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Volume 68, Issue 60, Monday, November 18, 2002


Foresight can prevent date rape

Shireen Connor
Opinion Columnist

In no way, shape or form are rape or sexual assault acceptable. The ongoing debate over the roles each sex plays in these deviant acts is such a touchy subject that it often discourages individuals to voice their true opinions. However, it is also important that this issue be properly addressed to ease the burden of avoiding pitfalls, especially here on a college campus, often a prime environment for sexual deviance.

There is a wealth of scientific research that is not widely published, but nonetheless essential to grasping the social concept and context for rape. 

While both men and women can be perpetrators, it is more constructive to focus on the typical scenario, with a male perpetrator and a female victim. It is futile to deny that this is overwhelmingly the case.

It is also important to realize there are four types of rapists, and not all of them are mentally ill, extremely disillusioned individuals. The Knight Classification Scheme is a model that psychologists and other social science experts use to classify rapists into separate categories.

These categories are the Sadistic rapist, Exploitive rapist, Compensatory rapist and finally the Displaced-Anger rapist. This column is focused on the Compensatory rapist because assaults that involve these individuals are not predatory in nature. Instead, the perpetrator here has a simple motive of sexual satisfaction and generally will not go to great lengths to achieve it (unlike the others, who use stalking and harm).

In this case, interaction between the two sexes starts off as amicable and flirtatious, something we can all identify with, yet ends in tragedy. If you havenit already made the connection, this is often classified as date rape.

The age-old saying, "It takes two to tango" is a good representation of my personal belief concerning the compensatory rape issue. I think that men in this category, who are often considered "normal," may have an even easier time attaining their goal. They go out to a club, bar or party with their sexual goal in mind, and then they begin to make their moves.

This is where the role of the female, or victim, comes into play. We all know first impressions are the most influential ones. Females who act sexually open or flirtatious, and are dressed provocatively to boot are prime targets for compensatory rapists.

However unfortunate it may be, it is only common sense to acknowledge that a woman who is dressed like Pamela Anderson canit expect to be treated like Janet Reno. 

Another factor in a case of this type is drug and alcohol abuse. The number one factor in date rape cases, as relayed to me by a psychology professor here on campus, is drug and alcohol use. Substance abuse inevitably leads to loosened inhibitions and unusually aggressive behaviors on the part of both parties.

All of the aforementioned factors amount to a bomb ready to explode.

As young people, we all like to go out and be social. Unfortunately, we also share a certain degree of naivete when we assume we will be able to safely go home.

For countless individuals, one fateful day that will not be possible. It is important to realize that there are people out there who will hurt you, whether purposefully or not, and it is your responsibility to try and be prepared.

Connor, a junior psychology major, 
can be reached at


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