Date Rape: The Untalked about Danger

A guest blog article by Jim Gosciniak (student, world citizen)

For young adults in the present day dating is an important part of social development and forming new relationships, both romantic and platonic.  Many young adults engage themselves within the normal dating scene and gain experiences that enrich their lives and are considered worthwhile.  However, with the development of the dating culture there lies the underbelly of the lifestyle that includes kidnapping and date rape.  With new and unknown drugs being synthesized everyday who knows what substances can be used against unsuspecting individuals who find themselves engrossed in the popular dating scene yet do not experience the usual benevolent events.  There are many individuals out there that in their own minds convince themselves to chemically take advantage of someone else and to have their way with them.  Because there are so many different individuals in our world today it maintains consistency with the point that C. Wright Mills presents in his Sociological Imagination that “in our time we have come to know that the limits of ‘human nature’ are frighteningly broad” (Mills, 2).  Humans are capable of terrible actions: it should be required that all people in the young adult stage that they must take a seminar about the methods of date rape and how to identify when one is in this type of situation in order to maintain personal safety.

A typical breeding ground for interpersonal connection of a riskier variety is in the bar scene.  Crowds in this type of setting can be very diverse when it comes to attitudes about intoxication, personal interaction, and general expectations of what can happen to them and what they want to occur as a result of meeting new people.  Different attitudes can be the spark for confrontation: all it takes possibly is a facial expression, an extended glance that can set the events into motion that may lead to confrontation and negative results.  The film The Accused starring Jodie Foster features a scenario as such in which conflicting attitudes, accentuated by the gender divide, turn into a violent situation in which her character is raped right there in the bar.  Now this is not the typical case but within this realm there are non-confrontational ways of lowering another person’s inhibitions in order to sexually take advantage of them.  Date rape drugs are a prevalent way of accomplishing this and they are rising in effectiveness since the ways of dosing a target are virtually undetectable.  The events of their encounter henceforth are all out of the victim’s control, staying consistent with the definition of rape since the victim’s state of mind is compromised and the aggressor assumes complete control of the situation.  It is difficult to discern what would cause one person to want to assume control in such a manipulative and unsafe way; however observing the ease with which such people can make their maneuvers calls for the need for individuals to be aware of the potential threat each time they step into a social scenario where their health and autonomy could be under siege.

Seminars or short duration courses are a useful tool for educating young adults, both female and male, about the potential dangers of being in the social setting where date rape, either by coercion, drugs, or alcohol, is possible.  The side effects of taking particular drugs or drinking alcohol are the lowering of inhibitions: the connection between date rape and these drugs however is not always concrete.   “Alcohol does not ‘cause’ rape: it makes its commission easier” (Definitions and Incidence, 12).  What makes date rape occur in this general social setting is that it removes people from their standard state of mind where a certain level of awareness is present in decision making: this demands that young adults finding themselves in this scenario must be armed with information about how to discern when a situation has taken the turn from harmless fun to illegal and dangerous.  Not much can be deduced while in an altered mind state, but classes and seminars designed to teach young adults the signs of potential date rape and how to diffuse this situation can be imperative in preserving the health of countless individuals.

Bibliography

“Definitions and Incidence.” Incidence and Distribution of Sexual Abuse. Chapter 1, pp. 9-21.

Mills, C. Wright.  2000 (1959).  The Sociological Imagination: 40th Anniversary Edition.  Oxford University Press.

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20 thoughts on “Date Rape: The Untalked about Danger

  1. I have a daughter in college and we have talked about the date rape drug and I’ve always taught her not to leave any drink unattended or attended. Don’t trust anyone and that you don’t know any of those people and not be so trusting until that trust is earned and even then you still have to be careful. We also talked about dating in college and being aware of the signs of date abuse. Unfortunately she learned the hard way being too trusting with some guy she met down there and he got a little physical with her one time too many. Sometimes you have to go through things for yourself to realize what you have been taught all along could have been avoided if only you had listened.

  2. I think that having seminars would actually be a good idea. Many young people don’t know about date rape and it’s a good idea for them to be informed. Most young people only know about date rape from what they see on the television. I know that I still don’t know a lot of facts about date rape and when it might occur. That’s why the seminar for youth is a good idea because teens today don’t know everything and they really need to be informed. Anyone, male or female, can be a victim of date rape so having these courses can really help people with their everyday lives.

  3. First off, it is a shame that date rape is of such high concern in modern days. Officials do their best to keep the citizens safe, however sometimes the most dangerous people can be right next to you in your current social setting. That being said, people must take extreme caution when approaching the dating setting and must know what signs to look for. I agree with the author that educational seminars seem like a fantastic idea. Educating the masses to know the signs of date rape means that an individual can look out for themselves as well as those around them. If everyone in the social setting would look after even one other person, the number of date rape victims could theoretically be much lower.

  4. I agree with people in need of taking seminars on date rape. People always assume that they know what date rape is, but for the most part people have a misconstrued idea of it. Everyone needs to be informed of what a date rape situation looks like and the ways that someone can protect themselves from one. This should be a bigger priority in our society because of the emotional and physical damage it can cause someone in society. Without the proper guidance and help, more people can continue to be a victim of date rape.

  5. Unfortunately like the title of the article states, date rape is a very dangerous thing that doesn’t get mentioned quite often. You might hear about a story once or twice about something like this, but date rape in general just isn’t being talked about enough-enough to end it. I feel that if everyone could just be informed on this topic and learn safe ways to “date”, then maybe this thing wouldn’t be as common as it is now. The real concern is that someone is being compromised for the enjoyment of another. Anything can happen to someone once their state of mind has been altered-anything at all.

  6. Seminars would help those who don’t know. Back in my home town we all know about it, but it still happens just as much. I have two people I know personally that were “slipped” something and never have been the same since. One was a local musician who was making a name for himself. I also know a girl who got pregnant this way. She is a friend of my family. She was dinking a cup of beer and says thing were fuzzy after that.

  7. I think seminars would be helpful because it informs people that are not as aware of the subject. This topic is not talked about as much as it should be but is very common. I think it is more common with teenagers and college students because we are not as aware, nor do we take proper actions to learn about it. It can be extremely dangerous and life altering, because a lot of the people affected by date rape sometimes can not remember what happens. Once they find out it is hard for them to understand and comprehend what happened. They can forever be scared or hurt by the after math. In college there are a lot of parties and events going on at clubs. When we go out and take mind altering substances we loose track of ourselves a little. I think we all need to be aware of what is going on around us as well as the people we meet and how well we know them.

    1. Yes, there should be more seminars to help people spot danger. What I mean is that, they should be taught to go in groups and how hold on to their drink so no one could slip anything in there. I also agree that this is really common and no one really talks about that much when it some so important. This can scar people for life and it should be taken more seriously.

  8. Going to the bar to meet people seems like such a bad idea. I can’t think of many long term relationships starting off in some bar. That is somewhere that people could easily take advantage of you. The best place to find relationships is through friend circles or through whatever hobby you enjoy. That way you know you have something in common.
    Date rape has been around and wont stop anytime soon. The best thing we can do is educate. If people were simply more aware of the problem, they would be more careful with how they go about dating. Just go easy on the alcohol and always keep a close eye on your drink.

      1. I guess what I was trying to say was that a bar would be the place a rapist would think to go. And some people could be violent when drunk making it a more dangerous atmosphere. It is a place where singles go to me other singles but I think a more sanctioned dating function might be a better place to find relationships if that is all you wanted from a trip to the bar.

  9. I feel that trouble can find you no matter where you are. This includes looking for love or enjoying yourself with friends. Coming from where I grew up that’s common knowledge. I do feel that no matter where you are you have a safe zone (like a bubble). The more risk around the smaller that safe zone is. At a bar that bubble wouldn’t be large. Thus being said drink and etc out of that safe zone are no longer safe

  10. I completely agree here Jim. Keeping the aggressor out of the bar scene is out of the question, the only thing society has control over is keeping potential victims aware. Therefor, education is key. If taking a date rape awareness class was a requirement people would take the issue a lot more seriously. I think your average citizen hears about a date rape story and the thought “that would never happen to me” crosses there mind after. The problem is it could happen to anyone at anytime. Women seem to be the most common target. Obviously keeping them from getting intoxicated is out of our control, but keeping them aware of the problem is not. They need to consciously know what there drinking at all times. If a man orders them a drink they need to have both eyes on it and keep it in hand until its finished. Setting your drink down is an open invitation to be taken advantage of. As for rape, they have strength in numbers. Going out to the bar scene by themselves can be very dangerous, if they go with a group of trustworthy friends there chances are greatly decreased.

  11. I totally agree with this article. Alcohol plays huge a role when it comes to the date rape drug because it makes it easier for the person to slip the drug in your drink when your guard is down. I say this because alcohol makes you feel more at ease and comfortable around people, even comfortable enough to turn your back on someone that could slip the drug in your drink. Let’s just say some one was able to slip something in your drink I doubt they can get far if you have a lot of friends with you that has common sense to not let you leave with a guy you barley knew. When I go out with my friend I make sure there will be one person that is sober to drive home and to watch out for anyone acting suspicious around us. If more people do what we do there will be less crime.

  12. I think that this article is very informative and makes very great points. I think that the date rape culture that is happening in our generation and will probably continue in the future is a very scary and serious issue. While I think this is something women and men both need to be on the look out for I think that some people- out of fear- use this as a reason to never go out or drink. I don’t think that the possibility of it happening alone is a reason to never go out and have a good time but I think its something to be very aware about. Furthermore, I think this idea of date rape is something that makes people very un-trusting of others and not giving others the benefit of the doubt- which I don’t think is right. I just think its something people should be weary of but to not let the possibility alone rule their lives and still continue their night life routines or party antics regularly just to be a bit more careful.

  13. Recently, during her concert, Miley Cyrus stated, “Everyone’s gay, all it takes is one cocktail. And if that doesn’t work, sprinkle something in their drink. That’s what I always do”. Now there are a lot of things wrong with what she said but primarily, her judgment, thinking that a date rape joke was appropriate or even funny. What’s worse is that the audience laughed and I hate to admit it, but I did as well; only because of the way she said it. I think the problem with young people is we don’t take things like date rape seriously because it hasn’t happened to us and we don’t believe it can. More so, we don’t want to abandon the habits/ activities we participate in, like getting drunk publicly, that could be catalysts for date rape to occur.We need to realize we can become victims of date rape if we put ourselves in compromising situations and do not educate ourselves about the warning signs and risks out there. Obviously there’s nothing funny about date rape, but we are far too lenient and accepting of jokes/irresponsible comments made about serious issues.The fact that no one was really mad about what she said proves we have a long way to go before we can truly understand the seriousness of the issue of date rape drugs.

  14. I agree that seminars on this would be a very useful resource to stress the issue and give people taking part in this scene a better understanding. Being a female who has gone to my share of bars and or parties, although always with friends of course, I can admittedly say that I have very seldom, if ever, thought about this while I’m out. Though, I do know and understand that this is a very serious and real issue. In that regard, I think some sort of education to spark awareness could be very beneficial in teaching individuals of the gravity of these potential situations, and what to do to help ensure that we or someone we know never falls into one.

  15. I would agree that this is a problem in society and that many more people need to be informed with this issue and how to prepare or react in a situation. I watched a video on social media not to long ago and it was about a man who would have cameras everywhere but slip a pill in their drink. This was an informative video though. The man did not let anyone actually drink the drink afterwards and would replace his or her drink. But show them how easily someone could drug you without your knowledge and would clearly show all the cameras around so that they were not freaked out. One of the best parts in this video were when a woman asked her boyfriend to watch her drink while they were at the bar and she was going to run to the washroom. The host of video sits next to the woman’s glass without her boyfriend even knowing, the man slips the drug into her drink. When the woman came back she had no idea and neither did the boyfriend! It was absolutely outrageous and right when she picked up her drink the man had told her he drugged her drink when she went to the washroom. Both people surprised, the boyfriend a little upset, the man pointed out the cameras and showed them in was all just an informative video but they should be more careful because it is a rising problem in society.

  16. I agree there should be some type of seminar for males and females to attend to learn the potential dangers of being in a social setting where date rape may be able to occur. Females are not the only people to be drugged, men have been drugged before too. It is just not common for the men to come out and admit it because they sometimes feel as if masculinity is questioned. Which is just another social standard men chose to go along with. It is okay to admit you are not some tough, nothing bad happens to me type of person. As for me I grew up watching SVU Law and Order, living in a home filled with girls can lead your mom to become paranoid and to be constantly reminding you to pay attention to your surroundings. I think my mom is part of the reason I do not go out of my way to go out and party. There is a part of me that is scared something bad like date rape drugging could actually happen to me. If I cannot see the signs, how will I know if it’s happening? Will it be too late when I actually figure it out?

  17. This topic is not very common or known by my generation. I feel like most girls have too much trust in those they are surrounded by, that we are all vulnerable to be a victim if we do not put our guards up. Date rape drugs are not very common but it is still out there and it can cause a lot of women a lot of harm. Classes or seminars on the topic would really help spread the word and could help diminish it. Knowledge is power. More people must be informed on this topic.

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