Webster’s Dictionary describes rape as the crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse. Rape is a crime in which most women cannot defend themselves. The fear of rape plagues every woman at some point or another in her life. The traumatic effects of rape vary from mild to severe, from psychological to physical. This paper will evaluate rape, as well as the effects it has on women, the theory behind male dominance and patriarchy, and differences in demographics.
“Rape is a crime that combines sex and violence, that makes sex the weapon in an act of violence.”(Kimmel 257) Because of this, rape is often traumatic for the victim of a rape. Many victims undergo what is known as rape trauma syndrome, “…rape trauma syndrome, consisting of an acute stage, where the primary response is fear, followed by a reorganization stage, characterized by phobias, insomnia, sexual dysfunctions, and major changes in life-style.”(Chandler et al pp. 248) These are some of the psychological side effects that women must endure after the rape. There are also other factors, relating to the individual that effect rape trauma they include, “age, prior sexual experience, ethnicity, and response of significant others to the victim. Factors relating to the sexual assault, such as degree of violence and the relationship between the victim and the assailant also affect trauma.”(Chandler et al pp 249) Overall, is is safe to say that there are many psychological effects of rape that allows women to fear the attack of a rape.
In many rape situations, the victim is raped by an aquaintance, therefore the victim is less likely to report the rape. “About 15 percent of college women report having been sexually assaulted; more than half of these assaults were by a person that the women was dating.”(Kimmel 233) If more than half of the sexual assaults and rapes are commited by a person that a women is dating or at least knows, then the people that are the rapists are the everyday Joe’s walking down the street, not the psychotic rapist that women are on the look out for. “Moreover, 20 to 50 percent of women have sustained sexual coercion at least once while dating.”(Burke et al 272) This statistic shows that when women are in a relationship they are much less likely to report a rape. “Women tend to...
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...ies that in rapes where white men are the offender, they usually know the victim, however, in cases where black men are the rapist, they tend to be strangers.
Abortion is a very controversial issue in our society. However, people tend to feel differently about abortions for rape victims. The contriversy over the abortion issue is that if a woman is responsible enough to go through the actions to become pregnant, she should be able to have the child. Churches believe that abortion is murder. However, if a woman is raped, she did not give her consent to have sexual intercourse with the offender. According to Schuman and Scott, although there are many people that have mixed feelings about abortion, in other words they believe that it is okay at some times, but at other times they feel that it is wrong, the most extreme pro-life people still believe that abortion is wrong “when pregnancy results from rape or incest.” (Schuman and Scott 786) In these situations, however, pro-choice believe that women have as much right to choose what happens to their body. According to Kimmel, in some states abortion is only legal in “cases of rape or of a threat to the mother’s health” (Kimmel 255).
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