The socialized 'deafness' of men toward women, and the likelihood that a man will interpret a situation to have stronger sexual overtones than a woman will
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 1994 16:59:55 -0400 (EDT)
From: Deb Zaccone "Wild-womyn" <[email protected]>
[Originally from: [email protected] (Karen Gordon)]
(from: I Never Called it Rape - by Robin Warshaw):
The socialized 'deafness' of men toward women, and the
likelihood that a man will interpret a situation to have
stronger sexual overtones than a woman will - leads to the
belief among many men (and some women) in 'justifiable rape',
somewhat along the lines of 'justifiable homicide'.
In 'justifiable rape', the victim's behavior is seen as being
responsible for triggering the man's action. Although there is
no legal concept as there is in 'justifiable homicide', the idea
of 'justifiable rape' influences the opinions of everyone from
the rape victim's own family to the jury who may sit in judgment
of her attacker.
Recent studies show that men believe date rape is more
justifiable if one of these circumstances occurs:
: the woman invites the man out on the date
: the man pays for the date
: she dresses 'suggestively'
: they go to his place rather than to a movie
: she drinks alcohol or does drugs
Men with traditional attitudes toward women rate these
situations as justifying rape significantly more often than do
men who hold nontraditional attitudes.
The research also shows that many times men will feel 'led on'
while women will not have the slightest clue that their actions
are being interpreted as sexual.
IN A 1967 study by Purdue's Eugene Kanin, sexually aggressive
college men said they believed their aggression was justified if
the woman was 'a tease'. A 1979 survey of California high
school boys showed 54% thought rape was justifiable if the girl
'leads a boy on'.
In a study exploring correlations between people who rated rape
as justifiable under certain circumstances and people who
actually were involved in sexually aggressive incidents, Texas
A&M's Muehlenhard found that men were much more likely than
women to say that the woman had hinted before- hand that she
wanted the man to ask her out.
When she looked at just those subjects whose dates involved
sexual aggression, Muehlenhard saw this difference in high
60% of men reported that the woman had hinted she was interested
in dating him;
only 16% of the women said they had so hinted.
Those men clearly felt 'led on' by the women who refused them
sex, a feeling which many of them may have regarded as
justification for committing rape.