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Rape What sexual scientists know about rape. Charlene L. Muehlenhard Department of Psychology University of Kansas.

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Presentation on theme: "Rape What sexual scientists know about rape. Charlene L. Muehlenhard Department of Psychology University of Kansas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rape What sexual scientists know about rape. Charlene L. Muehlenhard Department of Psychology University of Kansas

2 Rape What is rape? Rape or sexual assault involves forced or nonconsensual sexual acts. Legal definitions vary across jurisdictions. Range of behaviors from unwanted sexual touching to oral or anal sex to vaginal penetration with the penis or another object.

3 Rape Who is Covered? Most jurisdictions cover both men (sodomy) and women (vaginal penetration). Currently, marital rape is a crime in many countries.

4 Rape What is Force or Lack of Consent? Physical force. Threat of physical force, but not other types of threats (i.e., divorce). Incapacitation due to intoxication, mental illness, physical or intellectual disabilities.

5 Rape How Prevalent is Rape in the U.S.? 12% adolescent girls. 20% adult women. 15% of college women. Most victims are women; most perpetrators are men. Most perpetrators are acquaintances of the victim.

6 Rape Social Foundations of Rape Rape is more common in cultures characterized by male dominance and violence. Within a culture, persons with more traditional or sexist gender role attitudes are more tolerant of rape than are people with more nontraditional or egalitarian attitudes.

7 Rape Social Foundations of Rape Traditional men are more likely to report that they would commit rape if they knew they would not be caught. Traditional men are more likely to commit rape. “A husband is entitled to have sex with his wife.” “A woman who ‘leads a man on’ deserves what she gets.”

8 Rape Consequences of Rape Vary across persons. Most severe during the first week, diminish during the next two to three months, and then plateau. Victims do not “recover” from rape. Fear, anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts, anger, lower self- esteem, feelings of guilt, fatigue, problems with trust and social adjustment.

9 Rape Consequences of Rape The consequences of acquaintance rape are as serious as those of stranger rape. Rape by a friend, partner, or spouse involves a violation of trust. Rape by a friend, partner, or spouse is likely to occur repeatedly; often accompanied by battering.

10 Rape Consequences of Rape The consequences for men are similar to those for women. Men can be raped by women. Men are not believed, ridiculed.

11 Rape Preventing Rape “Don’t do this or that………..” Active defensive strategies are more effective than passive ones, but also can lead to greater battering. Must address the foundation of the problem. 1.Gender role socialization. 2.Bullying. 3.Power and Control.

12 The Rape Exam The Rape Exam Can Be a Traumatic Experience A victim’s immediate concern is their health and safety. The very first thing to do is get medical attention. If a woman wants to successfully prosecute the rapist, she most likely will need a rape exam. The rape exam can also screen for HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases and uncover hidden injuries.

13 The Rape Exam To collect medical evidence for the police, medical personnel use a "Sexual Assault Kit" (often referred to as a "rape kit"). Evidence is collected and a pelvic exam is done. The steps involved in evidence collection are: The nurse explains the hospital's HIV testing procedure and why HIV testing is beneficial. The victim then decides whether to permit HIV testing. In many states, there is no charge to the victim for these services.

14 The Rape Exam Routine blood collection is done (to check for pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases). The nurse documents any evidence of torn clothing or external injuries and takes photographs. The victim's clothing is collected and new clothes are provided. Any physical evidence from the rape scene (such as grass or leaves) is also collected.

15 The Rape Exam Hairs are collected: the nurse collects any loose hairs or debris in the pelvic area (looking for pubic hairs of the assailant). In some cases, some of the victim's pubic hairs are needed and of the victim's head hairs (to differentiate the victim's hairs from the assailant's). Fingernail scrapings are collected for detection of blood or tissue. The nurse then examines the victim for evidence of semen and, if detected, it is collected.

16 The Rape Exam Several slides are made and swabs taken from the vaginal, anal, and oral areas to check for semen, sexually transmitted diseases, and infections. The hospital provides the victim with any preventive medicine necessary (for tetanus, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, etc.). Medical personnel perform the pelvic exam. The victim may request to have the examination done by a female. Unfortunately, this request cannot always be granted.

17 The Rape Exam The sexual assault kit is locked in a box at the hospital until given to the police for further laboratory analysis. The nurse will discuss with the victim what follow-up tests need to be done. The assault counselor provides the victim with hotline numbers and appointments. The victim should also receive an application for the victim's assistance program. Victims receive a follow-up phone call within 72 hours after the exam from an Emergency department nurse.


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