Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus

By Peggy Reeves Sanday | Go to book overview

Five
“Working a Yes Out”
Fraternity Sexual Discourse

“Sometimes a woman has to resist your advances to show how sincere
she is. And so, sometimes you've gotta help them along. You know she
means no the first time, but the third time she could say no all night
and you know she doesn't mean it.”

“Yeah, no always means no at the moment, but there might be
other ways of.…”

“Working a yes out?”

“Yeah!”

“Get her out on the dance floor, give her some drinks, talk to her
for awhile.”

“Agree to something, sign the papers …”

“And give her some more drinks!”

“Ply her with alcohol.”

[Laughter]

(Fraternity brothers talking about party sex.)

In this chapter I describe a sexual ideology evident in the conversations of fraternity brothers with male interviewers about various topics related to the XYZ incident. I suggest that this ideology and associated discourse channels sexual expression as these young men attempt to define, understand, and express their sexuality. Because it is focused on their own sexuality and makes sexual conquest the primary goal of sexual expression, this discourse is phallocentric. The discourse re-produces phallocentrism in the sense that it both produces specific meanings associated with sexual behavior and maintains these meanings by keeping them current.

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