Study: 53% of MIT Students Think Rape Can Be 'Unintentional'

Barbara Boland | October 28, 2014 | 4:45pm EDT
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More than half of MIT students think rape and sexual assault "can happen unintentionally, especially if alcohol is involved," a recent survey found.

The survey found that while 98% of student respondents agree that it is important to get consent before sexual activity:

More than half of respondents (53% of female respondents, 53% of male respondents) agree or strongly agree that "Rape and sexual assault can happen unintentionally, especially if alcohol is involved." For the same question, 67% of undergraduates and 41% of graduate students agree or strongly agree.

In other words, a majority of students think that if alcohol is involved, one can accidentally rape.

From Reason:

About a fifth of female undergraduates and a quarter of male undergraduates surveyed agreed that "when someone is raped or sexually assaulted, it's often because the way they said 'no' was unclear or there was some miscommunication."

It's a bad sign when something as personally devastating and horrifying as rape has "evolved" to the point that college students think it can be the result of a miscommunication.

How can rape happen accidentally?

When consent to sex is defined the way it is in California:

an "affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity."

It's easy to see why drunk college students might struggle with that...


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