Rape myth  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Rape myths are prejudicial, stereotyped and false beliefs about sexual assaults, rapists, and rape victims. They often serve to excuse sexual aggression, create hostility toward victims, and biases criminal prosecution. Rape myths first became a topic of research during the 1970s, when a number of studies and books explored the concept. In 1974, for example, feminist writer Susan Brownmiller decried "male myths of rape" which "deliberately obscure the true nature of rape" in her book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. The same year, criminologists Julia and Herman Schwendinger studied common misconceptions about rape, including the notion that rape was impossible - i.e., that any woman who really wanted to could prevent a rape - the idea victims of rape were "asking for it," and the idea that men rape because of "uncontrollable passions." They termed these misconceptions "sexist myths" which "influence the treatment of women victims." Both Brownmiller's work and the Schwendingers' study suggested that rape myths perpetuated male violence against women by placing blame on the victim, excusing the rapist, and minimizing or justifying the act of rape.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rape myth" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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