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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/23/13

Rape in High School and College Athletics: Why do we settle for the explanation that boys will simply be boys?

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Message Angela Hattery

Or the hotel bathroom where a young Wake Forest woman who played in the band claims she was raped by two of the most prominent players on the basketball team in the wee hours of the night just hours after losing an embarrassing tournament game to Cleveland State.


Would we have reacted with public outrage to the response by Wake Forest officials that the young woman was lying and that she had no business being in a room with these young men when it was after curfew?  Really?  It was her bad choices that led to this?  What about the curfew for the basketball players?


It is my hope that the case in Steubenville, Ohio and our ability to see the context of the alleged rape with our own eyes courtesy of youtube, twitter, instagram and facebook, will cause us to pause and begin to have serious conversations about the ways in which we are teaching our young men to behave.  Even if their behaviors are not criminal they are embarrassing.  If I were to have to watch a video of my son, who is 22, behaving in this way I hope I would be as mortified as I am watching a Steubenville mother's son.  If I had to watch the scene play out in a basement in my community--a drunken party where the alcohol was provided by the football coach-- and watch my own teenagers and their friends behaving this way I hope I would be mortified enough to ask some tough question.  Of myself first, and then of my community. 


We cannot protect our young daughters as long as we continue to allow our young sons to behave in these ways and excuse their behavior as normal.


To read more about this issue see my book The Social Dynamics of Family Violence




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Angela Hattery Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Associate Director of Women & Gender Studies, George Mason University, author of African American Families: Myths and Realities (2012), the Social Dynamics of Family Violence (2012), Prisoner Reentry and Social Capital (2011) and several other books (more...)
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