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Transcript of Rape Culture
What is Rape Culture?
By A. Ayres Boswell and Joan Z. Spade
Conducted at Lehigh University, a private co-ed school in Pennsylvania with predominantly upper-middle to upper-class white students
Focused on rape culture in Greek life because fraternities have been identified as settings that encourage rape (Sanday 1990)
49.4% of the school was Greek
Argued that rape has a social basis one in which both men and women create and recreate masculine and feminite identities and relations
Study #1: Method
Study #1: Results
Parties at Low-risk fraternities
What can we do to combat rape culture?
Stop using language that objectifies or degrades women and call someone out on doing it.
Speak out if you hear someone else making an offensive joke or trivializing rape
If a friend says she has been raped, take her seriously and be supportive
Think critically about the media’s messages about women, men, relationships, and violence
Be respectful of others’ physical space even in casual situations
Always communicate with sexual partners and do not assume consent
Define your own manhood/womenhood/gender identity. Do not let stereotypes shape your actions.
Get involved! Join a student or community group working to end violence against women.
Fraternities and Collegiate Rape Culture: Why Are Some Fraternities More Dangerous Places for Women?
Miami University's Flier Fiasco
USC's Kappa Sigma Email Scandal
Rape culture is a culture that tolerates, trivializes, and even condones rape and sexual violence.
Some attitudes and behaviors prevalent within rape culture include
double standards (i.e. a promiscuous man is praised while a promiscuous woman is shamed)
objectification of women
jokes about rape
defining manhood as dominant and sexually aggressive
defining womanhood as submissive and sexually passive
treatment of rape as a woman's problem instead of a man's problem (i.e. teaching women to not get raped instead of teaching men to not rape)
Prior to the study, the researchers interviewed women students to determine which fraternities were the highest risk and which fraternities they considered to be "safe houses," places which women could go and drink without having to worry about being taken advantage of by the brothers.
Boswell, A. Ayres, and Joan Z. Spade. "FRATERNITIES AND COLLEGIATE RAPE CULTURE: Why Are Some Fraternities More Dangerous Places for Women?" Gender and Society 10.2 (1996): 133-47. SocINDEX. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.
Caron, Sandra L., and D. Bruce Carter. "The Relationships Among Sex Role Orientation, Egalitarianism, Attitudes Toward Sexuality, and Attitudes Toward Violence Against Women." The Journal of Social Psychology 137.5 (1997): 568-87. SocINDEX. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.
Fineman, Meredith. "USC's Kappa Sigma: Women Are Just 'Targets'" Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 10 Mar. 2011. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meredith-fineman/uscs-kappa-sigma-women-ar_b_833935.html>.
"Rape Culture." Rape Culture. Marshall University Women's Center. Marshall University, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://www.marshall.edu/wpmu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/>.
Zimmerman, Neetzan. "Flier at Miami University Advises Students on the Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape." Gawker. Gawker, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://gawker.com/5951765/flier-at-miami-university-advises-students-on-the-top-ten-ways-to-get-away-with-rape>.
They identified four fraternities as being high-risk with more sexually aggressive members. It is interesting to note that these high-risk fraternities had more brothers that played on varsity sports and had more property damage and disciplinary actions taken within the fraternity than the low-risk ones.
60 to 80% of rapes that occur are date rape (Koss, Dinero, Seible, and Cox 1988)
1 out of 4 college women say that they were raped or experienced attempted sexual violence (Koss, Gidycz, Wisniewski 1985)
1 out of 12 men say they forced a woman to have sexual intercourse with them (Koss et. all)
In the introduction to the study, the authors cited statistics about rape from other studies
Study #1: Intro
Variety of data collection results
observations of interactions between men and women
interviewed women of all four years in sororities, residence halls, on or off-campus
50 individuals were interviewed
men from selected "high-risk" fraternities
women who attended their parties
men not afilliated with fraternities
self identified rape victims
Rape Culture also includes:
treated women with respect
women's bathrooms were clean
conversations were friendly
equal men-women ratio
many of the brothers had girlfriends, danced with them
no cursing or yelling
polite and respectful
Study #1: Results
Parties at High Risk Fraternities
skewed gender ratios; sometimes there were more men and sometimes more women
women's bathrooms were filthy, vomit on the floor, toilets clogged, etc.
when someone complained to a brother about the bathrooms he would say "good, maybe the beer wenches will leave and there will be more beer for us"
gender segregation, women would be on one side of the room while men on the other
jokes and conversations disrespected and degraded women
less friendly overall
dancing was more sexually charged
pushing, shoving, profanity
music was louder, made conversations impossible
men would use pick up lines like "wanna see my fishtank upstairs? or "it's too loud here, let's go to my room"
next morning at breakfast, men would brag about their sexual exploits
Study #1: Results
studied two bars, one that did card and one that didn't card their customers
the atmosphere of the first bar was more like that of the low-risk fraternity houses
the same people who attended parties at both the low-risk and high-risk houses came to the first bar
the second bar that allowed underage students in had an atmosphere similar to that of the high-risk fraternities
Study #1: Results
replaced dating on this campus
loosely applied term
most men defined it as "meeting up with a woman when you are both drunk, taking her home, trying to get as much physical pleasure from her ranging from kissing to sex and maybe never seeing her again"
the exception was when men hook up with a woman they admire, they were less likely to push for sex and respected them
women only hooked up with men they admire
hooking up was disappointing to women who wanted more out of a relationship
first year students who realized that hooking up was one-night stands were disappointed, at first they enjoyed it but eventually got bored
Gender relations cont.
"seeing each other" meant sexually involved but free to date other people
men in high-risk fraternities made fun of men with monogamous "boyfriend/girlfriend" relationships saying they were "whipped"
Greek system dominated social life
many said that it hindered meaningful interactions between men and women
Treatment of Women
not all men held attitudes towards women characteristic of rape culture
men mostly treated women with respect to their face but not behind their backs
women felt they were treated poorly
Study #1: Conclusion
women at the highest risk for being raped were acquaintances of the brothers, they were nameless, faceless victims.
social life revolved around alcohol
high-risk fraternities had more alcohol use at parties
students on campus chose to participate in behaviors and activities promoting rape culture whether or not they believed in the demeaning treatment of women
looked at how behaviors influence rape culture and the context of those behaviors
studied one university
only 50 participants
no quantitative results
The Relationships Among Sex Role Orientation, Egalitarianism, Attitudes Toward Sexuality, and Attitudes Toward Violence Against Women
by Sandra L. Caron and D. Bruce Carter, 1997
investigated relationships among two personality characteristics (sex stereotyping and affective responses to sexuality), attitudes about violence against women, attitudes towards egalitarianism in male-female roles, and acceptance of rape myths
predicted that men would be more accepting of rape myths
expected that men, sex stereotyping charcteristics would be related to acceptance of rape myths
predicted that men who had higher masculinity and feminity traits would be less accepting of rape myths while those who had lower degrees of feminity and masculinity traits would be more accepting
expected that affective responses to sexuality, particularly heterosexuality, homosexulaity, and pornography, would be associated with acceptance of rape myths
lastly, they expected that acceptance of violence against women would be associated with acceptance of rape myths
Study #2: Method
618 college undergraduates (247 men and 371 women) attending a large private university
largely middle class and predominantly white
voluntarily participated in the research in order to fulfill a requirement for an introductory psychology course
students were told they were participating in a confidential, anonymous survey about attiudtes towards rape, sex roles, sexuality and violence against women (VAW)
students completed a questionaire containing four measures
Barnett and Feild's (1977) Attitudes Towards Rape (ATR) scale
Fisher, Byrne, and White's (1983) Sexual Opinion Survey (SOS)
Beere's (1984) Sex Role Egalitarianism Scale (SRES)
Spence and Helmreich's (1978) Personal Attributes Questionaire
Attitudes Towards VAW Scale developed by the researchers specifically for this study
Study #2: Results
no significant differences in men's and women's attitudes toward rape
men were more likely to blame the woman and viewed rape as a form of masculinity
women had more negative views of the rapist
women held a more egalitarian view of parental and marital roles
men were more egalitarian than women in areas of employment roles
no differences in the views of men and women toward educational or social/interpersonal-heterosexual roles
Study #2: Conclusion
confirmed their hypotheses towards male-female egalitarism, attitudes twoard sexuality, and sex role orietnation
women were less accepting of rape overall and more likely to view rape victims as innocent
no differences emerged in attitudes towards rape as a sex crime
both men and women were indifferent to the political view that rape is an act of form of masculine power assertion
for men and women combined, gender egalitarianism in the areas of parental and marital roles was predictive of intolerance of rape
nonegalitarism in parental roles was predictive of views of ape as a sexual act and of attributions of blame to the victim
both personality traits (sex stereo-typing and and sex role orientation) and attitudinal variables are strongly related to rape attitudes in this population
they concluded that encouragement of egalitarianism may reduce rape on the campus
also admitted that though this data gave good insight into sex-role orientation, egalitarianism, attitudes towards sexuality, as well as attidudes towards violence against women, they acknowledged the limitations of this sample and that more research was needed in this area.
a lot of quantitative evidence
exploring relationships between different attitudes to try to understand rape culture
only done at one university with little diversity
no qualitative evidence
more women than men in this study
mostly focused on relationships between different attitudes and less focused on applying it to a larger context of rape culture