Examining Rape Allegations On Women Victims Criminology Essay

During 2007/08 the constabulary recorded 11,648 cases of colza against a female, 1,006 against a male and over 24,000 other sexual offenses ( Kershaw, Nicholas and Walker 2008 ) and with one in four adult females reported to be the victim of colza or attempted colza at some point during their life ( Painter 1991 ) , it is a much debated subject within public policy and academe. Yet, research indicates that merely about 9 % of reported colzas end in strong belief ( Lees and Gregory 1993 ) and some suggest this figure may be every bit low as 5 % ( Lea et al 2003 cited in Kelly, Lovett and Regan 2005 ) , significantly lower than in 1980 ( Geoghegan 2007 ) . This, combined with the fact that research indicates that every bit few as 6 % of those who experience colza study it to the constabulary ( Faizey 1994 ) , illustrates that the overpowering bulk of wrongdoers fail to confront strong belief. These statistics are supported by surveies whihc found that victims of colza, more than those sing other types of offense, had an increased likeliness of maintaining their victimization hidden ( Koss 1992 ) and others have asserted that it is the fright of being blamed and non believed that prevents victims from describing the offense ( Walker, Archer and Davis 2005, Calhoun and Townsley 1991 cited in Stormo, Lang and Stritzke 1997 ) . This fright may non be wholly baseless due to the fact that legion surveies have shown that colza victims are likely to be blamed, at least partly, for the assault ( Sinclair and Bourne 1998 ) and this can hold profound damaging impacts. Recovering from colza is a hard and emotional procedure ( Smith and Kelly 2001 ) and the impression that perceivers hold the victim responsible, even partly, means that they are more likely to fault themselves for the events and this can be highly harmful in footings of this recovery. This is strongly highlighted by Frazier and Schauben ( 1994 ) who found that both behavioral and characterological ego incrimination were associated with poorer recovery. Similarly, Kubany et Al ( 1995 ) demonstrated that injury related guilt showed a positive correlativity to conditions such as post-traumatic emphasis upset, depression and self-destruction. Hence, it is obvious that ascription of incrimination victims in instances of colza has potentially important and terrible damaging effects. Such findings and averments, combined with Fortune ‘s ( 1983 ) observation that whether or non this psychological harm experienced by a victim becomes lasting is strongly influenced by the response of those around the victim, accordingly emphasise that research into the country of blasted ascription with respect to instances of colza is of critical importance.

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Male Victims and Victimology.

Despite the country of colza going progressively outstanding within academe and policy, male victims are predominately neglected by the gendered nature of looking at the phenomenon ( Graham 2006 ) . This is emphasised by Nielsen ‘s ( 1983 ) studies that, until the 1980s, the pronoun used in the instances of sexual assault was about entirely ‘she ‘ and Sivakumaran ‘s ( 2005 ) further asserts that there is an “ international silence ” ( p.1274 ) on the issue of male colza victims. However, despite a deficiency of attending, research suggests that more than 3 % of grownup males in the United Kingdom experience unwanted sexual experiences during their life-time ( Coxell et al 1999 ) and the figures of recorded male colza victims since 1995 at the same time mirror those of female victims prior to the fiftiess ( Howitt 2009 ) , therefore, proposing that as records become more constituted this figure may dramatically increase. The stigma attached to male colza victims is besides reported to be even higher than that experienced by females ( Mezey and King 1992 cited in Gregory and Lees 1999 ) and this is farther reinforced by findings that overall male victims are viewed more negatively than females ( Whatley and Riggio1993 ) , and less likely to describe the offense ( Abbey et al 2001 ) . All these factors accordingly highlight the pressing demand for farther research into this country.

This disregard of male colza victims is representative of criminology ‘s stance of sing males and maleness within society. Despite the fact that work forces outnumber adult females as both wrongdoers and, crucially, victims ( Smith 2005 ) , peculiarly of violent offense ( Hollway and Jefferson 2000 ) , work forces are overpoweringly conceptualised in criminology as culprits of offense and adult females as victims and this conceptualization assumes there is a clear differentiation between the two ( Newburn and Stanko 1995 ) . This is apparent in the fact that within the subject, treatments of maleness and males are, in general, focussed upon work forces ‘s criminalism at the terrible disregard of their victimization ( Stanko and Hobdell 2000 ) . In all societies ‘manhood ‘ and ‘womanhood ‘ are represented and portrayed in different ways ( Oakley 1972 ) and, in late modern societies, maleness is seen to be characterised and personified by a male who is tough, active and shows no fright or emotion ( Connell 1987 ) . This representation in bend leads to males themselves besides defying the label of being a ‘victim ‘ for fright of this being in struggle with society ‘s, and so their ain, thoughts on maleness ( Owen 1995 ) .

Consequently, whilst sexual exploitation among adult females has come to been seen as about an ‘everyday ‘ experience ( Stanko 1990 ) , it was n’t until the seventiess that the subject of ‘male colza ‘ even emerged ( Scacco 1982 ) and still now there is much less literature, theory and research available on the issue. This point is reinforced by the fact that it is merely late that the definition of colza has been widened to include non-consensual incursion of the anus and before this alteration in the jurisprudence, whilst colza and non-consensual sodomy of a adult female carried a 25 twelvemonth prison sentence, non-consensual sodomy of a adult male held the penalty of merely ten old ages imprisonment ( Selfe and Burke 2001 ) . The new facet of the jurisprudence was introduced by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 ( which came into consequence in January 1995 ) ( Rumney and Morgan-Taylor 1997 ) and the first successful strong belief was witnessed in June 1995 ( Rogers 1995 ) . Yet, the intervention of male colza allegations by the condemnable justness system has received really small attending from any angle ( Rumney 2001 ) despite the fact that during the first twelvemonth the jurisprudence was introduced a strong belief rate of less than 3 % was achieved ( Gregory and Lees 1999 ) . This low strong belief rate is consistent with the belief that a alteration in the jurisprudence will be comparatively uneffective if it is non at the same time matched by a alteration in the premises and attitudes of those persons who are given the duty to implement the jurisprudence, i.e. the general population ( Lowe 1984 ) . Such research and observations hence uphold and back up the widely held position that male colza is an under-investigated phenomenon ( Anderson and Quinn 2009 ) and that this issue needs to be addressed order to profit non merely victims but besides to inform, direct and educate persons, policy and academe.

Therefore, there is a significant, terrible and widespread disregard of male victims within the Fieldss of colza and criminology as a whole. However, the limited sum of research available refering male colza victims draws attending to a few important points. Findingss have suggested that, in line with decisions associating to female victims, male subsisters systematically display much poorer psychological operation as a consequence of the assault, exposing much lower degrees of ego worth and ego esteem ( Archer, Davies and Walker 2005 ) . Hence, this highlights the demand to turn to the issue of blasted ascription so that victims can have the appropriate support without fright of unsympathetic intervention and incrimination for the assault. In add-on to this, males have besides been posited to hold been socialised into seeing themselves as invulnerable from an onslaught and later, along with the other defined effects, the experience of colza, for males, threatens their position of their topographic point in the universe which until that point had traditionally been defined by and in footings of their maleness ( Fortune 1983 ) . Homosexual male victims have besides been found to be attributed more duty than heterosexual victims ( Mitchell, Hirschman and Hall 1999 ) , farther reenforcing the impression that other factors, such as sexual orientation, can drastically change the opinion of persons ( Anderson 2004 ) . Other such factors that have besides been found to stand for of import misconceptions environing males as victims of colza are those such as how a adult male could neglect to adequately support himself or how he could accomplish an hard-on in such a state of affairs ( Anderson and Doherty 2008 cited in Anderson and Quinn 2009 ) . All these factors suggest that males are likely to see a high degree of blasted ascription and, as illustrated before, this holds the possible to take to terrible damaging effects hence underscoring the pressing demand to turn to this issue.

Theories of Blame Attribution.

The demand for persons to situate incrimination is based on “ the proposition that persons have a basic demand for causality that is rooted in their desire to understand their universe ” ( Temkin and Krahe 2008, p.42 ) . Concurrently, as this demand for insouciant accounts is even more outstanding when events are unexpected or consequence in negative results ( Weiner 1985 ) , persons are about certain to impute incrimination when accounting for an case of colza. The ascription of incrimination in instances of colza has been theorised and accounted for in relation to two specific and outstanding hypotheses ; the Just World hypothesis and Defensive Attribution theory. The Just World hypothesis, developed by Lerner ( 1965 ) , asserts that persons have a demand to believe in a ‘just universe ‘ and that people get what they deserve, i.e. good things happen to good people and bad events must go on because persons deserve that result for being ‘bad ‘ . Consequently, this theory postulates that persons engage in faulting colza victims, and endorse colza myths ( Ford et al 1998 ) , in order to keep this position of the universe. This theory has been extensively investigated with respect to victim incrimination ( Furnham 2003 ) and received a high degree of support ( e.g. Whatley and Riggio 1993 ) . The theory has besides been found to be applicable in relation to a assortment of victim types such as accident victims and HIV patients ( Hafer and Begue 2005 ) in add-on to colza victims, exposing its widespread deductions and affect. Defensive ascription theory, put frontward by Shaver ( 1970 ) , differs from the Just World hypothesis as it posits that persons distort their position of the wrongdoer ‘s and the victim ‘s functions in an event depending on their perceived similarity to either the victim or the wrongdoer ( Herzog 2008 ) and this in bend is affects the eventful arrangement of incrimination. This deformation and subsequent incrimination ascription procedure, the theory asserts, theoretically, serves to protect an person ‘s belief that they would be afforded the same lenience and empathy ( Chaikin and Darley 1973 ) . Hence, in the instance of colza the more similar a individual perceives himself or herself to the victim, the less incrimination they are expected to impute them in order to keep the belief that they excessively would non be blamed in the same state of affairs.

In footings of using these two major theories environing blasted ascription to ravish scenarios, they suggest that different consequences might be found. The Just World hypothesis suggests that the degree of incrimination attributed to male victims will be dependent on the perceiver ‘s strength of belief in a ‘just universe ‘ instead than the gender of the victim or the type of colza being depicted. This reflects the nucleus renter of the theory ; that persons engage in faulting entirely to keep their belief that the universe is a ‘fair ‘ topographic point. Defensive Attribution theory, in contrast, suggests that there will be disagreements in the degree of incrimination attached to assorted depicted victims. In this instance, the more similar a participant perceives themselves to be to the victim the less incrimination they will be expected to impute to them as this theory is based on the premiss that persons blame others significantly less if they consider themselves potentially capable to the same procedure and opinion in the hereafter. Therefore, as adult females fear going a victim of colza more than any other offense ( Hickman and Muehlenhard 1997 ) and to a much greater extent than males ( Warr 1985, Fisher and Sloan 2003 ) they might be expected to place more with the victims of colza and hence attribute less duty to the depicted victims. Similarly, there is by and large a much greater fright associated with going a victim of offense committed by a alien in comparing to an familiarity ( Wilcox, Jordan and Pritchard 2006 ) and such fright is associated with an increased perceived likeliness of being raped ( O’Donovan, Devilly and Rapee 2007 ) . Subsequently these factors may take to a reduced degree of incrimination being levelled at victims of alien colza as persons perceive themselves to be at an increased hazard of happening themselves in the same state of affairs and hence capable to the same opinions.

Frequently pulling upon these theories, it is widely cited that situational variables and the features of the victim are besides influential when opinions are made in footings of incrimination ( Rye, Greatrix and Enright 2006 ) . Factors such as the ingestion of intoxicant by the victim prior to the onslaught are systematically shown to increase the degree of incrimination attributed to victims ( Stormo, Lang and Stritzke 1997 ) . Similarly, the grade of opposition exhibited by the victim ( Yescavage 1999 ) , the type of vesture worn ( Workman and Freeburg 1999 ) and the victim ‘s sexual history ( L’Armand and Pepitone 1982 ) have all been demonstrated to impact the degree of incrimination attributed to ravish victims. Furthermore, in add-on to the features of the victim, much research has besides focused on the influence of the perceiver ‘s gender and the type of colza experienced or depicted ( seduction, day of the month or alien ) . These have systematically been found to be extremely important, and will organize the focal point of the current research as they remain badly developing in relation to male victims.

Observer Gender.

In relation to both male and female victims of colza, research systematically highlights that the perceptual experience of the victim and the subsequent ascription of incrimination is mediated and influenced by the features of the perceiver. The gender of the perceiver is one such characteristic which has been extensively researched in order to find its consequence on the ascription of incrimination. In a reappraisal of the research sing female victims, Grubb and Harrower ( 2008 ) concluded that, in general, adult females attribute less incrimination to the victim than work forces, frequently posited to be linked to work forces ‘s increased leaning to believe in colza myths, such as ‘she brought it on herself ‘ ( Burt 1980 ) , in comparing to adult females ( Johnson, Kuck and Schander 1997 ) . In a fake colza test it was besides reported that females were more likely to back up a guilty finding of fact than male participants ( Fischer 1991 ) . Similarly, although there is limited research available on male victims, some surveies have suggested that male perceivers blame both male and female victims more than their female opposite numbers ( Anderson and Lyons 2005 ) . The findings that males make harsher opinions towards victims have besides been demonstrated to stretch beyond the general populace to include, among others, professions which on a regular basis come into contact with such victims. Brown and King ( 1998 ) , for case, illustrated that female constabulary officers systematically harboured more positive attitudes towards victims than their male opposite numbers.

Social psychologists frequently draw upon Social Identity Theory ( Capozza 2000 ) to explicate this evident gender difference. This theory posits that persons tend to keep more positive attitudes, and accordingly do more favorable opinions, towards members of their in group ( Abrams 1990 ) . Therefore, as work forces are postulated to place more with the wrongdoer in a colza scenario ( Popovich et al 1995 ) and adult females are considered to sympathize more with the victim, adult females are hypothesised to impute less duty to victims of colza. This predication is supported by surveies which have so found that, in general, males do empathise less with victims ( Sinclair and Bourne 1998, Jimenez and Abreu 2003 ) which later predicts less favorable attitudes to victims.

Another important factor which attending has been drawn to, in this country, are the gender differences environing the issue of consent. Men and adult females have systematically been found to “ often misinterpret the purpose of assorted dating behaviors and titillating drama ” ( Weiner 1993 p.147 cited in McGregor 2005 ) and at the same time, work forces have been found to possess different conceptualizations of what really constitutes colza ( Clark and Carroll 2008 ) . Indicative of this point is the presentation that work forces, to a greater extent than adult females, have been found to believe that consent had been given when it had n’t ( McGregor 2005 ) . This was strongly highlighted in survey which reported that, in fake colza instances, males assigned higher ‘consent evaluations ‘ to all conditions than female participants ( Harris and Weiss 1995 ) and, in a similar mode, work forces have been found to hold a greater credence of insouciant sex ( Lenton and Bryan 2005 ) . Hence, males may impute less incrimination to a culprit of a sexual offense owing to the fact that they believe consent was given.

However, non all surveies have revealed the same findings in relation to observer gender. Acock and Ireland ‘s ( 1983 ) and Krahe ‘s ( 1988 ) findings, for illustration, contradict the defined tendencies as they reported no difference in the ascription of incrimination between male and female participants towards a female victim. In a similar mode, many surveies dispute the determination that male perceivers blame male victims more than female perceivers ( Anderson 1999, Idisis, Ben-David and Ben-Nachum 2007 ) . A recent survey besides reported findings than females really blamed victims more than males with 71 % of females asseverating that victims should take duty if they got into bed with a adult male compared to merely 57 % of males ( BBC 2010 ) . In relation to the fake colza test research outlined antecedently in which females were reportedly more likely to back up a guilty finding of fact ( Fischer 1991 ) , it was besides found that it was non until females represented an overpowering bulk ( 10 to 2 ) that an addition in guilty finding of facts were returned ( Fischer 1997 ) . Therefore, more research and elucidation is clearly necessary as there is far from a consensus or the needed deepness of research on this issue.

Type of Rape.

The type of colza experienced or depicted has received much attending in footings of its consequence on the degree of duty assigned to victims. Although there are exclusions ( e.g. Bolt and Caswell 1981 ) , Grubb and Harrower ( 2008 ) , in their reappraisal, found that female victims who were acquainted with their aggressor were, in general, capable to significantly harsher opinions than victims of alien colza. A research survey besides, worryingly, revealed findings that more than a 3rd of people believe a victim should accept at least partial duty for an assault if they flirted with the culprit ( Amnesty International 2005 ) and perceivers have likewise been demonstrated to rate an incident of colza with less badness the more acquainted a victim is with the culprit ( Ben-David and Schneider 2005 ) . Such findings are in line with the widely acknowledged sentiment that victims of alien and familiarity colza can anticipate really different responses from perceivers ( Abrams, Masser and Viki 2004 ) . Subsequently, as it is about universally cited that the bulk of victims know their aggressor before the offense ( Cowling 1998 ) , with some findings proposing that every bit few as 8 % of colzas affecting female victims are committed by culprits non known to the victim ( Howitt 2009 ) , if these victims are being attributed a larger proportion of the incrimination, this represents an highly big per centum being subjected to such unfavorable opinions.

Although there is a terrible deficiency of research into whether the type of colza experienced by male victims effects the degree of incrimination they are attributed, if the tendencies are the same as in the instances of female victims this is once more distressing due to the fact that it is reported that every bit few as 30 % of male colzas are carried out by culprits non antecedently known to the victim ( Gregory and Lees 1999 ) . Some research suggests that males who are victims of day of the month or seduction colza are likely to be attributed a larger proportion of incrimination, due to the nature of the onslaught differing most highly from what is considered to be the ‘real colza ‘ scenario ( Temkin and Krahe 2008 ) . This stereotyped ‘real colza ‘ scenario consists of a victim, about universally female, being subjected to an onslaught by a alien in an out-of-door location with the application of high degrees of force and physical force from which the victim physically tries to keep her aggressor in vain ( Krahe 1992 ) . As many observe, this stereotype is at odds with the factual grounds associating to existent incidences of colza ( Fisher, Cullen and Daigle 2005 ) , yet, it has been demonstrated that the more a specific experience or happening of colza differs from this depicted ‘real colza ‘ scenario, the smaller the figure of people who are prepared to accept the incident as colza ( Burt and Albin 1981 ) . Worryingly, constabularies officers were besides found to continue and really back this ‘real colza ‘ stereotype ( Rose and Randall 1982 ) . Consequently, in footings of male victims, peculiarly those sing day of the month and seduction colza, the huge bulk of experiences differ immensely and sometimes wholly from the ‘real colza ‘ scenario in footings of gender and the existent incident. This means that if general public sentiment does so follow this form of appraisal of colza so the opportunities of a successful prosecution may be really low, as “ jurymans do non go forth their long held attitudes behind in the cloakroom when they enter a tribunal of jurisprudence ” ( Temkin and Krahe 2008 p.69 ) . Consequently, elucidation into the general degree of incrimination attributed to victims may assist to measure the degree to which this stereotyped position is adhered to and accepted or dispelled.

Many other factors which have been considered, theorised and researched ( chiefly in relation to female victims ) would besides look to propose that male victims who are acquainted with their aggressor may be more likely to be the topic of harsher opinions. Stranger colza is posited, for illustration, to non name into inquiry the nature of the victim ‘s behavior because there has been no anterior interaction between the wrongdoer and the victim ( Katz 1991 ) , hence the issue of consent is non blurred. Further to this point, day of the month and seduction colza “ occur in a societal context where consensual sex is a possibility whereas in alien colza, sex is by and large out of context ” ( Bechhofer and Parrot 1991 p.10 ) . Consequently, an incident affecting an familiarity may be less likely to be labelled every bit colza as it may non suit with an person ‘s “ colza book ” ( Littleton and Axsom 2003 ) and later a culprit may be held less responsible and more blasted directed towards the victim. This combination of factors is posited to lend to potentially harsher opinions of victims of familiarity colza. Hence, the deficiency of attending towards the consequence of the type of colza experienced by male victims on the degree of attributed incrimination combined with the terrible damaging effects of such ascription high spots the built-in and important demand to turn to this spread in the research.

Hence, past research has demonstrated and emphasised that duty and incrimination are frequently attributed, at least in portion, to victims of sexual offense with damaging effects. It is illustrated that such opinions and ascriptions can be a map of gender, ( of both the victim and perceiver of the offense ) , features of the assault and besides features of both the victim and perceiver. The intent of the current survey is to look into the first two of these factors with a specific focal point on male victims as research high spots that this is a badly ignored country within the field. Specifically, the survey is aimed at measuring whether, the gender of the perceiver is related to the degree of incrimination attributed to male victims and whether the type of colza depicted is an influential factor. These points will be investigated by manner of participants finishing a short questionnaire following a written sketch picturing a colza scenario and this should supply critical penetration into the degrees of incrimination experienced by different victims of colza and the factors which impact on this incrimination, which may accordingly assist to break direct policy, pattern and instruction.


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