Culture & Religion United States

How the US Education System Feeds a Culture of Sexual Violence

Within modern education is a reflection of rigid societal values. Pertaining to such affairs of publicly assumed anathema, is an associated measure of relevancy a subject obtains within active measures of institutional manipulation, as a direct result of national values and issues taboo in their nature. Given the self reflective nature of an essential national institution as public education, the basis of such curriculum stemming from elevated values of a common populace influenced by the hands of elected political bodies, is an immense measure of blatant vulnerability to the corruption of rigidly dogmatic influence.

With such corruption embedded within public education, subjects existing within a realm of objective personal and moral scrutiny experience a forced involvement in academic instruction. In an institution subject to such heavy socio-political mandation, certain subjects of strict moral decision are forcibly presented and re established as common topics of education. Although such righteous topics deserve an embodiment within respected affairs of education, there is often a dominant body of corruption and politically conscious manipulation, surrounding their presentation and corresponding associations.

In the wake of a new era in modern culture facilitated by the complex communications defining such facets of modernity, subjects of sexual violence in the year following the emergence of the MeToo movement and its associating characteristics suggest an immense flaw in the previously deemed acceptable means of human behavior as a foundational portrait of modern culture.  Within an increasingly connected world of widespread communicative capabilities, the immense shortcomings of established public education regarding subjects of sexual violence and composite phenomenons are blatantly visible to the average student.

With many students being unable to define the term “sexual violence”, yet acknowledging the necessity in being able to, the drastic need for re-established educational curriculum is evident. Thirteen of the fifty U.S. states require sex education to be medically accurate, disregarding the fact that comprehensive sex education neglects topics of sexual violence as mandatory aspects of the curriculum, further contributing to such occurrences of sexual violence. Given the increased attention to sexual violence and education in schools throughout the U.S., as well as the immense reaches of communication, instances of sexual violence have decreased by more than half since 1993. Supporting the notion that education and communication, are imperative to the decrease of such occurrences in the future.

Christine Blasey Ford, seated right, prepares for a break in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

A definitive term for the danger that this ignorance facilitates is the term, “rape culture.” What this means in an example, is an environment in which sexual violence is both normalized, as well as excused, within the current culture. The perpetuation and ignorance regarding sexual violence and corresponding issues, being an immense part of that definition. Maintaining this, it is estimated that roughly every 92 seconds, a woman is sexual assaulted, resulting in about 321,500 Americans aged 12 and over being victims.

Within academic institutions of higher education, women aged 18 to 24 are three times more likely to become victims of sexual violence. This statistic translates into the fact that 23.1 percent of females, as well as 5.4 percent of males, experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation. A now infamous example of this statistic being the case of Stanford University student, Brock Turner. In 2015, Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an intoxicated and unconscious woman referred to as Emily Doe. He was indicted on two charges for rape, two charges for felony assault, and one for attempted rape.

Following much deliberation, Turner was sentenced to six months confinement in Santa Clara county jail, for which he served half, as well as three years probation. Following this event, the victim, referred to as Emily Doe, released a statement surrounding her assault which has been read over 11 million times. Citing this, the state of California was moved to toughen its laws on sexual assault by requiring jail time for instances where victims were unconscious, emphasising the extent to which education and proper information can lead to positive effects and potentially lower statistics, within subjects of sexual violence.

Within the self reflective phenomenon of democratic public education is a portrait of national values established as required curriculum. Regarding prevalent topics, modern education is often lacking in apparent urgency required for such factions of reality, maintaining a rejection of taboo subjects in obtaining a place within decidedly necessary subjects of education. With this foundation of decided rejection surrounding education, subjects of sexual violence are often absent from required curriculum, contributing to the immense ignorance, and accompanying increase, in the prominence of such occurrences.

In a world of increasing ease regarding communications and shared information, sexual violence is growing rigidly in its place as a product of miseducation and blatant ignorance. There is a dire need for proper education, that is established and acknowledged within required educational curriculum, as means of absolute prevention.

By Molly Alexander

I am a student currently in Los Angeles, California, interested in politics, law, journalism, and the humanities.

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