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Author Topic: Rape Double Standard?
Fenring
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UNPLEASANT TOPIC WARNING

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/18/us/orlando-college-sued-forced-vaginal-exams/

In this quite alarming case some plaintiffs are alleging that instructors at Valencia College (not even in a medical school, but a diagnostic technician program) required them to submit to what is ordinarily a volunteer procedure:

quote:
Two college students say they were forced to submit to transvaginal probes as part of their classroom training to learn how to perform the medical procedure.
Things went from creepy to worse, when, after threatening to penalize the students if they refused, the students allege that they were sexually manipulated unpleasantly during the procedure and even had lewd sexual comments made by the instructor.

Based on Reddit comments it appears that this is not at all the normal way this procedure is done, which suggests that either the accusations are spurious or that the procedures were not only inappropriately mandatory but also deliberate sexual assault.

Regardless of how the facts will play out in court, what is most curious about this lawsuit against the college is that they are suing based on constitutional infringement of the right to decline, and are not even mentioning the issue of sexual assault, rape, and criminal charges. This omission seems almost as bizarre as the allegations themselves.

Is it me, or is there a serious double standard in play here? If a man was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with students the words "rape" and "assault" would be all over the case, and rightly so. But in the case of defendants who are women it seems that the assault/rape angle is not even being broached by the prosecution. What is even more alarming is that the CNN article itself doesn't even bring up the issue of possible criminal wrongdoing.

The veracity of the allegations aside, what good explanation can there be for neither the prosecution nor the CNN article to even suggest that the defendants may be sexual predators?

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scifibum
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The article does suggest that angle, although only briefly.

It sounds like the allegation is that what happened was a normal medical procedure that they were coerced into, not a sexual act. Note that the allegation about the comment does not say that the comment was made to one of the plaintiffs. It's also worth noting that the stimulation was performed by another student, not by someone who was involved in the coercion and no sexual/predatory motive was alleged for such students.

So: third party coerces a student to participate in a medical procedure performed by another student. That probably doesn't come close to the legal definition of rape or sexual assault in Florida, or anywhere, which is why the plaintiff is not making that specific allegation. The news is probably not extrapolating to that specific allegation because it would be defamatory.

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Fenring
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I would agree to an extent except for the fact that it's not just any medical procedure, it's one where you'd think in this social climate consent would be so highly required that there could not possibly be any hint of coercion. Just think about the implication of "woman's vagina penetrated without consent." Taken out of context that phrase could mean anything, but I don't see how that isn't what happened if the allegations are true. The fact that another student performed it doesn't seem germane to me, since if you use an accomplice to sexual molest someone you are still 100% culpable. The level of guilt of the accomplice isn't what I'm discussing, mind you, but rather the people in a position of power who created this situation, if it really happened.

Also worth noting is that comments made by people in the field suggest that manual stimulation should never be needed for this procedure, nor should any kind of arousal. If this particular detail is true then it's blatantly some kind of perverse sexual scenario created by the instructor. As for the lewd comment it doesn't have to demonstrate intention to humiliate, but rather seems to simply add supplementary evidence to suggest that the instructors were not working in a normal professional capacity.

Again, the charges may all be bogus. But if they're true I just can't get away from the notion that this sounds like rape to me. The details as alleged make me feel that something far worse happened than simply requiring students to participate in a medical procedure.

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scifibum
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Yeah, it's worse than being forced to undergo skin cell scrapings for some of the same reasons that rape is worse than being restrained briefly against your will. I was only trying to look at whether this is a convincing case for a double standard. On that question, I don't think the plaintiffs think they can construct a legal case for rape, and as for the news outlets I think they are cautious about this particular kind of thing: so no, I don't think it demonstrates the double standard.

I definitely don't disagree with you that what they say happened resembles sexual assault in significant ways and would be similarly serious.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
[...]as for the news outlets I think they are cautious about this particular kind of thing: so no, I don't think it demonstrates the double standard.

I try to imagine this scenario where a man was the teacher, and I can't get away from the thought that the current trend of sensationalizing potential rape cases would lead to more accusatory language than this article used.

quote:
I definitely don't disagree with you that what they say happened resembles sexual assault in significant ways and would be similarly serious.
What strikes me is that in the case of a stranger assaulting someone it's 'simply a crime'. But when an authority figure in a position of trust does something sexual and unwanted to a student...it just seems worse to me. Especially when a student's entire employment future may be on the line due to needing the grade and therefore complying.
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jasonr
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How do they instruct the male students?
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Seriati
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jasonr, if I read it correctly, the articles are about students volunteering to let other students practice on them. Presumably, male students sometimes practice on them as well.

The question for consistency purposes would be whether they put similar pressure on male students to say submit to prostate exams for other students to practice.

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