"The rapists" aren't some criminally-minded perverts intent on harm and preoccupied with stalking victims. "They" aren't hiding in the bushes or behind an online alias. Most perpetrators are otherwise trustworthy friends and classmates around whom women feel comfortable socializing and drinking. These are the men of our society, our sons and brothers (who will become uncles and fathers), who, just like our daughters, are simply unclear about the protocol of the situation. Operating on assumption and misinformation, young people begin exploring each other sexually with no forethought, no clearly defined guidelines, and a lack of vocabulary (and lack of confidence) to articulate personal boundaries.
Unlike most learning experiences, intimate one-on-one encounters, by definition, cannot be taught by observation; most parents are uncomfortable talking about more than the basics; and the schools are busy teaching abstinence only. Virtually all of a young person's sexual education (starting much younger than anyone is comfortable with acknowledging) comes from movies and music videos, or from friends, whose firsthand exaggerations and secondhand sensationalism also have been primarily informed by the overwhelmingly misogynistic depictions of sexuality in popular entertainment. THIS where rape prevention efforts need to begin: comprehensive sex education with a continuous open and honest dialogue about the alarming social costs of our preferred entertainment.
Wherever it ends up, can I visit?
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