Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Advisor(s)

Matthew Ezzell

Beth Eck

Margaret Plass

Abstract

Empirical research shows that as many as 1 in 4 women in college will be raped or sexually assaulted. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of these crimes, survivors of sexual violence often feel uncertain, isolated, and fearful of judgment when coming forward to authorities. Even amidst improvements in sexual violence education and response, it appears there is still something missing in the way that sexual crimes are handled. This research, based on in-depth interviews with women who have been assaulted or raped, addresses the processes of meaning-making women use following an experience of sexual violence. Common themes include victim blaming, emotion work, shame of their sexuality, and a perceived indifference to the epidemic of sexual assault in this culture. The evidence explicitly shows a pattern of rape- prone ideologies in this culture, and how they groom women for silent victimhood from a young age.

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