The reality described in this article is really shocking. It is indeed difficult to realize the fact that the rape usually happens between people who know each other and is often committed by regular guys. The only assertion to which I don’t agree is that the rapists are called “regular” guys. As a matter of fact, rape is not natural for men. Otherwise, most men would be rapists and they are not.
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As to the question whether Lori was raped or she was asking for it, I do not have a univocal answer. On the one hand, she agreed to a date. It does not, of course, mean her consent to sexual intercourse, but it is a sign of some extent of affection. The commentaries of some students (for example, “he bought her dinner, so she owes him sex”) are absurd. Equally absurd are the statements, that she could tempt the guy by her behavior or clothes. According to the studies, most rapes are planned in advance. The responsibility for rape is only the rapist’s. Women of any age and looks can be sexually abused. Opportunity is the main factor that determines whether the offender will decide to commit a crime or not. Thus, the only Lori’s fault was to give this opportunity. It was really stupid to stay alone with the guy she barely knows.
As to the question of men raping to exhibit power, the answer is more than obvious. According to numerous studies, men who committed rape believed in myths that justify rape. They also perceive women as their opponents, support stereotypical gender roles, consider measures for preventing rape as the responsibility of women and view a mixture of aggression and sexuality as the norm. In fact, rape is not much different from what men consider as socially acceptable and socially desirable male behavior. Difference between men who rape women they know and men who do not do this partly depends on whether they believe those dogmas which are taught to most of the boys – that man should behave like a “macho” in the worst sense of the word. Some researchers call this distinctive feature a factor hyper-masculinity. In other words, these men can be called “fanatics of masculinity”.
Almost all men contact with this sexual indoctrination and, unfortunately, some really start to follow it. Their views are formed by other men: fathers, uncles, grandfathers, coaches, youth leaders, friends, even pop stars. Boys are taught by means of constant verbal and nonverbal cues that they must focus and think constantly about sex, they must perceive women as objects for getting sex, but not as equal partners, which have their own desires and preferences. Boys learn that they must always initiate sexual activity, that they can meet with some reluctance on the part of girls, but they should ignore it and continue to insist, persuade, not to give up and eventually always get what they want. They begin to perceive women as their opponents, who must be conquered, and learn to use their physical and social benefits for subjugating the weaker and less important people.
Popular culture is greatly responsible for the majority of rapes. A good example is the scene from the movie “Saturday night fever”, which suggests that women’s desire should be ignored. In this scene John Travolta proposed to walk the woman of his dream home (and preferably to bed), but she refuses. So, he is going home, but when the woman crosses the street, she turns around and shouts: “You should not have asked, just had to do it”. Men learn from this scene that “if you ask, you can lose the opportunity”.
In my opinion, the only way to improve this terrifying statistics of rape is to change the social stereotypes of behavior. For example, the jokes of the type “if a woman says no, she means yes” shouldn’t be popularized in the media. Sexual education at schools might prove useful in this case.