An in-depth Overview of Rape and Rape Culture
April 15, 2013
Oris B. Buckner
Rape is a rather perplexing crime, and occurs by unpredictable circumstance and is comprised of intricate psychological and pathological construction. Rape has no single, specific characterization or fashion and the offenders are not typically an unfamiliar person to the victim. Rape culture is a theory often employed by feminists and those who research and major in women’s studies. This concept was developed to express a society wide idealism. Essentially, rape culture occurs when society deems rape and sexual violence as common and ordinary. Rape culture is an established mind-set, attitude, or approach in which rape, violence against women, and sexual assault are acceptable social norms. Additionally, little is done in the prison system to combat recidivism by rapists, and punishment is often much less severe than a drug dealer or burglar would receive. Rape culture is becoming a critical and substantial component in the amount of rapes committed; currently one woman is raped every two minutes. Despite this absence of societal awareness, rape has developed its own myths, classifications, and types and is not bound by socio-economic status, race, age, gender, or behaviors. Instead, rape is an equal opportunity offender, and can make anyone a helpless victim. Media outlets such as television shows, motion picture films, various genres of music, and even the nightly news portray an extremely bias depiction of rape and violence against women for society, and subsequently, rape culture is responsible for rape’s publicly accepted normalcy.
An in-depth Overview of Rape
Rape in the simplest terms, “is the criminal offense in which a victim is forced and coerced into an unwanted sexual activity” (Madden, 2003). This could include oral copulation, vaginal penetration, or sodomizing sex acts; and is not limited by definition to one act or the other. Nevertheless, the framework and pathology in the commission of rape is much more multifarious and complex than the definition alleges. Unfortunately, rape is often overlooked by society, and blaming the victim is commonplace. Rape conversely, does not categorize a certain type of victim. Myths and misconceptions about rape and sexual assault are rampant. There seems to be a breakdown in the societal understanding of sexual consent, and a right to say, “No.” Consequently, society’s sexist, misogynistic; rape culture is dangerously liable for this unfortunate widespread unawareness. The crime of rape simply can not be defined by one precise description; it is in-fact quite complex. The Crime Classification Manual or CCM begins by dividing rape and sexual assault into three categories based on the age of the victim. These categories are specific age groups and include adult, adolescent, and child victims. Adults are victims over the age of 18 and can give consent to sexual activities, if they so choose. Adolescents however, may not be able to give consent to sexual activity, depending on the jurisdiction; and range from the ages of 13 to 17. Children are younger than 13 years old and therefore, are not able to give consent to sexual activity. The CCM classifies the act of rape into 11 different types with various sub-categories. These defining categories “illustrate the variety in rape crimes and aide in the difficult prosecution of the crime itself" (Madden, 2003). Although the legal definition of rape varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, a great deal of research is used to label and specify the different types of rape. For example, In the Rape Investigation Handbook, researchers J. Savino and B. Turvey identified four categories of rape, which are “legal, clinical, moral, and political” (Savino, & Turvey, 2005). Clinical definitions are specific to providing treatment for the victim to overcome the trauma of rape, and secondly, to study...
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