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Date Rape on College and High School Campuses

Updated October 6, 2021
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Date Rape on College and High School Campuses essay

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Abstract

Date rape on college’s and high school campuses has become a subject of national concern in today’s society. However, date rape has been an ongoing problem for several years. Date rape is a sexual assault in which the victim knows or has met the suspect in some type of social gathering and the victim is not able to resist due to intoxication, drugs or lack of consciousness. Previous research has focused on the previously overlooked crime of date rape and the social issues that have helped minimize this type of crime. Current research statistics show that victims of date rape do not report the crime. Furthermore, research provides theories as to why some individuals commit sexual offenses including a combination between biological, psychological, and sociological based deviant behavior.

Date Rape

Date rape on college’s and high school campuses has become a subject of national concern in today’s society. However, date rape has been an ongoing problem for some time. In fact, the term date rape was first coined in the mid 1980s and used to specify a type of rape in which there is a dating relationship between the offender and the victim. Today, the term date rape is used to describe a rape that occurs in the context of a romantic or social date (Tucker, 2014). There are some who prefer to use the term acquaintance rape regardless; the term date rape and acquaintance rape are interchangeable. The fact is that both terms signify there was some type of relationship between the victim and the offender prior to the rape.

Literature Review

Date rape is a sexual assault in which the victim knows or has met the suspect in some type of social gathering and is a sexual assault in which the victim is not able to resist due to intoxication or lack of consciousness (Rape, 2016). Date rapes may not involve a violent sexual attack where there is sexual penetration or sexual acts that that cause the to victim suffer bruises, trauma, or vaginal trauma. However, date rapes may include sexual contact such as touching the victim’s intimate body parts without their consent (Rape, 2016). Furthermore, with date rapes the victim is subject to mental duress such as depression, paranoia, and humiliation.

According to RAINN research, 84% of the women who are raped experience some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the following weeks of the sexual assault and 30% of the women reported symptoms of PTSD up to 9 months after the rape. Furthermore, 33% of the women contemplated suicide, with 13% of the women attempted suicide. Lastly, 70% of the4 rape or sexual assault victims experienced moderate to severe distress (RAINN, n.d.) With Date rape, there are several issues associated with these types of crimes. Having an understanding of the history of rape laws in the United States will help revel some of the issues surrounding date rape.

Since the 1980s, research has focused on the previously overlooked crime of date rape and other social issues that have helped reduce the importance of this type of crime. Rape has been difficult to prove and was seen in early American law that came from English common law. English common law required the element of force and evidence of resistance on the part of the victim (Tucker, 2014). Furthermore, date rape was hard to prove due to some statutes required there be corroborating evidence such as eyewitness or physical injury to the victim. The good news is that over the last 40 years, there have been large changes made to state laws and the requirement of corroborating evidence ad resistance has been dropped. In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into effect the Drug-induced Rape Prevention and Punishing Act which added up to 20 years in person for those offenders convicted of using date rape drugs to facilitate rape (Tucker, 2014). The use of alcohol and drugs as outlined by the Drug-induced Rape Prevention and Punishing Act among adolescents and young adults seems to be a widespread problem.

According to RAINN, drug-facilitated sexual assaults can be either alcohol or drugs and both are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity. Both these substances make it easier for the suspect to commit the sexual assault because the victim ability to resists inhibited and they have a diminished capacity to defend themselves (RAINN, n.d.). In fact, a number of studies have shown that over 50% of date rape incidents involve alcohol by the offender, victim or both. Several theories have been proposed that point to alcohol causing the offender to misinterpret female’s sexual interest and the victim to recognize any danger. Alcohol seems to be the most common used substance with date rape. However in the 1990’s law enforcement and researchers have observed an increase in drug-facilitated rapes (Tucker, 2014).

Date rape drugs as identified by the National Institute of Dug Abuse (NIDA) include several drugs such as Gamma Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), Rohypnol, Ketamine, and Ecstasy. GHB is a CNS depressant that is colorless; odorless and comes in the form of a liquid or white powder. GHB can be taken orally with alcohol and other drugs. Once ingested, results in unconsciousness within 15-30 minutes and the effects of GHB can last 3-6 hours. GHB overdose is easy and can cause seizures, coma, and even death (Dodich & Siedlarz, 2014). Rohypnol (Roofies) is normally used in short-term treatment of insomnia and as a pre-anesthetic medication. Rohypnol is a colorless, odorless and tasteless liquid or pill that can be mixed all types of liquids to include alcohol. Effects of Rohypnol include memory impairment, inhibition, euphoric effect, and visual disturbances. Physical effects include drowsiness, confusion, agitation, and urinary retention. When ingested, the effects are seen within 30 minutes and can last up to 2-8 hours (Dodich, et al.2014).

Ketamine comes in the form of a white powder or liquid that has a bitter taste, originally, ketamine was developed in the 1960’s for use in surgeries as an anesthetic and is still utilized today by veterinarians (Dodich, et al.2014). Ketamine comes in a clear liquid or white powder and is typical packaged in small vials. Ketamine can distort an individual perception of sound and sight along with a feeling of detachment. Ketamine causes an individual to lose consciousness within seconds, with the effects wearing off in 20 minutes to an hour. Ketamine can cause depression, cognitive difficulties, impaired motor function, and delirium. Ecstasy (MDMA or Molly), is considered a stimulant that has a chemical structure to mescaline and methamphetamine. Ecstasy is an amphetamine derivative in a pill, liquid, or tablet form and has no medical use. Ecstasy produces a high that starts within 30-45 minutes after ingestion and can last for 4-6 hours.

Ecstasy causes feelings of excitement, euphoria, and wellbeing. Additionally, ecstasy differs from other date rape drugs in such that the drug produces a feeling of self-confidence along with a desire to be affectionate towards people (Weiss, 2012). President Clinton’s Drug-induced Rape Prevention and Punishing Act targeted the use of GHB, Rohypnol, Ketamine, and Ecstasy, to facilitate date rapes. The Drug-induced Rape Prevention and Punishing Act has helped increase he reporting of date rape. However, a comparison of official crime statistics and those of self-reported victimization surveys tend to indicate that date rape continues to be an unreported crime.

Date rape as well as other rapes is a serious crime and in spite of this fact national statistics show that victims of date rape do not report the crime. There are some who will argue that low reporting of date rape by the victim is somehow a result of cultural views and how date rape cases have been addressed in American law. There are several factors that influence the accuracy of reporting sexual assault crimes years after the offense. National research shows that most sexual assaults are never reported to law enforcement. The data located during research came from victimization surveys.

The surveys conducted samples of adults and or juveniles who were asked why they did not report this type of crime (Dean, n.d.). According to the RAINN organization, only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement. Basically, meaning that 2 out of 3 sexual assaults go unreported. RAINN also reports that victims of college age 20% of the female students will report to law enforcement and 32% female non-students will report. Additionally, the elderly reported 28% of the time and the members of the military, 43% female and 10%male reported (RAINN, n.d.).

The RAINN organization also reports from 2005-2010 of the sexual violence crimes not reported to law enforcement, the victims provided the following reasons for not reporting. 20% feared some type of retaliation. 13% believed law enforcement would not investigate the crime or that law enforcement would not have enough evidence to support the investigation. 13% of the victims believed it was a personal matter and did not want to include law enforcement. Many victims find it difficult to reveal these types of secrets. 8% of the victims reported the incident to someone other than law enforcement. Victims feel comfortable with people they know and may not want to share the incident with anyone else.

Sadly, 7% of the victims did not want to get the offender in trouble. This is especially true when the victim knows the offender. 2% of the victims believed that law enforcement could not be of any help. This could be true is the statute of limitations expired for the crime. Finally, 30% of the victims gave other reasons or did not state why they did not report (U.S. Department of justice, 2018). Such as they did not know a crime was committed. Additionally, and to compound the problem, different research focus on the different segments for the population. For example, research conducted targets different age groups, or for women only. Also, statistics also look at different counts of victims versus the number of assaults. The lack of reporting dates rapes is of serious concern. Like wise, the reasons behind the offender committing these types of crimes are also alarming.

There are many academic literatures that provide theories as to why some individuals commit sexual offenses and most academic scholars believe that sexual offending occurs because of a combination between biological, psychological, and sociological based deviant behavior (Terry, 2012). In short, there is not on single factor responsible for deviant behavior and no single theory capable of explaining the psychology behind this type of deviant act.

In the 1950’s research explored the notion that hormones or psychopathology could be the root of sexual deviance. In the 1970s research started to link sexuality deviant behavior to social problems (De Block & Adriaens, 2013). The focus was on cognitive processes and their influence on sexual deviant behavior. Sigmund Freud saw sexual deviance through a psychoanalytic framework, calling these individuals sexual desire perversions or paraphilias. Freud believed that sexual deviations were from child deprivation, developmental fixation, or regression back to any of the sexual development stages. The sexual development stages Freud spoke of include, anal, oral, phallic, and genital and at any point a person could become fixated on theses stages. These fixations include Oedipal conflicts, castration anxiety, and penis envy. Most children will outgrow these fixations (De Block, et al., 2013).

There are several theories that explain sexual deviance including Cognitive-behavioral theories, Psychodynamic theory, Biological theories and feminist theories. Biological theorists believe that deviant behavior is the direct result of hormonal balance and that high levels of testosterone levels are associated with sexual violence. Cognitive –behavioral theories focus on the offenders thought process and their behaviors. Research in this theory has discovered that sex offenders utilize cognitive distortions (CD) to legitimize their behavior (Terry, 2012). The sex offender commits deviant acts and then turn the blame on their victims or the environment.

The implicit theories structured from these offenders allow them to exist in a socially constructed reality while behaving according to their own beliefs about the world. Additionally, Cognitive-behavioral theory suggests that an individual’s sexual behavior is learned through conditioning. Thus, if the sexual behavior is not discovered or punished then an addictive pattern could be reinforced. Implicit theories consider factors in relation to child sexual abuse. The implicit theories factors include offenders view children as sexual objects, offenders are entitled to the sexual behavior, the world is dangerous, the offender has a lack of control, and sexual behavior is not harmful (Terry, 2012).

Social learning provides some important insight to understanding sexual offending. There are two primary social learning theory hypotheses suggested as possible explanations for sexual offending. The first explanation is that those juveniles who were sexually abused grow into sexually abusive adults. The second explanation centers around the idea that sexually explicit material contributes to sexual offending.

Researchers have identified the process through which learning occurs and the key variables to help determine if deviant sexual behavior patters will be adopted. For example, a child victim may think that the act against them was somehow normal or not a bad thing since some who is close to them is doing the act to them. Additional factors in the first theories include a link between the age of the juvenile victim, relationship between the offender and the victim, and the type of sex and the force amount used. All of these suggest that the experience of being sexually assaulted as a child has some impact some impact on the development of sexually abusive patterns (Office of Justice Programs [OJP], n.d.).

The second theory for social skills in sexual offending is related to pornography. According to this theory, pornography serves as a model for sexually aggressive behavior in some individuals. The pornography encourages them to behave in a way is displayed in the pornography. Thus, pornography that depicts women in a humiliating, degrading manner, or sexually violent situations can cause the individuals attitude and views of women to change. This change can manifest itself into myths about rape, rape victims, and rapists, causing an individual to justify male sexual aggression against women. Evidence suggest that repeated exposure to sexually aggressive pornography contributes to the increased hostility toward women as well as the acceptance of a decrease in empathy, and compassion for women. Additionally, individuals have an increased acceptance for the physical violence toward women.

Conclusion

Date rape on college and high school campuses has become a serious issue across the United States and there is a tremendous lack of date rape awareness across the country. Date rape occurs when someone the victim knows and has met in some type of social setting commits a sexual assault against the victim. According to RAINN, drug-facilitated sexual assaults can be either alcohol or drugs and both are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity. Furthermore, date rape drugs as identified by the NIDA include several drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol, Ketamine, and Ecstasy.

Date rape as well as other rapes is a serious crime and in spite of this fact national statistics show that victims of date rape do not report the crime. There are different theories to why offenders commit these crimes. There are academic literatures that provide theories as to why some individuals commit sexual offenses and most academic scholars believe that sexual offending occurs because of a combination between biological, psychological, and sociological based deviant behavior

Date Rape on College and High School Campuses essay

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Date Rape on College and High School Campuses. (2021, Oct 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/date-rape-on-college-and-high-school-campuses/

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