Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Scary Numbers, or What is Wrong with These People: A Brief Discussion of Rape Stats

While driving home today, I saw a billboard posted by a group called FSU Measure Up. In short, it's a "social norms initiative" which aims to "correct misconceptions about male students in regards to promiscuity and sexual violence" (from their "About" page). Anyway, the text read something like "FSU Men understand the importance of getting consent before sexual intimacy." First of all, let me say that I certainly support the idea that the men at FSU have figured out this apparently esoteric piece of knowledge, but...so I went and poked around the Measure Up website and found the following bits of info:

"88% of FSU men have gotten consent before sexual intimacy."
"97% of FSU men would do something to help a woman if they Saw her being mistreated."
"93% of FSU men would respect someone who intervened to prevent abuse or sexual assault."

Again, good, but...Since when did the notion that one needs consent before sex become such a revolutionary idea? And who are these 12% that did not get consent? Because, hello, that's rape and a crime, and my first inclination is expulsion. Except of course, these were, I assume, anonymous surveys, and so the people conducting them don't know which ones were the miscreants. Who are these 3% who would ignore the mistreatment, and why did so many of the 97% lie on this question? I'm sorry, but it's a valid question here. And the 7% who would not respect someone who intervened need their asses beaten. Here's one more thing to ponder: Why don't these numbers add up? These appear to be all from the same survey, so in theory, the men who got consent would have answered positively on other questions.

I'm just absolutely floored by the need for this campaign. As my friend Eric said, "What ought to be basic human decency is now award-winning behavior: 'Don't I get pie for not raping you?'"


a'ishah said...

"Our objective is to correct misconceptions about male students in regards to promiscuity and sexual violence."

so - their object isn't to teach men it's wrong to rape, it's to make everyone else think there aren't a lot of rapists in the fsu community? something seems off about that.

obsessive compulsive dawn said...

Oh, there's a lot that seems off about that, honey. They love to support the "oh no, our dudes don't go around raping" idea alongside the "hey girls, you should stop getting raped" idea. I mean, for crying out loud, there's an area that is widely known as the "rape trail."

pulchritude said...

that 88% statistic is horrifying! I hadn't figured that 12% of fsu males were raping people. Does this percentage take into account people who may have answered, NA?