Alcohol and sex; the two activities are unfortunately frequently intertwined. No matter where you live or who you are, this fusion often ends in sexual violence.
Six students of Kyoto University of Education in Japan were arrested Monday for allegedly gang-raping a woman.
They were all at a pub and the 19-year-old woman was drunk. Only one man admitted to the charges, the other five claimed she was not drunk and therefore consenting. The five are claiming they engaged in consensual group sex.
However, personally, I don’t know any 19-year-old who would consent to that kind of “group sex.” Group sex in a vacant pub room, where all parties involved were presumably drinking, sounds a lot like gang-rape. I find it really frustrating when lawyers get involved and switch phrases, saying, “it’s not gang-rape but group sex,” and thus placing the blame on the victim as if her supposed promiscuity is at fault and not the six men surrounding her.
Regardless, Japanese media outlets are reporting that this case seems to be following a trend of other gang-rape cases in Japan as all six men involved were members of athletic teams. The current trend tends to link sports team members and alcohol usage with the ending result being gang-rape.
Why are athletic teams world wide being linked with gang-rape? Is there some sort of mentality athlete’s share that justifies sexual violence? Do fame and glory lead to sexual aggression?
But what about the players? Is it even fair to make this connection between athletic teams and gang-rape? It seems unfortunate and condemning to all athletic teams that some select members have been accused of committing gang-rape and thus the reflection of the few is harmfully projected on the majority.
Perhaps athletes do share a sense of entitlement that directs this behavior; yet I can’t help but think that without alcohol these gang-rapes would be nonexistent. Even the slightest bit of alcohol consumption can alter perceptions; “no” and resistance may not register with someone under the influence.
So what do we do? I think prohibition during sexual acts is not only reasonable but necessary for the safety of both parties but also we need to reeducate people and force them to reform negative attitudes towards women that allow for gang-rape and other violent acts to be perpetuated.