Wow, I'm slightly afraid to post this, but the sociologist in me wants to, and so I let her.
With all the rape issues being flung all about, I wanted to throw out my own post. Not about what I think of rape. Not what should be done about rape. Just plain facts. Mainly, I just thought it might be something interesting for people to read, not to sway people to do ___ or ___. As well, I would like to make it clear that all characters and concepts are owned by Joss Wheden and I am merely... oh, wait, that would be to cover my ass on something entirely different. Ahem.
Anyway, I wrote a research paper for a sociology class about three years ago. That said, my sources are not fresh like the frightening amounts of snow that is piled outside my house at the moment. Stats change often, but not in extremes. So, I'll give my sources and their dates just so people will know where my data is coming from.
Okay, enough of that, I'll get on with the facts:
* Stranger rape and sexual assault is only one of several possible types of sexual violence. Here's the reported percentages according to National Health and Social Life Survey:
- Someone with whom the respondent was in love: 46%
- Someone that the respondent knew well: 22%
- Acquaintance: 19%
- Spouse: 9%
- Stranger: 4%
(Rathus, Nevid and Fichner-Rathus, 565)
* An American woman has a 25 to 26 percent chance of being raped in her lifetime (1 in 4). (Greenberg, Bruess and Haffner, 573; Horowitz, 413; Lips, 233).
(Note: I apologize for not knowing the statistic for more than just the US, but well, I AM in the US, so you can see where my main focus was at the time.)
* The FBI finds that only one in four rapes are published in the Uniform Crime Reports. The Uniform Crime Reports do not include rapes that end in death, since those are reported as homicides. (Anderson, 276)
* Most often, a rapist is under the age of 30. (Henslin, 252)
* Little research has been done on male rape, so statistics are fuzzy. But here is what is known:
- 1 in 10 rape victims are men. (Rathus, Nevid and Fichner-Rathus, 568)
- In a survey answered by hundreds of rape and sexual assault support agencies, they estimated that 93.7 percent of male rape perpetrators are male and 6.3 percent were female. (Greenberg, Bruess and Haffner, 575)
- Many people do not believe that male rape by a female exists. However, penile erection can be achieved under emotional duress such as anger, fear, and pain even if the male does not wish it. (Greenberg, Bruess and Haffner, 576; Lips, 234)
* Lesbians report "physically or mentally coercive sex" more often than do gay men. One study found that thirty-one percent of lesbians reported forced sexual encounters versus twelve percent of gay men. (Scholars have presumed that lesbians and gay men disagree on what is considered "aggressive." Often, lesbian reports contain statements of how they were emotionally abused as well as physically abused. Moreover, lesbians are often times more "sensitized" to "sexual coercion" and can more easily identify it, while gay men more often consider "coercion as fair play.") (Schwartz and Rutter, 67)
* Women of the lowest status are the most vulnerable to rape. (Women of color, youth, lower class, divorced, separated, and never married women are the most likely targets of rape.) (Lips, 277)
- Black women's sexual violence rate is estimated to be around forty percent by the time they reach age 18. (Norment, 152)
- Rape is considered a "crime of youth," where fifty to sixty-three percent of reported rapes were of women under age 18, while sixteen to twenty-nine percent were under age 12. (Greenberg, Bruess and Haffner, 572; Lips, 233)
- Seventy-four percent of females under age 14 who have had "sexual relations" are survivors of rape. (Greenberg, Bruess and Haffner, 572)
- Females ages 16-24 have the highest likelihood of rape – two to three times higher. (Norment, 152; Rathus, Nevid and Fichner-Rathus, 565)
- A woman's chance of being raped increases by three times if she has an income of $15,000 or under. (Norment, 152)
* Quotes finding patriarchal societies being the main reason for rape and sexual assault:
- "Rape-free societies were characterized by sexual equality in which both genders shared power and were deemed to make important contributions, albeit in different ways, to the welfare of the society" (Rathus, Nevid, and Fichner-Rathus, 573).
- "The more egalitarian and integrated the society, the less rape" (Schwartz and Rutter, 69).
Anderson, Margaret L. Thinking About Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and
Gender. Fifth Ed. Needham Heights, MA. Pearson Education Company, 2000.
Greenberg, Jerrold S., Clint E. Bruess, and Debra W. Haffner. Exploring the Dimensions
of Human Sexuality. Sudbury, MA. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2000.
Henslin, James M. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Third Ed.
Needham Heights, MA. Allyn & Bacon, 2000.
Lips, Hilary M. Sex & Gender: An Introduction. Fourth Ed. Mountain View, CA.
Mayfield Publishing Company, 2001.
Norment, Lynn. "Rape and Recovery: Survivors Speak Out." Ebony. 57 (2002): 152-157,
Rathus, Spencer A., Jeffrey S. Nevid, and Lois Fichner-Rathus. Human Sexuality in a
World of Diversity. Third Ed. Needham Heights, MA. Viacom Company, 1997.
Schwartz, Pepper and Virginia Rutter. The Gender of Sexuality: The Gender Lens.
Thousand Oaks, CA. Pine Forge Press, 1998.
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