Rape Prone Culture

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Rape is a word we hear often. It is a very controversial topic due to the fact that in many cases it is a, ""he said"" or ""she said"". Today people refer to the term, ""rape prone"" or a ""rape prone"" culture in different ways. According to ""ConsentEd"", ""Rape prone describes a culture in which sexual violence is common and where prevalent attitudes, norms, and behaviors excuse, minimize, and even propagate sexual violence."" Rape is a serious offense and the fact that people want to minimize this offense is dangerous. This makes it easier for the offender to get away with such an awful crime.

According to ""ConsentEd"", in a rape prone culture, sexual violence can become more prevalent. Sexual harassment, sexual assault and even stalking will become easier and consequences will be lessened. This could become a scary and harmful world for victims to live in. In a rape prone culture victim are afraid to discuss or confess what has happened to them and only 1 in 10 people will report the crime. In many cases people who do not report right away or even at all and criticized and can even be blamed.

I believe the term rape prone culture is very accurate. According to WAVAW, ""Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970's. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence."" We see rape culture everywhere such as television, music, media and the more we see it the more it becomes normal to us. More people need to stand up for the victims and their rights rather than letting people get away with such hateful crimes and normalizing the term or action.

Many people believe that rape prone is not a thing. I believe that it is very prevalent in today's time. People want to minimize the term rape because they think people are overreacting or lying. People who want to minimize the term are a part of why rape prone culture is a thing. This gives men the upper hand and makes it easier for women to become victims. I believe nobody should have the right to excuse or demean such an act if they have not experienced it for themselves. Most people do not know what it's like to be in that situation and if we keep excusing behaviors such as rape, many people will have a sense of insecurity in this world.

Today, people say, ""don't get raped"" instead of ""don't rape"" this is a way of evolving more into a rape prone culture. Many people blame the victim instead of the attacker. I have heard so many times people say things such as, ""she was asking for it"" or ""she should not have been wearing those clothes"". This is all just a way for people to lessen rape. It should never be the victims fault for the things that have happened to him/her. This is why so many victims are afraid to go to authorities when something like this happens because they believe it was their own fault or they feel embarrassed. We as a society should never make someone believe it was their own fault for such an awful thing to happen. We need to stick together and stand up for what's right.

It's reported all the time that sexual assault and rape are more likely on college campuses and why is that? Is it because a rape prone culture is more prevalent on campus? An article written by Patricia Martin analyzes Fraternities and Athletics. She writes about how some groups such as fraternities are known to be disrespectful towards women and some even discourage having a girlfriend. Fraternities are often thought of as a family of brothers and they stay very loyal to one another and have a code of secrecy so that they can protect each other from having any problems with the law. Some fraternities don't allow other members to speak up when an illegal activity is going on or they just personally disapprove, or they will be kicked out. Another factor in rape within fraternities is the heavy use of alcohol. Alcohol can make it easier to lure someone in to coming back with them. Martin writes that it is found in rape prone fraternities the men will use loud music, low lighting and alcohol to increase their odds of sex. This all factors into a rape prone culture and how people can lessen the term rape for their own benefit.

The article written by Martin also analyzes athletics. Athletes are praised all around the world for their skills. This can become a problem when people are willing to look past their wrong doings because of the status they hold. They often receive special treatment and can get away with more than the average person can thus increasing rape or sexual assault. Also, a lot of the time women may flock to athletes and this makes them think that sex is on the table even though it may not be. This can be confusing for athletes, but it still does not make rape okay ever. There have been many lawsuits over rape including an athlete and the times when the victim loses makes people think It's okay or easy to get away with.

The article written by Martin about fraternities and athletics is not to say this is true of all these groups, but for some of them it is very much a real problem. When these groups of people act this way, it is normalizing the behaviors and minimizing the consequences. This all feeds in to becoming or being a rape prone society. Without being able to stop these groups from acting this way, the rape prone society will only get worse.

An article written by Peggy Sanday, ""Rape-Prone Versus Rape-Free Campus Cultures"" also looks into rape within Fraternities. She writes about gang rape in her article and how most men involved in this kind of activity are insecure and young. This does not excuse their actions at all. Sanday talked to actual pledge of a fraternity and he described why they act the way they do. In summary the pledge said it made him feel better to share exaggerated sex stories with one another because it made him feel happy and confident. He said it helped him with his feelings of fear due to the fact that he thought of himself as sexually unappealing. He also said that it satisfied him and his brothers to make fun of other people including women, feminists, and homosexuals. This all comes from their own insecurities which is why they act the way they do. Sanday also reports that the brothers found no problem in forcing sex on a woman. Fraternities like this are what give them their bad reputation and feeds into a rape prone society.

Another fact Sanday reported about this fraternity is that they liked to watch each other have sex. This all ties into a rape prone culture and how it can so easily become normal when you are a part of a group like this one. Being around this environment 24/7 makes members think it's okay to do and they will most likely be swayed to act this way as well. It is a drip effect, once one person starts it, it seems everyone around them will follow along until it is spread to others and it keeps growing.

Even though both men and women are affected by rape, more often the person getting raped is a women or girl. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women have been raped. According to Joan Chrisler and Sheila Ferguson, authors of ""Violence against Women as a Public Health Issue"" violence can spread or as she puts it, ""become infectious"" in a rape prone culture. Being in a rape prone culture increases the risks of being raped yourself. Rape has many effects on a person, some long term, including, physical harm, mental health effects, and can overall make you lose money because of the lost time at work and doctors' visits, ""Rape victims average 12.4 visits to a mental health professional at an average cost of $78.86 per visit or a total cost of $978."" (p. 239). This is for the mental health portion not even including the cost for medical care if there is a need for it.

In a rape prone culture rape is just the tip of the iceberg, there is also sexual harassment, stalking, and domestic violence. According to Chrisler and Ferguson, ""The CDC estimates that 4,450,807 women are assaulted each year by their intimate partners. Forty-one percent of those assaults cause observable injuries, and 519,031 of the assaults (28.1% of those injured) require medical care for the victim."" (p. 237). Multiple women per year are raped by the person they probably trust the most. This will only continue to happen of something is not done to stop the progression of a rape prone culture.

According to Hildebrand and Najdowski, authors of ""The potential impact of rape culture on juror decision making: implications for wrongful acquittals in sexual assault trials"" women are in danger of rape culture, ""it has been estimated that at best only five percent of sexual assaults result in a criminal conviction."" Part of this is due to the fact that many women do not report being raped because they believe people will judge them. Rape culture is what makes women believe they will be judged. It is even less likely that a woman will report a raping if she was invited to his house and went or if she met the rapist in a bar or any event such as these. Society tells people if the woman went to the man's house that it wasn't actually rape because she willingly went with him. This does not mean she was asking to be raped in any way whatsoever.

Hildebrand and Naidowski also bring attention to the fact that an aspect of rape culture also involves sexual objectification of women. Sexual objectification is when a person is looked at for their appearance and not for the person they are. People, usually women, become objects to look at and not a human being. Sexual objectification is a regular occurrence for many women people especially in the workplace. This is very disrespectful and can lead to sexual harassment or assault. A rape prone culture can have so many impacts that people are not even aware of.

One way to prove that Americans do live in a rape culture is by the rape myths we hear so often:

(1)""She asked for it"" (e.g., ""If a woman is raped while she is drunk, she is at least somewhat responsible for letting things get out of control""), (2) ""It wasn't really rape"" (e.g., ""A rape probably didn't happen if the woman has no bruises or marks""), (3) ""He didn't mean to"" (e.g., ""When a man is very sexually aroused, he may not even realize that the woman is resisting""), (4) ""She wanted it"" (e.g., ""Many women secretly desire to be raped""), (5) ""She lied"" (e.g., ""Many so-called rape victims are actually women who had sex and 'changed their minds' afterwards""), (6) ""Rape is a trivial event"" (e.g., ""Women tend to exaggerate how much rape affects them""), and (7) ""Rape is a deviant event"" (e.g., ""In reality, women are almost never raped by their boyfriends""). (Hildebrand and Naidowski)

These types of myths put the blame on women instead of men. This makes men think it is okay to sexual harass or rape people because they think they can get away with it. They think it is okay to be aggressive towards women because that is the role they are told to play.

Another example of proof we live in a rape prone culture is by looking at and analyzing media. It's everywhere we look, especially in music. One song in particular found in Hildebrand and Naidowskis article is the song Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke with the lyrics, ""I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it ... but you're a good girl, the way you grab me, must wanna get nasty."" This song implies that because of the way the girl grabs the guy means she wants to ""get nasty"". The song also says there are blurred lines meaning he does not know exactly what she wants but still assumes she wants to have sex with him. We hear this kind of music daily and watch television shows with the same type of language. The more popular we make these shows or songs, the more normalized the words will become to us.

If we change and/or lessen the term rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking etc. then the judges in court will have little ways to help the victims because they have to base the judgment off the definitions themselves. This will make it so much harder for victims to speak out and when or if they do speak out it will make it harder for them to win the case. This can and has ruined many people's lives. After losing a case like that there is a good chance they will never be able to completely feel safe or secure again. Also, the victims who lose these cases will have to live will the embarrassment of people thinking they are a liar, wanted attention, etc.

According to Sasha N. Canan, author of, ""Sexual Assault Supportive Attitudes: Rape Myth Acceptance and Token Resistance in Greek and Non-Greek College Students From Two University Samples in the United States"" a rape prone culture is real. She proves this by analyzing rape myths as well. Many believe that women lead men on then accuse them of rape. This belief builds upon a rape prone culture because people then become skeptic of victims which then leads to the victims to underreport from fear of the same skepticism. Another myth Canan write about is the myth that many women pretend not to want to have sex, so she doesn't seem desperate or ""loose"" and that she actually wants to man to force himself on her. This makes men think that women do feel this way and ultimately making them think it's appropriate or okay to force sex.

Canan also believes that rape and sexual assault is much more likely on college campus' because of the Greek-life. This is true especially of fraternity because of the many parties they thrown involving alcohol. Also, traditional gender role beliefs are rooted into fraternities and sororities such as the ideas that men should initiate sex and the women should respond to this. There is also again the idea or myth that women play ""hard to get"" and say no when they actually want sex to fulfill a sexually passive gender role. These are myths and should not be part of any decision making especially decisions as big as sex.

We clearly live in a rape prone culture today even though some people believe we do not. There have not been any outstanding efforts to change this culture yet that I have seen. One way we as a society could do about the problem is to first have more support groups for victims of sexual assault crimes that have not been taken seriously or have not gotten justification for. Secondly, we should work harder to educate people on the issue and encourage people to listen. If more people are educated there is a better chance the word will spread, and this will make it less likely for people to want to lessen or minimize the terms rape, sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking and more. Another thing we can do to help solve this problem is to vote when elections come up for people who you know believe in a rape prone culture. There are many local elections all the time for many different people in power and if you don't vote your voice will not be heard. All of these things can help increase the chances of making this world a safer place and helping to get rid of a rape prone culture.

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Rape Prone Culture. (2019, Dec 31). Retrieved July 13, 2024 , from

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