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CRM2307- Sexual Assault.docx

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Christine Bruckert

Lecture 6 January-29-13 11:30 AM Sexual Assault Outline: 1. Making sense of the stats 1. Feminist challenging • Public education- myths and experience • Laws and CJS's response • Grass roots responses 1. Midterm Friday: 1. Sunny Marriner • Long time VAW activist • Former young woman at risk program coordinator • Sexual assault support centre of Ottawa • Competing Explanations -1/4 Canadian women experience sexual assault/rape in her lifetime -how do we explain this happens? 1. Individual (Psychological) • People who rape are sick • They suffer from some sort of psychological problem • Maybe they're mentally ill, maybe they hate their mothers • Doesn't really make sense that the number could be that large that we have that many sick men 1. Biological (Positivism) • Dominant explanation • The idea that men rape because of their sexual urge • When it's provoked they just can't stop themselves • Some say it's an evolutionary thing • Normal men rape because they have such a high sex drive • It reduces men to only biology- they cannot control their biology • It is the dominant one because it's the one behind the idea that women shouldn't dress so sexy 1. Socio-Cultural (Feminist) • Rape is not natural, it is not inevitable • It's an artifact of our society • The inequality between genders create the conditions where sexual assault occurs • Proof that it is not biological is that there are rape free societies Rape Free vs. Rape Prone Societies Rape Prone Societies • Sexuality understood in terms of men overcoming female resistance • Sex as rite of passage for men • Patriarchy • Warfare • Traditional gender roles where men are valued more than women are -when men's jobs are valued higher than "women's works" • When societies valorize violence • Gender roles that valorize aggression (kids' toys) Rape Free Societies • Women's autonomy and ownership of body • High respect for reproductive capabilities • Relation to nature is one of respect not exploitation/domination • No different value assigned sex specific tasks • Female or male or maybe just female deity Feminist Point of Departure -Challenge biological and psychological explanations -Rape is: • Violence (not sex) • A cultural artefact • A social problem -not about what one woman did, but about our society -rape is about power NOT sex -Mobilize • Started mobilizing in the 70s -some progress since then -if you were exploring sexuality, sexually active, hitch-hiking etc. there was no point to go to the police because you would be re-victimized -the woman would go onto trial under the belief that sexually active women could not be trusted • Public education and targeted sensitization law and criminal justice reform grass roots support Public Education and Sensitization (Rape Myths) -General: • Occurs outside the home, in the dark, in isolated areas -Victims: • That she liked it, that she wanted it or asked for it • Always a female victim • Alcoholic/drug addict/promiscuous… doing something wrong • Young (victimization is highest between 16-21, but older women get sexually assaulted because it's not about sex) -Offenders: • It's done by strangers • Always a male • Big, working class guy • Myth of a black rapist • They have tattoos (working class) • They're psychological - they're anti-social, don't have a good job -rape myths have become embedded in our structures of law and shape how policies are formed -Consider the myths used in relation to rape (re-offense, offender and victim) - where can we locate them within socially constructed gender? Gender relations? Sexuality? -Slut walk started because "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not be victimized," Michael Sanguinetti • Idea that it's on the woman because men just can't control themselves -"Still not asking for it" Picture • Breasts being sexualized is arbitrary - in some cultures breasts are strictly seen for feeding babies • She's not asking for it, but is it safe? • The problem is that we're teaching women to be safe rather than men don't rape Some Effects of Sexual Assault -myth that there isn't much long term effects and that if there is no penetration it's not real rape and that it's not that bad Immediate effects: • Denial -self talk, was it a real rape? • Disassociation • Self-blame -with all these messages about protecting yourself if you do get raped then you clearly must have done something wrong because women who do protect themselves don't get raped • Not reporting event • Anger Longer term effects: • Rape trauma syndrome • First feeling frequently feeling dirty, humiliation • Diminished self-worth, lack of confidence; heightened fear • Changes in personality and activities • Flashba
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