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RAPE MYTHS AND BELIEFS. WHAT IS A MYTH?  MYTHS PRESENT A REALITY THAT SEEMS PLAUSABLE.  HOWEVER, THE VERY CONCEPT MYTH IMPLIES AN UNTRUTH AND AN ALTERNATIVE.

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Presentation on theme: "RAPE MYTHS AND BELIEFS. WHAT IS A MYTH?  MYTHS PRESENT A REALITY THAT SEEMS PLAUSABLE.  HOWEVER, THE VERY CONCEPT MYTH IMPLIES AN UNTRUTH AND AN ALTERNATIVE."— Presentation transcript:

1 RAPE MYTHS AND BELIEFS

2 WHAT IS A MYTH?  MYTHS PRESENT A REALITY THAT SEEMS PLAUSABLE.  HOWEVER, THE VERY CONCEPT MYTH IMPLIES AN UNTRUTH AND AN ALTERNATIVE REALITY

3 HOW DOES ONE DEFINE RAPE MYTH? BURT DEFINES RAPE MYTH AS: 1.PREJUDICAL 2.STEREOTYPED, OR 3.FALSE BELIEFS ABOUT 4.RAPE, RAPE VICTIMS, AND RAPISTS (BURT, 1980:217 [JOURNAL OF Personality and Social psychology, Vol 38, no2 pg ])

4 HOW WOULD I DEFINE RAPE MYTH? A NOTION BASED MORE ON UNCRITICALLY HELD LONG STANDING BELIEFS (TRADITION) THAN ON DEMOSTRATABLE FACTS. ILL FOUNDED BELIEFS BASED ON MISINFORMATION AND UNINFORMED PERCEPTIONS

5 HOW BEST TO APPROACH MYTHS RAPE MYTHS ARE BELIEFS ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT THAT ARE WROUGHT WITH PROBLEMS. SOME MYTHS ARE JUST COMPLETELY AND BLATANTLY UNTRUE. HOWEVER, WHAT OFTEN HAPPENS IS THAT BELIEFS SURROUNDING CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, SITUATIONS, AND CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED TO RAPE ARE APPLIED TO ALL CASES AND SITUATIONS UNCRITICALLY. THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH RAPE MYTHS ARE TO CONFRONT THEM HONESTLY AND FRANKLY. DON'T DENY THE EXISTENCE OF MYTHS AND DON'T DISMISS ONE UNGROUNDED STATEMENT WITH ANOTHER.

6 Identified Rape Myths (1)  SUPPORT FROM FAMILY MEMBERS IS ESSENTIAL TO THE VICTIM'S RECOVERY. A VICTIM SERVICES STUDY FOUND THAT EMOTIONAL AND PRACTICAL SUPPORT OFFERED BY FAMILY AND FRIENDS DOES NOT NECESSARILY SPEED THE RECOVERY OF RAPE VICTIMS. HOWEVER, WHEN THE PEOPLE THAT A VICTIM RELIES ON BEHAVE IN UN SUPPORTIVE OR NEGATIVE WAYS, THE VICTIM FACES A LONGER, MORE DIFFICULT RECOVERY PROCESS. THESE NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS INCLUDE WORRYING MORE ABOUT ONESELF THAT THE VICTIM, BLAMING THE VICTIM, WITHDRAWING FROM THE VICTIM OR BEHAVING IN A HOSTILE MANNER, AND ATTACHING A STIGMA TO THE RAPE AND DEMANDING SECRECY FROM THE VICTIM.

7 Identified Rape Myths (2)  A VICTIM SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED FROM DWELLING ON THE RAPE. SHE SHOULD "FORGET IT". ALL VICTIMS SHOULD BE OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT THE ASSAULT WITH THOSE PERSONALLY CLOSE TO THEM & KNOWLEDGEABLE PROFESSIONALS. VICTIMS WHO ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT THE RAPE HAVE A MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TIME RECOVERING FORM IT.

8 Identified Rape Myths (3)  MEN CAN'T BE RAPED. THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY 20,000 SEXUAL ASSAULTS OF MALES AGES 12 AND OVER IN THE UNITED STATES IN (BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS, 1992)

9 Identified Rape Myths (4)  WOMEN OFTEN MAKE FALSE REPORTS OF RAPE. ACCORDING TO FBI CRIME STATISTICS, LESS THAN 2 PERCENT OF THE REPORTED RAPE CASES ARE FOUND TO BE FALSE. THERE ARE NO MORE FALSE REPORTS OF RAPE THAN THERE ARE OF ANY OTHER CRIME.

10 Identified Rape Myths (5)  ONLY "BAD" WOMEN GET RAPED. NO OTHER CRIME VICTIM IS LOOKED UPON WITH THE DEGREE OF SUSPICION AND DOUBT AS A VICTIM OF RAPE. WHY? IF WE BELIEVE THE VICTIM WAS RESPONSIBLE (SHE PUT HERSELF IN AN UNSAFE POSITION, SUCH AS BEING OUT LATE AT NIGHT, DRINKING ALCOHOL, DRESSING IN A CERTAIN WAY, OR "LEADING ON" THE RAPIST), THEN WE ARE ABLE TO FEEL SAFER. BUT, WITHOUT CONSENT, NO MEANS NO, NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION OR CIRCUMSTANCES.

11 Identified Rape Myths (6)  RAPE ONLY OCCURS OUTSIDE AND AT NIGHT. RAPE CAN AND DOES OCCUR ANYTIME AND ANYPLACE. MANY RAPES OCCUR DURING THE DAY AND IN THE VICTIMS' HOMES.

12 Identified Rape Myths (7)  SEXUAL ASSAULT USUALLY OCCURS BETWEEN STRANGERS. BY SOME ESTIMATES, OVER 70% OF RAPE VICTIMS KNOW THEIR ATTACKERS. THE RAPIST MAY BE A RELATIVE, FRIEND, CO-WORKER, DATE OR OTHER ACQUAINTANCE.

13 Identified Rape Myths (8)  NO WOMAN OR MAN CAN BE RAPED AGAINST HER OR HIS WILL. ANY PERSON COULD PREVENT RAPE IF HE OR SHE REALLY WANTED TO. IN 1991, 14% OF THE RAPES REPORTED TO THE ORANGE COUNTY RAPE CRISIS CENTER INVOLVED THE USE OF A WEAPON. 74% INVOLVED PHYSICAL FORCE AND/OR THREATS OF FORCE. WOMEN ARE OFTEN PHYSICALLY WEAKER THAN MEN AND ARE NOT TAUGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES OR TO BE PHYSICALLY AGGRESSIVE. FURTHERMORE, SOME WOMEN ARE NOT WILLING TO HURT ANOTHER PERSON, ESPECIALLY IF THE OFFENDER IS SOMEONE THEY KNOW.

14 Identified Rape Myths (9)  ONLY YOUNG, PRETTY WOMEN ARE ASSAULTED. WOMEN, AND MEN, OF ALL AGES HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF RAPE RANGING FROM. INFANCY TO OLD AGE, AND APPEARANCE IS SELDOM A CONSIDERATION.

15 Identified Rape Myths (10)  WOMEN ENCOURAGE RAPE BY THE WAY THEY DRESS. DRESS IS A RESULT OF CULTURALLY PRODUCED STYLE. ANY CLOTHING STYLE SEEMS TO BE DEFINED AS PROVOCATIVE.

16 Identified Rape Myths (11)  MOST RAPES INVOLVE BLACK MEN RAPING WHITE WOMEN. THE MAJORITY OF RAPES ARE SAME RACE; SOMEWHERE AROUND 3 TO 4% ARE NOT SAME RACE.

17 Identified Rape Myths (12)  WOMEN INCITE MEN TO RAPE. RESEARCH HAS FOUND THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF RAPES ARE PLANNED. RAPE IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE RAPIST ALONE. WOMEN, CHILDREN AND MEN OF EVERY AGE, PHYSICAL TYPE AND DEMEANOR ARE RAPED. OPPORTUNITY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR DETERMINING WHEN A GIVEN RAPIST WILL RAPE.

18 Identified Rape Myths (13)  WOMEN "CRY" RAPE. ONLY ABOUT TWO PERCENT OF REPORTED RAPE AND RELATED SEX OFFENCES ARE FALSE (APPROXIMATELY THE SAME RATE OF FALSE REPORTS FOR OTHER CRIMES). ALTHOUGH MANY CASES ARE DROPPED, THIS SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH FALSE REPORTING.

19 Identified Rape Myths (14)  SEXUAL ASSAULT USUALLY OCCURS BETWEEN STRANGERS. BY SOME ESTIMATES, OVER 70% OF RAPE VICTIMS KNOW THEIR ATTACKERS. THE RAPIST MAY BE A RELATIVE, FRIEND, CO-WORKER, DATE OR OTHER ACQUAINTANCE.

20 Identified Rape Myths (15)  RAPE IS SEX. RAPE IS EXPERIENCED BY THE VICTIMS AS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE. 1 OUT OF EVERY 8 ADULT WOMEN HAS BEEN A VICTIM OF FORCIBLE RAPE. (NATIONAL VICTIM CENTER AND CRIME VICTIMS RESEARCH AND TREATMENT CENTER, 1992) WHILE SEXUAL ATTRACTION MAY BE INFLUENTIAL, POWER, CONTROL AND ANGER ARE THE PRIMARY MOTIVES. MOST RAPISTS HAVE ACCESS TO A SEXUAL PARTNER.

21 Identified Rape Myths (16)  RAPE IS AN IMPULSIVE, UNCONTROLLABLE ACT OF SEXUAL GRATIFICATION. MOST RAPE ARE SPONTANEOUS ACTS OF PASSION WHERE THE ASSAILANT CANNOT CONTROL HIM/HERSELF. RAPE IS A PREMEDITATED ACT OF VIOLENCE, NOT A SPONTANEOUS ACT OF PASSION. 71% OF RAPES ARE PLANNED IN ADVANCE. 60% OF CONVICTED RAPISTS WERE MARRIED OR HAD REGULAR SEXUAL PARTNERS AT THE TIME OF THE ASSAULT.

22 Identified Rape Myths (17)  RAPE IS A CRIME OF PASSION. RAPE IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE, NOT PASSION. IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO HURT AND HUMILIATE, USING SEX AS THE WEAPON.

23 Identified Rape Myths (18)  THERE IS A "RIGHT WAY" TO RESPOND TO A RAPE SITUATION. SINCE RAPE IS LIFE- THREATENING AND EACH RAPIST HAS HIS OWN PATTERN, THE BEST THING A VICTIM CAN DO IS FOLLOW HER INSTINCTS AND OBSERVE ANY CUES FROM THE RAPIST. IF THE VICTIM ESCAPES ALIVE SHE HAS DONE THE RIGHT THING.

24 WHY DO MYTHS ABOUT RAPE EXIST?  HISTORICAL RELATIONSHIPS  LAW  REINFORCEMENT THROUGH CULTURE  GO UNCHALLENGED OR TAKEN AS TRUTH  INSTITUTIONAL OR STRUCTURAL ARRANGEMENTS (E.G. JOB MARKET)  PATRIARCHY

25 MISRREPRESENTATION OF RAPE SERVE WHAT PURPOSE?  PROVIDES GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT RAPE TO MEMBERS OF A CULTURE  WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO BE VICTIMIZED  WHO IS THE OFFENDER LIKELY TO BE

26 MISRREPRESENTATION OF RAPE SERVE WHAT PURPOSE?  BEHAVIORS OR SITUATIONS THAT ARE DEEMED INAPPROPRIATE OR APPROPRIATE SEX  CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS – SOCIAL ORDER AS IS  DOMINATE/SUBORDINATE POWER RELAIONSHIP IS RREINFORCED


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