NR sends us this disturbing story, which includes statistics like the following:
Almost three-quarters of women said if a rape victim got into bed with the assailant before an attack they should accept some responsibility.
One-third blamed victims who had dressed provocatively or gone back to the attacker’s house for a drink….The study found that women were less forgiving of the victim than men.
Some 71% of women thought a person should accept responsibility when getting into bed with someone, compared with 57% of men.
3 thoughts on “Women’s attitudes toward rape victims”
Doesn’t that make perfect sense though? Women are always being told that rape is our own fault – how surprising is it when we transfer that belief to other women? Men conversely are rarely of ever confronted with their own responsibility for sexual assault; the conversation is always had in the abstract, about some other fictional bad men, not the present company, which is always excepted. So it’s easier for them to imagine a scenario where a person is not at fault for their sexual circumstances (from the point of view of a woman that’s an impossibility, since even consensual sex is something that we’re conditioned to “give up” reluctantly and feel shame if we actually enjoy it).
Not only does this make sense, it is seems like the normal human way of dealing with threats you can’t control, a way that help maintain sanity. the thought that bad things can happen which you have no control over is so scary, that humans will find a way to explain natural disasters as being somehow their fault, for if you have done something wrong you can make sure not to do it again e.g., you are safe.
It seems to me that the only plosible scenario for women to stop blaming themselves (or other women for that matter) is for others to stop hearting them.
While, this certainly seems troubling, I think it is important to point out that their are methodological problems of this survey, but even more worrying, the reporting is incredibly shoddy and misrepresents the data (whether or not that data would stand up to a peer-review process).
“One-third blamed victims who had dressed provocatively or gone back to the attacker’s house for a drink”
That is 1/3 OF the women who believed there are some circumstances where a person should accept responsibility. So, that would be 1/3 of 56% of people (not making gender distinctions), or roughly 18-19%. Even that is misleading, because they don’t tell you what percent of women make up that original 56%.
Even with a conservative reading of the numbers available (assuming that their online survey stands up methodologically, which it is NOT clear it does), the data is horrible. However, getting information from media reports of surveys is almost ALWAYS going to be misleading. It would be like relying only on the media reports that sometimes filter to the surface about philosophy (or feminism) and the gross exaggerations and inaccuracies they present.
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