Getting beyond the ‘drunk slut’€™ narrative on college campuses by Jill Filipovic October 31, 2013 5:00AM ET


Commentary: Telling young women not to drink in order to avoid rape focuses on the wrong group of people.

 Drinking on college campuses
The focus should be on those who sexually assault, rather than on the behavior of the victims.
David Hogsholt/Getty Images

On college campuses, fall semesters are winding down and post-final, pre-holiday parties will soon kick into high gear. Hard partying brings with it alcohol-related problems, including sexual assault. Common sense advice to female students often boils down to “avoid drinking,” as alcohol is involved in the lion’s share of college sexual assault cases. But what if everything we thought we knew about rape on college campuses is wrong? What if the so-called common sense advice we dole out to young women actually makes it easier for rapists to commit crimes and harder for them to be prosecuted?

Certainly alcohol is involved in a significant proportion of sexual assaults, particularly on college campuses. One in four American women will be sexually assaulted, and alcohol is involved in about half of those assaults — consumed by the perpetrator, the victim or both. In college sexual assaults, the numbers are even starker: One study estimated that alcohol was involved in up to 80 percent of incidents. The solution seems simple. If getting drunk puts young women at risk for rape, then telling them to stop getting drunk would lead to a decrease in sexual assault rates. That advice has been doled out on college campuses, in public service ads and — most recently, as a response to the highly charged cases of alleged sexual assault involving high school students in Steubenville, Ohio, and Maryville, Mo. — in publications across the political spectrum, from Slate to The Globe and Mail.

Article continues: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/31/getting-beyond-theadrunkslutanarrativeoncollegecampuses.html

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