Rape Culture

In broad terms, rape culture is a society where entertainment, advertising and other people glorify sexual violence and in the process de-sensitizes people and encourages myths about rape mainly against women.

Rape culture dismisses some inappropriate sexual banter about women as locker room talk, or allows myths to persist like women who dress slutty are asking to be sexually harassed and raped.

Recognizing rape culture is one way to understand its influence, according to those who acknowledge its presence, but not everyone believes a rape culture exists.

The sourced articles below should provide you more information on rape culture.

  1. What Is Rape Culture?

    “Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as ‘just the way things are.'”

    WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre, wavaw.ca, accessed on 10/17/2018

  2. Does Rape Culture Predict Rape? Evidence From U.S. Newspapers, 2000-2013

    Abstract: “We offer the first quantitative analysis of rape culture in the United States. Observers have long worried that biased news coverage of rape – which blames victims, empathizes with perpetrators, implies consent, and questions victims’ credibility – may deter victims from coming forward, and ultimately increase the incidence of rape. We present a theory of how rape culture might shape the preferences and choices of perpetrators, victims and law enforcement, and test this theory with data on news stories about rape published in U.S. newspapers between 2000 and 2013. We find that rape culture in the media predicts both the frequency of rape and its pursuit through the local criminal justice system. In jurisdictions where rape culture was more prevalent, there were more documented rape cases, but authorities were less vigilant in pursuing them.”

    Matthew Baum, Dara Kay Cohen, and Yuri M. Zhukov, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, harvard.edu, 9/5/2018

  3. 5 Ways We Teach Rape Culture In Schools

    “When we don’t include healthy relationships as models in our schools, we hope they learn those skills elsewhere, but most of the messages they are getting about relationships are from ‘The Bachelor’ and the messages about sex are from Pornhub.”

    Tom Rademache, named Minnesota Teacher of the Year, educationpost.org, 3/21/2018

  4. When Pop Culture Sells Dangerous Myths About Romance

    “Allegations of sexual harassment have been pouring out of the entertainment industry, among others, in recent months. But while predatory male behavior has been condoned and covered up behind the scenes, it’s also been glorified on screen and on the page and on the radio. As my colleague Lenika Cruz put it to me: ‘Rape culture, actually, is all around.’ The narratives of a culture help to set its norms. Research has already found that romantic comedies can normalize stalking behavior. It’s not difficult, then, to imagine that toxic love stories can also normalize coercion. That they can make people—women, especially—question when and whether their boundaries have really been violated, when they should be flattered and when they should be afraid.”

    Julie Beck, theatlantic.com, 1/17/2018

  5. Definition of Rape Culture With Examples

    “The term, ‘rape culture,’ was popularized by feminist writers and activists in the U.S. during the 1970s. It first appeared in print in the book Rape: The First Sourcebook for Women, published in 1974, which was one of the first books to discuss rape from the standpoint of women’s experiences. A film bearing the title ‘Rape Culture’ premiered in 1975, and drew attention to how media and popular culture spread mainstream and erroneous beliefs about rape.”

    Nicki Lisa Cole, PhD, thoughtco.com, 11/27/2017

  6. Why These Disney Films May Help Perpetuate Rape Culture

    “Rape culture seems pervasive in many of the original classics and arguably even in some of Disney’s current films — which is concerning considering how these images, consumed at such an early age, might help normalize sexual attention that crosses the line. This is unsurprising when you consider that many of the fairy tales Disney has made famous are based on ones written by men, including Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, in the 17th and 19th centuries, respectively. Stories like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty were first written in societies with more patriarchal ideas of women as being inferior, servile, and dependent on men, and these notions seem to have gotten carried over into some contemporary adaptations, where they might end up contributing to rape culture.”

    Jenna Dorsi, teenvogue.com, 10/27/2017

  7. What Is Rape Culture?

    “‘Rape culture’ is a term that’s as sinister sounding as its definition—it means to turn sexual assault, rape and other forms of violence against women into entertainment, or to all together ignore or trivialize these crimes. And, it’s happening all around us.”

    Online Resource, domesticshelters.org, 4/21/2017

  8. Feminism 101: What Is Rape Culture?

    “In addition to this, rape culture is centered around a heteronormative narrative, meaning heterosexuality is unconsciously prioritized as the most normal and acceptable sexual orientation and non-heterosexual narratives are often ignored. This subsequently promotes a power structure in which straight, cisgender men are on top, and straight, cisgender women are below them.”

    Ariana Damavandi, femmagazine.com, 4/16/2016