A disturbing new survey found a third of male college students admitted they would rape a woman in a “consequence-free situation”, or in other words, if they could get away with it.
The study– which has been published in the scientific journal Violence and Gender— quizzed American students on various sexual scenarios, one of which asked the mostly white, all male participants to explain how they would act if they were able to have sex with a woman against her will “if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences.” Of the respondents, 31.7% said they would force a woman into sex in this “consequence-free situation.”
What makes this even more disturbing is the men don’t seem to realize this behavior constitutes as rape. The researchers drew this conclusion after finding that when they explicitly used the word “rape” in the same-consequence free scenario, only 13.6% of the respondents said they would participate.
“Some men will endorse items asking whether they have used force to obtain intercourse, but will deny having raped a woman,” the study’s authors said.
This gap between the proportion of men who would admit to using coercion but turn down the rape label is something the authors believe could have implications for education programs regarding sex and consent, which they suggest should focus on dispelling the notion of the “stereotypical rapist” to encourage a change in behavior among this group.
The Independent reports on another finding of the study that found the group of men that answered yes to either of the situations (the named rape and the more ambiguous one) tended to hold hostility and callous views towards women.
The authors of the study explained “High hostility toward women and callous sexual attitudes separated the no intentions group from those who endorsed either intentions to rape or those who endorses only the behavioral description of rape.”
They admit this group of men and their behavior would be much more of a challenge to change with educational programs.
To learn more about the study, check out the full findings by clicking here.