Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Frederika E. Schmitt
Rape is a pervasive and serious social problem, brought to greater attention with the second-wave women's movement of the 1960–70s. The connection between rape and gender inequality is one of control. Rape, and the fear it produces, is a mechanism of social control that men in a patriarchal society use to maintain gender stratification. This type of social control occurs when women restrict their movements and behaviors due to the threat of rape. For example, women may be restricted from working late into the evening in fear of not getting home safely after dark. If a woman does not take responsibility for protecting herself by restricting her actions, and an assault does occur, she is made to feel responsible for the assault because she took such a risk. In a male-dominated society, rape both reflects the low valuation of women and contributes to their subordination in the sexual stratification system. ...