This is the final article in a four part series on “The Drunken Hookup Double Standard.” Each article is dedicated to recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This piece explains how girls are getting away with taking advantage of guys and looks at female sexual coercion.
Sexual aggression is not reserved for men only, but one of the major differences between the sexes is that a girl doesn’t rely on physical force to get sexual pleasure. She can just use the fact that sometimes guys think with their lower halves instead of their heads. And if a guy’s been drinking and has his beer goggles on, he might hook up with a sober girl who approaches him even though, when sober, he’s not attracted to her.
If roles were reversed, a guy wouldn’t get away with that behavior, but somehow, a girl can.
Jimmy*, a Cornell graduate, explains it this way: “Girls can get away with taking advantage of guys because no one thinks a guy is capable of being taken advantage of. After all, they’re supposed to be big strong men, and their goal is to have sex, sober or drunk.”
But not all men are on a mission to have sex while they’re drunk, and that’s especially true if it has to be with a girl they don’t find attractive. But as inhibitions go down so does the bar for what turns a guy on. We all know what that’s called: beer goggles.
Of course, girls get beer goggles too, but in the situation we’re looking at, the girl is sober. She knows exactly what she’s doing. If she approaches a drunk guy, who is experiencing lowered inhibitions and standards, he’s unlikely to say no to her. And from there, as they say, you can’t rape the willing. But how do you gauge a guy’s willingness when he’s under the influence of alcohol?
In the Psychiatric Times article “Men’s Reactions to Female Sexual Coercion,” authors Cindy and David Struckman address some of the issues involved with sexually aggressive women, writing:
“Our research suggests that women are most likely to use psychological pressure such as verbal pleading and arguments, emotional blackmail, and deception. Another common approach of sexually aggressive women is to take advantage of a man’s intoxicated state. A typical scenario, according to male victims, involves a predatory woman who encounters an inebriated man (or contributes to his drinking) and pursues him until he falls asleep or passes out. The woman then manually or orally stimulates him to erection and mounts him for sexual intercourse.”
But some girls don’t wait until a guy’s passed out to make their move.
Evan, a senior at Iowa State University, has a story about one forward, frisky female who he slept with while drunk, but soberly didn’t want to. He says, “I was hanging out with a girl who was just a friend. We talked quite a bit, but I wasn’t attracted to her. One night, I went over to her place and she kept feeding me beer all night. I’d barely finish one, and BAM, she’d be back with another. Then she got all up on me and started rubbing my crotch. I’m a guy. I can only resist so much.
“But the next day I had a little talk with her. She was talking about what ‘we’ did the night before, and I told her that there wasn’t any ‘we’ that made a unanimous decision. I wasn’t happy about it at all! And in my situation, it wasn’t good. Chances are, if a girl takes advantage of you, she is not going to be a catch.”
This is one of four types of situations that Cindy and David Struckman identify as being a “distressing circumstance” to men who are sexually coerced by women. They found that a man is likely to have a strong negative reaction if a woman exploits him while he’s intoxicated, especially if she’s unattractive.
In the article, they report, “Dozens of men in this situation have told us how upsetting it was to be unable to physically stop the sexual interaction. Others resented the woman for taking away their right to choose who they would have sex with.”
Some say it’s impossible for a girl to take advantage of a guy, but stories and research say otherwise. It’s time to start re-checking some of our facts.
“Reactions to Female Sexual Coercion” by Cindy Struckman and David Struckman, Psychiatric Times
*All names of college students have been changed to protect the anonymity of the sources.