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Rape is an appalling crime,
an issue that has been increasing overall within the past few years. It has
been described as ‘a forceful sexual penetration without the consent of the
victim.’ Findings demonstrate one in 5 women and 1 in seventy-one men are raped
at a point during their lifetime. (Center for disease control and prevention
2010,2012). Gradually, as the rape statistics have increased in countries such
as the UK and India according to the Guardian reports, so have peoples rape myth beliefs. A
rape myth belief is an inaccurate belief concerning rape. For example, a common
rape myth belief is that the majority of victims will attempt to fight of their
attacker, however, research suggests that most victims display little or unable
to physically resist the attacker back (Loderick & Mason 2012).


To critically review and
discuss factors such as one’s gender, cultural affects and media affects, etc
one needs to understand the history as to why most of the myths started. It is
said to begin with the authority of males against women plus their right to
offend women as they were/are believed to be the property of men. In reviewing
the rape phenomenon, Susann Brownmiller an evolutionary biologist mentioned
that males progressed with the belief of biological craving which created the
stereotype and excuses ‘men will be men’ and therefore, justifying their sexual

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A study conducted by Allen,
M., Emmers, T., Gebhardt, L., & Giery, M. A. (1995) examines the connection
amongst the tolerance of rape myths and disclosure to pornography. This
meta-analysis and non-experimental approach displays nearly no outcome (Exposure
to pornography doesn’t grow myth acceptance), whilst experimental studies on
the other hand, do display positive effect (disclosure to pornography
does grow rape myth acceptance). However, the experimental reports do reveal
that violence in pornography have extra of an effect than non-violent
pornography. Non-violent pornography, still does, however displays an affect. Therefore,
this suggests that pornography has an affect on rape myths. Another study was
directed on the effects of media representations, which expose rape myths on males’
views on similar myths. This study was lead in 2 different sessions. In the
assessment, measures of one’s nature, motivation as well as their violence inclinations
were directed to 307 men. In the experimental period, 145 of these males had
been firstly exposed to 1 of 8 audiotaped types of a track. 1 of them displayed
the myth that rape is a result of a victim’s sexual encouragement. Afterwards, the
participants heard a 2nd passage which depicted either a
non-compliant or compliant sex. Afterwards their views of the 2nd
portrayal and their rape myth beliefs were taken into account. The findings of
the study portrayed backup the hypothesis, which was that media representations
suggest that rape is a result of the victim’s arousal and may also add to
male’s views in a alike rape myth belief.


Further rape myth beliefs
are associated to if the sufferer must be held blamable for their assault
through the individual’s behavior or clothing. If a woman wears short clothes,
she is automatically assumed to be easy and to want sexual attention towards
her, whereas, men are not viewed the same way, which is rather hypocritical and
unfortunate. McGee et al (2011)’s study mentions how over 29% participants
agree that women whom wear tights tops or short skirts invite rap, which
therefore indicates that a noteworthy amount of minority are probable to point
blame for rape according to the clothes or demeanor of the sufferer.


 Rape myths can be hugely mistaken assumptions
regarding how victims must act towards being abused with anybody whom did not
report the offense straightaway, being regarded in a negative manner. In a
research study conducted by McGee
et al, (2011), he used telephone interviews and discovered that 40.2% of the
3,210 partakers thought that claims of rape were habitually untrue. Which
therefore suggested that a great amount of minorities of possible jury associates
are pre-disposed to a no remorseful verdict in a care of rape. The sum
mentioned above emphasizes a huge difference amongst the ‘reality’ plus the
‘myth’ as well as reproduces results of studies before such as (Anderson 1997,
Pollard 1992). Data that has been recorded by (Kelly, Lovett & Regan,
2005), Suggests the height of fake reporting is amongst 8% in which an incident
is logged as a fake accusation through the police and 0.2% – cases in which
individuals get arrested for false accusations. McGee et al (2011)’s study, also
discovered great levels of imprecise thoughts regarding the incentive to rape. 40%
of participants thought that rape was an outcome of irresistible sexual want,
34% partakers did not agree to rape offering out of a longing for dominance or power.
These figures propose that huge minorities of associates are also probable to
have inexact opinions regarding the type of rape.


Additionally, regularly held assumptions relate to male
rape with thirty four percent of participants whom believe that a committer of
male rape would be gay as well as twenty two point five percent believe that
the victim was probably gay. This fake belief too, suggests a misinterpretation
that rape is more about sexual craving (thus, sexual orientation is
significant) in comparison to it being an act of aggression.  


Other researches, which have been conducted, investigate
which groups in societies have a bigger inclination to hold rape myths. Suarez
and Gadalla (2010) discovered that men have a larger inclination to hold rape
myths in comparison to women. This finding has also been shown in more studies
such as (e.g. Anderson, Cooper and Okamura, 1997; Anderson, 2004; Earnshaw,
Pitpitan, and Chaudoir, 2011).  If one
looks at dissimilarities in rape myths across a vast amount of age groups, Anderson
et al., (1997) discovered that participants whom were older had a greater tendency
to agree with rape myths in comparison to younger applicants.


One major assumption is that only women get raped,
however, researches done by the Rape crisis (England and Wales) show that
around 85,000 women and 12,000 men in England get raped every year.  


An individual’s culture in
an important factor to consider when it comes to rape myth beliefs. According
to research done by Dinesh Bhugra and Gurvinder Kalra (2013), sexual abuse
is has a greater tendency to occur more in cultures which believe in a female’s
social and cultural inferiority and a male’s superiority. For instance, in
South Africa merely the rape of women who were white was prosecuted under the
law however, sexual violence against black women was recognized as a way of
life. In India, child marriages involve sexual relationships with a girl whom
is not yet an adult. Likewise, sexual abuse is pondered rightful by young
adults in South Africa whom too, think that psychological stability is affected
damagingly by the lack of sexual intercourse.


Research has discovered that marital rape is an area
that has been come to less notice by the media; it is acknowledged as less
severe as well as less psychologically damaging in comparison to rape’s, that
take place outside marriage. A rape myth which has been proceeded throughout
the years is that husband’s can not rape their wives. (Burt,1980; Edwards et
al,2011;Martin, et al, 2007) . Statistics show how fifty four percent
marriages, in which wives are physically violence was the foremost or the only issue
(Weingourt, 2985). On the other hand, in twenty three percent marriages, sexual
abuse was the big or simply problem as well as in twenty two percent marriages;
sexual abuse and phsycial violence were equally the problem. This study is many
years old, however, shows how sexual abuse in marriages does occur even with
the absence of physical abuse. The lack of information acts as a difficulty to
the treatment as well as the identification.


A study was conducted by (McMahon S), to understand the bystander’s mind-sets as well as
their association with rape myths in a number of university scholars. Men whom reported
the outcomes showed a larger tolerance of rape myths, those whom were pledging
in sororities, athletes, individuals whom were not educated about rape and whom
did not know anyone who had been sexually abused. On the other hand, a greater inclination
to interfere as a onlooker was reported by ladies, those whom had been educated
about rape and those who knew somebody who had been sexually assaulted. Approval
of rape myths was negatively linked to eagerness to interfere. Therefore,
proving how education is a huge way to prevent or reduce rape myth beliefs.


To conclude, there are several unfortunate factors, which
lead to rape myth beliefs.  Myths and
beliefs are having severe impacts on judgment, which need to be addressed by
bringing awareness and education.




































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