Because We Live in a Rape Culture
Rape culture is an 11-year-old girl being gang raped by 20 men and the neighbors telling reporters that she, “Dressed old for her age.”
Rape Culture is frat boys at Yale marching and shouting, “No means yes, yes means anal!”
Rape culture is politicians making uninformed comments about, “legitimate rape.”
Rape culture is telling girls that boys hit them because they like them.
Rape culture is the media painting rapists as fallen heroes and victims as whores.
Because These are the Statistics
Because Rape Myths Exist
Rape is a crime of sexual passion and a woman can push a man and his natural desires too far
A person can resist rape if they really want to
A woman who dresses provocatively is “asking for it.”
A woman who behaves “badly” deserves to be raped
All of these statements are false, but they all serve to provide justification for rape and place all blame on the victim. The belief in victim blaming is what allows sexual violence to become a normal part of any society because it reinforces the acceptance of rape as a form of punishment and correction.
Because Rape Myths Cause Damage
The belief in rape myths increases the likelihood that a man will accept sexual aggression as part of the natural order (Morry and Winkler, 2001).
One major cause of sexual violence is the acceptance of rape myths (Chiroro, Bohner, Viki, and Jarvis,2004)
A correlation has been shown between rape myth acceptance and sexual violence toward women (Bohner, Siebler, and Schmelcher, 2006; Lonsway and Fitzgerald, 1994).
Scores on measures of rape myth acceptance are higher among perpetrators of sexual aggression (Mouilso and Calhoun, 2013).
Because Education is Power
Rape myth education can decrease the likelihood of sexual assault (Lanier, 2001).
Rape prevention intervention had been shown to decrease rape myth acceptance and increase victim empathy in college men (Stephens and George,2009)
Education, specifically a course on women and violence, impacts college student attitudes toward rape and decreases rape myth acceptance (Currier and Carlson, 2009).
When we educate ourselves and others, when we speak up for the oppressed and take the power from the abusers, and when we stop reinforcing rape culture, we will change the world.