Big Problem: Study Shows 1/3rd Of Male Students Would Rape A Woman


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You read that right. Unfortunately, this is not some sort of bogus click-bait article you see floating around Facebook with a sensationalized headline that says something like “And you won’t BELIEVE what happened next! My jaw is ON THE FLOOR!” This is a very real statistic and a very real problem.


Professor Sarah Edwards lead a study including 86 heterosexual male college students who were administered a series of surveys asking about the likelihood of participating in certain types of sexual behaviors. One of which was using force to have sex with a woman [rape]. The stipulation? The circumstance would be ”if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences.”

According to the study: “One-third of participants (31.7%) said they would force a woman to have sexual intercourse in a “consequence-free situation” – and many wouldn’t label or recognize their actions as “rape.” Moreover, 13.6% of participants said they would rape a woman.”

First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, the sample size is tiny. Yes, it is only one college campus surveyed. But also according to the study: “Federal data estimate that about one in five women becomes the victim of sexual assault while in college, most of which is committed by assailants known to the victim (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control 2012).” Obviously this is a sample size far larger than 86, and someone out there is creating these victims. One can easily reach the conclusion that if a wider net was cast for this study, there would still be some fish caught.

Let’s not even get started on the fact that the concept of “consequence-free rape” actually even exists in the first place. But, moving on…

This is a serious issue for many reasons. First of all, there are clear implications here that American boys are not understanding the severity of what rape actually is. With any issue in any society, if we have a ‘moral society’ that is only being held together by the glue of rules and regulations, we must ask if we actually have a moral society. Or, do we just have a bunch of people who are walking around suppressing violent urges for fear of punishment?

Some may say that this is the entire point of rules and consequences, to keep these people in line. Sure, point taken – and it makes me glad that we do have these rules in place. But, I’m not really sure if that’s good enough for me.

And, I’m not really sure if it should be good enough for you, either. Is it good enough for your girlfriend? Your sister? Your mother? The thought that one out of every three men would be perfectly fine with raping them if he knew he would not be punished? Is it good enough to know that a rule written on a piece of paper somewhere is stopping him? It is not good enough for me.

This reminds me of the movie The Purge, where all laws are suspended for one night and the world goes into complete anarchy. I have to ask myself if how I would act would really change for that one night. The only time I would turn violent would be to protect people I love, never to go out and steal or pillage.

The same moral question arises here: How many people reading this article would walk outside and rob a store or bank if it suddenly became “okay” to do so? How many would rape a woman? How many would kill someone?

Hearing that one third of male students would be totally fine raping a woman if they wouldn’t be punished is clear evidence that someone is not raising their sons properly. Legality should have nothing to do with the decision to not rape a woman. Morals, values, regard for human life, and respect for others should play far more of a role than the punishment someone might face.

The study itself, which is needless to say far more in depth and detailed than anything I could ever write here, is an important read for both men and women. I believe it gives us some insight into thought processes and issues we need to address in society.

Most of the interaction that happens on this website as well as my Twitter and Facebook pages comes from women – but men, I am calling you out here. I want to know your thoughts on these findings. I want to know how you feel about the concept that if you are sitting between two other men, one of them might potentially rape a woman who you love. And – I want to know what you think we can do to help fix this.

All of this is unacceptable, and frankly it disgusts me that we are all walking around as if these issues are not real. As if someone close to us has not been affected by an act of sexual violence in one way or another. As if jokes about rape are harmless or in some way funny. As if a member of your family could not either perpetrate or be a victim of a rape.

It is time that we, as men, take a stand and speak out. Our voices play a valuable role in this fight and if we do not use them, it is as if we had no voices at all.

I, for one, will never stop fighting against this. The question is, who will be standing next to me?

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  1. Satin Sheet Diva on January 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    o_0. WTF bro? I’m speechless.

    • Satin Sheet Diva on January 15, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      And contemplating boning up on my self-defense options. Good grief.

  2. zampano on January 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I saw somewhere in the report that the percentage of men who would rape a woman was different if the question used the word “rape” or not. Wording shouldn’t matter, the act is what it is.

  3. Roger on January 15, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    As a male college student I see this concept far too prevalently. Moreso is the fallacy that it’s okay to have sex with a drunk woman. They are not in a position to give consent, so it is effectively rape. The worst part is that the institution of college parties promote and feed this tactic (note the “D to P ratio” at parties). The guys who partake in this are not respectable and make all other men look bad.

    • Marcela on January 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      But it only takes one person to speak up in these instances. If people spoke up and said no this is wrong get her a cab send her home it would stop. The problem is bro code. Guys won’t contradict or shame each other and THAT is a shame.

  4. anonymousannaxo on January 15, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Reblogged this on Undiscovered and Exposed.

  5. theblogwoman on January 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    When you mentioned The Purge, one night with no law, total anarchy – I felt fear in my body and knowing that if it were real I would lock myself up in my home and sit tight.

    It would never cross my mind to be an aggressor, attacker, theif, just because there would be no consequences. But in my heart I fear human nature and know I would need to protect myself and what is mine.

    Awful and sad.

  6. Chris on January 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I can’t believe there are dudes who even think this way. There are so many sexual assault cases happening at my school that I wonder how these people were raised to view women. Seems to me that the best we can do is bring the conversation up among our friend groups. The more people talk about it, and the more awareness there is to how wrong these acts are, the closer we get to no longer having to receive alerts of rapists in the area. It’s a human rights issue, not a women’s rights issue.

  7. Links of the Week – January 16, 2015 | A Long Run on January 16, 2015 at 11:31 am

    […] * Big Problem: Study Shows That 1/3rd Of Male Students Would Rape A Woman […]

  8. Little Miss Menopause on January 16, 2015 at 11:16 pm


  9. The Free Woman on January 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I’m speechless that you all are surprised!!!! I’m so pissed!! Are you joking??!!! As common as rape is why are you surprised???? Tell me please??? I’m upset you are not more informed about the lurking assholes out there stalking us women!!!
    WAKE UP!

  10. Esme on January 19, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Loving this article. Thank you for shedding more light on this! In the district where I work we read stats for our entire province of British Columbia where 1/3 women are raped sometime in their life, and another 1/4 are in an abusive relationship. It’s dangerous to be a woman. And I do believe, it’s dangerous to be a man of moral virtue- because toxic people rally up against those who oppose them with bad intent. I can only imagine how bad it must have been when the stats and reports were “non-existent”….. scary.

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