Introduction

The bibliography provides information on writings dealing with the history of rape, including sexual child abuse, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, child prostitution, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual(ized) violence. The blog informs about calls for papers, forthcoming events and new literature in this field.

January 5, 2013

ART: Monsters, playboys, virgins and whores: Rape myths in the news media’s coverage of sexual violence

Author: Shannon O’Hara
Title: Monsters, playboys, virgins and whores
Subtitle: Rape myths in the news media’s coverage of sexual violence
Journal: Language and Literature. Journal of the Poetics and Linguistics Association
Volume: 21
Issue: 3
Year: August 2012
Pages: 247-259
ISSN: 0963-9470 - eISSN: 1461-7293
Language: English
Full Text: SAGE Journals [Restricted Access]

Abstract: »Much of the news media’s coverage of sexual violence perpetuates myths and stereotypes about rape, rapists and rape victims (Burt, 1980). This is troubling, as the news media shapes public opinion about rape (Soothill, 1991) and can affect policy-making, not to mention the running of the legal system itself (Emmers-Sommer et al., 2006: 314). The news media frequently portray rapists using monster imagery (Barnett, 2008; Mason and Monckton-Smith, 2008; Soothill et al., 1990), their victims classed either as ‘virgins’ attacked by these so-called ‘monsters’ or instead as promiscuous women who invited the rape (Benedict, 1992). These depictions can impact upon public opinion as the more frequently rape myths are used, the more accessible they become. This can be harmful to rape victims when individuals who subscribe to these myths are involved in the criminal justice system (Franiuk et al., 2008: 304–305). Through a lexical analysis of the newspaper coverage surrounding three news events gathered from three LexisNexis searches, this article assesses the use of rape myths within the British and American news media’s reporting of such violence.« [Source: Language and Literature]