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Lecture 22

PSY 349 Lecture 22: Violence Against Women

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Stony Brook University
PSY 349
Marci Lobel

Violence Against Women Rape and Sexual Coercion Incidence • ~25% of US women have experienced some kind of sexual or physical violence, or stalking • 11.5% of men have experienced these • Ranging physical and mental health consequences • 8-27% of women have been victims of rape • 1-7% of men have been victims of rape • Tends to be under reported • Women’s day to day behavior exhibit the fear of sexual assault; more than men • Studies with college students report more sexual assault than the general population; about half of female college students have experienced sexual assault • Rape tends to involve alcohol use by both the victim and the rapist Characteristics of Perpetrators • In the majority of cases of rape, the perpetrator and victim know each other • Thought that rape is underreported because studies find that people have more sympathy for victims who did not know their attacker • Motives: power-rape (rapist is trying to control and exert power over the victim; rapists with that motive are more likely to have low self-esteem; if they’re male, they feel more inadequate in their gender role); anger-rape (rapist expresses hostility or anger toward the victim; to hurt or harm) • Rapists tend to hold more hostile attitudes toward women • Rapists often hold myths about women and rape o That all women want to be raped o A woman who is raped is somehow asking for it either by her actions or words • Myths are encouraged by people who have strict ideas of gender roles, are less educated, and are most expecting of interpersonal violence; more likely to blame the victims • Studies found that those who held more traditional attitudes toward gender roles were more tolerant of interpersonal violence in relationships Characteristics of Victims • Could be anyone • More likely to occur among younger people Theories • Rape as an act of violence, not a sexual act • Societal shaping of men and then viewing women as a sexual conquest • Men tend to interpret sexual behavior than women do; men are more likely than women to assume that other people are interested in sex (interpret neutral behavior in a sexual way) o Tends to be greater when men are perceiving women rather than men Domestic Abuse Incidence • Incidence is often underreported or underestimated • Violence among dating couples is equally prevalent • So far, the prevalence is about the same in same sex couples as in heterosexual couples • Can be emotional violence • Can lead to poor birth outcomes from the stress if the woman is pregnant Characteristics of Perpetrators • Tend to be young, unemployed, low SES, holding stereotypical views of gender roles • Male abusers tend to have poor verbal skills • Men who are violent toward their females partners more often report that they witnessed violence between their parents have to have been abused by their parents/physical punishments (modeling) • May try and isolate the victim • Alcohol is a risk factor for violence in interpersonal relationships •
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