How to reduce rape by half?

IMO, the right to go anywhere you want is sacrosanct and I understand why many women do it despite it being more dangerous for them than for men. You gotta live your life.

However, there are extremely unwise behaviors. Going somewhere alone with a man you just met, even if you intend to sleep with them, is incredibly risky behavior. It’s not THAT much unsafer for men to do it with strange women. Ask an NBA player who got robbed of $700,000 worth of stuff because he brought two women home he met at a club. Then there’s the risk of disease. It’s just something people shouldn’t do, but like drug use it’s a thrill that a lot of people can’t resist experiencing. After the fact is a wrong time to blame someone, but a good friend warns people they care about beforehand if they seem to be about to make a mistake.

IT’s also extremely unwise to get wasted at parties alone or with unreliable friends. Again, rape isn’t even the worst thing that can happen in those situations. A friend of mine woke me up at 3am because he had this competely out of it lady who had been at a club and was staggering around trying to find her car. Her friends had just left her there. Prey doesn’t get any easier. That night luck was on her side. We took her home, then picked her up in the morning to get her car. What would have happened had she found her car? Jail(where she would have gotten raped) or death.

Short version, people do stupid shit and if we want the world to function we point out stupid shit beforehand. It’s wrong to blame victims afterwards, not because victims are never wrong, but because we weren’t there and we shouldn’t judge people’s choices that way. But we can say, in general, that certain choices are very risky and there might be better options to make yourself safer.

Oh, and I once game my ATM card and PIN to a distraught lady. That went… badly.

It’s not enough to say “men are pigs and I wish the world wasn’t like that.” Can you imagine a city where prudent men didn’t walk around the block after dark? That sounds like crime-ridden hellhole. But it’s reasonable that women have to feel that way about a generic suburb? It’s just the way it is?

And honestly, I don’t think that the risk is that great most places–but if you put me in a “rape prevention class” and tell me to “seriously consider the risk” of walking down my goddamn street after nine, you’re institutionalizing the idea that I literally can’t participate in society, that I am being unwise and taking a significant risk if I pursue tons and tons of careers that might suit me, if I take up running, a hobby with huge physical and mental health benefits, if I do a million things that men do every day. And then if, god forbid, something does happen, I was almost certainly engaging in “risky behavior” and bear some of the burden. I can believe there is effective “rape prevention education” but anything that labels participating in ordinary life as “risky” is doing more harm than good.

This is a classic example of people setting the bar really high “just in case” because they will never have to actually bear the burden of the standard they set.

Is there really a 10% chance of women being raped in their first year in college? That’s what I was getting at. According to the FBI, the rate of rape is either 30 or 40 per 100,000, depending on which definition they use. I suspect young women are the primary targets of rape, but if that 9.8% stat is correct, it’s like 9,800 per 100,000. That seems, well, fucking insane. Like, why the fuck are we sending women to college if 1/10 of them are going to be raped there? Who the hell does something that has a 10% chance of getting them raped?

Who are the “we” that are sending women to college? I thought it was their decision to make.
If you don’t think women should have equal access to higher education, where do you thing “we” should be sending them(if anywhere)?

I don’t see any reason why there can’t be both.

If you’re a woman, you’re going to want to prevent rapes in general, but you’re also going to want to prevent you being raped, and a program like this might be more effective toward that latter end.

Not very much, unfortunately.

I’d like to see more evidence that they work as well as the Canadian program allegedly did.


The program the OP was talking about was described thusly:

This makes me think/hope that, rather than telling women to limit the places they go and the people they go with, it actually frees them to do more because they’ve learned better how to avoid trouble or to handle it if it arises.

The problem with the study is it conflates rape and sexual assault. According to the Justice Institute of British Columbia one of every 17 women is raped in her lifetime. Yet this study found a rate of 10%. If this were true the average women would be raped over seven times in her life. This is not possible. It seems like almost all of the sexual assaults in the study are unwanted touching and not rape. While reducing unwanted touch is obviously a laudable goal it is not cutting the incidence of rape in half.

Parents, mostly. It’s pretty common for it to be a decision made in conjunction with one’s parents.

Personally, I’m skeptical of the 9.8% statistic, but if it’s accurate, even within an order of magnitude, I’d strongly discourage my daughter from going to a co-ed college. Maybe direct her to a women’s college, or a monastery. I don’t know yet, but somewhere that doesn’t involve a 1/10 chance of rape.

Saying there’s a 10% chance of college freshmen being raped isn’t implying that that incidence rate is normal for all women. College freshmen may be particularly targeted.

And the study was over “sexual assault” but the number they reported was of rapes.

Thanks for the clarification. This makes more sense.

You appear to have misspelled “Why the fuck are we sending men to college if they’re so uncontrollably predatory that they will rape 1/10 of their female classmates?”

People need to stop treating rape and sexual assault primarily as a sort of natural hazard that it’s chiefly the responsibility of women (or those who are assumed to have the responsibility of “sending” women places or “letting” women do things) to avoid.

Rape and sexual assault are crimes. If criminal attacks are being directed against women, the solution is to go after the criminals committing the attacks, not to place limitations on women’s behavior.

There are a lot of places like that, actually. Anyone out after dark outside of a vehicle is looking for trouble or has no choice but to be out after dark.

You bring up a great point about the risk of rape from just walking around being low. Very true. The vast majority of rapes are someone the victim knows. Stranger danger is just not a thing except in the most crime ridden of neighborhoods. It’s not as unlikely as getting struck by lightning, but it’s a good way of thinking about it. The odds of anyone getting randomly attacked in a safe suburb are something like 1 in 100,000.

However, here’s the way I look at risk. If it’s something I as a male would consider risky, it’s pretty damn risky. Walking down the street at night isn’t terribly risky. Plus it’s how you live your life. Getting wasted is risky behavior. Going places with people you just met is risky behavior. Unprotected sex with strangers is incredibly risky behavior. Actually, that last one is just Russian Roulette.

For me, blame isn’t what it’s all about. I don’t care what people think about me so I don’t care if anyone blames me for getting hurt or not. I do care about getting hurt though, so I take reasonable preventive measures to make getting hurt less likely.

Tell ya what, I did get pissed this one time though. I was trying to go to the cable company’s building to pay my cable bill in person and I get lost in a very dangerous neighborhood. Now I thought by dangerous it just meant that instead of a 1 in 100,000 chance of getting hurt, it was something like, oh, 20 in 100,000. WRONG! It was more like 99% for a white dude on a bicycle. First I encountered a bunch of people around a car, like 40 dudes. One of them approaches me and asks if I need anything. I said no as I pass him. He yells ahead, “yo! Stop that guy!” Several of them converge on me. I cut through a yard and got away. Ten minutes later I someone tries to steal my bike from me with me still on it. Got away from him too. I called the police and told them everything. First question. “What were you doing there?” Grrrrrrrr…

The response to your scenario wouldn’t be anti mugging courses where we sit down potential muggers and discuss mugging. It would be advice to lock your stuff up, not walk alone, don’t flash expensive things, etc.

The study also reported “attempted rapes” under a separate category, so I think the 9.8% is actual rapes, not unwanted touches.

In the short term, yes. But we would not consider it an acceptable sustainable system. We’d expect structural, institutional changes to fix the problem.

As Ulfreida pointed out, you’re mistaken about “malicious intent,” and you’re falling prey to a very persistent myth about who these people are who are committing sexual assaults. The vast majority of sexual assault is committed with something much more like recklessness than malice aforethought. People who are guilty of these assaults mostly don’t think to themselves “I am going to penetrate this person without consent,” they think “I want to fuck this person” and then they do it, and they burn very few calories worrying about what consent is, whether it’s important, or whether it’s present. It’s just not a factor in their decision-making. Later on, seated around the dinner table, they are very capable of describing what’s wrong about rape, but they won’t describe their behavior as wrong. I think that last part is important because they (and here we can think about people like Brock Turner as examples) are benefiting from people buying into this myth: it’s “well-known” that most men who commit rape know what they’re doing is wrong and are therefore bad people, but this is a good kid, and therefore not a bad person, and therefore not someone who committed an assault.

As above: not respecting boundaries leads immediately to rape in many cases. It’s all that’s required. That’s an important point. You don’t have to have a balaclava and a switchblade.

Separately from that, though, the focus on completed rape gave me some misgivings so I read the whole study. It’s not the case that only a very specific category was measured:

I think that’s significant, and encouraging, because a program that effectively reduces the incidence of completed rape by converting a bunch of completed rapes into “merely” attempted rape and aggravated assault, in the worst case, is something that’s extremely dangerous, and in the best case, is definitely not serving a policy interest all that effectively. In this case, if these numbers hold up, it does look more like an overall reduction in offenses and severity, and maybe there’s reason to believe this part:

I have a lot of reservations about this, but in a vacuum, if this is true, that’s a big deal and we should celebrate it.

My reservations, though, are mostly about the fact that victim blaming is a complicated thing, but it’s a real thing. The study collected data by following up after 12 months. I don’t have any reason to believe that the people who conducted this study did anything inappropriate, but I can very easily imagine how a randomly-selected person who took a “sexual assault resistance” course and then was sexually assaulted might incline more toward underreporting or dropping out of the study. What if they “know” that they resisted “wrong” when it happened in real life? Having worked with survivors, I can’t possibly stress enough how much the ambient sense of blame, guilt, and criticism can affect people’s thought processes.

Then there’s the other issue, the more political one, which is that this doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It being complicated is not a reason not to do something that’s going to be effective in achieving the desirable outcome, but it does, you know, make it complicated.

And, in that case, it would be so obvious that it wouldn’t even need saying that authorities were going nuts to find the 10% muggers and throw the book at them, because holy shit a mugging epidemic. There wouldn’t be admitted muggers walking around defending the practice of taking people’s shit away from them, and suggesting that the people who had their iPhones stolen had actually just given them away and had nothing to complain about and that everyone knew the unwritten rules of when your iPhone is actually available. They’d be in actual jail.

There are a lot of women who get raped, with varying degrees of that definition of the word rape, those numbers don’t seem out of line, actually I would say it is almost expected to happen at some point as part of the female package new souls are given when they are conceived in their new body, as a very sad statement of our civilization.

I’m surprised-most women’s colleges specialize in the Liberal Arts. They are also, for the most part, more expense than co-ed colleges. As far as sending her to a monastery is concerned, it isn’t an option available to most, and while it may be someplace a legal adult may choose to go to of their own free will, I don’t see someone else sending their adult offspring “for their own good” to such a place as being successful in the long run. Just my opinion, of course.

Yep. 9.8% completed rape.

39.1% nonconsensual sexual contact.

So is Canada just especially rape-y? Or do we think a similar number would be found at American colleges? And why is the FBI not seeing that?

For example, the NCES reports that in the fall of 2015 there were 9.5 million female undergrad students in the USA. I don’t know how many were freshmen, but let’s guesstimate 2.4 million. If 10% of them got raped, we should expect 240,000 rapes, just from this subset of the population. Instead, the FBI’s UCR found 90,000-124,000, depending on which definition is used (nationally, not just female college freshmen). Something is way out of whack here.