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University News

Under the surface: Sexual assault at Brown

This article, the first in a four-part series, delves into the history and culture of sexual assault at Brown, as well as stories of those who have experienced it

By and
Features Editor and University News Editor
Monday, April 22, 2013

Students at Brown have often brought the topic of sexual assault to the forefront of campus dialogue, but students said discussion remains limited.

This article is part of the series Silent Violence
This article is part of the series Spring 2013 Student Poll

Warning: This article contains graphic material regarding sexual assault. 


On a campus that openly celebrates consensual sex, many students do not regularly confront what happens when lines of consent are violated or blurred.

“Brown students love talking about sex,” said Devon Reynolds ’14, a coordinator for the Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse. Sex-positive events see high attendance, she said, “but when I put ‘sexual assault’ in the name, it becomes a struggle to get people to show up.”

Those who have been sexually assaulted often face a culture unwilling to address the complicated realities of sexual violence at Brown.

“You know what happens to rape victims — they get accused of being liars and crazy people, and they have that stigma of being damaged,” said Emily, an undergraduate victim of rape whose name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.

“I still can’t go up and be like, ‘This is what happened to me — I’m going to advocate for this,’” she said. “Because I’m still at school.”

Emily’s experience did not fit her preconceptions about rape, so “it was very hard for me to define what happened to me,” she said. “Because it wasn’t like a dark alley. It wasn’t like somebody jumped me and had sex with me and finished and left me there.”

This four-part series will examine sexual assault at Brown, including its role in campus culture, the reporting and disciplinary processes and the long-term effects for those who have experienced or been accused of sexual assault. Though not all people who have experienced sexual assault use the term “victim” to describe themselves, this series will use the word in accordance with standard journalistic practice.


Reaching consent

Despite Brown’s reputation as a liberal campus with an open dialogue about sexual issues, there is little consensus about the definition and role of consent.

“Explicitly asking for consent is super rare,” said Gabriel Schwartz ’13, a member of the Sexual Assault Peer Education program.

Going home with another student can lead to assumptions about what is acceptable. “If you consent going with someone somewhere across campus, you are letting in an expectation that there is going to be some kind of sexual activity,” said Elena Saltzman ’16.

Melissa Kuriloff ’16 disagreed. “There’s an expectation that you are willing to be alone with this person for a set amount of time” but nothing more, she said.

Many students said explicit consent is essential to healthy sexual encounters. “You have to have consent not only to actually have sex, but … what kind of act are you performing,” said Alejandro Perez ’15.

If a person initiates a hook-up, it often indicates that person’s consent moving forward, said Hersho Barazi ’15, adding that “it’s up to (the other) person to be like, ‘Look, you do not have the green light.’”

But if one partner stops a sexual interaction, Barazi said, the other should understand, even if they are in a relationship.

Behavior does not indicate consent — rather, consent indicates consent, said Daniel Rowe Jacobson ’14. Students “start to assume certain ways of acting are cues for consent” and are then less likely to communicate with their partners, he said.

“Every individual scenario in which you are with someone — doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex with them before, or if you’re in a relationship — has to have consent,” said Angel Gutierrez ’15. Consent is “black and white,” he said.

But other students said consent can be  ambiguous, especially when people rely on nonverbal signals.

In a Herald poll conducted in March, about 8 percent of undergraduate students indicated they have had sex — genital touching, oral, anal, vaginal — when they wanted to say no but didn’t object. Less than 3 percent reported having had sex with the hope that a partner wouldn’t say anything.

Just under 9 percent of students reported having had sex because they felt obligated to do the same with a partner as they had previously. Only 2 percent reported having had sex after a partner gave mixed signals about consent.

But students suggested their peers may not have answered honestly. Schwartz said he doubted the poll’s finding that only 14 percent of students have had sex after not explicitly saying yes or no.

Brown’s reputed “hook-up culture” presents problems, said Rachel Karen ’14, a co-coordinator of the Sexual Health Awareness Group, a student group run through Health Services. It “skews with people’s emotions” and makes students think they need to act certain ways.

Healthy sexual encounters require preemptive planning, especially when alcohol is involved, said Caroline Doherty ’15, co-chair of the Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Council. Particularly with new partners, “definitely get the yes,” she said.

But even if consent is given, it may not hold for an entire encounter. “Consent can be given or taken away at any moment,” Karen said.

One night during her senior year, Sarah, a recent alum whose name has been changed to maintain confidentiality, returned home from a party with a close friend. They began hooking up, but after a while she told him explicitly she did not want to have sex, and they went to sleep. She woke up in the middle of the night to him raping her.

“I kind of freaked out, and I pushed him off of me,” she said.

But the next morning, they had consensual sex, she said. “I just remember not really being able to process it at all.”


Past and present

Most national statistics — including those from the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ­— indicate around 20 percent of women and 1.5 percent of men experience sexual assault at some point in their lifetimes.

But according to a 2000 NIJ study, under 5 percent of attempted or completed sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement officers, a statistic in line with the findings of several other studies.

Though sexual assault statistics can be complicated by false reports, a 2010 study, which drew from a 10-year period at an unnamed major university, estimated that the rate of false allegations fell between 2 and 10 percent.

Researchers at the Alpert Medical School conducted a study in the 1999-2000 academic year examining incidents of sexual assault at Brown, which revealed statistics largely in line with national numbers, said Bita Shooshani, the University’s coordinator of sexual assault prevention and advocacy. But the methodology of the study, which was released in 2005, did not use “the best sampling method,” Shooshani said, and the University is considering conducting another study in the near future.

In the past few decades, the University has appeared in the national spotlight several times due to controversies related to sexual assault and attitudes on campus surrounding rape.

In 1990, female students posted lists on the walls of several stalls in the Rockefeller Library bathrooms with the names of up to 30 male students who they claimed had committed sexual assault. Even as janitors scrubbed the walls, students rewrote the lists in other bathrooms around campus, the New York Times reported at the time. Eventually, the University changed how it handled cases of sexual violence, as well as how it educated students about resources and safety on campus.

Sheila Blumstein, then-dean of the College, told the Times the University would begin mandatory first-year workshops on date rape the following fall.

In 1996, the nation turned its attention to a case of alleged rape at Brown. Adam Lack, originally a member of the class of 1997 who graduated years later, claimed he met and engaged in consensual sex with a fellow student, who said she could not remember the night’s events and accused Lack of rape five weeks after their encounter. She said her level of intoxication invalidated her consent, The Herald reported at the time. The incident sparked campus protests and debate about the existence of a spectrum of consent, as well as if and when drugs or alcohol change its boundaries.

In 2006, William McCormick III, a former member of the class of 2010, was accused of rape by a fellow student, forced to leave school and never given an official University hearing. Over the next six years, McCormick, who was never informed of the specific allegations against him, engaged in several legal battles with the University over the handling of his case.

Despite this checkered history, Shooshani said the University has made strides in recent years.

“Brown has really been at the forefront of addressing sexual assault, compared to campuses nationally,” Shooshani said.

Campus organizations that address sexual assault include CASARA, which advocates against sexual assault and domestic violence, and SAPE, which works within Health Services to train students in sexual assault prevention.

Greek Council launched an in-house initiative two years ago to encourage bystanders to speak up if they see potentially problematic situations, said Tommy Fink ’13, Greek Council chair.

“We’re creating this program to make sure that sexual assault doesn’t happen,” he said.

But Shooshani said not everyone is ready to intervene in potentially unsafe situations. “We’re in a culture where people are not feeling so comfortable doing that,” she said.


Under the influence

Consent is further complicated by the party scene, where alcohol plays a dominant role.

“Whenever I go to a party situation, there’s a lot of alcohol, there’s a lot of aggression, there’s a lot of energy. I make sure I’m never alone. I make sure I know where I am,” said Kathryn Graves ’15.

Just over half of students have had sex while intoxicated and about 41 percent have had sex with an intoxicated partner, according to Herald poll results. The Health Services consent education webpage lists several signs a person is too intoxicated to give consent, including impaired motor skills or speech.

Among class years, senior poll respondents reported the highest rates of having had sex while intoxicated, at 65 percent, or when a partner was intoxicated, at 50 percent. About 37 percent of first-years reported having had sex while under the influence. Of those polled, athletes reported having sex while intoxicated at a higher rate than the general population, at roughly 63 percent compared to roughly 51 percent. Men were also likelier to have had sex while intoxicated than women, at around 58 and around 50 percent, respectively.

Some students said it is difficult to determine how drunk is too drunk.

“There is a barrier where you can’t really trust the person if they’re in a certain state,” said Jessica Liang ’16.

Ability to give consent depends on how much someone has had to drink, said Aida Palma ’16.

“If you can’t walk by yourself, you shouldn’t be giving consent to anybody for anything,” she said. “That would be a clear line.”

But other situations are less clear, particularly when a student may not be visibly drunk. In the case of intoxication, students said both partners must properly convey their expectations.

“If you’re too intoxicated too, they could ask the question, and you could very easily just be like, ‘Ah, whatever,’” said Nicole Lee ’15.5, adding that a person could later recognize he or she had not wanted the interaction. “I still think the fault lays with the person who did it, but also the person who didn’t give explicit consent.”


Addressing gender

Though most reported cases involve male perpetrators and female victims, sexual assault does not discriminate by gender.

The numbers surrounding incidents of sexual assault are inconsistent, both because of its varying definitions and because of the methodologies used in leading studies.

The common assumption that sexual assault is only perpetrated by men against women conditions how people assign blame, students said.

Men “get less of a pass,” said Chris Latham ’14. “A male is held responsible for his actions when he’s drunk, no matter what he does, whereas a female — if she gives consent when she’s drunk — can retroactively say, ‘It wasn’t consent because I was drunk.’”

Jacobson said making sexual assault solely a gender issue puts males on the defensive, disenfranchising a population that could work to prevent sexual assault.

“Sexual assault is perpetrated by everyone,” he said.

“Everyone involved — the perpetrators, the victims — they’re people,” Reynolds said, “and it’s coming from somewhere in our culture that can be changed if we all stand up together.”

In some cases, a victim’s gender can influence how others respond to allegations of assault. Jacob, an undergraduate whose name has been changed to maintain confidentiality, was assaulted at the beginning of his first year by a sophomore male he did not know in a Keeney Quadrangle bathroom. Jacob said he believes his gender has affected how others perceive his assault.

“I feel like if I were a woman talking about being sexually assaulted by a male, I might be met with more skepticism,” he said. “But I think my maleness sort of unfortunately has added to my credibility as a source.”

Natella Johnston ’13.5 said current culture places insufficient blame on male rapists. Johnston, who works with sexual assault victims in the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, added, “Challenging that mentality would do a lot more than telling people, ‘Be careful, take a self-defense class, don’t look slutty.’”


Stranger danger?

Emily had repeatedly told the man she was casually hooking up with that she did not want to have sex, but one night, he became aggressive and raped her.

When Emily told her psychiatrist she had been date-raped, he told her, “‘You know, date rape is hard, but things like this happen all the time. You’ll get over it,’” she recalled.

Stranger rape is often stereotyped as the most dangerous kind of sexual assault, but Shooshani said date and acquaintance rape are more common on college campuses.

National studies have estimated about 90 percent of female victims in college are assaulted by people they know, according to a 2007 NIJ study.

When asked, students guessed that acquaintance rape is the most common type of sexual assault at Brown. Prior acquaintance probably “helps facilitate the rapist’s actions,” said Anisa Khanmohamed ’15. “They have some background with this person and … they kind of know what social scene they enjoy or partake in.”

A forcible drunk hook-up counts as “a form of sexual assault,” said Zak Enzminger ’15. “But that’s different from somebody who actively would go and try to rape another person.”

The range of interpretations of what qualifies as sexual assault can allow others to cast doubt on the validity of a victim’s account.

During her entire time at Brown, Sarah shared classes, a student group and a close circle of friends with the man who raped her during her senior year. Many of her friends had difficulty reconciling the assault with their own relationships with her attacker, she said, and the incident drove a wedge between her group of friends.

“You think at Brown it’s very progressive. … (You) think people would understand when that happens,” Sarah said. But “I think people would rather believe anything than believe one of their friends would be capable of raping a girl.”


Community and culture

Some students said the community is not fully able to engage with the lived reality of sexual assault.

“You think we’re all intellectually engaged, and therefore we should be able to rationally know what’s ethical and what’s not, but unfortunately that’s not the way it works,” Barazi said.

Because student groups and individuals at Brown generally promote healthy, sex-positive lifestyles, students might have skewed perceptions of what actually happens, said Lizbeth Maldonado ’15.

“We’re supposed to be sexually empowered because we have this known hook-up culture,” she said. “If you do get sexually assaulted somewhere in Brown, it’s kind of less acceptable.”

There are still large populations of students at Brown who have no exposure to issues surrounding sexual assault and act like the problems don’t exist, Schwartz said. Brown has a reputation of being open and welcoming, and as students, he said, we are “really good at pretending we are really good” at responding to sexual assault.

Tomorrow’s story will examine the victim’s perspective, the options available following assault and the underreported nature of sexual assault on campus. The rest of this series will continue to follow the stories of Emily, Sarah, Jacob and other victims, as well as alleged perpetrators, as they navigate judicial processes and emotional fallout of sexual assault.


-Additional reporting by Katherine Cusumano, Maggie Livingstone, Eli Okun and Alison Silver

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly said Natella Johnston ’13.5 works with rape victims through her volunteer work with the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health. In fact, Johnston does not work with rape victims at CSPH but does talk to students at the University who have experienced sexual assault. The Herald regrets the error. 

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  1. Robert Sanchez says:

    It seems like a great many people don’t even understand what the word “consent” means. It’s a synonym for agreement, not a synonym for desire. The word consent literally means: “to voluntarily acquiesce to the proposal of another.”

    If someone is incapable of saying no (because they are passed out or have a gun to their head), then consent is obviously impossible. They are incapable of willful action under such circumstances. Otherwise, not saying no really does imply consent. You have consciously chosen to allow a sexual activity to occur, despite being capable of stopping it. That is consent, per the literal meaning of the word.

    I really have no patience for this “only yes means yes” stuff. For three main reasons:

    1) It’s simply untrue. As anyone who has ever had sex can tell you, lot’s of things mean yes. It can even be as simple as a knowing look between partners.

    2) Every person alive would be guilty of sexual assault based on a strict enforcement of that standard. Every couple who enthusiastically had sex with each other without having a verbal conversation about it first. Every person who ever kissed or touched their SO without stopping to ask for verbal permission for every single thing, every single time. Do we really expect long term partners to stop and ask for verbal permission for every little kiss on the cheek or pat on the butt? It’s just absurd if you think about the practical implications of such an idea.

    3) Non-verbal communication is perfectly clear. How do we know whether or not someone consents to a handshake, or a high five? It’s really pretty simple. If your partner seems relaxed, comfortable, and is actively participating in the sexual activity, then they clearly consent. If your partner is lying perfectly still with a tense and uncomfortable expression of their face, then they obviously aren’t consenting and you should stop immediately. Body language can communicate “no” just as it can communicate “yes,” and it’s really not all that ambiguous in most situations.

    • pinkpanther92 says:

      “If your partner seems relaxed, comfortable, and is actively participating in the sexual activity, then they clearly consent. If your partner is lying perfectly still with a tense and uncomfortable expression on their face, then they probably aren’t consenting and you should stop immediately.”

      I think you’re missing a big part of the whole reason why we have sexual assaults.

      Much of the current research being done on sexual predators indicates that they either are not able to read the signals of their partners, or they just do not care. In a way this is old news–rapists obviously aren’t “neurotypical” human beings. So, no, lack of consent is not obvious to some people. These people are able to either ignore signs that would be obvious to others that their partner is having a bad time…they’re described a “highly narcissistic” and “lacking empathy”.

      This of course does not excuse the behavior. (It’s akin to having bad eyesight…just because you can’t see as well as the “norm” doesn’t mean you’re not liable if you blindly drive your car or something into someone.) However, if you want to fight rape, you need to understand how the rapists actually look/act.

      • queenofzeegeeks says:

        Don’t you think some people have trouble recognizing when they’re violating consent because they’re told to view women as conquests? To sow their wild oats, that girls are asking for it? It’s not that every rapist is a terrible person; a great number of people have been misled by societal expectations.

        • pinkpanther92 says:

          If you treat someone as a conquest, I think it’s fair if people of you as “a terrible person”. It might not be a stereotypical type of “evil”, but rape destroys people, destroys lives. If you rape someone, no matter what mindset you had at the time–you did something evil.

          Whether that makes someone terrible or evil as a whole is a philosophical question, and not one that has a “right answer”.

        • pinkpanther92 says:

          But to answer your other question…No, I do not think that most rapists become rapists just because of “societal expectations”. I think they contribute to what we call rapists’ “social license to operate”…however, I think you have to have a higher than normal propensity toward rape to internalize those messages enough to do it.

          Very few rapists rape only once, by the way. They have multiple “opportunities” to recognize that they are harming another human being, and they don’t take them. You can’t blame society for that.

          • queenofzeegeeks says:

            No, that’s fair. I was more trying to critique the approach that the ability to read signals amounts to the ability to not rape. I didn’t really make my point well at all. Apologies.

      • Robert Sanchez says:

        According to research by David Lisak, most rapists know full well that their partner isn’t consenting. It’s possible that someone on the autistic spectrum might genuinely misread social cues, but millions of years of evolution has made non-verbal communication perfectly clear to the average person.

        I generally ask verbally before any major line is crossed (before any penetration, especially with a new partner), but I certainly don’t ask verbally before every little kiss or touch. That would be absurd, and just trying to make-out with someone would take 18 hours. “Can I touch you here? Can I touch you there? Can I kiss your left cheek? Can I kiss your neck?” etc.

        3rd and 4th base should be handled verbally, but 1st and 2nd base can easily be handled with body language. It’s wildly unrealistic to insist that all sexual communication be 100% verbal, 100% of the time.

  2. Frustrated student says:

    I have a real problem with date rape being defined as a “form of sexual assault.” Rape is rape– it’s nonconsensual sex. It’s not different from somebody who would go out and actively rape another person because people who are date raping others ARE actively sexual assaulting others. They can, and may, do it again. The effect on the victim is devastating regardless, and it’s criminal regardless. That kind of insensitive opinion is exactly the problem.

  3. Tom Bale '63 says:

    I like Tommy Fink’s comment for the Greek Council that has a program to encourage bystanders to act in a protective way if they see a “problematic” situation developing that could lead to sexual assault. Once I was at a party among graduate students. A woman I knew had a few drinks, and came up to me, flirting, inviting my attentions. This was uncharacteristic of her, but to be honest it was flattering to me. While we were talking a couple of her friends came up, and intervened, telling the woman that they wanted to take her home. She went with them. I think this incident is an example of what Tommy is talking about: friends looking out for friends to prevent, as the Council seeks to do, a woman under the influence of alcohol from opening up to a sexual encounter that is not what she really would want under normal circumstances.

    • What about a man under the influence??

      • same deal, if it looks like a man is being taken advantage of. The majority of sexual assaults do happen to women- so that’s why it’s usually characterized as such.

        If, however, you’re excusing the rapist because they’re under the influence… then your question is moronic. You don’t condone murder because someone was under the influence.

    • pinkpanther92 says:

      Just to be clear: There is a BIG difference between rape and sex you regrets because you were intoxicated (and had lowered inhibitions/poor judgment).

      The trauma of rape comes from it being an assault on the body that is COMPLETELY UNWANTED even at the time. It fundamentally disturbs a victims’ sense that s/he is able to protect his/her own bodily autonomy. It often creates long-lasting changes in brain functioning, behavior, and sense of self.

      Regretted sex, on the other hand, does not cause trauma.

      (Also, sex while intoxicated is not illegal. A victim must meet the criteria of “incapacitation”–a form of SEVERE intoxication–for it to be rape.)

      • Robert Sanchez says:

        I think that’s an important clarification.

        There’s a difference between “intoxicated” and “incapacitated.” One involves only diminished judgment. Where the other involves a complete lack of ability to assert one’s own will (passed out or otherwise so drunk that you can barely communicate).

        Of course then you run into issues where someone was blacked out, but not passed out. I’ve seen drunk people appear perfectly lucid and in control of their behavior, only to find out next day that they had no memory of the previous evening.

    • I love how everyone refuses to acknoledge the problems of FEMALE rapists even on an article dedicated specifically to them. The point of this article is the damage that women cause when they sexually assault people, but everyone on this thread is talking about men not respecting women instead. Nice to see that everyone wants to throw men under the bus and defend women as victims even when women are the ones doing the offending. I am not for anyone being sexually assaulted. Just irritated that male victims of female predators get no consideration at all in this ignorant country.

  4. ” Natella Johnston ’13.5 said current culture places insufficient blame on male rapists. Johnston, who works with sexual assault victims in the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, added, “Challenging that mentality would do a lot more than telling people, ‘Be careful, take a self-defense class, don’t look slutty.’” ”

    This is incorrect, to clarify: Current culture does not place enough blame on rapists- regardless of gender. I do not work with sexual assault victims at the CSPH; I talk with many students at Brown who have been raped. I also happen to volunteer at the CSPH, which may make people more comfortable talking to me about issues regarding sexual assault. Challenging rape culture requires that we challenge victim blaming, and actually hold people accountable for their actions.

  5. Marta da Silva says:

    I graduated in ’09 and made a documentary with Kristin Jordan (also ’09) on campus about sexual assault at Brown and in RI. I believe there are articles in the BDH addressing our work (made in the Fall of 2007). Happy to connect if you’d like more information.

  6. If you have an interest in the rape and sexual abuse of men I encourage you to check out these sites. The real number of male rape victims is staggeringly high in both western countries and the third world yet hardly anyone seem to be aware of it. A very high percentage of the perpetrators are women:

    • A very high percentage of the perpetrators in the US are men, specifically because the majority of male sexual assault victims are raped in prison.

      • Wrong! 80% of US men report a FEMALE RAPIST.

        If you combine the answers of both female rape victims and male rape victims about 40% of those report having been raped by a woman. The key reason this is not known is that US government statistics do not categorize a woman forcing a man to have intercourse where his penis is inside her vagina or anus as rape but only classify as rape where the man is penetrated analy or orally by an object used by a woman or her hand etc.

        The numbers and documentation for the way CDC numbers cover up the real rate of rape is here:

        Feel free to follow the sources back to CDC statistics and show me that this is wrong.

        • Actually, the Browndailyherald should run a piece on these numbers to spread knowledge about the real rate of male rape victims and the real rate of female rape victims. The narrative right now is completely delusional presenting men as sole perpeatrator and women as sole victims. This narrative is factually wrong, it makes it impossible to work to reduce rape of men and to provide support for male rape victims (they are not even believed in most cases) and it demonizes men. It is exactly the same thing as with domestic violence which, contrary to feminist myth, is perpetrated as much by women as by men and is even more frequent in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships.

          This has been known for decades and the only reason people belive otherwise is because feminists have willfully spread the lie of domestic violence being solely about male perpeatrators and female victims and have villified anyone trying to bring the actual numbers to the public attention. Erin Pizzey, the woman who opened the vvery first shelter for battered women in the world quickly discovered how large the problem of domestic violence against men was and wnated to start a shelter for men and spoke up about the real rates of domestic violence. Feminists responded by threatening to kill her, actually kill her dog, villify her publicly and making her feel so unsafe she had to flee the country.


          • TaxiOnna says:

            Awwww, I love it when the MRA’s come out to play and forget that the rape olympics solve no problems.

      • Oh, and female prison guards stand for a very high rate of rapes of men in prison. I can dig up the statistics on that right now but this blogger can show you the sources quickly if you ask him for it:

  7. Chris Latham, Zak Enzminger – real stand up guys. Have fun trying to convince a girl you respect her right to consent after those comments.

    • I like how you completely ignored the point of this study, which is that women also create trauma for their victims. Let’s not talk about that though because we don’t want to make the feelings of all the poor female sex offenders now do we?

  8. queenofzeegeeks says:

    ‘Emily’s experience did not fit her preconceptions about rape, so “it was very hard for me to define what happened to me,” she said. “Because it wasn’t like a dark alley. It wasn’t like somebody jumped me and had sex with me and finished and left me there.”’

    ^^ this. I have made this statement regarding my own assault countless times. The sensationalization of rape prevented me from coming to terms with my experience for nearly a year.

  9. Biased Survey says:

    This survey question was bogus and irresponsible. It was engineered to sensationalize a topic constantly under attack for credibility due to sensationalism on both sides. No where was there a choice reflecting: “I received consent.” In a survey about consent and sex, it’s misleading to present all the other scenarios without this one. Sure, the information is factually correct but amounts to “dis-information.” As Maya Angelou said: “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.”

    How can you claim journalistic integrity with such an obvious bias and angle in the construction of the questionnaire? This is disappointing to see because any notion of sex positive behavior is swept under the rug in order to fear monger and run a headline like “Under the surface: Sexual assault at Brown.” I recommend that the BDH seriously consider creating the position of an Ombudsmen to avoid such glaring issues in the future.

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