A staggering 37 percent of women have been raped, or subjected to an attempted rape, by the time they start their second year of college.
“Sexual violence on campus has reached epidemic levels,” a study published on Wednesday revealed.
The study by Brown University found that 15 percent of the 483 female college students surveyed had experienced “incapictated rape” (when alcohol or drugs are involved), while 9 percent had been subjected to “forcible rape” (when physical force is exercised) during their first year of college.
“If you swap in any other physically harmful and psychologically harmful event, a prevalence of 15 percent would be just unacceptably high,” Kate Carey, professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University School of Public Health and main researcher of the study, told Reuters.
Prior to starting college, 28 percent of the women surveyed had already experienced an attempted or completed rape. This increased to 37 percent by the time the time women start second year of college, the study found.
The research distinguishes itself from other studies for focusing primarily on first-year female students, examining their experiences over time, and distinguishing between “incapacitated” and “forced” cases of rape.
The study suggested four commonly used tactics by perpetrators of rape: manipulation through arguments and continuous pressure, use of physical force, physical or psychological threats, and performance of sexual acts while incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. It also looked at five types of contact the women surveyed had to report in the survey. These include caresses, kisses, or sexual touching; oral sex; attempt at sexual intercourse without success; forced sexual intercourse; anal sex or penetration with a finger or objects.
Intervention to prevent the epidemic of sexual violence on university campus was urged by the researchers. They suggested that “risky drinking behavior” ought to be one site for rape prevention.
Activists for gender justice, however, have long pointed at structural root problems causing rape and femicide. In a 2014 article for Salon, Katie Mcdonough called on people to “examine our culture of misogyny and toxic masculinity, which devalues both women’s and men’s lives and worth, and inflicts real and daily harm. We must examine the dangerous normative values that treat women as less than human, and that make them (…) deserving of death.”
#INeedFeminismBecause my future daughter has a greater chance of being sexually harassed than making the same salary as her male coworker
— My Muse Is You (@MeaganRoseKT) May 20, 2015
#INeedFeminismBecause I can’t walk a block from my house without being objectified. Thanks for that
— Jada G (@Mindful_Banter) May 19, 2015
— Chris Crass (@chriscrass) May 26, 2014