Rape Culture

Essay by kosmo_assmanUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, February 2004

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In the United States and especially worldwide the cruel act of rape continues to be a growing epidemic and does not appear to be declining. Sexual violence is clearly a national problem in need of greater governmental response. The national Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently funded the center for Policy Research to conduct the Violence Against Women Survey (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998). The study, a nationally representative telephone poll conducted between 1995 and 1996, questioned 16, 000 women and men about their experiences with stalking, physical violence, and rape. Five questions were used to screen for rape victimization. Results indicated that 14.8% of women and 2.1% of men reported completed rape at some point in their lives, with 54% of all rapes occurring before the age of 18 (Renzetti 119). While these statistics are devastating, the prevalence of rape on college campuses is equally alarming.

Large-scale research studies (Kahn, Andreoli Mathie, & Torgler, 1994;Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987) have revealed that between 14% and 27.5% of college women have been sexually assaulted (Humphrey 1313). With such provocative statistics for the prevalence of rape it is apparent that a rape culture does exist in the United States. In an attempt at working towards plausible solutions to deconstruct rape culture, it is important to look at the factors that facilitate its existence. Compelling research suggests that socialization of men, athletic teams and fraternities, the impact of male sexual request style on

perceptions of sexual interactions, and popular music preferences, all contribute to rape culture.

Review of Literature

The Masculine Self-Christopher T. Kilmartin utilizes biological, psychoanalytic, social learning, and cultural learning perspectives to expound on notions of males and gender. Kilmartin's objectives for the book appear to be three-fold. First he...