Our College Consent Problem Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon
It’s no secret that alcohol leads to bad decisions. It’s easy to laugh off the time that you puked in your dorm room, or drunk-called your mom at 4 am, but unwanted sexual contact is no laughing matter.
Unfortunately, unwanted sexual contact and advances are everywhere. On the streets, in the workplace, and even in the home. However, the place where they seem to be the most prevalent is on college campuses, largely in part due to alcohol consumption.
In a June survey, 1 in 5 women attending a residential college reported being sexually assaulted. Now, in a study conducted at Rutger’s University, 20% of women reported being subjected to unwanted sexual contact during their time as students.
But it doesn’t stop there. MIT reported that 17% of female undergrads experienced unwanted sexual behavior. The University of Michigan reported that 22.5% of it’s female students were subjected to unwanted contact as well, ranging from inappropriate touching all the way to penetration.
So, why can’t guys keep their hands to themselves? Was the concept forgotten as soon as they stepped out of their pre-school classrooms and saw girls with mosquito-bites under their shirts?
Or is it the girls that can’t seem to learn how to say no? That have been programmed to think that they’re supposed to give guys what they want and “deal with it” when a guy is being a sexual predator? The thing is, that guys haven’t realized that shouting out “no” isn’t always the only way to say no, especially when alcohol is involved.
So how many television ads are going to remind guys that a girl who’s just puked on herself isn’t fair game? And that when a girl drunkenly passes out in your room of the house, it doesn’t mean she wants to sleep with you. What guys don’t seem to realize is that no matter how wasted they are, a girl is probably even more trashed. For a guy, an unwanted sexual experience is probably nothing more than him joking with his friends about how he “hooked up with a 4” last weekend. For a girl? An unwanted sexual experience can scar you for life.
Instead of relying on yourself to make decisions while you’re intoxicated or relying on a dude who’s had 10 Natty Lights and is thinking with his penis, your best bet is talking to your girlfriend’s about what to do when one of you is trying to leave with a dude. Granted, there will be nights when you’re all too f*cked up to make the right decisions. And sometimes it might kill the moment if you’re making out with a dude and your girlfriend comes up to you to check in. But as you can see from the statistics, our college sexual assault problem doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and as much as I’d like to tell you that you can avoid it completely, you can’t until bigger changes are made in our society.