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An introduction to the issue of rape

Find articles by Zeel N. Kosambiya Find articles by Jayendrakumar K. Chawada Find articles by Bansari L. In India, girl is raped every 20 min. The majority of reports reveals youth is vulnerable group for rape victimization. A set of prejudicial, stereotyped, or false beliefs about rape, rape victims, and rapist exist in the community.

To study the attitude and myths toward rape among college going students of Surat City. College students of various streams were participated in the study based on attitude toward rape scale 21 items and updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale 22 items.

A total of 332 participants from three different colleges of the city took part in the survey. Data analysis was done with the SPSS version 19. Among the responders, 61. Mean age of participants was 20. Rape myths are found to be highly prevalent among youth and higher among males.

Among these, victims who do report the assaults are alleged to suffer mistreatment and humiliation from the police. Studies suggested that the acceptance of rape myths is a crucial factor in explanatory models of rape behavior. Many colleges now provide various services to respond to survivors, such as crisis intervention and counseling. Acceptance of rape can be measured by adherence to rape myths.

Men use them to justify male sexual violence while females believe in myths to deny personal vulnerability. Studies found a lack of consistent gender effects in assigning blame but a strong, consistent relationship between rape myth acceptance and victim blaming.

Researchers have demonstrated that the acceptance of rape myths not only indicates problematic attitudes but is also an explanatory predictor in the actual perpetration of sexual violence.

Rape: Is it a lifestyle or behavioral problem?

This relationship has been found in both college student samples. Alarmingly, high rates of acquaintance rape exist in college student populations. The study was done with objectives to explore the attitudes and myths toward rape among different cohorts of college students in Surat City. Students from the selected colleges were invited to participate in the study with prior permission granted by the Institute Head. To obtain an appropriate mix of population, city colleges were selected to represent one predominantly female college artsone mixed college medicaland one predominantly male college engineering.

The total number of participants who opted to participate was 332. Measures After reviewing the literature, we developed structured scales pretested them and used the scales to measure prevalent rape myths among the students. Data collection tool was prepared by incorporating two scales along with basic sociodemographical data of participants. Perceptions toward current punishment for rape were explored with additional questions.

Attitude toward rape scale It includes 21 questions related to whether participants agree with the rape myths. The Scale was developed and updated by Ward. Updated illinois rape myth acceptance scale The 22 items scale were developed and updated by Payne, Lonsway, and Fitzgerald, 1999; McMahon and Farmer, 2011. Higher scores indicate greater rejection of rape myths. A session was held by experts to brief participants regarding the study, in which investigators explained the purpose of the study and described what was required to participate in the study.

On agreeing to participate, participants were required to review and sign an informed consent agreement, after which they completed the self-administered questionnaire. The investigator read the questionnaire to participants as requested by some of the students.

All queries and doubts of the participants were promptly addressed during the process. A mean score was created for the updated illinois rape myth scale and each of the five an introduction to the issue of rape, as well as for attitude toward rape myth scale. Mann—Whitney U-test was used to determine if there were significant differences between genders for rape myth acceptance. No rape myths found for three items 3 - A raped woman is a less desirable woman; 9 - Men raping a female an introduction to the issue of rape should be punished to death; 21 - Majority of rape cases are not reported to police because of family pride.

The myths were found among college going students in following six items, but there were not statistically different for male to female 2 - A woman should be responsible for preventing her own rape; 5 - Most charges of rape are unfounded; 8 - During a rape, a woman should do everything she can to resist; 10 - The reason most rapists commit rape is for sex; 14 - Most rapes are carried out by strangers; 17 - Rape happens when women go out alone at night or in unsafe places [ Table 1 ].

The first subscale, she asked for it, reflects the belief that the victim's behaviors invited sexual assault, and yielded a Cronbach's alpha of 0. The second subscale, he did not mean to, reflects the belief that the perpetrator did not intend to rape, yielded a Cronbach's alpha of 0. The third subscale, it was not really rape, consists of five items that deny that an assault occurred due to either blaming the victim or excusing the perpetrator and yielded a Cronbach's alpha of 0.

She lied, the fourth subscale, consists of items that indicate the belief that the victim fabricated the rape, yielded a Cronbach's alpha of 0. Gender difference was not found among updated IRMA scale. The shattering effect of rape on victims is well recognized, including negative consequences on physical health, mental health, academic performance, and interpersonal relationships.

As a result, today's college students have become increasingly more aware of rape as a social problem. In spite of this awareness, the frequency of sexual victimization on college campuses has remained relatively unchanged in the last 40 years.

This dilemma indicates that there is still an introduction to the issue of rape to learn about the causes of sexual violence.

The significant finding of the present study is that women students are significantly less supportive of myth behavior than male students.

A study conducted by L. Jensen in 1993 also suggested that male is significantly more accepting of rape and rape myths than are female.

Men and women have been shown to differ dramatically in their perceptions of and attitudes toward rape, rapists, and rape victims. Rape myth belief differences between males and females may be due to the mixed group of study participants in our study from the colleges of medicine, engineering, and arts compared to the study by Sivagnanam et al. Men and individuals who have not been exposed to rape awareness information disagree less strongly with rape myth statements than women and individuals who have been exposed to rape awareness information.

In particular, students who scored higher on the it's not really rape myth subscale indicated less willingness to intervene, which warrants further investigation and the development of strategies to engage and educate this group of students. MacMohan, who reported higher mean values for the subscales he did not mean to and she lied and lowest for it was not rape.

The findings strongly support the case for separate programming for men and women, with an opportunity to address the role of gender in rape myth acceptance and willingness to intervene. Education is the most favored approach to reduce sex-related violence in the community, followed by increased punishment of the offender. The medical curriculum should include education on gender violence with the introduction of courses on sexual violence to increase their awareness of the issue and to improve their skills in managing victims, providing support and care for the victims, and implementing preventive actions.

The prevalence of rape myths was higher among college-going males than females. Rape myths were deeply rooted among the students, but their attitude toward rape was uncertain.

The students considered rape as serious offense and felt that strong punishment against rapists in the form of death penalty should be given. We recommend the implementation of educational programs that will sensitize students regarding prevalent rape myths. Educating people about why and how rape actually occurs will decrease rape-supportive attitudes.

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