Poster or Presentation Title

Grab Her By the Dignity: Why Rape is Not the Same as a Punch in the Face

Student Author Information

Caelyn AndrewsFollow

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2019

Abstract

Through the metamorphosis of society, certain patterns and trends of deviance persist despite eras of rapid social change; the crime of rape is one which succeeds in remaining endemic. The culture of rape is evolving with society, increasing in prevalence as the topic of rape is addressed more readily in the media; yet social and legal responses to rape remain static, resulting in a lack of ethical treatment to such damaging events. This potentially stems from preconceived societal notions of sexual acts, as well as the sexualization of the female body and ingrained beliefs that rape should not be discussed, especially at the expense of the offender’s future and reputation. This study aims to analyze society’s interpretation of morality of sexual acts, consulting consent theory in examination of rape and rape culture, in order to respond to current precedent involving rape and promote social change for future legal cases. The results of this study found that the oversexualization of female bodies, the concept of virginity, and common social response to women as opposed to men on the topic of sexual acts serve as social catalysts for rape culture. Rape affects more than just physical wellbeing but also emotional, mental, and, in some cases, financial. In cases of rape against men or non-heteronormative relations, the same concept applies as our culture has established how dignity is often related directly to sexual activity; penetration, especially when unwanted, can be viewed by society as degrading. This research matters because our society is plagued with misconceptions about what constitutes rape, how to respect the victim as opposed to apologizing for the offender, and often regards the sexual activity of females as negative.

Keywords: Rape, ethics, virginity, sexual consent, rape culture, sexual morality, sex ethics, case law, legal precedent

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Beth Savage and Dr. Nick Frank

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Apr 10th, 2:45 PM

Grab Her By the Dignity: Why Rape is Not the Same as a Punch in the Face

Through the metamorphosis of society, certain patterns and trends of deviance persist despite eras of rapid social change; the crime of rape is one which succeeds in remaining endemic. The culture of rape is evolving with society, increasing in prevalence as the topic of rape is addressed more readily in the media; yet social and legal responses to rape remain static, resulting in a lack of ethical treatment to such damaging events. This potentially stems from preconceived societal notions of sexual acts, as well as the sexualization of the female body and ingrained beliefs that rape should not be discussed, especially at the expense of the offender’s future and reputation. This study aims to analyze society’s interpretation of morality of sexual acts, consulting consent theory in examination of rape and rape culture, in order to respond to current precedent involving rape and promote social change for future legal cases. The results of this study found that the oversexualization of female bodies, the concept of virginity, and common social response to women as opposed to men on the topic of sexual acts serve as social catalysts for rape culture. Rape affects more than just physical wellbeing but also emotional, mental, and, in some cases, financial. In cases of rape against men or non-heteronormative relations, the same concept applies as our culture has established how dignity is often related directly to sexual activity; penetration, especially when unwanted, can be viewed by society as degrading. This research matters because our society is plagued with misconceptions about what constitutes rape, how to respect the victim as opposed to apologizing for the offender, and often regards the sexual activity of females as negative.

Keywords: Rape, ethics, virginity, sexual consent, rape culture, sexual morality, sex ethics, case law, legal precedent