Source: The Herald Sun, 22 April, 1997, p.5


Forced sex OK, say a third of young men

 
By NICOLE LLOYD 
 
NEARLY one-third of young men 
believe it is acceptable to "force" 
a female to have sex, research 
suggests. 
 
   The disturbing snapshot into 
youth sexual culture is contained 
in a survey of 1000 young men 
aged between 15 to 25, done by 
Family Planning SA. 
 
   It found 31 per cent of young 
men agreed it was "OK for a male 
to force a female to have sex" in 
one or more of a range of 
situations. 
 
   And Family Planning has 
identified cultures which put a 
high priority on "scoring" to 
prove your manhood and myths 
that "men know when women want 
to have sex" as factors in the 
results. 
 
   In the wake of the results 
Family Planning has developed 
"rape myth-buster" fact sheets 
suitable for secondary schools 
and youth agencies. 
 
   The most common situations 
that young men agreed were 
acceptable to force a woman to 
have sex included: 
 
SHE has had sex with him 
before.
 
SHE has allowed him to 
touch her body. 
 
THEY have been going out 
together for a long time. 
 
   Other reasons included, "she is 
stoned or drunk", "she has had 
sexual intercourse with other 
men", "she starts to be sexual 
with him but than says no". 
 
   Family Planning's project 
officer Brook Friedman said the 
findings were alarming. 
 
   "Dangerous ideas and beliefs 
about date rape and relationship 
violence are alive inside young 
people's cultures," he said. 
 
   "It's no wonder there is such a 
demand for services that help 
women overcome the effects of 
rape. 
 
   "Rape is about violence not 
sex. If a person hits you with a 
spade you wouldn't call it 
gardening." 
 
   Mr Friedman is co-ordinating 
Family Planning's Guys Talk 
Too project which oversaw the 
survey. 
 
   The survey involved a project 
team of young male educators 
who interviewed and ran 
workshops for young men at 
schools, youth events and youth 
refuges across Adelaide. 
 
   The project is aimed at 
improving young men's sexual 
health and stopping 
relationship violence. 
 
   Mr Friedman said the results 
suggested nearly one-third of 
young men thought using force 
in sex was acceptable and was 
not rape. 
 
   "They are influenced by ideas 
of sex where a man is supposed 
to be in control and a woman 
wants to please him," he said. 
 
   "Whilst men think of sex as 
their right, women will continue 
to be forced to have sex by 
young men who are doing what 
they believe they are supposed to 
be doing." 
 
   And while the results did not 
"necessarily mean young men 
will carry out these actions, 
nearly one-third of the young 
men interviewed hold these 
beliefs". 
 
   Mr Friedman said the findings 
provided a chilling insight into 
figures which show more than 80 
per cent of women and girls who 
are raped know their attacker. 
 
   "These are most often fathers 
stepfathers, boyfriends, male 
friends, male family friends and 
male relatives," he said.


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