Although as it is still seen as
Although rape is a horrific crime and an ongoing problem for many individuals in our society today, it continues to flourish in various cultures and parts of the world for several reasons. With that being said, one of the main reasons why sexual violence still occurs till this day is largely because it is ignored by numerous institutions, including non-governmental organizations, health care providers, and criminal justice authorities. Additionally, in some cultures, rape is not addressed enough in terms of how it affects both the victim and society as a whole as it is still seen as taboo to discourse about. Even though we have made a considerable amount of progress in regard to the matter of rape, it is still prevalent throughout human history due to the lack of awareness of how common sexual violence is in many cultures and geographic regions. As a result, in order to better analyze and explain this particular phenomenon, this paper will be comparing and contrasting two articles that will examine two specific aspects of rape, which include marital rape and the impact of race and prior sexual assault victimization on the acceptance of rape myths.
Summary: In many societies around the world, marital rape, “the act of forcing sexual intercourse on an unwilling partner”, is not a crime and is “one of the least studied phenomena in the history of sexual violence” according to the ‘International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology’ (Adinkrah 2011:1). Having said that, this study examined the viewpoint of 130 University students in Ghana on whether marital rape should or should not be criminalized (Adinkrah 2011). According to the statistics provided, a total of 116 submissions was received, where 79 (68%) of those submissions received were from male participants and 37 (32%) of them were from female participants (Adinkrah 2011). In particular, the undergraduates were asked to express, in an essay form, whether such behavior (marital rape and battering) should be criminalized in Ghana, their home country (Adinkrah 2011). In the study, 25 students expressed opinions that were in support of marital rape, in contrast to 91 respondents who were opposed to criminalizing such behavior (Adinkrah 2011). In addition, those who supported marital rape and patriarchal ideologies such as wifely submission, expressed that providing sex in marriage was an implicit duty which was their justification as to why marital rape should remain non-criminalized (Adinkrah 2011).
In contrast, advocates of criminalization mentioned about the overall damage of marital rape and argue how such behavior leads to physical, social, and psychological damage (Adinkrah 2011). Participants who were against marital rape concluded that criminalizing marital rape would likewise prevent other forms of violence against women in society as well (Adinkrah 2011). Summary: The second article, titled ‘Journal of Interpersonal Violence’, focuses on the impact of race and prior sexual assault victimization on the acceptance of rape myths (Carmody and Washinton 2001). Unlike the previous article, this study obtained its statistics through the method of a mail survey of 1,000 undergraduate women who were currently enrolled in a southeastern university (Carmody and Washinton 2001). In addition, a total of 250 women, selected by a computer in order to avoid bias, responded from each undergraduate class (Carmody and Washinton 2001).
Particularly, this study used ‘Dillman’s three-wave Total Design Method’ for mail surveys (Carmody and washinton 2001). According to the article, in an attempt to further narrow the findings, the study compared white and black women only (Carmody and Washinton 2001). Overall, a total of 178 respondents were from the black community, whereas 445 of them were of the white community (Carmody and Washinton 2001). Although the age range was 18-65, most respondents were in their early 20s thus revealing that there were no significant differences in victimization of rape myth acceptance as a function of age (Carmody and Washinton 2001). As for the results, there were only a few differences between the White and Black women in support of rape myths, where the majority of them disagreed with most rape myths (Carmody and Washinton 2001).
Although many might expect women’s support of rape myths to be influenced by their own experiences, this, however, is not the case according to this specific study (Carmody and Washinton 2001). Lastly, the third part of the article compares the responses of victims and non-victims while monitoring race and statistics show that there is no significant difference demonstrated between the two (Carmody and Washinton 2001).Discussion: After a thorough examination of both articles, there seems to be quite a few similarities and differences between the two in terms of how the specific research questions being studied relate, the methods used to conduct the research, and the major findings within both studies. In regards to its differences, while both articles relate to rape, their focus on the different kinds of rape really differentiates them from one another. For instance, while the first article looks at marital rape, the second study explores the impact of race and prior sexual assault victimization on the acceptance of rape myths.
Additionally, a further difference between the two studies is their method of conducting research and obtaining data. While the first study required students to complete a short questionnaire and then expand it into an essay form, the latter study used mail surveys where participants were expected to mail their responses back within a month. Now, in regards to its similarities, one similarity that both studies share is their focus on the topic of rape, and their tendency of conducted their research on those who were currently enrolled in college. This was mainly because both authors were in agreement of college students being the most appropriate sample to study for their specific research question.
Moreover, when examining the results for both articles, in the second article, which focused on rape myths, the author concluded that there were no differences between black and white women or in victims and non-victims accepting rape myths (Carmody and Washinton 2001). As for the first article that focused on marital rape, it concluded that there was no significance between age or race and wanting to criminalize this particular offense (Adinkrah 2011). Similarly, in both studies the majority of participants were against rape, however, a seemingly small percentage of respondents had supported it. Conclusion:To conclude, one can study many aspects of rape as it is a very broad topic.
After examining both articles, it is evident that in many parts of the world, marital rape, specifically, occurs very often given the lack of emphasis and awareness in regards to it. The majority of people are against marital rape, while a small portion of people believe that it is a duty of the spouse (woman) to try to meet the needs of the husband. Factors such as race, age, and one’s experiences do not have a specific correlation to if individuals will want to criminalize or not criminalize marital rape.
After analyzing both studies, we can conclude that one’s experiences, ethnicity, and age will also not affect them in accepting rape myths.