College Encourages Freshmen to Masturbate in Lieu of Committing Sexual Assault

Christine Rousselle
|
Posted: Aug 28, 2017 8:40 AM
College Encourages Freshmen to Masturbate in Lieu of Committing Sexual Assault

Incoming students at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) received some, erm, interesting advice during their orientation. During a presentation on the importance of consent in sexual relationships, they were told that they should "rub one out" (masturbate) rather than force themselves on another person. Students were shown a graphic of the Disney character Roo along with the acronym "Rub One Out." 

Pictures of the graphic were posted on Reddit and Twitter. Closed captioning on one of the pictures said that "self-gratification can prevent sexual assault." Another said "because I would rather you rub (one) out." 

According to a Reddit user who was at the presentation, incoming freshmen were instructed that if the person they were flirting with changed their mind and no longer consented to sex, they were to go home and masturbate rather than sexually assault said person. 

I was a freshman there - allow me to explain. Prior to this there were social signals being compared with stop lights. If someone were to give you like 8 "go ahead" social signals ("green lights") and then suddenly tells you "no" ("red light") - instead of proceeding anyway in your sexually frustrated state (thereby committing rape), go back to your room and Rub One Out.

Okay, no.

First of all, rape is a serious crime and is not a joking matter. Rape is an act of violence on another person, and it's not about sex or sexual gratification. A rapist isn't going to sit down and think "hm, should I play with myself tonight or go force myself on another human? I think I'll stay in." That's not how people work, and it's embarrassing and infantilizing to display this kind of lesson to anyone, never mind incoming students. Self-gratification does not prevent sexual assault--rather, not sexually assaulting people prevents sexual assaults.

Consent is important, and that can't be stressed enough. However, teaching students that they should just stay in and masturbate (or go home and masturbate) to prevent attacks on campus is both not correct and is utter trash. This also sends the wrong message to any RIT student that survives a sexual assault--is an administration that displays this kind of material to students really going to protect a student who is assaulted? (I'm not even going to touch the addition of a children's cartoon character to the whole affair, which is another issue for another day. )

This is pretty gross, and wrong on so many levels. College students deserve better.