A new national study of over 17, 000 people found that 1 in 6 of my fellow Australians believes that, when it comes to sex, when women say “no,” they sometimes mean “yes.”
The numbers in this survey are really fucking grim, and what’s more depressing is that the views on sexual and domestic violence have barely shifted since the survey was last conducted, in 2009, or since it was first conducted, in 1995. You read that right: attitudes about intoxicated women being “partly responsible” when another adult makes the decision to rape them have not progressed in my home country in almost two decades. Get it together, Australia.
It gets worse:
- Fewer than 10% of Australians believe that you can be raped by someone if you’re in a relationship with them.
- Almost 40% of Australians agree with the statement, “a lot of times women who say there were raped led the man on and later had regrets.”
- Only 9% believe that “a man is less responsible for rape if drunk/affected by drugs at the time.” To be clear: 9% of Australians think you should go easy on a guy if he rapes someone while intoxicated, but 16% think that it’s partly a woman’s fault if she’s raped while intoxicated.
- 12% Australians – that’s more than 1 in 10 – believe that “if a woman goes into a room alone with a man at a party, it is her fault if she is raped.”
The survey also reveals that, across the board, since 2009, Australians have become more likely to hold sexist views about gender roles in the public sphere. Whether they’re asked about education (“university education is more important for a boy”) or the workforce (“when jobs are scarce, men have more right to a job than women”) or about politics (“men make better political leaders”), Australians are more likely to agree with those sexist-ass statements than they were four years ago.