Monday, April 22, 2013

Brown student newspaper: Because the common assumption is that only men commit sexual assault, men don't get a 'pass' in drunken sex

Though most reported cases involve male perpetrators and female victims, sexual assault does not discriminate by gender.
The numbers surrounding incidents of sexual assault are inconsistent, both because of its varying definitions and because of the methodologies used in leading studies. 
The common assumption that sexual assault is only perpetrated by men against women conditions how people assign blame, students said. 
Men “get less of a pass,” said Chris Latham ’14. “A male is held responsible for his actions when he’s drunk, no matter what he does, whereas a female — if she gives consent when she’s drunk — can retroactively say, ‘It wasn’t consent because I was drunk.’” 
Jacobson said making sexual assault solely a gender issue puts males on the defensive, disenfranchising a population that could work to prevent sexual assault. 
“Sexual assault is perpetrated by everyone,” he said. 
“Everyone involved — the perpetrators, the victims — they’re people,” Reynolds said, “and it’s coming from somewhere in our culture that can be changed if we all stand up together.”