By Pensar Juntos
Fall’s arrival brings students — America’s future — streaming into the hallowed halls of higher education.
For those of you directly engaged in funding one of these institutions, much of your thought is focused on classes, dorms, books, computers, software and trying to remove that stunned look from your face brought about by today’s tuition and dorm price tags. But there is undoubtedly some fear for the safety of your daughters, who will be exposed to binge parties, sexual peer pressure and some wild fraternities.
You should expand that to your sons as well.
Sexual assault on our campuses have greatly increased. Even the elite liberal-leaning Chronicle of Higher Education states, “The number of reported forcible sex crimes on campus increased from 2,200 in 2001 to 5,000 in 2013 (a 126 percent increase).”
I have worked with administration in higher education for more than 27 years. Campus sexual assaults have long been a fixture in campus life. Universities are never thrilled to talk about it, for good reason. They compete viciously for your son or daughter’s enrollment. Colleges and universities do their level best to lower the numbers of sexual assaults on their campuses. Both by encouraging reporting…and by hiding it.
College administrators play with the numbers
For example, many will consider any attack that takes place outside their strict ‘campus’ perimeters as not a campus assault. Even if it is one of their students walking back from classes to their dorm. Some fraternities and sororities are also placed off campus to lower on-campus sexual assault numbers. A perpetrator committing a crime on campus may even be passively allowed to walk off campus to make the arrest off campus.
And as we have seen with some of the more publicized sports figure arrests, institutions have many standards and protocols for different students accused of crimes — despite supposed ‘zero tolerance’ policies on sexual assault. They all do it to some degree. The argument is, if they didn’t, their campus would seem less safe than those who report student sexual assaults in a more selective way. All of this is hardly new, and we could make a great case that sexual assault awareness and reporting on campus is higher than it ever has been.
However, some groups — men, including gay men — seem to be discouraged from reporting.
Liberal/progressive ideology has taken over most administrations of higher education. Contrary to what many people believe, the real ideological power broker isn’t that gray-haired, pony-tailed, sandal-wearing professor. It’s an administration that holds the purse-strings and sets curriculum. With that ideology has come many changes in sexual behavior and identification on campus.
LGBT centers have sprung up on nearly every campus, bathrooms are sometimes open to both biological genders to cater to transgender persons, and students are openly encouraged to question their sexual identification. Women’s Gender Studies classes do a fantastic job of vilifying men, and in many cases encouraging alternative sexual identification and experimentation. Fresh off their successes activating students around gay marriage, sex on campus in all its different forms can seem not an issue, but rather the issue.
Young people have never been as sexualized as they are today on campuses. That brings issues of its own.
Tilting justice against white men
Liberalism/progressivism thrive on the collectivist notion of an oppressor and an oppressed. That view seems to be binary and set in stone, the oppressed can never be the oppressor and vice versa.
Your male son, especially your white male son, is viewed as the oppressor in every circumstance when the issue is against an ‘oppressed female’. His word simply does not carry the equal weight of his female counterparts. Any accusation against him by a female will almost certainly be treated as the truth.
That accusation can be a real problem for your son’s future. A quick look through Michigan State University’s Sexual Assault Program, for one example, shows not a single male staff member. However, this is the norm on sites I checked and not unique to MSU. A search of your Alma Mater will most likely show the same thing.
Imagine a large city police force that only has male sexual assault on-site councilors. Probably wouldn’t go over well. While campuses would argue that women are assaulted far more than men, that shouldn’t deny men from getting the help they need and deserve. That help should include the right to counsel with someone of your own gender. Yet many campuses view that as a non-issue.
We are a nation that should provide equal justice to any sexual assault victim. Especially on campus. But we don’t.
This issue has also manifests itself in a way that may not immediately jump to mind: the LGBT community itself.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 46.4% lesbians, 74.9% bisexual women and 43.3% heterosexual women reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes. On the flip side, 40.2% gay men, 47.4% bisexual men and 20.8% heterosexual men reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes. That means that if your gay son, who has a more than 4 in 10 chances of being sexually assaulted in his life needs help, he must confide in a woman….or not report. Many do not.
On top of that, because he is a man in a center staffed by women advocates, he will most likely be viewed as the perpetrator in his time of trauma, at least until he establishes his case. He’s assumed guilty — as the victim. Even the liberal Huffington Post has posted opinion columns by gay advocates demanding more men, particularly gay men, to be on the staff of the sexual assault crisis centers.
Yet for now, that seems to fall on deaf ears. Students will continue to be oversexualized to promote agendas. Men, especially white men, will continue to be viewed as the default perpetrator on liberal campuses — which is most campuses. Gay people reporting sexual assaults doesn’t fit the agenda and reporting is not as encouraged as it should be.
Interracial couple assaults are also something that they do not want ‘over reported’. Those groups are to be portrayed in their group identity as better than the normal population and not as suffering the plagues of the rest of us. Statistics be damned. Sexual crisis centers are viewed by the administration, as being for women. Almost exclusively. Sadly, that leaves many victims in the cold.
Many of your sons are one accusation away from having their lives ruined. Many gay men will not receive the justice and counseling they deserve. Your son, gay or straight, is not as safe as you may think in a liberal institution. Something to think about when a university is courting your child.
Pensar Juntos, a pseudonym meaning “think together” in Spanish, has spent nearly three decades working in the administration of a major American university.