It’s not “sex”, it’s rape: teen girls and “unwanted sex”

it's not sex, it's rapeIn today’s “It’s Not Sex, It’s Rape” files I present Melanie Christiansen’s article in the Courier Mail, “Unwanted teen sex tied to binge drinking“.

AN explosion in binge drinking among high school girls is driving an increase in unwanted teen sex, a nationwide survey, which will be outlined in Brisbane today, says. […]

“It is a concern,” said the centre’s Pamela Blackman, who will present the research findings at today’s Family Planning Queensland conference on sexuality education.

“When they’re under the influence of alcohol – the fact that they are having more sexual partners – then, of course, we’ll be concerned about whether they’re having safe sex.” […]

Thirty per cent reported having three or more sexual partners – up from 20 per cent in 2002. And 38 per cent of the young women said they had endured unwanted sex.

Researcher Professor Anthony Smith described the increase in unwanted sex as significant.

“The most common reason was pressure from a partner and the next was being drunk,” he said.

Know this, Smith, Blackman, and Christiansen: “Unwanted sex” while drunk is rape. Unwanted sex as a result of pressure from a “partner” (rapist) is rape. Unwanted sex by a coercive rapist while drunk is rape.

Being drunk is not a “reason” for rape. Victims drinking alcohol doesn’t cause rape.

Rapists cause rape.

When you’re researching what you call “unwanted sex”, you’re not researching sex, you’re researching rape.

When I spell this out, it looks so self-evident. I feel like I’m saying this in kindergarten words. I feel like there should be no need to say this, not between reasonable, non-violent adults. So how about it, researchers and journalists of the world? How about you question the rape culture you’re soaking in, study a bit of Sexual Violence Kindy, and start calling rape by its true name?

For more on the reasons behind the “It’s not sex – it’s rape” campaign”, see this post at The Curvature: “Pulling the Plug on Rape Culture One Word at a Time“.


Categories: gender & feminism, violence

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. I’m sick of seeing the boys left out of all these discussions – I mean, the girls aren’t out there having “unwanted sex” with themselves are they? There seems to be this moral panic about girls drinking which in my view is totally out of proportion – most of the problems caused by binge drinking – the raping, the vandalism, the beating the crap out of each other and innocent bystanders, the offensively boorish behaviour – are mainly caused by the boys. Yet nearly everything I read about teenage drinking centres on girls.

  2. The article has a comment facility at the bottom; I suggest we make sure they hear from all of us.

  3. “Unwanted sex,” eh? I guess the 9/11 hijackers performed “unwanted application of flying planes to Pentagon, WTC & ground.”
    It amazes me how people still need to be told to take rape seriously, it really does.

  4. To a certain extent, I can understand referring to it as ‘unwanted sex’ in the actual research when actually asking the teens, because, primarily thanks to rape culture, there’s a decent chance that the teens (actually anyone) will do the “oh what happened to me wasn’t really rape” in their heads if the question is simply rape. But I agree that it’s faily to continually report it without acknowledging what ‘unwanted sex’ actually is – rape.

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