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US study suggests 1 in 3 male students would "force a woman to sexual intercourse"

12th January 2015

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A study in the USA has suggested that almost a third of male students would consider forcing a woman into sex – as long as they could get away with it.

Despite this, only 13.6% would class the act as “rape.”

Researchers found that 31.7% of those questioned would “force a woman to sexual intercourse” – as long as it meant no repercussions for them and that no one would know.

The study, undertaken at the University of Dakota, questioned 86 men and found 73 of the responses “usable”, according to the Independent.

“Rape” in the context of the study referred to “intercourse by use of force or threat of force against a victim’s wishes”, according to Newsweek, which notes that defines vary between different US states.

The lack of understanding that this is in fact rape is the most important issue, according to lead researcher Sarah R Edwards, who believes that “The number one point is there are people that will say they would force a woman to have sex but would deny they would rape a woman.”

The findings come in the light of heightened concerns about rape on US university campuses, which Barack Obama has vowed to address with his “It’s On Us” campaign.

The campaign was launched last year and saw Obama and Vice President Joe Biden call on men to help end the issue of sexual assault at US universities.

Newsweek also cites recent studies that suggest “almost 20% of women in the United States have suffered rape” and that” 43.9% of women have “experienced other forms of sexual violence during their lifetimes, including being made to penetrate, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and noncontact unwanted sexual experiences.”

The University of Dakota study may now be replicated to take in a larger number of responses.

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