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You are here: Home >> Articles >> Myths about women and dating

September, 2004

In her book Everything You Need To Know About Date Rape, Frances Shuker-Haines writes:

Why are we so confused?  Because a lot of us have grown up believing certain things about women and dating that are not true.  These ideas make it hard to understand date rape.  See how many of these FALSE statements you believe:

When a woman says "no," she really means "yes."  A lot of guys think a girl just says no because she's supposed to.  They think every girl really wants sex and it's a guy's job to help her get it.  But a guy doesn't have the right to make up a girl's mind for her.  And he doesn't have the right to have sex with her against her will.

If a woman is flirting with a man, that means she wants to "go all the way."  Everybody likes to flirt.  Half the fun of a date is flirting.  And the reason you date is to see if you two like each other.  If you do, you might decide to have sex sometime in the future.  But a guy can't make that decision by himself.  Both people have to agree to have sex  Otherwise, it's rape.

If a woman goes somewhere alone with a man, that means she just wants to have sex with him.  Sometimes it's nice for a girl to be alone with her date.  It's easier to talk, and find out what the guy's really like.  They might want to see how they get along together without their friends around.  But that doesn't mean the girl wants to have sex with her date.  It only means that she wants to be alone with him.

If a man spends a lot of money on a date, the woman "owes" him something in return.  People date because they like each other.  They want to spend time together.  Dating isn't like a business deal.  And sex is not something you pay for.  A man and a woman may have sex after a date.  But it should be something they both want to enjoy with each other.

You've probably heard some of these WRONG ideas.  Now you can begin to understand how date rape happens.  Date rape happens when one person decides what's best for both people.

Date rape causes many serious problems.  One of these problems is how the victim of date rape feels about what has happened to her.  Often, girls aren't even sure they have been raped.  They think maybe they "asked" for it, even though they said "no."  They think only strangers can rape them.  They know they didn't have a choice about having sex.  They feel that they were treated like a thing instead of a human being.  And they can't believe someone they liked and trusted could do this to them.  They start to feel that they can't trust anyone.  What's worse, when they finally do tell someone what's happened, that person may not believe them.

Excerpted from Everything You Need To Know About Date Rape (c) 1990,1992 by The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.  All rights reserved.

See also:
Some of the ways teens have been abused
Straight Talk For Girls
Are you an abuser?
Four Building Blocks In Understanding Teen Dating Violence
The Mathematics of Battering
Qualities of a healthy relationship
 

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