Monday, September 28, 2015

Sexual Assault, College, and its Causes

  • The Association of American Universities on Monday released the overall results of a survey that asked students at 27 universities about their experiences with sexual assault and sexual misconduct, drawing responses from more than 150,000 students. 
  • More than 20 percent of female undergraduates at an array of prominent universities said this year they were victims of sexual assault and misconduct, echoing findings elsewhere, according to one of the largest studies ever of college sexual violence.
  • The survey found that 23 percent of undergraduate women and 5 percent of undergraduate men said they were victims of non-consensual sexual contact – ranging from penetration to sexual touching — due to force or incapacitation. Eleven percent of undergraduate women said they were victims of non-consensual penetration or attempted penetration… 20 percent of students said sexual assault and misconduct is very or extremely problematic on their own campus.
What can account for this epidemic? One thoughtful respondent appropriately commented:

  • I don't for a minute want to minimize the roll that drunkenness plays in campus sexual assaults, but drunkenness on college campuses is not new… What is new on college campuses across the nation, as a result of the explosive growth of the World Wide Web, is college facilitated access to a "smorgasbord" of hardcore pornography that depicts the abuse, degradation, and exploitation of females. 
However true this might be, there is also another consideration. The normalization of almost any form of sexual acting-act is routinely promoted. In a New York Times Op-Ed, Charles M. Blow glowingly affirmed Miley Cyrus’ statements:

  • “I’m very open about it — I’m pansexual.”
  • I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult — anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me.”
For Blow, these statements represent what sexuality should be about – “casual,”  “carefree,” and non-judgmental sex.

  • There was something about the casual, carefree-ness of the statements that I found both charming and revolutionary. It took a happy-go-lucky sledgehammer to the must-fit-a-box binary that constrains and restricts our understanding of the complexity of human sexuality.
Since the NYT doesn’t discuss the down-side of the sexual revolution, we can assume that they too regard uncommitted sex as something that should be fun, playful, “happy-go-lucky,” and perhaps even a bit mischievous – something that our college students can readily applaud.

Blow rejects the traditional approach to sexuality as sacred, as something that “restricts our understanding of the complexity of human sexuality.” How ironic! It is the media and the universities which have silenced and struck down any message counter to the rampant sexual permissiveness and experimentation. Does the university offer any talks on the value of chastity? On traditional marriage? Instead, such discussions are taboo, routinely screamed down, and even penalized. Meanwhile, polyamory and other unsustainable practices are given free range to entice the minds of the susceptible.

However, it is Blow’s and Cyrus’ message, loudly proclaimed on almost every campus, that has helped to unleash sexual experimentation – the exploration of one’s sexuality. One popular form of sexual exploration is, understandably, forceful, bodily, sexual proselytizing. Well, isn’t it natural enough?

Isn’t it true that everyone wants and needs sex? What then is the problem? Sexual taboos, of course! Well then, what’s wrong with penetrating through these taboos in a persuasive, although somewhat aggressive manner? Perhaps these sexual trend-setters have even convinced themselves that they are providing a needful service to their victims? After all, the pedophiles have convinced themselves of this – the children a better-off because of them!

Behavior can no more be separated from belief than life from blood. If our youth are taught the primacy of choice above everything else, they will exercise their choice, albeit harmfully. If they are taught that their nature should govern their behavior, they will act out according to their nature. However, if they are taught that they must govern their natural impulses, and when they do not, they violate heaven’s dictates, they will think twice. (Also, our law-makers and universities will think twice!) However, this has become the forbidden message, the message that must be silenced.  

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