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Rape Culture and The Issue of Sexual Assault on College Campuses

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In the language and behavior of various Universities and Colleges, sexual assault and harassment on campus are easily one of the biggest issues in school currently. Rape culture is actively rising and were becoming less aware and sexual assault continues to increase. College campus, events, and parties are being targeted as active rape scenes for students. Guild America Award winners Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and also producer and directors of the documentary, “The Hunting Ground” Created a documentary addressing the Many college students who have been raped on campus and how they face retaliation and harassment as they fight for there justice. In the documentary, the producers portrayed the real life events and scenarios of college students all around the nation and there gruesome sexual assault stories. They based their ideas on campus lifestyles and fraternities that took part in sexual violence. “The Hunting Ground” shared real victims who attended universities such as the University of North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Florida State University. Both women and men spoke as rape survivors who told there wrenching stories direct to the camera. Many in which spoke about fraternities or college athletes that took part in the sexual violence towards them even nicknaming a fraternity actively known for there sexual assaults towards many women. Studies in the ‘Sexual assault prevention programs for college men: an exploratory evaluation of the men against violence model.’ show college campuses neglecting to support active sexual assaults. At least 27% reported rapes on college campuses happen regularly.

How do students define consent? Journalist John F. Decker and Peter G. Baroni in there article ‘No’ still means ‘yes’: the failure of the ‘non-consent’ reform movement in American rape and sexual assault law said Yale University frat Delta Kappa Epsilon or DKE pledges chanted sexist chants on the school campus. Female students on campus felt it was “an active call for sexual violence”. Although harassment and sexual assault gets the amount of media and an advocating audience it deserves is the amount of sexual assault increasing or are the actual amounts of rapes that happen becoming less aware. As it explains in the documentary “Hunting Ground” in the same way school campuses often do not encourage the idea of consent or in other words, fraternities usually encourage the idea of “no consent” Usually sexual assault is viewed as a light topic some schools even need to justify on how to prevent sexual harassments. For example, knowing your limits, watching your drinks and attending social gatherings so you’re never alone. While many claims if the alleged victims were raped or sexually assaulted they would come forward. In other words, students should be more aware of rape because not only fraternities but many others too are involved in school campus sexual assaults every year, many students wrongfully act of sexual violence that takes place on campus grounds, and the role of sexual assaults on college campuses is increasing yearly. 

In the article “’No’ still means ‘yes’: the failure of the ‘non-consent’ reform movement in American Authors John F. Decker and Peter G. Baroni explain to us the wrongful acts of sexual violence that took place on campus grounds by the schools fraternity DKE in one of the best ivy schools in the nation. The sexist chants of a Yale University fraternity that made headlines after a youtube video surfaced the media. The article points out many critics as to how effortless it is to make remarks and how the actual failure of promoting consent can be. They also explain the riot of fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon that broke out or in other words, known as DKE as they chanted on campus “No means yes, yes means anal”. In what Yale female students called it “an active call for sexual violence.”(1) This article further explores the reality of sexual assault and rapes law’s on university campuses, Particularly how consent and rape aren’t talked about or not taken as seriously as they should be. this article is a peak in which sexual harassment and assault are seen differently or used as a jokingly inappropriate topic. In the same way authors Decker and Baroni also said “Today, many believe it is totally proper to grab, fondle, and paw another person in a sexual manner unless a scream or slap becomes the response.” The authors are arguing that in today’s time it’s okay to grab someone without permission it isn’t harassment until the victim feels the need to make it into a harassment scenario. In the same way, consent is a topic not really expressed to college students which is why many rape scenes seem to occur on campus, parties and even school events. Similarly, journalist Laura Hensley in her work, ‘Sexual assault prevention programs for college men: an exploratory evaluation of the men against violence model.’ argues the role of sexual assaults on college campuses increasing yearly. She mentioned how at least 27% of reported rapes occur on school property. She also argues and explains how college men, fraternity members or pledges are easily targeted because of how often they serve to reinforce rape-supportive attitudes. In other words, Hensley explains how “rape culture” is normal for men in college because it is very often seen or a topic of discussion. This is equally important because this is a different way of saying men are traditionally viewed with a masculinity behavior. Likewise, it’s okay for one to react in a sexual assault manner. In addition to Hensley’s arguments, she also says “most campus rapes are committed by someone the survivor knows”. In fact not only is it someone the victims knows but could also be acquaintances, dates, or partners. Further on I believe many on-campus rapes go unreported due to women being reluctant to label their experiences as rape. Many fear and are concerned that their claims will not be taken seriously by campus administration and the legal systems. Considering many on campus sexual harassments that do get reported hardly get investigated. Students fear constant threat on campus because of the rise of rape culture. 

In addition, author John D. Foubert and his co-writers Dallas N. Garner, Peter J. Thaxter wrote “An exploration of fraternity culture: implications for programs to address alcohol-related sexual assault” All the authors gave us the studies of various fraternities and the school’s rape and fraternal culture. The authors interviewed many frat members and were asked to share their experiences by asking for consent after one or both parties have consumed alcohol. In particular, one example the authors mention is “A large proportion of women who attend college have experience with rape or other forms of sexual assault before and after their matriculation.” Generally speaking that women are constant targets on school campus when events or frat parties are occurring. In fact not only do these authors argue that women are constantly targeted but also they mention “fraternity men are more likely than male college students to be sexually coercive”. In other words fraternities are a bigger target to women then any typical college boy would be. College is the place where plenty of alcohol is consumed and many females become victims every day. Similarly, the authors mention “many men report being unsure whether a woman can consent to intimate behaviors when she has been drinking at all.” This is proof of how schools don’t portray what consent really is. 

Lastly, in the article “Campus sexual assault adjudication and resistance to reform” by a leading scholar on rape law Michelle J. Anderson argues that sexual assault on college campuses is a large problem. Anderson argued that “twenty-seven colleges and universities distributed campus climate surveys to their students and found that 23% of female undergraduates and more than 5% of male undergraduates experienced non consensual penetration or sexual contact involving physical force or incapacitation.” She also argues that many students become victims but stay silent for the reason of administration staying silent and not taking the correct action. Later on, she explained the hostile behavior of the University of Central Florida fraternity pledges shouting and chanting ‘Rape, rape, rape!’ and ‘Let’s rape some sluts!’. In response to this, the University received many complaints from women and victims of sexual assault. Because of this, the University commenced their own investigation but no justice was brought to campus as fraternity members were only suspended rather than completely expelled for theses sexual violent actions. Eventually, Anderson mentioned that the focus of what consent meant was appropriate but also essential to the college lifestyle. In other words, the rise of sexual assault actively continues to grow and victims continue to stay silent. A college campus should be the start of a new chapter for students but for some being on campus is living in fear of violent sexual attacks. College campuses should reinforce the idea of what consent actually is and take sexual assault as serious as it really is. If many Universities or colleges reinforced sexual assault many more women would be less afraid to tell their story. 

To conclude, both male and female students continue to fear from sexual assaults on school campuses every day. The idea of campus rapes continues to rise yearly due to the fact of schools ignoring the idea of rape. The word consent is a very powerful term that many schools fail to follow. Students should be more aware of rape and there school surroundings. Many students wrongfully become victims or even act part of the sexual violence. In other words, rape culture should be often more appropriately talked about students should become more aware. Rather than sexual assault occurring on school campus awareness should to continue to rise. 

Works Cited 

  • Anderson, Michelle J. ‘Campus sexual assault adjudication and resistance to reform.’ Yale Law Journal, May 2016, p. 1969. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A459506346/AONE?u=mcc_pv&sid=AONE&xid=b770a27d. Accessed 3 Apr. 2019 
  • Choate, Laura Hensley. ‘Sexual assault prevention programs for college men: an exploratory evaluation of the men against violence model.’ Journal of College Counseling, Fall 2003, p. 166+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A110800937/AONE?u=mcc_pv&sid=AONE xid=fd3d3f24. .
  • Decker, John F., and Peter G. Baroni. ”No’ still means ‘yes’: the failure of the ‘non-consent’ reform movement in American rape and sexual assault law.’ Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 2011, p. 1081+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A283591886/AONE?u=mcc_pv&sid=AONE xid=f0eb95a9. 
  • Foubert, John D., et al. ‘An exploration of fraternity culture: implications for programs to address alcohol-related sexual assault.’ College Student Journal, vol. 40, no. 2, 2006, p. 361+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A147389141/AONE?u=mcc_pv&sid=AONE&xid=738bf6d1. Accessed 20 Mar. 2019. 

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Rape Culture And The Issue Of Sexual Assault On College Campuses. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rape-culture-and-the-issue-of-sexual-assault-on-college-campuses/
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Rape Culture And The Issue Of Sexual Assault On College Campuses. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rape-culture-and-the-issue-of-sexual-assault-on-college-campuses/> [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
Rape Culture And The Issue Of Sexual Assault On College Campuses [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Dec 16 [cited 2023 Jan 27]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rape-culture-and-the-issue-of-sexual-assault-on-college-campuses/
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