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When does sexual activity at a frat party cross the line?

Parties are just one of the many social aspects of university life in Pennsylvania, especially if you belong to a fraternity or sorority. However, the subjects of sexual abuse and date rape have come up repeatedly in national headlines lately. During a time when many young people are just becoming sexually active or experimenting with sex, alcohol or other substances, the line between what is legal and acceptable and what is not allowed may seem blurred. In fact, there are some activities that are said to be normal for college students, and even a prerequisite for acceptance into a college group, that are illegal. It can be difficult to know which behaviors are permitted and which can get you into trouble.

If you’re considering joining a fraternity, you may already know that some of them have stringent requirements to join, such as pledging and serving older members or even participating in drinking games. According to Business Insider, many frat houses across the country place a high value on members who are sexually active with as many females as they can get. While there is nothing wrong with consensual sexual activity, there can be confusion in some settings, particularly at parties when most of the people present are intoxicated.

Drinking can affect your judgment, leading to decisions you may not have even considered while sober. This type of scenario may lead to instances when frat members take advantage of a female attending the party who is also intoxicated. Fraternity members may assume that because the girl is attending the party, has been drinking and appears to be having a good time, she is consenting to have sex. This situation has, in many instances, led to male party attendees having sex with a woman who was too drunk to give consent. What seems like a harmless good time can lead to troubles later, including sexual assault charges.

It’s important to understand that this is general information and should be taken as legal advice.

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Gregory R. Gifford
  • RGS&G Firm News

    "Gregory R. Gifford, a partner at the Lansdale law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C., was elected Vice President of the Montgomery Bar Association on January 13, 2017. Mr. Gifford is a past Director of the Association and has also served as its Treasurer and Secretary"Read more...

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Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford has been a member of the local Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce (previously known as North Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce) for more than 25 years.

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