It’s okay to force a girl to have sex if she has been flirting with you

Cross posted

“It’s okay to force a girl to have sex if she has been flirting with you.”

That’s what an astonishing 1 in 7 Australian boys say.

There’s a survey out today, from the White Ribbon Foundation, about domestic and family violence (press release PDF – 104KB). The statistics are appalling (there’s a surprise!), but it’s the attitudes that have me in despair, especially the attitudes of boys. The other beauty – 1 in 3 Australian boys think it’s okay to hit a girl.

These attitudes are strongest among 12 to 14 year old boys, which either suggests that older boys have grown up a little, and thought longer and harder about how to interact with girls, or that they have learned how to hide their attitudes, and come out with the socially acceptable platitudes. I hope it’s the former, but given the incidence of rape and violence in our societies, I fear that it’s the latter. 1 in 3 year 10 girls (year 11 in NZ), that is, girls in their eleventh year of education, aged about 15 or 16, say that they have experienced unwanted sex. That would be rape, of course, but we daren’t use that word. But that suggests that the boys learn to say that it’s not okay to force a girl to have sex, but their actions are quite different. And whatever they are doing, they are not conceptualising their actions as rape – it’s ‘forced sex’.

When will boys and men learn that ‘No’ means ‘No’, and forcing a woman or a girl to have sex when she has said ‘No’ is rape.


5 responses to “It’s okay to force a girl to have sex if she has been flirting with you

  1. Maybe we are all going to have to become completely direct in our communications. Like “Hi, my name’s … I definitely don’t want to have sex with you but would you be interested in some no-strings flirtation?”.

  2. These findings are truly disturbing. Whilst I support the report’s recommendations, it is important however that the research is not misrepresented.

    The report states that 1 in 3 sexually active year 10 girls say they have experienced unwanted sex. This is different to 1 in 3 girls.

    Also, surely you can accept that many boys and men already know that “no” means “no”? Some don’t, and they are complete turds and deserve the full weight of the law upon them, but generalisations are cheap.

  3. Is it OK to hit girls?

    If you accept that you shouldnt hit anyone, then obviously not.

    But if you DO think it’s OK to hit people….. then why not girls?

    And even if you think it’s OK to hit people…. but not weaker or more vulnerable ones than yourself….. then maybe men shouldnt hit women, but its not so clear cut for boys and girls, where the power/size imbalance isnt so clearcut?

    Just for clarity… I dont think it’s Ok to hit anyone.

  4. There’s a thread going on The Hand Mirror about this too, FletcherB, and the comment there was that perhaps ‘hitting girls is okay’ comes from a sense of equality i.e. if it’s okay to hit boys then it’s okay to hit girls too.

    I agree – it’s not okay to hit anyone. Given the equality thought, I don’t find the idea of it being okay to hit girls as disturbing as the idea that it’s okay to force a girl to have sex with you if she as been flirting.

    (Even though the thought that lots of kids go around thinking that it’s okay to hit each other is disturbing, anyway.)

  5. I don’t consider it “appaling” that 1 in 3 boys consider it ok to hit a girl, if understood in a context of, “the same reasons they would hit a boy” (ie with due provocation, not on a whim).

    But consider that nearly all girls who are okay with violence at all (using it themselves) are okay with hitting boys. There is no “Never hit a boy” meme passed generation after generation in society, the way “Never hit a girl” is.

    Though it IS appaling that anything would be a reason to force someone to have sex. Anything at all. One wonders what statistics are of boys who have been sexually victimized though, I didn’t see it in the post.