"I think I was sexually assaulted last night"
"Well, did you test your drink?"
"Did you say 'stop'? Or encourage him?"
"I just don't think that's serious enough to be called "assault"..."
When it comes to sexual assault and rape Americans have a lot we need to talk about it. Ever since California signed the nation's first "Yes Means Yes" law our dialogue has changed in political, feminist, and social justice circles...but the real question is whether it has changed conversations inside and outside of the bedroom.
Last week, MIT released results for a survey. We think MIT is pretty science-y, so despite a few weak points in the study, it's worth a look.
The study? Attitudes on Sexual Assault. What's so scary about the statistics? Well, first things first:
One: 17% of female undergraduates reported an experience that fits the survey’s definition of sexual assault
Two: 72% said they didn’t think it (the sexual assault) was “serious enough to officially report”
and three: 44% said they “felt they were at least partly at fault or it wasn’t totally the other person’s fault.”
Not serious enough? Clearly, when it comes to defining sexual assault we have a long way to go. And students aren't the only ones who need a better handle on sexual assault...but so do universities.