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Rape? No, it’s hypermasculinity, for some men on campus

New York, January 7: Some men who do not have feelings of hostility toward women can still engage in sexual assaults on the campus, researchers report, adding that they consider their behaviour as an achievement rather than rape. “Sexual assault on college campuses is the pink elephant in the room. It is a crime that is underreported and misunderstood,” said Mary Ellen O’Toole, forensic behavioral consultant and editor–in–chief of the jourl Violence and Gender that published the study.

The shocking statistic that about one in five women will be the victim of sexual assault while in college is made even more so by the fact that most of those women will know their assailants, the authors noted.

During the study, Sara Edwards and Kathryn Bradshaw from University of North Dakota and Grand Forks and Verlin Hinsz from North Dakota State University, Fargo, separated male participants into three groups based on how they scored on measurements of hypermasculinity, hostility toward women and callous sexual attitudes. The authors reported associations between these groupings and whether the men denied any intention to rape or use force to obtain intercourse, self–reported intentions to rape, or indicated a distinction between sexually coercive behaviour and rape and expressed intentions to use of force to obtain intercourse but denied rape. “These authors describe the numbers as staggering and we know it is one of the most concerning crimes in the country today,” O’Toole added. The implications for these findings are extremely significant for education programmes about sexual aggression and rape prevention and the development of a more accurate identification of subtypes of offenders based on their motivation, cognition and persolity traits, the authors concluded. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita

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