Rape Myth Acceptance: The Blame On Women

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Rape Myth Acceptance: the blame on women Alejandra Prado San Jose State University JS 101-80 December 4 2017 Sexual violence can happen to anyone. In fact, one out of every six women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Although, it is women who are targeted most often, it is important to understand that rape can occur to any person, regardless of various factors such as age, race, sex, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. What many people do not ponder is that most of the time when a woman is raped, she is actually blamed for the assault. As Aosved mentions in her article titled, ‘Co-occurrence of Rape Myth Acceptance, Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Ageism, Classism, and Religious Intolerance’, she states …show more content…

It is not a topic that is brought up often, especially at schools or at gatherings, yet it is crucial that everyone be educated, or at least informed on a topic that affects women every day. “Given that sexual violence continues to occur at high rates in the United States, it is vital that we understand attitudes and cultural norms that serve to minimize or foster tolerance of sexual violence” (Aosved, 481). Growing rates of sexual violence goes to prove that it is not taken seriously by many, especially when myths excuse the actions of the perpetrator and instead guilt victims into thinking they are responsible for the horrible act. Burt (1980), in her article titled, “Cultural myths and support for rape” attempts to make sense of the importance of stereotypes and myths, defined as prejudicial, stereotypes, or false beliefs about rape, rape victims and rapists- in creating a climate hostile to rape victims (Burt, 217). Examples of rape myths are such sayings as “only bad girls get raped”; “women ask for it”; “women cry rape” (Burt, 217). This only goes to prove that rape myths against women always blame and make it seem like it is the women’s fault she was raped and that she deserved it for “acting” a certain way. McMahon (2007), in her article titled, “Understanding community-specific rape myths” explains how Lonsway and Fitzgerald (1994) later described rape myths as “attitudes and beliefs that are generally …show more content…

Burt explains that “the hypothesized net effect of rape myths is to deny or reduce perceived injury or to blame the victims for their own victimization” (Burt, 217). When men get raped they don't see it as getting raped. Yet, when it comes to women they are more easily blamed because of “poor choices” like walking down an alleyway late at night, wearing sexy clothes or for drinking too much, giving a man a “justifiable” reason for his actions. McMahon also describes how “common rape myths include the belief that the way a woman dresses or acts indicates that “she wanted it” and that rape occurs because men cannot control their sexual impulses” (McMahon, 357). Chapleau, Oswald and Russel also explicate how “benevolent sexism is associated with victim blaming to protect one’s belief in a just world” (602). Benevolent sexism is the reverent attitudes that reward women who are traditionally feminine and is similar to hostile sexism in the idea that hostile sexism is when women are objectified or degraded often presented as anger, resentment or fear, while benevolent sexism is just as harmful, but put into a positive disguise, in a casual nonchalant manner that doesn’t make it so

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