Chapter 15
Sexual Victimization
Why Is Our Rape Rate So High?
Rape: nonconsensual oral, anal, or vaginal
penetration obtained by force, threat, or when
victim is incapable of giving consent
•
U.S. rape rate higher than other countries for
many years
Why?
Historical Perspective
Rape Statistics
•
•
•
•
Rape is possibly most underreported crime in
U.S.
U.S. rape rates peaked in 1992 and declined
13% to 22% women forced into sex at least
once
Women are more likely to report rape by
stranger than by familiar other
Who Is Raped and by Whom?
Did you
know…
Women aged 16 – 24
are the most
frequently reported
victims
Victims range from
infancy to over 80
years old, and include
boys and men
Younger the victim,
more likely attacker is
acquaintance or
relative
Young people least
likely to fight back or
realize that they have
been victimized
Relationships Between Rapists and Their
Victims
Some Characteristics of Rapists
•
•
•
•
•
Young repeat-offender male
Typical range of IQ and incidence of
psychiatric illness
Lack of internal controls such as fear, guilt,
or sympathy
Strong, negative, hostile attitudes about
women
Lack of empathy for victim’s perspective
Developmental History of Rapists
Two developmental factors:
• Caregiver inconsistency
• Sexual abuse in family
How do you think these factors influence the
development of rapists?
Personal Reflections
Have you ever used sexual coercion to have sex
with someone when she or he did not want to?
If so, why do you suppose you act like this? What
effects might your behavior have on those you
coerce?
Date Rape is Real Rape!
For victims of rape or child molestation, just
listening to a lecture about sexual abuse
can bring back bad memories and
upsetting emotions.
Date Rape
Date rape: rape by date
or acquaintance
• Victim characteristics
• Reporting incidence
by victim type
• Under- and nonreporting
• Common date rape
drugs
Sexual Coercion
Sexual coercion: act of forcing another person
into unwanted sexual activity by physical,
emotional or verbal pressure
• Illegal in many states
• “Reasonable woman” standard used to
determine if sex was consensual or coerced
Date Rape and Sexual Coercion
Role of communication: Some unwanted
sexual experiences due to poor communication
skills
Token resistance: women say “no” even when
they mean “yes,” to avoid appearing too “easy”
Compliance: agreeing to sexual activity when you
do not really want to
Personal Reflections
Men: Have you ever ignored a date or
acquaintance saying “no” to your sexual
advances? Why?
Women: Have you ever said “no” to a man’s
sexual advances when you did not mean it?
Why?
If you answered “yes” what are some possible
repercussions of your behavior? Is there a
better way to communicate about your
sexual desires?
How Some Men Learn to Ignore a
Woman’s “NO”
Men are likely to ignore
“NO” when they have
had experiences with
women who:
•
offer token resistance
• have engage in
compliance
Does this give men with
such experiences
permission to rape?
Personal Reflections
Is a man entitled to sexual intercourse when a
woman agrees to go out with him, or
because he spent money on her, or because
she went to his house or apartment, or
because she engaged in necking with him?
Men: If you answered “yes,” do you
communicate these expectations to your
dates before you go out?
Rape in Marriage
History
• Early American justice system followed
English common law
• Today, all 50 states make marital rape crime
Statistics
• 10% to 14% of married women are
victimized
• Marital rapes are often more violent than
rapes by other acquaintances
Gang Rape
Causes
• Expression of power, attempts to control
others, anger
• Expression of machismo
• Diffused individual responsibility
• Demonstration of loyalty
Cross-Cultural Perspectives
•
Rape-prone societies
•
Rape-free societies
•
Ethnic differences in U.S.
Statutory Rape
Laws make it illegal for
Mentally
handicapped are
protected by these
laws, as being unable
to provide informed,
legal consent
adult to have sexual
intercourse with
anyone under “age of
consent,” which varies
from state to state,
from ages 14 - 18
When both partners
are minors, difference
in age is often
considered
Same-Sex Sexual Assault and
Coercion
Prison Rape: Heterosexual or homosexual?
•
Both perpetrators and victims of prison rape
otherwise consider themselves to be heterosexual
Other Rape Experiences
•
•
About half of male victims were assaulted during
childhood; many were gang raped by boys they
knew
12% to 27% of gay men report being raped in
dating situation
Can a Man be Raped by a Woman?
Male victims
may or may
get an
erection
while feeling
great fear or
terror of
sexual
assault
Some
women
kidnap (with
drugs,
weapons, or
accomplices)
man and
then force
various
sexual acts
on him,
including
intercourse
Victims
suffer in all
the ways
that female
victims do
Additional
issues
related to
masculinity
and sexual
response to
unwanted
sex
Explanations of Rape:
Psychodynamic Theories
Rape is an act of violence; sex is the
weapon!
•
•
•
•
Power rapes
Anger rapes
Sadistic rapes
Opportunistic rapes
Personal Reflections
Do you ever use sex to express power,
dominance, control, or anger?
If so, under what circumstances?
Why do you use sex as an outlet for these
desires and emotions?
Feminist (Sexual Script) Theories
Rape is most common in societies that glorify
violence by men
• Traditional sexual script supports and condones
male sexual coercion against women
•
Men who rape behave in stereotypic gender
roles (dominant, competitive, see women as
adversaries) and feel entitled to sex
Social Learning Theories
Early life family experiences create sexual
norm
•
•
Adults model behaviors and attitudes learned in
childhood
Extremely conservative stereotypes about
relationships between men and women support
myths about rape that legitimize violence
against women
Evolutionary (Sociobiological)
Theories
Men have genetic tendency to rape
•
Sex with many partners assure that man will
maximize his reproductive potential
•
Evolution has favored sexually aggressive men
by production of more offspring
Comprehensive Theories
A Quick Question
True or False?
Today, most researchers recognize that there
are probably multiple paths to sexual
aggression, motivated by both sex and
power to differing degrees.
Comprehensive Theories
Malamuth’s six predictors:
Sexual
arousal
Dominance
motivation
Hostility
toward
women
Aggressive
toward
women
Antisocial
personality
Promiscuous
experience
Comprehensive Theories
Theories below agree on multiple causes
for rape
• Marshall and Barbaree
• Ward and Beech
Take a minute to review each of these
theories.
Rape Myths: Widespread Mistaken
Beliefs About Rape
Myth 1: Women
who are raped
usually provoked
it by their dress
and behavior.
Myth 2: Women
subconsciously
want to be
raped.
Myth 3: No
woman can be
raped if she truly
does not want it.
Myth 4: Women
frequently make
false accusations
of rape.
Reactions to Rape
Post-rape posttraumatic stress disorder:
Acute phase and long-term reorganization
•
Long-term stress-related illnesses
•
High suicide rates
Rape Counseling
Some victims
attempt to control
their lives again via
high-risk sexual
behaviors
Many victims
initially suppress
their feelings
Symptoms may
emerge months or
even years after
incident
Personal Reflections
Have you ever been the victim of rape or sexual
coercion?
If so, has it affected how you feel about yourself
and your relationships?
If it has affected you in any way (including
leaving you with any sense of self-blame),
have you ever sought counseling?
Reactions of the Partner
•
Male partners
•
Partner and/or family members who believe
in rape myths
•
Friends and family
What Happens When a Rape Is
Reported?
Contact rape
victim
advocate
program,
and/or
specially
trained police,
and medical
personnel
Have “rape
kit” medical
examination
as soon as
possible
Seek support
and/or
guidance
Preventing Rape
•
Legal deterrents
•
Educating potential victims
•
Social systems
Sexual Victimization, Pregnancy and
STIs
Can you fill in the blanks?
_____less of rape victims receive medical care after the
attack.
32,000 pregnancies a year result from rape of women
18 and older; many more pregnancies occur from
the rape of _____ girls who are less likely to be
using birth control pills.
Many rape victims (including child victims) acquire an
_____ (gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, HPV).
The risk of getting HIV during a rape is _____.
Personal Reflections
Is a tougher law-and-order approach to rape
needed?
Should more women become prepared to deal
with attempted rape?
Will rape ever stop being a serious problem in
our society? Why or why not?
Sexual Harassment
General definitions
•
•
•
EEOC Definition of Sexual Harassment in the
Workplace
Behaviors
Causes
The Reasonable Woman Standard
Do you
suppose this
man would
behave the
same way
with a male
employee or
co-worker?
Responses to Harassment
Victims display a wide variety of responses
and feelings
•
Retaliation tied to rejected advances
•
Changing jobs
Some Causes of Sexual Harassment
Power-based view
What do you think might be included in this
view?
Sexual Harassment of College
Students
Who
•
•
Harassment by instructor
Harassment by peers
Consequences
•
Change majors or drop out
Title IX of U.S. Education Code
• School can be held liable if sexual harassment
on campus ignored
How to Deal with Sexual Harassment
Assertiveness at first sign of inappropriate
behavior
Firm “no” expresses right to personal
dignity
Communicate with the harasser, document
incidents and list witnesses
If the behavior does not stop, report it to
the company or school authority
Consider reporting to the EEOC or filing a
civil suit if retaliation results
Personal Reflections
Have you ever been the victim of sexual
harassment by a supervisor, employer, or
instructor?
Did you report it? If not, why not?
Are you familiar with your campus’ procedures
for dealing with sexual harassment? If you
are not familiar with the procedures, where
can you to to find out?
Sexual Abuse of Children
Definitions
• Children
• Abuse
Prevalence
• Who
• How much
Outcomes
• Depends
on kinds
and
severity
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse: sexual contact with
children
• Prevalence
• Power differences between adults and
children
• Effects
Who Molests Children?
•
Personally immature pedophile
•
Regressive pedophile
•
Aggressive pedophiles
Who Molests Children?
Majority of molesters are adults known to
child
Preference molesters
Situational molesters
No single personality type among pedophiles
To Catch a Predator
Elaborate “sting”
operations and
other
investigations
have
discovered
pedophiles in
all walks of life.
Chris Hansen confronts an online pedophile.
Personal Reflections
Are you ever sexually aroused by children?
If so, have you ever sought counseling?
If you have not sought counseling, why not?
Would it be better to seek counseling before
you acted on an urge, or afterwards?
Female Perpetrators of Child Sexual
Abuse
When Adult Women Have Sexual
Relations with Teen Boys
Child Pornography
•
•
By mid 1990s, downloading child porn
relatively common practice
In 1982, U.S. Supreme Court ruled
publishers and distributors of child porn can
be prosecuted for child abuse
Remember: Anyone who participates in
child pornography in any way can be
prosecuted!
Effects of Abuse on Children
No single
post-sexual
abuse
syndrome for
victims of
child abuse!
No
detectable
problems
Few
symptoms
Major
psychiatric
symptoms
Posttraumatic
stress
disorder
Effects of Abuse on Children
Greatest harm when abuse was frequent or longlasting, involved force, threats, and penetration
OR
Greatest harm when abuser is father or step-father
and/or where little support received from mother
What do you think? Why?
Effects of Abuse on Children
Adults molested as children report:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
anxiety and fear
panic disorders
suicidal behaviors
sexual dysfunction
drug/alcohol abuse
eating disorders
other long-term effects
Recovered (False?) Memory Syndrome
Some recovered
(formerly
repressed)
memories are
true
Other recovered
memories are
false
Family Incest
•
•
•
Sibling-sibling incest
Parent-child incest
Grandparent-child incest
Incestuous Inbreeding:
A Universal Taboo?
Four theories of origin of incest taboos:
•
•
•
•
Inbreeding
Close physical contact during children and
attraction loss
Reduction of wealth and power concentration
Social alliances development
Cross-Cultural Perspectives
What have you learned about incest:
•
•
•
•
In royal families
In some Muslim areas
In some Hindus settings
In China and sub-Saharan Africa
Can you assume that all families from these
areas engage in incest? Why? Why not?
Family Dynamics of Abuse
All-powerful, authoritarian man separates family
from outside world
Boundaries within family are blurred
Independent thoughts and feelings considered
destructive
Mother fails to protect children
Children grow up with view incest is normal and
repeat pattern as parents
Preventing and Dealing with Child
Sexual Abuse
 Educate self and child
 Be open to discussions about sex
 If child is molested or approached, contact
police
 Let child know it was not his/her fault, and help
child to feel safe
 Watch for significant changes in behavior
Prosecution of Sexual Offenders
•
•
•
•
•
•
Rape prosecution rate
Rape-shield laws
DNA testing technology
Videotaped versus face-to-face testimony
Sexual predator laws
Megan’s law
Therapy for Rapists
Challenges
• Rapists usually deny or minimize offenses,
making therapy difficult
Approaches
• Combination cognitive techniques, traditional
behavioral techniques and anti-androgen
hormone treatment
• Empathy training and treatment
Therapy for Child Molesters
Challenges
• Pedophilia may be incurable but treatable
Approaches
• Family systems approach for incest
• For juvenile offenders treatment is often
effective
• Pedophilia treatment includes drug therapy,
comprehensive cognitive/behavioral/social
therapy, and long-term supervision
Therapy for Victims
Initial therapy
often geared to
posttraumatic
stress
Recovery
Eventually,
victim
overcomes
any selfblame
Abusefocused
cognitive
therapy
employed
Personal Reflections
As you have learned, several states have
passed sexual predator laws which require
that molesters identified as career
pedophiles must be confined for life.
Our society will no doubt continue to debate this
sensitive issue, weighing the rights of
offenders against the rights of victims and
future victims, for many years to come.
What do you think is best?
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