Your pre-existing beliefs influence your attitude toward allowed levels of coercion falling short of Date Rape.

This study suggests that having certain beliefs and attitudes toward women and sex, specifically relating to justifications for interpersonal violence and levels of trust toward women as a generalized group, is strongly correlated with acceptance of behavior norms that are (arguably, if you're an ass) conducive to perpetuation of the patriachically-approved culture of rape in this country: the "she wanted it" (secretly, once I had forced myself on her) because "she didn't complain" (because she was terrified of me) excuse.
Sexually aggressive men who reported a cognitive style that distrusted women and justified interpersonal violence (i.e., calloused sexual beliefs) took significantly longer to stop the date rape than either sexually aggressive men without this rape supportive cognitive set or nonaggressive men, who did not differ significantly on decision-making. Laboratory judgments also corresponded with naturalistic decisions as the sexually aggressive group was nearly 3 1/2 times more likely than the nonaggressive group to delay stopping the tape [simulating a date rape] until it reached intervals containing verbal threats and forced intercourse within the scenario. Although this study did not manipulate character alcohol consumption per se, it suggests that dispositional and cognitive factors, such as sexual aggression history and rape supportive cognitions, are important determinants of judgments and decisions in sexual encounters.
Yes, Virginia and Victor, there are such things as rape-supportive cognitions. One wonders whether any of the gentlemen in the study stopped the tape at the first sign of coercion? Via Jill at Feministe.

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Blogger fizhburn said...

The implication being that many men are wrong in thinking they've got a handle on objective facts about what is and what is not coercion––as opposed to persuasion, ignoring whether or not coercion is ever justified for any end at all, let alone that of having sex.

12/5/07 16:00  
Blogger Sneaky Sis said...

A self-serving self-delusion indeed. On the other hand we ought not to stray too far in the direction of "all heterosexual sex is rape." That's clearly not the case: the idea that it's rape because of the patriarchal structure of society is bunk. In brief, it's a view that denies women agency. Men, too, and everyone else, pretty much. If you can't choose to both do something and opt out of one possible connotation of the act, you can't choose what you're doing at all, since what you're doing is at least as much a matter of what you think you're doing as what other people interpret your actions as. (I can eat a veggie burger because I like it, not because I thin it's healthy or as an act of opposition to the mistreatment of food animals.)

14/5/07 09:31  

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