It’s not that men don’t know what consent is

In fact, one of the traits rapists have been found to reliably share is that they don’t believe they are the problem.

In my own interviews with high school and college students conducted over the past two years, young men that I like enormously — friendly, thoughtful, bright, engaging young men — have “sort of” raped girls, have pushed women’s heads down to get oral sex, have taken a Snapchat video of a prom date performing oral sex and sent it to the baseball team. They all described themselves as “good guys.” But the fact is, a “really good guy” can do a really bad thing.

Young men’s ability to understand sexual refusal has been shown to be remarkably sophisticated and subtle, regardless of whether the word “no” is actually uttered; that renders dubious the common defense that they “can’t tell” or “aren’t mind readers.” What’s more, where “yes” is concerned, guys seem downright clairvoyant: They routinely over-perceive a woman’s interest in having sex with them, even more so if the men have been drinking.

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