August 20, 2019

Toxic Masculinity, Not Alcohol, Leads to Sexual Assault

“Booze-filled, chaperone-free parties. Teasing that crossed the line under the influence of alcohol. Relatively shy young men who became “aggressive and even belligerent” when drinking. Whatever the behavior of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it’s become clear that the circles he traveled in as a young man — both at prep school and later Yale University — were characterized by young men drinking, a lot. And by young women whose social interactions were fraught with danger.

And this is no surprise to experts who study campus sexual assault. Years of research both in and out of the lab suggests that there is a connection between young men drinking alcohol and making choices that destroy young women’s lives. But it’s not accurate to say alcohol causes sexual assault. Preventing rape will take more than simply convincing young men not to drink (let alone telling their victims to abstain). That’s because booze is only part of the problem. Every drink is downed amid cultural expectations and societally mediated attitudes about women and power. Those things — and how young men absorb them — have a stronger causal influence than the alcohol alone. When a man feels entitled to assault someone, he may get drunk before he does it, but the decision to act was ultimately his alone.

Half of all sexual assaults involve alcohol consumption — usually by both the victim and perpetrator, said Kelly Cue Davis, a professor at Arizona State University. And a 2002 review of literature found that, across a number of studies, perpetrators were more likely to report using alcohol at the time of an assault than victims — 60 to 65 percent of perpetrators compared with 30 to 55 percent of victims. Although men can be both perpetrators of sexual violence and victims, almost all the research is focused on the heterosexual paradigm of male perpetrators and female victims, Davis said.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"On Christmas Eve of 1966, Paddy Roy Bates, a retired British army major, drove a small boat with an outboard motor seven miles off the coast of England into the North Sea. He had sneaked out of his house in the middle of the night, inspired..."

"The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for..."

"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."

"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."

"With the presidential campaign under way, expect to hear a lot more about a shiny new toy of progressive economic thinking, “modern monetary theory.” It seems to be the only intellectual contortion that might allow candidates to promise..."

"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."

"Israel’s top officials are considering denying Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to their country due to their outspoken, controversial criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, not to mention their slurs against American Jews as..."

"For most of our lives, we have been conditioned to share a piece of personal information without a moment’s hesitation: our phone number. We punch in our digits at the grocery store to get a member discount or at the pharmacy to pick up..."