Date of Publication

5-15-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Moon Sun Kim, Associate Professor

Abstract

Rape is a serious and heinous crime seen all over the world. Through various studies and research, new information about sexual assault has made the crime a hotspot for debate. Social, psychological, and legal views all examine the issue, but many do not internationally compare rape and sexual assault. There are many reasons for this, validity of information, differing legal definitions, government interventions, and legal power, all can play a part in the ability for statistical and document-based comparison. This does not mean, however, that it cannot and should not be done.

By looking internationally, one nation can see how others have reacted to the increasing awareness or rape and possible intervention methods. But is that possible when it comes to two different nations that have treated rape so differently? The social and historical influences on cultural values or norms alter how certain actions are seen. In more recent years, an overwhelming number of social scientists have pointed to, what they call, rape culture as the basis of analysis for how people see rape in the United States. Is it seen the same in South Africa, though?

The simple answer is no. South African culture has been altered by years of colonization and subjugation that differs dramatically from that seen in the US. The occurrences of rape in South Africa differ in many ways, from those who are involved, the occurrences of certain types of rape, and the social responses to each. As is explained through this analysis, South Africa faces an epidemic of rape that is so endowed in their own culture it cannot be separated into a culture of its own.

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