Rape myth

Rape myths are erroneous, stereotypical, prejudicial beliefs about reasons of sexual assaults, rapists, and rape victims.[1][2][3]

Rape myths originate from various cultural stereotypes, such as traditional gender roles, acceptance of interpersonal violence, and misunderstanding the nature of sexual assault.[1]

The prevalence of rape myths is a major reason for rape victim blaming and stigmatization.[2] Being rape myth consistent means an increase in responsibility and blame on the victim and minimizing the rape.[3]

Rape myths suggest that the stereotypical victim of sexual violence is a bruised and battered young woman. However the central issue in cases of sexual assault is whether both parties consented to the sexual activity or both had the capacity to do so. Thus, physical force resulting in visible physical injury is not always seen. Due to this stereotype sexually assaulted people who have no physical trauma may be less inclined to report to the authorities or to seek health care.[4]

Acceptance of rape myths can lead and reinforce the belief that rape is not real and therefore only sex.[3]

See also


  1. 1 2 Burt, Martha R. (February 1980). "Cultural myths and supports for rape". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. American Psychological Association via PsycNET. 38 (2): 217–230. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.38.2.217. PMID 7373511.
  2. 1 2 "Rape Myths and Facts", West Virginia University
  3. 1 2 3 "Sign In" (PDF). vaw.sagepub.com. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  4. Kennedy KM, The relationship of victim injury to the progression of sexual crimes through the criminal justice system, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine 2012:19(6):309-311
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