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King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 1 Chapter 17 Sexual Victimization For use with text, Human Sexuality Today, 5 th edition. Bruce M. King Slides by Callista Lee
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 2 Rape in the United States Nationwide, 16 rapes are attempted each hour. The U.S. has a rape rate 3 times greater than Sweden or Denmark, 5 times that of Canada, 7 times that of France, 13 times that of England and 20 times that of Japan or Israel. About 20% of girls and 12% of boys have been victims of sexual abuse before age 13. The chances are that you already know or will know a victim of a sexual assault.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 3 Rape rates around the world Rates are per 100,000 women ages 15 to 59
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 4 Defining rape and sexual assault Rape is non-consensual oral, anal or vaginal penetration obtained by force, by threat of bodily harm or when the victim is incapable of giving consent. State laws recognize a wide range of sexual assault crimes, including forcible rape. The word rape comes from the Latin, rapere, meaning “to steal” or “carry off.”
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 5 Rape in historical perspective In biblical times, rape was viewed as a crime against a man’s property; his daughter or wife. The Old Testament (Deuteronomy 22:23-28) describes different punishments for rape. – If a married woman was raped, it was assumed she wanted it; both she and the rapist were put to death. – If an unmarried woman was raped in a situation in which her cries for help could not be heard she either had to marry the rapist or her father could demand payment for “damaged goods.”
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 6 More recently… It was not until the 13 th century that the distinction between raping a married woman and raping a virgin was dropped; also dropped was the practice of forcing the rapist and victim to marry. Throughout history, men of victorious armies have raped the women of defeated nations. Wartime rapes are generally vicious gang rapes done to demonstrate power.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 7 Rape statistics 22% of women reported that they had been forced to have sex on at least one occasion. Mary Koss, a leading researcher, estimates that a woman living in the U.S. has a 1-in-5 chance of being raped in her lifetime. Women aged 16 – 24 are the most frequently reported victims of rape in the U.S. but victims range in age from infancy to over 80 years old.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 8 Who is raped and by whom? The younger the rape victim, the more likely that the attacker is an acquaintance or relative. For women 18 and older, 67% are raped by an acquaintance. Rapes by strangers are more likely to be reported than rapes by acquaintances. Rapists look for vulnerable women (and girls); physically (alone, disabled, drunk, etc.) or emotionally (non-assertive, eager to help strangers, etc.).
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 9 Some characteristics of rapists Most are young men who repeat the crime. The large majority have no more history of mental illness or low IQ than men convicted of other crimes. The most violent rapists do tend to have higher than normal testosterone levels. Many rapists have available sexual partners; sexual gratification is not their only and perhaps not their primary motive.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 10 More about rapists Dysfunctional and/or abusive childhood experiences are often found among rapists. Many convicted rapists have low self-esteem and difficulty forming intimate relationships. Rapists may not have internal controls such as fear, guilt or sympathy. Men who force sex on women tend to have adversarial relationships with women in general. Rapists often believe they did nothing wrong and caused no real harm to their victims.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 11 Date rape Many people attribute more blame to the victim when a rape is committed by an acquaintance, and especially if it is in a dating situation. Only about 5% of such rapes are reported to police; victims often blame themselves for the rapist’s behavior. Nearly half never tell anyone. There is generally less violence in acquaintance rapes vs. stranger rapes.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 12 Date rape drugs Alcohol is the most commonly used “date rape” drug; most people are unaware that it is illegal to have sex with a person who is “under the influence” and cannot provide legal consent. Rohypnol (roofies) and GHB are odorless, tasteless drugs dropped into a victim’s drink. Victims quickly become intoxicated, may pass out, and have no memory of events while under the influence of these drugs.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 13 Sexual coercion Verbal, emotional and sexual pressure to force unwanted sexual activity is considered sexual coercion, and is illegal in most cases. The law uses a “reasonable woman” standard to determine is sex was consensual in such circumstances. Both men and women can be victims of sexual coercion. Men tend to be more physical and women more verbal, when being coercive.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 14 Token resistance and compliance Some unwanted sexual experiences can be prevented with improved communication, especially if sexual intentions are discussed early in the date. Token resistance is when women say “no” even when they mean “yes,” to avoid appearing too “easy.” Compliance is agreeing to sexual activity when you do not really want to.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 15 What can we do about it? When you hear “no,” assume that your partner means it. If they meant “yes,” they will have to explain why they were being unclear. Avoid the use of alcohol, especially if you have not been clear about your sexual intentions. If you do not feel that your “no” is being heard, leave the situation and/or get help. Address victim-blaming and rape-promoting attitudes in young people as well as your peers and elders.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 16 Rape in marriage The early American justice system followed English common law that a man could not be considered guilty of raping his wife; sexual consent was considered part of marriage. Today, all 50 states make marital rape a crime, but about half require that there be evidence of violence before they will prosecute. Marital rapes are often more violent than rapes by other acquaintances.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 17 Cross-cultural perspectives Over 40 societies have been found to be free of rape; over 50 have been found to be rape-prone. Rape-prone societies like the U.S. promote male aggression, treat women as inferior and demean their nurturant roles, and view relationships between men and women as adversarial. Sexually aggressive behavior is lowest among Asian-Americans, who come from a collectivist orientation in which interpersonal conflict is minimal and rape is viewed as a crime against the group.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 18 Gang Rape In prisons, weaker men are often gang-raped by other male inmates. Drunken fraternity members have been responsible for many college gang rapes. Individual responsibility is diffused when a person is a member of a group; these rapes tend to be quite violent. Gang rapists tend to be younger than rapists to who act alone.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 19 Statutory rape These laws make it illegal for an adult to have sexual intercourse with anyone under the “age of consent,” which varies from state to state, from ages When both partners are minors, the difference in age is often considered. The mentally handicapped are also protected by these laws, as being unable to provide informed, legal consent.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 20 Same-sex assault and coercion Both the perpetrators and victims of prison rape (as well as rape outside of prison) otherwise consider themselves to be heterosexual; their consensual sex is heterosexual. About half of male victims were assaulted during childhood; many were gang raped by boys they knew % of gay men report being raped in a dating situation.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 21 Can a man be raped by a woman? Certainly adult women can sexually assault young boys, but what about adults? Although rare, there are some women who will kidnap (with drugs, weapons, or accomplices) a man and then force various sexual acts on him, including intercourse. Victims suffer in all the ways that women victims do, but with additional issues regarding masculinity.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 22 Psychodynamic theories (1) Rape is an act of violence; sex is the weapon. Power rapes – premeditated attacks reassure the rapist of his sexual adequacy, identity, and strength. These rapes tend to be long-lasting. The rapist is usually awkward in interpersonal relationships. Anger rapes – unplanned assaults express hostility at the victim or because of some wrong he feels has been done to him. Attacks are of short duration but violent.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 23 Psychodynamic theories (2) Sadistic rapes (5% of rapes) – erotic arousal by physical force and infliction of pain on the victim; may not be satisfied if the victim does not resist. These rapes are of long duration. Opportunistic rapes – primary, initial motive is sexual but the rapist’s distorted attitudes and beliefs about sex lead to their not “hearing” the woman’s “no.” They rape impulsively, as on a date. Their only anger is at the victim’s resistance.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 24 Feminist (sexual script) theories Rape is most common in societies that glorify violence by men, particularly when the society is also sexually repressive. Feminist theory holds that the traditional sexual script supports and condones male sexual coercion against women. Men who rape are likely to behave in stereotypic gender roles (dominant, competitive, see women as adversaries). These men feel that they are entitled to sex.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 25 Social learning theories Whatever type of family life a child experiences while growing up will be accepted as normal and he (or she) is likely to model that same behavior as an adult. Men who have learned extremely conservative stereotypes about relationships between men and women tend to believe myths about rape that legitimize violence against women.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 26 Evolutionary theory Sociobiological theory assumes that men have a genetic tendency to rape. Sex with many partners assure that a man will maximize his reproductive potential; it is believed that evolution has favored sexually aggressive men by their producing more offspring. This does not explain why men rape children, old women, people with disabilities, etc.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 27 Comprehensive theories Today, most researchers recognize that there are probably multiple paths to sexual aggression, motivated by both sex and power to differing degrees. – Date rape may be viewed as the use of power to get sex, for example. Six predictors (Malamuth): sexual arousal, dominance motivation, hostility toward women, aggressive toward women, antisocial personality, and promiscuous experience.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 28 Could someone I know rape? Researchers can’t answer that but there is evidence that with the right combination of factors, most men can become sexually aroused by violent sex. Normal men (not convicted of rape) who are shown a video rape scene, especially if they’ve been drinking, and if a woman has made them angry prior to viewing, will respond with arousal levels similar to those of convicted rapists.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 29 Misconceptions about rape Myth #1: Women who are raped usually provoked it by their dress and behavior. Myth #2: Women subconsciously want to be raped. Myth #3: No woman can be raped if she truly does not want it. Myth #4: Women frequently make false accusations of rape. Each of the statements above is false.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 30 Reactions to rape Many victims suffer long-term stress-related illnesses. Suicide rates are high. Post-rape posttraumatic stress disorder – Acute phase continues for several weeks; physical recovery, feelings of guilt, self-blame, depression. – Long-term reorganization takes many years; regaining a sense of control of her (his) life (move to a new home or change jobs); recovery of sexual self-image; attempts at normal romantic relationships.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 31 Reactions of the partner Male partners often blame themselves for failing to protect their loved-one. If the partner and/or family members believe in rape myths, recovery for the victim is especially difficult. Well-meaning friends and family may try to take care of the victim by making her decisions but one of her most important steps in recovery is to regain a sense of control over her life.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 32 Reporting a rape to police Most large cities have a rape victim advocate program; specially trained police and medical personnel handle rape cases and a victim’s advocate offers support and counseling. To maximize the chance of a successful prosecution, it is important for the victim to have a “rape kit” medical examination as soon as possible, for the collection of evidence.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 33 Preventing rape Legal deterrents – more police on patrol, better lighting, tougher laws that are more rigorously enforced. Educating potential victims – avoid dangerous settings, don’t advertise that you live alone, learn effective self-defense and verbal assertiveness methods. Social systems – change social attitudes about men/female relationships and violence.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 34 Sexual harassment Guidelines have been established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the United States (see next slide). Courts have refined the definitions of sexual harassment; sexual harassment is generally a matter of civil rather than criminal law. Behavior is considered harassment when it persists after the recipient has said it is unwanted; applies to both men and women.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 35 Abbreviated EEOC definition: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature…when (a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of employment, (b) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions, or (c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individuals work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 36 Harassment of women at work Pressure for dates or relationships (13%) Sexual comments (28%) Sexual posturing (24%) Sexual touching (17%) Sexual assault (1%) Sexual harassment usually occurs in a relationship where there is unequal power (employer-employee or teacher-student), making victims very vulnerable.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 37 Effects of sexual harassment Feelings of helplessness, humiliation, shame, anger and lower self-esteem are common among victims. Many are fired or feel that they have to quit their jobs. Victims are often blamed for ruining the perpetrator’s reputation. Reporting sexual harassment may put the individual at risk for retaliation.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 38 Some causes of sexual harassment Research shows that the more a man believes in traditional stereotypical roles for men and women, the more accepting he is of sexual harassment. Unlike women, most men cannot distinguish sexual attraction from power as motives for harassment. A man may misinterpret how a woman is dressed or behaving as interest in him.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 39 Sexual harassment at college 80% of teen girls report sexual having been sexually harassed by peers. 30% of college women have been harassed by an instructor. Victims may feel so compromised that they change majors or drop out of school. Title IX of the U.S. Education Code requires that schools can be held liable if they ignore sexual harassment on their campuses.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 40 Dealing with sexual harassment Only 5% of victims take formal action. Often prevented if the recipient is assertive at the first sign of inappropriate behavior. Giving the harasser a firm “no” is expressing your right to your personal dignity. Communicate with the harasser, document incidents and list witnesses. If the behavior does not stop, report it to the company or school authority.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 41 Sexual abuse of children 17% of women and 12% of men report having been victims of sexual touching (or worse) by an older person before they reached age 13. For about 15% of victims, the abuse continues for longer than a year. The emotional effects of child sexual abuse vary widely and will depend upon the type and severity of the abuse.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 42 What is child sexual abuse? Sexual contact with children usually involves fondling of the genitals but 10% of girls and 30% of boys had been forced to have oral sex; 14% girls – vaginal sex; 18% boys – anal sex. The power differences between adults and children in Western culture makes sexual consent between them impossible. Sexual abuse is a social concept; in some cultures adult-child sex appears harmless.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 43 Who molests children? (1) The majority (80%) of molesters are adults known to the child, and are often relatives. Preference molesters – relatively uninterested in adult partners, and if they demonstrate repeated preference for children they are considered paraphilic (Ch. 16). Situational molesters – primary sexual interest is with adult partners; considers his/her urges toward children abnormal but indulges in these behaviors in times of stress.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 44 Who molests children? (2) The personally immature pedophile is the most common; never developed social skills needed to initiate and maintain adult relationships. The regressive pedophile engages in sexual relations with children in an impulsive manner, often with a child who is a stranger. He has a history of normal adult sexual relationships. Aggressive pedophiles are aroused by inflicting injuries on children and show other antisocial behaviors.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 45 Who molests children? (3) Heterosexual men account for 95% of cases of molestation of girls. Most molesters of boys do not have homosexual attractions to adults and do not consider themselves as homosexual. Many are shy, passive and unassertive; many were victims of molestation as children. Many incestuous fathers are domineering and controlling within their own families but appear respectable and law-abiding to others.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 46 Female perpetrators Women commit at least 5% of abuse against girls and at least 20% against boys. These women vary in many ways but are often young (20s-30s), needy, manipulative, have been victims of prolonged sexual abuse in their own childhood, have troubled lives currently and average to low intelligence. They are almost always known to the children they molest, often their own children.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 47 Effects of abuse on children (1) There is no single post-sexual abuse syndrome for victims of child abuse; effects vary widely. Children with no detectable problems (1/3) Children with a few symptoms – anxiety, low self-esteem Children with major psychiatric symptoms – severe depression Children with posttraumatic stress disorder and other major psychiatric disorders
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 48 Effects of abuse on children (2) Some children are more resilient than others, but in general, the greatest harm is seen when the abuse was frequent or long-lasting, involved force, threats, involved penetration, where the abuser is the father or step-father and/or where there is little support from the mother. Revictimization adds to emotional distress. About half never tell their parents or other adults about the abuse.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 49 Effects of abuse on children (3) Adults molested as children report anxiety, fear, panic disorders, suicidal behaviors, sexual dysfunction, drug/alcohol abuse, eating disorders and other long-term effects. Like victims of rape, victims of child molestation have a tendency to blame themselves; self-blame is associated with more problems in adulthood.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 50 Recovered (false) memories False Memory Syndrome Foundation –Many disbelievers of repressed memories are concerned that children (and adults) can be led to falsely remember serious attacks. Research indicates that a balanced view be taken; some recovered (formerly repressed) memories are true, while others are false.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 51 Incest Sexual activity between relatives too closely related to marry is illegal in all 50 states. Polyincestuous families – multiple abusers and victims within the family and across generations; in these families much of the abuse is done by females. Sibling incest – if there is no betrayal of trust and the children are not traumatized it can be seen as just “sex play.”
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 52 Cross-cultural perspectives In times past, in some cultures, brothers and sisters married within royal families. Inbreeding between cousins can concentrate wealth within powerful families. In many Muslim areas, ¼ - ½ of all marriages are between persons who are second cousins. Some Hindus prefer uncle – niece marriages. Marriage between relatives is also common in China and sub-Saharan Africa.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 53 Parent-child incest (1) Nearly 80% of arrests involve father (or step- father) – daughter incest. Fathers who commit incest are often shy, publicly devoted family men who appear quite average, but in their own homes they are very domineering, authoritarian, selfish and jealous. More than 2/3 of mothers do not try to protect their daughters; they were often victims of incest and/or fear being abandoned by their husbands.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 54 Parent-child incest (2) The failure of the mother to protect her child can be just as traumatizing to the child as the molestation itself. Mother-son incest is usually found in disrupted families; mother seeks emotional and physical closeness from her son rather than adults. Most abusive grandfathers have also been abusive fathers.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 55 Effects of incest on children Father-child incest generally involves frequent, long-term abuse and in many cases there is vaginal and/or anal penetration. Recall that these are the factors that tend to cause the greatest long-term harm. Adolescent victims not only blame themselves but others may also blame them, not understanding why they didn’t just say “no.”
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 56 Preventing and dealing with abuse Educate yourself and educate your child Being open to discussions about sex with your child increases the chance they will confide in you if a molester approaches them. Contact police even if you do not intend to press charges. Watch for significant changes in your child’s behavior that may indicate that he or she is feeling stressed.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 57 Prosecution of sexual offenders (1) Almost half of all reported cases are dismissed before trial due to insufficient evidence; most often dismissed are acquaintance rape cases. Rape-shield laws prevent the victim from feeling that she (or he) is on trial for their previous sexual behaviors. DNA testing technology has allowed for more definitive identification of perpetrators as well as prevention of false convictions.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 58 Prosecution of sexual offenders (2) The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed videotaped testimony to be used in child abuse cases even though the 6 th Amendment allows the accused a face-to-face confrontation with his (her) accuser. Sexual predator laws – offenders can be held beyond their terms if it is shown that they are likely to commit sexual assault again. Megan’s law – Sex offenders must register and report there home addresses.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 59 Therapy for the perpetrators Men who commit rape usually deny or minimize their offenses, making therapy difficult. Programs generally combine cognitive techniques with traditional behavioral techniques as well as anti-androgen hormone treatment to reduce sex drive. A family systems approach is used in incest cases.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 60 Therapy for victims Initial therapy may have to be geared to their posttraumatic stress. Abuse-focused cognitive therapy has been effective in reducing fear and distress when recalling traumatic events. Eventually, the victim must overcome any self- blame; involvement of the victim’s family can be very important in therapeutic success.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 61 Resources Don’t put off seeking counseling for yourself or your child; the sooner the better, but it is never too late. See the Resources section at the end of your textbook. Call “information” and ask for the local child abuse center or rape hotline. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
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