Rape is an Act of Sexual Violence

Rape is an Act of Sexual Violence

Rape is an Act of Violence; Ogletree Deakins; Quianna S. Canada

Rape is an act of sexual violence, typically perpetrated by males against females or other males. The concept of rape suggests some degree of force in that the sexual encounter is not consensual. Rape is an act of brutality and terror; the rapist is primarily motivated by the need to dominate and control the victim. In the United States, the relationship of rape to race and racism lies in myths created and perpetuated by Europeans about black sexuality that fueled racial violence for centuries. From the slavery era until the mid-twentieth century, myths surrounding black sexuality perpetuated the notion of the hypersexual black woman and the criminally sexual black man.



Grounded in the belief that black people were inherently primitive and sexually deviant, these myths served as justifications for various forms of racialized violence by whites toward black men and women. Rape is also a racially significant concept because historically, white women were viewed as chaste and in need of protection; black women were considered unchaste and responsible for any violence directed at them. Well into the twentieth century and beyond, studies show that the experiences of black rape victims are very different from those of white rape victims and that in general, white women’s charges of rape are given more credence than similar accusations made by black women or other women of color.



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  1. useful than ever before.

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