by Carl Castro

A majority of men in America at some point in their life will sexually assault a woman.

While some of these men may not know that their behavior constitutes sexual assault, most do. These assaults may occur in high schools, on college campuses or in the military, as well as at work, night clubs, and on dates.

American men are not unique in their treatment of women. Males around the world sexually assault women at around the same rate as American men do. This is true in Europe, China, Asia, India, the Middle East, and North and South America.

While American men may be no worse or better than other men around the world in how they treat women, such treatment of women is reprehensible. And still most men who are otherwise honorable and upstanding, along with a significant number of women, have refused to accept sexual assaults as the national and global problem that it is. Instead of working to reshape the culture around how men treat women, many of our national and global leaders have focused instead on blaming the woman for the sexual assault, often claiming that she wanted to be sexually assaulted, was asking for “it” by the way she behaved or dressed, or even outrageously contending that some women enjoy being sexually assaulted!

Male perpetrators who are convicted of rape are often defended by so-called leaders with claims that rapists’ rights to due process have been violated, conveniently forgetting the fact that less than 1 percent of all sexual assaults in America result in a conviction.

These so-called leaders occur at every level and in every sector of society: in state and federal governments, in the military, on university campuses, in churches. It seems the only thing more difficult than treating women with dignity and respect is getting our leaders to hold the perpetrators responsible for their sexually violent behavior.

Carl A. Castro, PhD
Associate Professor and Director
Colonel, US Army (Retired)

 

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