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Research on the Relationship between Rape and Dressing

In case you missed it, my last article on this blog was on rape, is the woman ever to blame? You can read the article here . I have received a lot of feedback on that piece some of which I must confess, I find downright hilarious. But an Igbo proverb says “it is not only a cadaver that can have its neck strengthened”. I have therefore decided to do a mini content analysis on research that has been carried out on the relationship between rape and a woman’s dressing. This, I have gathered, is an issue so knotty that someone posited that any article that puts rape and dressing in the same sentence should be left in the drafts.

This is going to be a long read so buckle up and promise not to puke (I joke)

Before I share my findings on this issue, let me clarify two other points. There is a school of thought that by categorizing rapists, I am in some way saying that one group can be justified. According to this group, all rapists and rapists and should not be categorized. Let me say at this point that categorizing rapists did not start with me. In fact, according to this Wikipedia entry here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_rape, there are types of rape:
Rape can be categorized in different ways: for example, by reference to the situation in which it occurs, by the identity or characteristics of the victim, and by the identity or characteristics of the perpetrator. These categories are referred to as types of rape.

Another research work says
The four motivations for rape are sexual gratification, anger rape, power rape, and sadistic rape. Sexual gratification is generally believed to be the motivation behind acquaintance and date rape. Anger rape is generally not premeditated, but it is violent and spurred by anger and resentment toward women. Power rape is spurred by the need to control and dominate. Sadistic rape is usually premeditated and ritualized, frequently subjecting victims to degradation, mutilation, torture, or murder. (Rathus, S.A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L. (2005). Human sexuality in a world of diversity.(6th ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon cited in http://voices.yahoo.com/a-clinical-look-rape-12079426.html )

Wikipedia notes here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape#Definitions that rape by strangers is usually less common than rape by persons the victim knows. This type of rape is referred to as “Date Rape”. The term “date rape” is used to refer to several types of rape, broadly acquaintance rape, which is a non-domestic rape committed by someone who knows the victim, and drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), where the rapist intentionally drugs the victim with a date rape drug so that they are incapacitated. Acquaintance rape constitutes the vast majority of reported rapes, while DFSA is infrequent.

Will we then say that by categorizing rape, sociologists are supporting any type of rape?

The second issue is more of a grammatical clarification. Does saying that a woman can be raped because of what she is wearing or her demeanor mean that she should be raped? The word “can” is used to denote possibility while “should” can denote desirability and expect-ability among other uses. I shall answer both questions again for clarity: can a woman be raped based on her dressing and demeanor? In other words: Is there a possibility that a woman’s dressing or demeanor could lead to her being raped? The answer to this question is yes. But then again I ask: Should a woman be raped because of her dressing and demeanor? In other words: Is it desirable that a woman be raped because of her dressing and demeanor? The answer to this question is NO. There is no justification for rape. No matter what a woman wears or does or does not do when she says NO it means NO, not maybe, not try harder. It means STOP. The second question put the responsibility of raping on the rapist. The first puts the responsibility of knowledge on every woman.

But really, can what a woman wear lead to rape or is this just a myth? Let me share the conclusions of some research I found. I will be including links so that if you choose you may read the entire research.

Let me start by pointing out that most of the research I found can be categorized (I’m sorry but the word is here again) in two: rape by strangers, which in my article I referred to as sociopathic rape and date rape which I called opportunistic rape.

This is what Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Andrea Parrot’s contributes to this issue from her book, “Coping with Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape”-
Unlike stranger rape, most acquaintance rape is not premeditated for the purpose of doing violence to a woman and degrading her…Acquaintance rape is premeditated or planned sex and ends as aggression only if the victim does not comply with the rapist’s demands.

Her views are supported by this study http://www.holysmoke.org/fem/fem0126.htm
The majority of the sexual attacks (55-61%) committed by these men were premeditated across their first, middle, and last rapes, while fewer rapists reported their crimes as being impulsive (15-22%) or opportunistic (22-24%).

This study by Theresa Meiner, focuses on the topic: Sexy Dressing Revisited: Does Target Dress Play a Part in Sexual Harassment Cases? You can find the entire study here http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=djglp. Her conclusion:

When I began research for this article, I expected to find many cases involving allegations that the plaintiff “welcomed” the sexual harassment by her workplace attire. I was surprised to find that this was a rare case. Defendants were not using the woman’s dress to weasel out of claims, but instead, the woman’s dress most commonly was present in allegations by plaintiffs. Plaintiffs frequently raised comments about their dress as part of their sexual harassment allegations. This would seem to open the door to defendants, who might use evidence of target dress to argue that the plaintiff welcomed the harassment. Yet, that was not the case. I have tried to account for the lack of case law and, in the process, have gone back to the root cause of sexual harassment: power. Sexual harassment is about power; therefore, a target who is dressed provocatively is not the ideal target for the would-be harasser, who appears motivated at least in part by his ability to dominate his victim. A provocative dress does not necessarily signify submissiveness but instead may be an indication of confidence and assertiveness. It is clear, however, that comments about dress directed at plaintiffs are a component of sexual harassment allegations. Comments about dress are used to undermine working women’s authority and should be considered seriously by courts assessing sexual harassment claims.

From this study, we may be moved to conclude that the more provocatively dressed a woman is dressed the less likely she is to be harassed. This finding seems to agree with this feed shared by @Cherox in which I was copied http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/sexual-assault-survivors-answer-the-question-what-were-you-w. Most of the women in this interview were definitely not provocatively dressed.

Does this, however, provide conclusive evidence that dressing plays no role in rape cases? No, in fact, sociopathic rapists profile their victims through their demeanor such that women who appear to lack confidence or are looking more vulnerable are often targeted.

The SlutWalk protest marches began on April 3, 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with subsequent rallies occurring globally. Participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance and call for an end to rape culture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slut_walk
Slutwalks are organized (where some of the women dress like sluts) to show it is wrong to rape a woman because of how she dresses.
Do you still remember the difference between ‘can’ and “should’? (Sorry, just checking)

In January 2013, NOI polls published the following findings:

Furthermore, in view of the debate that often arises about the cause(s) of rape in the society respondents were asked the following: What do you think is the prevalent cause of rape in the society? From the result, the majority of respondents (34%) were of the opinion that most prevalent cause of rape in the society is “Indecent dressing”; followed by 18% of respondents that cited “Unemployment”. Also, “Lack of moral values” and the “Inability to control sexual urge” were each cited by 9% of the respondents as the prevalent cause of rape. Other reasons mentioned by respondents include “Faulty upbringing” (7%), “Ungodliness”, “Illiteracy about women rights” and “Bad Company” (all with 5%).
http://www.noi-polls.com/index.php?s_id=3&p_id=220&p_pt=1&parent=11#.UyGGF2JdV5I

A corroborative study by Amnesty International states:
34% believe women who flirt can be blamed if they are raped and 26% say if a woman is in sexy clothing she is partly to blame. WOMEN who flirt, get drunk or wear sexy clothes are asking to be raped. More than a third of people – mainly males – believe girls trying to chat up men are partially or totally responsible for being attacked. A quarter reckons a woman wearing a provocative outfit is at least partly to blame – especially if she has been drinking. One in 12 thinks she is a natural target if she has had a number of sexual partners. And a third believe she is responsible to some degree if she has clearly failed to say No?

What should the finding that the majority of respondents (34%) were of the opinion that most prevalent cause of rape in the society is “Indecent dressing” mean to advocates?

Amnesty International’s Kate Allen said: “The poll shows a shocking proportion of the public blame women for being raped. The Government must launch a new drive to counteract this sexist culture.”
Ms. Allen added: “The poll highlights the public ignorance of the problem as well as the dreadfully low conviction rates. Joanna Perry, policy manager at Victim Support, said: “It is alarming to read that so many people seem to believe that a woman is responsible for inviting a rape or sexual assault because of what she was wearing, what she drank or how she behaved.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16393921&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=asking-for-it-name_page.html

Shocking. Yes. But this is the reality.

What then is wrong with giving women realistic preventive advice?

Wikihow has this answer
Many people feel that giving women guidelines about things that can be done to stay safe actually shames them and makes them feel like avoiding rape is all about having women act “the right way,” and that if they make a misstep, it is basically their fault that they got raped. This is not wikiHow’s intention(neither is it mine). We intend to empower women by giving them some sensible advice on how to avoid danger.

You can read Wikihows ways to prevent rape here http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-a-Potential-Rape

You may also like to note some of the information presented in this piece on profiling a rapist http://sapac.umich.edu/article/196. I share excerpts:
Sex offenders comprise an extremely heterogeneous population.
• There is no typical profile of a rapist, but they share some common characteristics.
• Sex offenders are overwhelmingly male, typically have access to consensual sex, and were not sexually or physically abused as children.
• Men are more likely to commit sexual violence in communities where sexual violence goes unpunished.
• Sex offenders are experts in rationalizing their behavior.
• Cross-cultural studies of rape identify the following factors as contributors to sexual violence: sex-role socialization, rape myths, lack of sanctions for abuse, male peer group support, pornography, adversarial sexual beliefs, lack of empathy, and all-male membership groups such as fraternities and sports teams.
• Alcohol abuse has been identified as a strong correlate of college rape.
• In a study on male sexual coercion, 23% of college men admitted to getting a date drunk or stoned to engage in sexual intercourse.
• Alcohol can be a disinhibitor and increase sexual impulsivity, as well as lower women’s detection of risk and impair their ability to resist assault.
• Intercourse cannot be consensual when the woman is incapacitated due to intoxication.

After presenting a date rape scenario, this website http://recapp.etr.org/recapp/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.YouthSkillsDetail&PageID=120 has this to say
Be Aware of Non-verbal Cues. Know that if you dress sexy and flirt, some men may think you want to have sex. This doesn’t mean your dress or actions are wrong but know that they may create misunderstanding.

This is the content of one school’s curriculum
Women, both young and old, generally believe that they could fight off a rapist. Unfortunately, few women give much thought to how they would do this other than believing they could stop him by kicking him in the genitals. Indeed, this may be guide unrealistic since males are taught at a young age to protect their genitals and doing so becomes almost instinctual. Women tend to be shorter and physically less strong than males and forcefully striking a man in the groin with a knee or foot is not always possible. What then is a woman to do?
The first step in preventing any crime is to avoid placing oneself in a vulnerable position. Women should avoid walking alone at night, keep car doors locked, check the back seat of the car when getting in, and if giving directions to someone, maintain a distance between oneself and the stranger’s car. Hitchhiking and admitting strangers to one’s home should be avoided always. If a repairman is expected, it is a good idea to have more than one person at home.
There are available in many communities self-defense classes, rape prevention courses, and brochures provided by police, insurance companies, and rape crisis centers which intend to help women avoid rape. These often consist of lists of prevention techniques some of which we have mentioned above. However, it is impossible to describe a common rape. Each rapist operates in an individual way, and women need to be aware of a variety of techniques to help themselves in a rape situation. There is no one answer to assure safety. Suppose a woman, in spite of taking care not to place herself in a vulnerable position, finds herself face to face with a man threatening rape. What alternatives does she have?
One possibility is to talk her way out of the situation. Some women have turned a rapist off by saying they were
menstruating, pregnant, or had a venereal disease. Others have surprised their attackers with some repulsive physical act such as vomiting, urinating, defecating, belching or fainting.

Behaving in a friendly, solicitous manner and gaining a potential rapist’s confidence has been used successfully by some women. Complimenting him and appearing to go along with his advances will sometimes cause the rapist to relax and perhaps give the woman an opportunity to escape. However, for some rapists, such behavior may be encouraging.
A verbal self-defense may be effective with many potential rapists. To succeed in talking one’s way out of a sexual assault, a woman must have confidence in herself and her ability to gain control of a situation. Often though, a woman does not have the opportunity to use her verbal skills or she finds that words have not worked in dissuading therapist.

Physical self-defense is an option with which some women may never feel comfortable. Electing to submit to a rapist, rather than risk injury or even death is a legitimate choice. Females have been taught from birth not to fight or even roughhouse, and therefore, find physical resistance impossible.
If a woman chooses to defend herself by force, she must be certain that she can hurt a man badly enough to stop him merely inflicting pain is not sufficient. The nose, eyes, and throat are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to pain, whereas striking a man on the arm or head is virtually useless. Self defense classes teach people to use the weapons that are at their disposal always their hands and feet, and of course, their voices. Women who carry cans of mace or sharp objects do not always have them available when they are needed. Self defense and martial arts classes increase one’s self confidence as well as one’s ability to defend oneself, and women should consider enrolling in such a course.

Children and adults of all ages need to be taught to feel positive about themselves. A positive self image will go a long way in helping a person defend herself against a sexual assault. http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1981/3/81.03.06.x.html

Maybe the feminists are right, maybe talking to any woman about preventive measures that include dressing and non-verbal cues leads to victim’s blaming, but you are not a victim until you actually become a victim. I may be wrong, but will it not amount to treating all women as victims before the crime is even committed if we hold back information from them that could ‘victimize’ victims?

Maybe the researches that say most rape has nothing to do with dressing is right, but what about the others that do have to do with dressing. Even if it is 1% (and a US study says it’s about 4.4%) when the 1% is converted to numbers you will find real people who would probably have benefited from advice on preventive measures?

So this is my stand: I remain unconvinced that talking to young ladies about preventive measure does more harm than good. As long as we have that 34% of Nigerians out there who think that the way a woman dresses is a kind of free pass to rape her, I will use every strategy available to prevent rape including talking to ladies about sending out the wrong signals in anyway.

I will preach preventive measures but I will NEVER blame the victim if rape occurs.

I will educate everyone around me that rape is wrong whether it is committed by a stranger or someone one knows. I will encourage anyone who is a victim or has witnessed a rape to report it.

I will contribute to talks of ensuring that the right legislation is in place so that if anyone becomes a victim they will get justice. As the first study cited indicates, legislation plays a key role in ensuring that when a rape occurs, no one will be allowed to use the way the victim dresses to deny them justice.

THE FACT REMAINS THAT WHETHER A PERSON TAKES STEPS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES OR NOT RAPE IS NEVER THE WOMAN’S FAULT.

Addendum
You may find this contribution in this research titled “Prosecuting and Defending Rape: Perspectives From the Bar” interesting. It contains perspectives from Barristers who have actually handled rape cases. The full research can be found here http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/Readings/ProsecutingRape.html
This article discusses the findings of a qualitative study (part of a larger study into rape and criminal justice) which involved in-depth interviews with a sample of ten highly experienced barristers who between them had prosecuted and defended in hundreds of rape trials. It is concerned with the barristers’ perceptions of the problems involved in prosecuting rape and the strategies deployed in defending rape cases. The article discusses the ethics of advocacy in the context of rape trials and argues that within the adversarial system there are ethical limits which should be observed.
I have reproduced point number five below
5. The character of the complainant
Complainants were viewed by some barristers in an uncomplimentary and negative light. It was felt, for example, that juries were very affected by the appearance of witnesses. The barristers drew a distinction between women who gave the appearance of respectability and those who did not. The language used to describe the latter was, in some cases, sharply denigratory as if there was some sympathy for jury assessments based on such criteria. Several barristers mentioned the problem of complainants who came to court inappropriately dressed. BAR3 said:
I think it’s just common sense that if a woman looks like a scrubber she’s going to get less sympathy from a jury than someone who looks respectable.
BAR2 said: ‘It would be useful if they could sit down without showing their knickers’.
The complainant’s behaviour at the time of the event and her sexual character were also regarded as impediments to the prosecution. BAR3, who mainly prosecuted, nevertheless agreed with juries who took a dim view of the complainant’s behaviour in some cases:
I mean the silly woman is prepared to be picked up by a stranger and go back for, quotes, coffee, you know, what does she expect? If a woman does that, can she really be surprised that a jury will say that she may have consented to sex? Again a hitch-hiker or somebody like that.
BAR 6 said that juries ‘were not very good (at convicting) when somebody can be depicted as a slut’. He also saw the lifestyle of the complainant as a problem:
If you live in a squat or are a single mother it does have an impact on juries. I think that they think that you are more likely to have got what you deserved.
Thus some barristers had the perception that their own efforts were sabotaged by poor witnesses. In the case of medical witnesses there was clearly some justification for this. In the case of complainants however, there was no criticism of what Smart would describe as the ‘phallocentric’ assumptions on which the trial was based. Rather, women were seen by some barristers as their own worst enemies, or even to blame for their own fate and that of the prosecution.

p.s
I am fully aware that my views as expressed in the last article will be seen as controversial but they actually represent my convictions. I have noted the deliberate distortions of my words and I have chosen to ignore them. My personal stand remains: Rape is wrong and nothing a woman does should give anyone a right to rape her. If she says NO it means NO. Whether she said no at the beginning or just when the man is about to penetrate. Even if she is a prostitute and you have paid if she says no the worst a man can do is ask for a refund not FORCE her.

p.p.s
Comments are welcome. I shall be polite to even rude comments. Promise 

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61 thoughts on “Research on the Relationship between Rape and Dressing”

  1. People are too emotional to think of preventive measures. “Sexy dressing” is has become highly influential to some women’s self confidence. A girl I like so much blocked me on Twitter for sharing these same views.

    Ladies do not want preventive advice.

    For instance, A “normal” guy is more likely to “want to have sex with his wife” when she’s wearing “a short skirt” than when she is wearing “Jean trousers”.

    Funny enough, even when “his wife or girlfriend is not in the mood”, a few kisses and “space for the fingers to reach the vagina” is a motivation. This is how a lot of men think, especially in Nigeria. “I have had that bad mentality” (which has changed now), to “TRY A BIT MORE” (usually, a few more kisses, touching and BEGGING) even when she says she is not in the mood, and half of the time, “she happily gets in the mood”. The question is: “Is this date rape?”.

    I also had a bad mentality that a “lady wants you to try more kisses, etc”, before she says YES.

    Sadly, so many Nigerian women “have this mentality” that “if she say YES” at first kisses and touching, it means “she is a lose girl”.

    For example, my girlfriend (ex now) once told “she was not in the mood”, and I stopped the advances for that day, only for her to say later, “you should have tried harder”.

    If most people will be honest, especially in Nigeria, there seems to be a thin line between “date rape” (especially in a sexual relationship) and “begging her for sex”.

    In conclusion, both Nigerian boys and girls (from 12 years) need serious “SEX EDUCATION”.

    I for instance, as well as many other boys got “our first sex education” from peers and the teaching is usually “KISS AND HOLD HER TIGHT UNTIL SHE IS IN THE MOOD” (especially if she likes you “a bit”).
    …and that sounds like date rape.

    You’ll be surprised at how many “twenty-something” year old boys still think date rape is okay.

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    1. unfortunately you are right. There is a need for education on both sides. The ladies should say what they want and mean it and the guys must stop when she says so.

      The decision as to whether it is date rape or not falls on the lady if she had said no and you pushed she could say she was raped. Which is why I believe communication should be clear and straight forward. No should be no.

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    2. FALSE

      Excerpt:

      While people perceive dress to have an impact on who is assaulted, studies of rapists suggest that victim attire is not a significant factor. Instead, rapists look for signs of passiveness and submissiveness, which, studies suggest, are more likely to coincide with more body-concealing clothing. In a study to test whether males could determine whether women were high or low in passiveness and submissiveness, Richards and her colleagues found that men, using only nonverbal appearance cues, could accurately assess which women were passive and submissive versus those who were dominant and assertive.

      Clothing was one of the key cues: “Those females high in passivity and submissiveness (i.e., those at greatest risk for victimization) wore noticeably more body-concealing clothing (i.e., high necklines, long pants and sleeves, multiple layers).”

      This suggests that men equate body-concealing clothing with passive and submissive qualities, which are qualities that rapists look for in victims. Thus, those who wore provocative clothes would not be viewed as passive or submissive, and would be less likely to be victims of assault.

      Source:

      http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=djglp

      Like

  2. One quote you said was:

    “The four motivations for rape are s-xual gratification, anger rape, power rape, and sadistic rape. Sexual gratification is generally believed to be the motivation behind acquaintance and date rape.”

    I was discussing this recently; I said that dress is a factor in rape, though not necessarily to the person in question. What I mean by that is, the general way that women dress (considering we are stereotyping here) is something that makes it easy to see them one way, ( if one wanted to that is). And, as the quote says that ‘gratification’ is one reason, in other words, desire, this implies again that dress and appearance is a factor. But my point, in case you missed it, is, that the one raped may be answering for the dress and actions of others. I think though that rape has many reasons, for certainly a lack of empathy is strongly involved, hence the reason that when alcohol is involved, there is more chance of rape.

    The reason we think policemen are policemen, is because they dress like policemen- right? If that is the case, then men and women (especially) should dress accordingly, and act accordingly, to not put temptation in the way of those who are obviously wrong, ie, the rapist, whether it be man or woman. This is why we put locks on doors is it not? Even without locks, no one should break in, but we know they will. So rape is wrong, but lets put the locks on doors. This means not putting oneself in the wrong situation, wrong dress, wrong attitude, drink etc.

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    1. And you’re proving that you’re ignorant of the facts with your own conservative proclivities.

      Excerpt:

      While people perceive dress to have an impact on who is assaulted, studies of rapists suggest that victim attire is not a significant factor. Instead, rapists look for signs of passiveness and submissiveness, which, studies suggest, are more likely to coincide with more body-concealing clothing. In a study to test whether males could determine whether women were high or low in passiveness and submissiveness, Richards and her colleagues found that men, using only nonverbal appearance cues, could accurately assess which women were passive and submissive versus those who were dominant and assertive.

      Clothing was one of the key cues: “Those females high in passivity and submissiveness (i.e., those at greatest risk for victimization) wore noticeably more body-concealing clothing (i.e., high necklines, long pants and sleeves, multiple layers).”

      This suggests that men equate body-concealing clothing with passive and submissive qualities, which are qualities that rapists look for in victims. Thus, those who wore provocative clothes would not be viewed as passive or submissive, and would be less likely to be victims of assault.

      Source:

      http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=djglp

      Like

  3. Lynne Richards, A Theoretical Analysis of Nonverbal Communication and Victim Selection for
    Sexual Assaults, 9 CLOTHING & TEXTILES RES. J. 55, 59–60 (Summer 1991)

    Try again.

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  4. Rape is never woman’s fault but we have to consider preventive measures. Social Behavior & Dress code for men & women are meant for prevention. Preventive measures are often inconvinient. More inconvinient for the vulnerable sections. Women are vulnerable, hence they have to take more precautions. In Islam both men & women are given certain instructions like lowering gaze, not staring at each other, dressing properly, avoiding intoxicants, preventing intermingling of sexes, prohibiting dancing & singing sexually provoking songs.

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    1. FALSE. Dress has no statistical significance.

      Excerpt:

      While people perceive dress to have an impact on who is assaulted, studies of rapists suggest that victim attire is not a significant factor. Instead, rapists look for signs of passiveness and submissiveness, which, studies suggest, are more likely to coincide with more body-concealing clothing. In a study to test whether males could determine whether women were high or low in passiveness and submissiveness, Richards and her colleagues found that men, using only nonverbal appearance cues, could accurately assess which women were passive and submissive versus those who were dominant and assertive.

      Clothing was one of the key cues: “Those females high in passivity and submissiveness (i.e., those at greatest risk for victimization) wore noticeably more body-concealing clothing (i.e., high necklines, long pants and sleeves, multiple layers).”

      This suggests that men equate body-concealing clothing with passive and submissive qualities, which are qualities that rapists look for in victims. Thus, those who wore provocative clothes would not be viewed as passive or submissive, and would be less likely to be victims of assault.

      Source:

      http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=djglp

      Like

      1. LOL! Really now I’m done. And I have to ask you to go look for someone else to bother. Plus if you post any other abusive comment in this site, I will delete it like I deleted the last two. Remain blessed.

        Like

  5. I will definitely re-read your blog. We “know” what women should do to avoid being raped. What say you to those who rape people? I see many campaigns telling people like me that I need to do X, Y, and Z and stay away from A, B, and C. However, I have yet to see a campaign that condemns rapists entirely.

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  6. Woman who dress provocatively are allowing themselves to be used and abused. It may make them feel good about themselves to show a lot of skin or wear skin tight clothes. I think this also signifies that a woman doesn’t feel confident enough to force people to judge her for personality. There is never an excuse for rape. Anyone, both male or female who dresses provocatively is motivating people to fantasize about them. It is like dangling a piece of candy in front of a child and then telling them they can’t have it. You just hope the child is mature enough to understand. Everyone has a breaking point and tempting people with forbidden fruit just adds to it. I think as a society we should all show some respect for ourselves and other people and just covet up ( I am talking to both men and women).

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    1. And you’re wrong. Dressing provocatively is about confidence. Did you not bother to read the article? Of course you didn’t. You’re probably a conservative.

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      1. For your information, if you had read the research study that she herself linked, you would know that was the conclusion. This lady didn’t read the research study that she cited. And I’d thank you not to make assumptions about my behavior based upon your own ignorant proclivities.

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      2. “From this study we may be moved to conclude that the more provocatively dressed a woman is dressed the less likely she is to be harassed. This finding seems to agree with this feed shared by @Cherox in which I was copied http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/sexual-assault-survivors-answer-the-question-what-were-you-w. Most of the women in this interview were definitely not provocatively dressed”. This is a direct quote from the article. Did you read it?

        Like

      3. Did you read the study you’re referring to? That Buzzfeed post isn’t a study and you’re just showing how ignorant you are of statistics.

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      4. It’s interesting how you throw around words. If you had bothered to check where the above quote was taken out from, you would see that the quote was referring to the same study you are here touting. And the Buzz feed piece was used to provide additional support for this position.

        Perhaps I need to point out at this time that you antagonistic approach is helping neither you nor this case. There is no disputing what the research says even if this stand is not entirely sacrosanct. You may choose to keep taking this research in isolation of all others or you may choose a more holistic approach. It really does not matter how loudly you scream that a dog is a pig, it won’t make a dog a pig. I wish you the best in your quest to get people on to your side of the argument.

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      5. No, you’re just being patronizing now because you clearly never did your research. If you can’t even discern fact from your own opinion then this conversation is a total waste of my time.

        Oh, but just to disprove your summation:

        Excerpt:

        While people perceive dress to have an impact on who is assaulted, studies of rapists suggest that victim attire is not a significant factor. Instead, rapists look for signs of passiveness and submissiveness, which, studies suggest, are more likely to coincide with more body-concealing clothing. In a study to test whether males could determine whether women were high or low in passiveness and submissiveness, Richards and her colleagues found that men, using only nonverbal appearance cues, could accurately assess which women were passive and submissive versus those who were dominant and assertive.

        Clothing was one of the key cues: “Those females high in passivity and submissiveness (i.e., those at greatest risk for victimization) wore noticeably more body-concealing clothing (i.e., high necklines, long pants and sleeves, multiple layers).”

        This suggests that men equate body-concealing clothing with passive and submissive qualities, which are qualities that rapists look for in victims. Thus, those who wore provocative clothes would not be viewed as passive or submissive, and would be less likely to be victims of assault.

        Source:

        http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=djglp

        As I mentioned, I do my research.

        Like

      6. You said this is a waste of your time, yet you remain here? Posting long and multiple comments? I am confused at the moment. Again, this is one research and you say you do your research by quoting a research already quoted? Permit me to laugh. I repeat, this is one of a number of researches quoted and acknowledged by the writer. And if after reading the entire content analysis you choose to run with just this one, fine.

        Like

      7. Yes, I choose the research that actually cites interviews with rapists themselves and that determines the pattern of behavior based upon case studies involving women being raped.

        Like

  7. Most rape is about power and domination, not about sex. However rape is also often a crime of opportunity, which means that the rapist generally acts more or less on impulse, choosing a victim who seems available and vulnerable. While the victim is NEVER to blame, women can and should be aware of situations in which they are at higher risk, and take steps to avoid these when they can. In most cases this has more to do with location than with clothing, though. Women need to avoid being in isolated locations with a potential rapist, and they need to avoid becoming drunk or high on drugs in a situation where rape could occur. Because of the prevalence of rohypnol and other “date-rape drugs”, many women’s self-defense classes now recommend that a woman out on a date or at a party or club should never set her drink down or drink anything that is handed to her by another person. It’s sad that women must go to such lengths to protect themselves, but it is important that they do so.

    Those who rape children are psychologically ill. For them, too, rape is a attempt to exert control and power over the victim. Pedophilia is virtually impossible to treat, and in a great many cases the rapist was once a child victim, so the cycle goes on and on. Most pedophiles use shame and threats to keep their victims from revealing what is happening, so the victims do not get the help and support they need.

    Like

    1. You’re proving that you never researched this subject:

      Excerpt:

      While people perceive dress to have an impact on who is assaulted, studies of rapists suggest that victim attire is not a significant factor. Instead, rapists look for signs of passiveness and submissiveness, which, studies suggest, are more likely to coincide with more body-concealing clothing. In a study to test whether males could determine whether women were high or low in passiveness and submissiveness, Richards and her colleagues found that men, using only nonverbal appearance cues, could accurately assess which women were passive and submissive versus those who were dominant and assertive.

      Clothing was one of the key cues: “Those females high in passivity and submissiveness (i.e., those at greatest risk for victimization) wore noticeably more body-concealing clothing (i.e., high necklines, long pants and sleeves, multiple layers).”

      This suggests that men equate body-concealing clothing with passive and submissive qualities, which are qualities that rapists look for in victims. Thus, those who wore provocative clothes would not be viewed as passive or submissive, and would be less likely to be victims of assault.

      Source:

      http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=djglp

      Like

  8. The flaw in your logic is this. If only 1% of rapists will target women dressed provocatively but 80% will target women dressed in a conservative fashion, dressing conservatively is a greater risk factor. The research indicates that this is very likely the case. In my experience, men are more likely to be intimidated into silence by provocative clothing and forward behavior.
    Who to victimize is a personal choice. The person 100 offenders would pass up needs only stumble across one offender who sees her as the perfect victim.

    Like

    1. The flaw in your logic is thinking 1% is negligible. The question is 1% of how what? 1? This 1% refers to humans and you are reducing them to insignificant statistics. Someone can and will benefit from the information presented. So don’t strut in and find the flaw in my logic, pick out the log in your eye first.

      Like

      1. No, you’re just proving that you have a conservative agenda if you ignore the fact more conservatively dressed women are raped as a result of social conditioning making them submissive.

        Like

      2. Are you not I the same breath ignoring the fact that less conservatively dressed women may be raped because of the social conditioning that they asked for it?

        Perhaps at this point we should return to can and should. Like I pointed out in a response to someone else, even if the figure is as insignificant as1% of rape victims and I may go down to 0.5%, they may be statistically insignificant to you but not to me. So, I will talk to the ladies around me of how not to dress or act around these crazed fellows that feel they are fair picking. In the same breath I shall spread the gospel among all men I meet, NO FEMALE DESERVES TO BE RAPED. EVEN IF SHE IS WALKING AROUND NAKED, EVEN IF SHE SAUD YES AND THEN SAID NO. LET HER BE.

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  9. I didnt have time to read the whole thing but i have to say the part where you speek of women who dress more provocative are less likely to be sexually harassed and then tie that with the same as rape. First i think, and this is my opinion since at this time i have no proof,but the only reason the defendants dont use the excuse of what the woman was wearing was the reason they chose to harass them is becuse their lawyers told them that would not be a safe argument. The reason why i think this way is because we all know that no matter what a woman wears there is no excuse to sexually harassment, just like rape, no excuse. So in the defense stand point to blame the victim due what she was wearing would make no impact so im sure they try to find a way to use how the woman was acting that provoked the harassment. My problem is how to you tie sexual harassment with rape and use the numbers of sexual harassment to conlude the same for rape?

    Like

      1. Yes. Because I took this sentence “34% believe women who flirt can be blamed if they are raped and 26% say if a woman is in sexy clothing she is partly to blame.” from your research to add it to my essay and I need your first and last name please so I can add it to work cited page. Thank you for understanding

        Like

      2. My name is Abigail Anaba. I however did not carry out the study you quoted. As stated NOI Polls did: In January 2013, NOI polls published the following findings:

        Furthermore, in view of the debate that often arises about the cause(s) of rape in the society respondents were asked the following: What do you think is the prevalent cause of rape in the society? From the result, the majority of respondents (34%) were of the opinion that most prevalent cause of rape in the society is “Indecent dressing”; followed by 18% of respondents that cited “Unemployment”. Also, “Lack of moral values” and the “Inability to control sexual urge” were each cited by 9% of the respondents as the prevalent cause of rape. Other reasons mentioned by respondents include “Faulty upbringing” (7%), “Ungodliness”, “Illiteracy about women rights” and “Bad Company” (all with 5%). 
        http://www.noi-polls.com/index.php?s_id=3&p_id=220&p_pt=1&parent=11#.UyGGF2JdV5I

        Like

  10. I’m coming late (like, really late) to this party, but I find a couple flagrant loopholes with the general way the topic is adressed on the article: first and foremost, the studies used to posit the idea that dressing provocatively does indeed play a factor into favoring sexual assault are not studies abut sexual assault but about perception of sexual assault; It doesn’t matter what the public perception is, because the public perception doesn’t change the fact that the article which claims dressing *less* provocatively could actually be more dangerous actually takes into account instances of rape. If 34% of people think rapists act on an urge produced by dressing provocatively, then 34% of people can be utterly wrong. It’s a very obvious cognitive pitfall to equate public opinion to actual statistics.
    Now for the second point: let’s assume that a woman who dresses provocatively does have even a very small chance of being raped *because* she was dressing provocatively. Even a very small chance is too much of a chance… But here comes the caveat: if *not* dressing provocatively puts the woman at even greater risk (as stated in the first study) then how would dressing less provocatively be a solution at all? It’s like saying “yes, swimming in shark infested areas is very dangerous, but you could be attacked even if you swim in tranquil waters… So I would advise you to avoid tranquil waters”… This article provides no solid defense for the idea that women should be taught to dress less provocatively in order to prevent sexual assault.

    Like

    1. Yes, you are indeed coming very late to the party and yes to all you said. Problem is, you came reading with the belief that I set out to prove there is a relationship between rape and dressing. All I did is presebt the data and perception I found on the matter and draw a conclusion on what I personally would do. What you choose to do after analyzing all of this is entirely up to you.

      Like

  11. I’m studying correlation in psychology. Is there a correlation between suggestive dress and rape? Is it positive or negative correlation? Are there any third variables or confounding variables that might affect results?

    Like

    1. There is little or no research to prove a negative co relation: that is wearing materials that expose the body could lead to rape. I think that happens in people’s minds. Rape is not a direct result of what a woman is wearing but what a man is thinking. I think further research into the mind of a rapist will show that individual rapists have various triggers. Some could be triggered by a half naked woman or man and others by one fully clothed. This is why some think the only solution is to stop the rapist. In reality though, this may not be possible.

      Like

  12. Thanks for the article! This saved me alot of time in researching. And it has also opened me up to looking at the studies in depth!

    Like

  13. I think you’re right that prevention should be separated from blame. Those definitely aren’t the same thing, but people seem to conflate them. It’s really complicated and messy though. Not to mention really emotionally charged.
    I’m just sticking with my personal approach of: if they touch me sexually without asking, I kick them in the balls. The only 2 guys I’ve done it to have both collapsed on the floor in agony, allowing me to walk away calmly.

    Like

    1. Jeez, I get that sexual harassment is a big problem, but kicking someone in the balls simply for touching you is a bit harsh isn’t it?

      Like

      1. But that’s such a wide category of different things. There’s just casually slapping someone on the ass and then there’s violent rape at the other extreme.
        Do you think ALL of those legitimise a kick in the balls?

        Like

      2. “Casually slapping someone in the ass” is repugnant to the recipient and s/he is free to react as they deep fit. If you don’t want to be kicked in the ball, keep your hands to yourself.

        Like

      3. I understand it’s not good. But don’t you think you need some kind of gradient of punishment.
        I mean some people consider touching your leg to be a sexual thing.
        Should that get a man kicked in the balls too?

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      4. I think the key point Gary is that there’s just clear communication. So if you’re incredibly special about someone touching your leg, you just need to make that obvious because it’s not necessarily universal.
        Whereas I think touching a woman’s breasts and is universally understood as something men shouldn’t be doing. So yes, I make no apology about those guys ending up on the floor with some bruised testicles.

        Like

  14. As a feminist , I love the down to earth but the non-victim blaming way you handled the topic . I also share the same sentiments about “protection is not victim blaming” ( Mainly because I live in a third world country . Protection is the only way to survive with a shit police force , and the fact that there is little to no evidence to prove whether it was consensual sex or rape ! )

    Like

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