf, perhaps it’s unfair to blame today’s women, because they may not know any better. But it may also be unfair to blame the men if women hesitate to do what the program taught - avoid certain situations, and object loudly and forcefully if necessary - he suggests.
Students who don’t know that most chains aren’t an effective device to prevent bicycles from being stolen wouldn’t be blamed if their bicycles, locked with chains, were stolen. Similarly, freshmen who have never been taught the wise and frugal use of credit can hardly be blamed if they rush to use credit cards which are thrust at them on campus, argues Banzhaf.
In the same way, if young women are going away to college without knowing things they should about preventing rapes, the remedy is to teach them. Certainly, that information is far more valuable than what they may learn in many fluff courses, says Prof. Banzhaf
But perhaps the study also suggests that we should start treating college women as adults who can make their own decisions if given the necessary information, he argues, rather than treating them as incompetents unable to make their own decisions, and banning them from some fraternity events, as the Daily Caller says the University of Missouri may do.