Rape Culture And Sexual Assault Culture Essay

Rape Culture And Sexual Assault Culture Essay

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Eighteen million women and three million men. These are the numbers of women and men that have been raped at some point in their lives. (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006.) Many advocates would say this is proof that we are living in a “rape culture”. A label coined by second wave feminists in the 1970’s, in response to the on-going prevalence of rape in the United Sates. Over the years, there have been many definitions of rape culture, but for the sake of the research paper, rape culture will be defined as a society where sexual violence is normalized. If you’ve ever heard of the responses: “She asked for it.” “He didn’t mean to.” “She wanted it.” “It wasn’t really rape.” “She’s clearly lying.” This is what a rape culture conditions us as a society to think or even verbalize when a story of sexual assault or rape is presented. Conversely, other advocates and feminists recoil at the use of the label “rape culture” because of what the label institutes about our society or progressions we’ve made in trying to eradicate sexual violence. A true comprehension of rape culture commits to the idea that both women and men are culpable in perpetuating rape culture. While there is no doubt, the United States has made strides in preventing sexual violence, there are still aspects of our society that allow a “rape culture” to flourish. These aspects include, but are not limited to confusion surrounding consent, victim blaming, low prosecution of rape, and pop culture influences.

Before our attention is turned to why rape culture exists in the United States, there must be understanding of rape itself, and specifically the myths that surround rape as well. To begin, the legal definition of rape is as follow: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the va...


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...rated rhetoric.
An examination of rape culture cannot be without the consideration of masculinity and what it means for the eradication of sexual violence.
Despite the multitude of information we have on aspects that allow a rape culture to exist, there are still some impartial to the truth. Unsurprisingly, some opponents immediately balk at the label’s definition, because of what rape culture implies about our society and human nature. Rape Culture essentially suggests a society where rape is presented as norm. Opponents immediately recoil at that statement; because how can that be? We all know rape is a terrible and inexcusable crime. Undoubtedly, people do, but what about the throng of cases by which, there is a large group of bystanders who do nothing to prevent a rape or sexual assault, what about the bystanders whom rather take pictures and film the assault.

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