It is fascinating to read the recent ramblings out of the Big 12 media days concerning Baylor university. A lot of the chatter is about Jim Grobe’s assertion that Baylor does not have a “cultural problem.” The thought being that such a statement is a denial of the real problems going on behind the scenes at the university. The media have determined Baylor has a “rape culture” and any denial of such is to be condemned in the strongest of terms. The fact Baylor kept Art Briles’ staff of coaches and didn’t just shut down the football program altogether seems to have angered some as well.
I have no real idea what happened at Baylor and likely no one outside the university does either as only a chosen few have seen the Pepper Hamilton report detailing the university’s sexual assault problems. I am not writing this article as a defense for Baylor. I am writing it to address the faux rage and nonsensical way the media has used the school to address sexual assault in general.
The Sexual Assault Epidemic
Sexual assault is a horrible thing and must be condemned in the strongest of terms. Such behavior can never be defended and this article is not an attempt to do so. Its sad I have to type such a sentence but in the world in which we live one must defend himself if he deviates from the popular narrative of the day. But deviate I must…
What does it mean to have a “cultural problem?” I mean what does it really mean?
We live in a world of injustice and hypocrisy. Baylor has rightfully been chastised and condemned for its failure to handle sexual assault allegations correctly but are they alone or unique in not doing so? What of the University of Tennessee? Tennessee was slapped with a federal lawsuit earlier this year in which the school was accused of creating a student culture which enabled sexual assaults against at least 8 women by student athletes. The lawsuit was settled for over 2 million dollars.
And let’s not limit this discussion to student athletes. CNN published an report in 2015 in which they cited a study which found 23% of college women had experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact with 11% indicating the contact included either oral sex or intercourse. As of December 30, 2015 the Education Department Office of Civil Rights had 194 Title IX investigations open at 159 different universities or colleges examining allegations the schools mishandled sexual assault cases. So is this a cultural problem at Baylor and the University of Tennessee or universities in general?
The Bigger Picture
Before we answer that question we should take a look at the bigger picture…
The New York Times reported in 2011, “Nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point, and one in four reported having been beaten by an intimate partner. One in six women have been stalked.”For those who believe these numbers are high I would point you to this 2015 politifact article which broke down how these numbers are determined.
The fact is our country has a cultural problem. But it seems to make all of us feel better to point to Baylor, Tennessee or college campuses in general and say they have a “culture of rape” or that college campuses in general struggle with a culture which makes sexual assault more likely. (Of course, we will never mention our own Alma mater in such confessions of sin.)
We do have a cultural problem. We have created an oversexed culture in which women are devalued, sex is treated with the same respect of a handshake and sexual ethics are akin to those found in the animal kingdom. The use of pornography is epidemic as is infidelity and other illicit forms of sex. The value of sexual intimacy and its place within marriage has not been diminished but certifiable destroyed. Our music, movies, television and other media have placed sexual intimacy in the category of recreation rather than love, intimacy and procreation. There is a total detachment from a sense of responsibility associated with sex and the “sex act” has simply become one of the “fun choices” one might make on date night akin to watching Netflix or going to the movies.
Its fun to point fingers, feel noble and think the real problems of society are being addressed when pointing a finger at an offender exposed. Baylor covered up the sexual assaults of a handful of players. The cover up involved a grand total of maybe a dozen coaches and administrators. So the public humiliation of the few makes us feel we have addressed the problems of the masses. Branding a university as “Rape U” makes the rest of us feel absolved, clean and refreshed in our holy diligence to stamp out this blight affecting almost one quarter of all women.
Teaching Our Boys
The narrative of faux rage and nonsense associated with it needs to stop. If you want to address the problem of sexual assault then expose the problem for what it really is and get behind genuine solutions.
To address the epidemic of sexual assault in America:
- Teach the value of marriage and the family from an early age
- Teach boys the responsibility of fatherhood is a lifelong commitment to the raising of children to adulthood
- Teach Biblical sexual ethics…sex is to take place within marriage between a husband and wife
- Teach and emphasize the emotional intimacy associated with the physical act of sex and that it is more than a momentary event
- Teach boys the importance of cherishing women and womanhood in general
- Teach boys that men are to protect, honor and serve women in general even if they do not know them! Teach your boys to hold open a door!
- Teach boys it is a GOOD thing to be a virgin when you get married
- Teach boys the danger of pornography and how it does not represent real life
- Teach boys the sacredness of a woman’s heart and the responsibility to care for it
- Teach boys to love Jesus and love women as His daughters
Yes I have listed ten things we should teach our boys in order to address sexual assault. Why? Because the vast majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by men upon women. AND…it is the responsibility of men to both teach and hold accountable the other men in their life for the way they treat women. These are the beginning steps to addressing the bigger problem; a problem which goes well beyond campus life in America.
We can continue on the road we are traveling and watch things progressively become worse as fatherhood, family and sex are continuously attacked. We can shrug off calls to Biblical manhood as archaic nonsense. Or we can realize the “sexual renaissance” of our current generation has led to what can actually be termed a “cultural problem.” Its only as we choose the latter that the real change will take place.
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