Thursday, May 08, 2008

THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT ME THAT YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT, DOTTIE. THINGS YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND. THINGS YOU COULDN'T UNDERSTAND. THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T UNDERSTAND. Inside Higher Ed covers a University of New Hampshire study on "Unwanted Sexual Contact" among students at the school. The good news is that the rate of such contact was in steep decline between 1988 and 2000; the bad news is, it has held steady since.

The study has been mostly noticed in the blogosphere for this piquant passage:
Overall, 28 percent of New Hampshire women report at least one incident of unwanted contact, as do 11 percent of men. About 7 percent of women and 4 percent of men report unwanted intercourse. The researchers find that, by and large, the contexts for unwanted sexual contact are similar for women and for men.
Further reading shows that male victims were "more likely to report a same-sex perpetrator," but some males did report bad-touch from females.

I must say that, when it comes to unwanted intercourse (or, as we unlettered souls call it, rape), academic studies should give way to police investigations. Still, I am sufficiently old and insensitive that the idea of a college man receiving unwanted sexual attentions from a co-ed sounds to me more like the plot of an adult film than a subject for serious analysis. I should be grateful, then, for Dean Esmay, who in comments to a post about the article at his own website lays out some background. But...
I’ll buy the unwanted sexual contact–that’s happened to me more than once, especially in my younger more fey days (and yes, I did have them)–but intercourse is trickier. It can and indeed does happen, but it’s difficult, so hard to arrange. Still, erections are not entirely voluntary, especially in young men, and it’s also possible to force one through prostate stimulation.
However, "unwanted intercourse" does not sound like what we think of as rape, unless we dilute the word “rape” down to equating any unwanted sexual advance with what the Duke Lacrosse players were accused of.
Having sex with someone who basically won’t stop pestering you and pushing themselves on you sounds more like what’s being described here, and in that instance, yeah I can see it. The response is what the college crowd used to be called the "mercy fuck" back in the 1990s–basically, "she kept whining until I gave in even though I can’t stand her." I saw that happen in bars even.
Okay, now I'd just give my soul to take out my brain, hold it under the faucet and wash away the dirty pictures you put there tonight. Still, I'm sure I'll eventually get over it. What I can't fathom is, if this is how conservatives think of sex, how is it that they're outbreeding us? Either, as their policies suggest, they have the brains of salmon, or prostate stimulation is more widespread than I ever knew.

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