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Rape Culture Essay

3189 words - 13 pages

In the United States and especially worldwide the cruel act of rape continues to be a growing epidemic and does not appear to be declining. Sexual violence is clearly a national problem in need of greater governmental response. The national Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently funded the center for Policy Research to conduct the Violence Against Women Survey (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998). The study, a nationally representative telephone poll conducted between 1995 and 1996, questioned 16, 000 women and men about their experiences with stalking, physical violence, and rape. Five questions were used to screen for rape victimization. Results indicated that 14.8% of women and 2.1% of men reported completed rape at some point in their lives, with 54% of all rapes occurring before the age of 18 (Renzetti 119). While these statistics are devastating, the prevalence of rape on college campuses is equally alarming. Large-scale research studies (Kahn, Andreoli Mathie, & Torgler, 1994;Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987) have revealed that between 14% and 27.5% of college women have been sexually assaulted (Humphrey 1313). With such provocative statistics for the prevalence of rape it is apparent that a rape culture does exist in the United States. In an attempt at working towards plausible solutions to deconstruct rape culture, it is important to look at the factors that facilitate its existence. Compelling research suggests that socialization of men, athletic teams and fraternities, the impact of male sexual request style onperceptions of sexual interactions, and popular music preferences, all contribute to rape culture.Review of LiteratureThe Masculine Self-Christopher T. Kilmartin utilizes biological, psychoanalytic, social learning, and cultural learning perspectives to expound on notions of males and gender. Kilmartin's objectives for the book appear to be three-fold. First he sought to introduce the reader to contemporary concepts of gender and masculinity. Second, he wanted to bring masculine gender role study into the mainstream of psychology. Lastly, he wanted to organize and summarize the available research on men and masculinity, by identifying themes and issues common to many men and reviewing the available scholarship in each area.For the purposes of my thesis, I will be utilizing Kilmartin's book to shed light men's socialization and the rape supporting cultural messages that men receive growing up. Kilmartin's research is both qualitative and quantitative in looking at the various issues that men deal with throughout their lives. The author encourages a multidimensional approach to looking at or assessing male behavior and ultimately understanding men."The Impact of Male Sexual Request Style on Perceptions of Sexual Interactions: The Mediational Role of Beliefs About Female Sexual Desire"-Pamela Regan, of the Department of Psychology, at California State,...

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