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Rape Culture #13: Rape Culture and Pornography

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Part thirteen in a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka 

In 2017, the world’s largest porn website reached 28.5 billion visitors, an average of 81 million people per day. The country with the most web traffic? The United States. Why is this important? Research shows that porn is linked to acceptance of rape culture. People who blame rape victims are more likely to use pornography. They watch hours and hours of porn that shows rape as normal and exciting. Porn users are more likely to think negatively about women, become desensitized to sexual images and messages in the media, and endorse rape myths. In porn, sexualized women are less human—they are objects.

            Violent porn: Those who consume violent pornography or media behave in the ways portrayed. Pornography consumption is linked with sexual aggression. One study resulted in the support of the associations between frequent pornography use and sexually aggressive behaviors, particularly for …

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Rape Culture #12: Rape Culture and Gender Stereotypes

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Part twelve in a series by Joy Pedrow Skarkah 

Early on children pick up on gender stereotypes. For example, a school might bring football players into the classroom to give motivational talks, and students will hear the players make statements such as, “All my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong… boys aren’t supposed to be soft-spoken. One day, you’ll have a very, very deep voice… But the ladies―they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men supposed to be strong.” Kids hear this narrative: Girls are weak. Boys are strong.

“Modesty talks” can reinforce gender stereotypes with teens if such talks characterize women as sexual tempters and men as sexual animals who cannot be tamed. In such talks, often given in church youth groups, females become defined by their bodies, and males become defined only by what happens in their brains. From a young age we …

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Rape Culture #11: Rape Culture and Colleges

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Part eleven in a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka

My mom dropped me off at college, waving goodbye as she drove away in her minivan. Tears in her eyes, she was sad to lose her baby girl. Only three days later, I would sit in my dorm room crying alone after I was raped.

 Rape culture has infiltrated college campuses. We send our daughters, who are barely legal adults, into colleges where we know they could get raped. The federally funded Campus Climate Survey revealed that 20 percent of college-aged women experienced sexual assault at some point during college. That means that 1 in 5 college students will experience sexual assault in college. In a friend group of ten girls, two will have been raped. In my college experience, this number was even higher. Why? Because 88 percent of women sexually assaulted on campus do not report it. Those who do …

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