The Culture of Sexual Assault as Reflected in the 1970s Rape Law Reforms

The Culture of Sexual Assault as Reflected in the 1970s Rape Law Reforms

Length: 3705 words (10.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Last week, the White House released a short, celebrity packed, 60-second public service announcement (PSA) on the topic of sexual assault. 1 is 2 Many addressed those who are in control of preventing sexual assault as its intended audience was those who can put a stop to sexual violence: the perpetrators or would-be offenders. Although this one minute announcement completed the task of bringing sexual assault to the forefront of discussion, it failed to encompass the central issues concerning the culture of sexual assault: societal misperceptions, the victims, and the justice system. Sexual assault is a phenomenon that has been around for centuries; the culture of sexual assault is rooted in both legal practices and societal perceptions. In order for its reforms to be effective, they need to target both aspects of sexual assault culture, as one factor by itself is not enough to maintain reforms and foster needed change. By evaluating different perspectives on the effectiveness and purpose of the 1970s rape law reforms, it can be better understood how legal and societal conditions have changed or were intended to change. The culture of rape in particular—how it is defined, its victims and its offenders (and how they are perceived by society), myths, and its laws—has been modified throughout the years, peaking during the first wave of legal reforms in the 1970’s. Although these legal and social changes are improvements from past conditions, they can be further developed and advanced to cater to the needs of the victims.
The legal system is flawed and some of its errors are reflected in how courts address sexual assault cases, and more specifically its victims and offenders. The issues are largely rooted in social factors and how c...


... middle of paper ...


... Krebs, C., Berzofsky, M., & Smiley-McDonald, H. (2013, March ).
Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010. Special Report. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvsv9410.pdf

Reddington, F. P., & Kreisel, B. W. (2005). Sexual assault: the victims, the
perpetrators, and the criminal justice system. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press.

Seidman, I., & Vickers, S. (2005). The Second Wave: An Agenda for the Next Thirty
Years of Rape Law Reform. Suffolk University Law Review, 38, 467-493. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/sufflr38&div=32&g_sent=1&collection=journals#483

Spohn, C. (1999). The Rape Reform Movement: The Traditional Common Law and
Rape Law Reforms. Jurimetrics- American Bar Association, 39(2), 119-130. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/29762593

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Rape And Sexual Assault And Rape Essay

- Sexual assault and rape are terrifying, violent crimes and represent a serious problem in society. Edwards, Turchik, Dardis, Reynolds, and Gidycz (2011) reported that up to 25% of US women will experience completed or attempted rape in their lifetimes. Aronowitz, Lambert, and Davidoff (2012) state the most vulnerable population is women between the ages of 16-24 and 25 out of 100 women will report being raped during their college years. Miller (2014) reports 67% of victims know their perpetrators while only 24% attackers are strangers....   [tags: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Violence]

Research Papers
2389 words (6.8 pages)

Essay about Rape Culture Within The United States

- As discussed in my exploratory paper over the possibility of a rape culture existing in the U.S., the conversations surrounding this idea often splits feminists (and other advocates) over the label’s legitimacy. The general consensus of the debate surrounding rape culture seems to rest on two sides: some feminists believe we have aspects of society that normalize sexual violence, particularly rape, while other advocates and feminists believe that while the U.S. has barriers to overcome in decreasing sexual violence, rape culture is an exaggerated way to label those barriers....   [tags: Rape, War rape, Sexual intercourse, Sexual assault]

Research Papers
918 words (2.6 pages)

Rape Culture And Its Effect On Society Essay

- What is rape culture. Rape culture is something created by society that sexualizes rude and violent behavior as sexy or sexual, inforced mostly be men. Rape is a big problem all around the world, and in some countries, it is accepted by law. It has been stated that 105,000 rapes happen every year in the United States. Most rape happens to female between the ages of 14 and 30. Rape culture is not something that can be ignored, it is a very serious issue that must be addressed. Women are not the only people getting raped however, ⅙ of all men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime....   [tags: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Sexual assault]

Research Papers
1049 words (3 pages)

Rape And Rape Culture On American Society Essay

- Rape and rape culture have been a longstanding issue in American society. Looking at modern influences such as the media, our nation’s history, and the way our Consider the following: How has rape culture evolved through our history. What role does the media play in rape culture. And most importantly, how has rape become institutionalized in American society. First things first, it is important to understand what the terms rape and rape culture truly mean. Many people see the two terms and interchangeable....   [tags: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Violence against women]

Research Papers
917 words (2.6 pages)

Rape Culture And Its Effect On Women Essay

- A woman claiming to have a boyfriend is the easiest way to get a man to leave her alone because he respects another man more than he respects the woman. This is just the beginning of the newly coined term “rape culture.” Over the past few years, the term has risen in popularity in society, encompassing all aspects of gender discrimination toward women, primarily focusing on the rape epidemic in America. Shown in a recent study, one in five women survives rape or attempted rape (Maxwell). Not only is that a startling statistic, it represents real women who are faced with the difficulties of rape culture every day....   [tags: Rape, War rape, Sexual assault, Victimisation]

Research Papers
2466 words (7 pages)

Rape Culture: How Society Reacts to Rape Essay

- What do you think and feel when you hear the word rape. Do you feel uncomfortable. Maybe even angry. Your certain feelings and emotions towards this word is a result of rape culture. Rape culture, essentially, is how a society as a whole sees and reacts towards rape or instances of rape. In 2013 rape was defined by the FBI as, “Penetration… of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” (Division’s Crime Statistics Management Unit 1)....   [tags: controversial rape cases]

Research Papers
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about A Peak Under the Skirt of Rape Culture

- "Did you see what she was wearing; no wonder he assumed she wanted it." Does this sound familiar to anyone. It does to me. This is just a glimpse of some words, and actions, that are only the tip of the ice-berg; we call 'rape culture'. A lot of people are unaware this sort of language, or behavior, even goes on. Even more people are aware of these types of things, yet they don’t find them inappropriate, or see anything wrong with a little harmless joking. The fact is rape culture affects our life, whether we acknowledge it or not....   [tags: grey rape, forceful violence]

Research Papers
1157 words (3.3 pages)

The Prevalence Of Rape On College Campuses Essay

- The Prevalence of Rape on College Campuses Have you ever been encountered in a circumstance of being raped or knew an individual that was a victim of rape. Every one-hundred and seven seconds an American is sexually assaulted (RAINN). Rape has become a continuous problem causing controversy due to the way colleges cover up or simply hide incidents of rape throughout campus. More college students are also being raped by their own acquaintances rather than random strangers. Students, parents, and politicians question the way schools protect students and how their campuses can become more effective and efficient in preventing further occurrences of rape....   [tags: Rape, Sexual assault, Sexual intercourse, Victim]

Research Papers
1709 words (4.9 pages)

Essay Media Criticism Of Media Blames Rape Victims

- Media Blames Rape Victims She was passed out with throw up on her shirt, it is totally her fault she was raped. We hear that statement over and over again, frankly it is getting old. In fact in recent study where 1,000 women were asked who should be blamed for rape fifty four of them said they should be handle accountable for their actions. However, how can somebody be held accountable if the drink has been drugged. That wasn’t that’s individual action that was their attackers action. And yes a rapist is a attacker and not some innocent person who had no idea what they were doing not only wrong but illegal....   [tags: Rape, War rape, Assault, Prostitution]

Research Papers
966 words (2.8 pages)

The Rape Of Campus Sexual Assaults Essay example

- waist. Her underwear was on the ground; her hair disheveled and covered with pine needles” (CITE). Two males witnessed Turner thrusting his hips on top of her while he was using his phone with flash. It is clear his motivation was power rape. After being denied by her sister, Turner went to assault the victim while she was alone and under the influence. He was rejected and that frustrated him, wanting complete power and control over her sexuality and body. The mishandling of campus sexual assaults is present in this case when the attackers sentence was minimized to 3 months with good behavior....   [tags: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior]

Research Papers
1649 words (4.7 pages)