This is the first article in a four part series on “The Drunken Hookup Double Standard.” Each article is dedicated to recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This piece begins to outline the dynamics of the situation and explain male sexual assault.
By now, we should all be well-aware of the fact that most women like, want, and have sex. Still to some, the thought of a girl taking advantage of a guy seems like a bit of a stretch because of physical differences.
However, women don’t rely on brute strength to get what they want in bed or out of life. We use our womanly wiles, among other charming attributes and earned qualifications. But men aren’t about to acknowledge that they are in any way powerless against us because social misconceptions about gender and sexuality won’t allow it.
Prevailing beliefs say that girls need to be protected against unwanted sexual advances, and guys can fend for themselves because they’re bigger and stronger. But sometimes size doesn’t matter and men are the ones who might need protecting, especially when women can use highly effective methods of manipulation that don’t involve any amount of physical force to get sexual pleasure.
While cases of female sexual assault are more prevalent, males are not exempt.
Men make up an estimated 10 percent of all sexual assault victims. That number is thought to be a low percentage because sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes and men are less likely to report being sexually assaulted. (RAINN “Reporting Rates”)
What is sexual assault? According to a definition from the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), “Sexual assault and rape include any unwanted sexual acts.” However, legal definitions vary from state to state.
Two expanded definitions of sexual assault and rape provided by NCVC are important to consider when looking at the drunken hookup double standard:
- Usually a sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person's body in a sexual way, even through their clothes, without that person's consent.
- Both rape and sexual assault includes situations when the victim cannot say "no" because he is disabled, unconscious, drunk or high.
So what happens when a sober girl hooks up with a guy who is beyond drunk?
Lauren, a senior at Northeastern University, has a story about that:“Over New Years, my f—k buddy from last semester was drinking and texting me all night to come over. My parents were gone so I had a few friends over at the house for champagne and dinner, but I was totally sober. It was way past midnight when I went over to his place. I have no emotional attachment to the guy whatsoever, but he was great in bed and I was totally fine going to hang out with him. We spent a few hours fooling around, he passed out and I got up, put my clothes on and left.
“Talk about role reversal! I did feel a little strange knowing that he probably wouldn’t remember anything the next day and that, even though I was completely aware of my actions, he wasn’t at all. I never thought of it as taking advantage of him though – I didn’t say or do anything I wouldn’t have done had he been more sober. Plus, since he was my f—k buddy, we’d hook up drunk and late at night, so it wasn’t completely out of the norm.”
Perhaps Lauren provides an exception to the rule because her story involves a guy who she was regularly hooking up with before this happened.
But what do you think about a sober girl who lingers around, waiting for someone to be drunk enough to hook up with her and it’s a guy she’s never been with before? Does that change anything?
When it comes to sex, dating and relationships, collegiettes™ can be pursuers but not sexual stalkers, predators or prowlers. Those predatory practices are off-limits to both sexes, but some girls seem to have missed that memo or choose to ignore it.
“Male Rape”- National Center for Victims of Crime
“Reporting Rates”- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
*All names of college students have been changed to protect the anonymity of the sources.