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You are here: Home >> Resources >> Handouts >> For Men: About Rape

September, 2004

It is imperative that men accept the responsibility to not harm another person.

It is never OK for force yourself on a woman, even if
you think she was teasing you or leading you on
she says "no" and you think she means "yes"
you've had sex with her before
you've paid for her dinner or given her expensive gifts
you think women enjoy being forced to have sex or want to be persuaded
the woman is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Rape is a crime of violence.  It is motivated primarily by desire to control and dominate, rather than by sex.  It is illegal.
If you are getting a double message from a woman, speak up and clarify what she wants.  If you find yourself in a situation with a woman who is unsure about having sex or is saying "no," back off.  Suggest talking about it.
Do not assume you know what your partner wants; check out your assumptions.
Be sensitive to women who are unsure whether they want to have sex.  If you put pressure on them, you may be forcing them.
Do not assume you both want the same degree of intimacy.  She may be interested in some sexual contact other than intercourse.  There may be several kinds of sexual activity you mutually agree to share.
Stay in touch with your sexual desires.  Ask yourself if you are really hearing what she wants.  Do not let your desires control your actions.
Communicate your sexual desires honestly and as early as possible.
If you have any doubts about what your partner wants, STOP, ASK, CLARIFY.
Your desires may be beyond your control, but your actions are within your control.  Sexual excitement does not justify forced sex.
Do not assume her desire for affection is the same desire for intercourse.
Not having sex or not "scoring" does not mean you are not a "real man."  It is OK not to "score."
A woman who turns you down for sex is not necessarily rejecting you as a person; she is expressing her decision not to participate in a single act at that time.
No one asks to be raped.  No matter how a woman behaves, she does not deserve to have her body used in ways she does not want.
"No" means no.  If you do not accept a woman's "no," you might risk raping someone whom you thought meant "yes."
Taking sexual advantage of a person who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent (for example, drunk) is rape.  If a woman has had too much to drink and has passed out, or is not in control of herself, having sex with her is rape.
The fact that you were intoxicated is not a legal defense to rape.  You are responsible for your actions, whether you are sober or not.
Be aware that a man's size and physical presence can be intimidating to a woman.  Many victims report that the fear they felt based on a man's size and presence was the reason they did not fight back or struggle.

Note:  Men can be victims of rape and have the same rights to counseling and legal action as women do.

Adapted from: "Friends Raping Friends"
Project on the Status and Education of Women,
Association of American Colleges.  April, 1987.
 

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