Given the seriousness for both women and men of misunderstanding or miscategorising sexual victimization and coercion, scholarly engagement with this topic must be self-critical and careful about its methods and conclusions. This article seeks to test the plausibility and justifiability of some key claims made within feminist scholarship as regards the implications of the traditional sexual script and the prevalence and impact of the “real rape” myth. The criticisms offered below with respect to these claims identify three problems: (a) that evidence that would challenge carceral feminists’ framing of the traditional sexual script as essentially a blueprint for rape is either marginalized or excluded from consideration altogether; (b) that within that framing the scripted roles of the coercive male and the passive female who is victimized have been allowed to solidify into immovable and immutable stereotypes; (c) that studies purporting to show that rape myth acceptance is highly prevalent and influential on popular attitudes are flawed in ways hitherto not fully acknowledged or explored.
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Research Article| May 01 2016
A Critique of Carceral Feminist Arguments on Rape Myths and Sexual Scripts
David Gurnham is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Southampton, UK.
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New Criminal Law Review (2016) 19 (2): 141–170.
David Gurnham; A Critique of Carceral Feminist Arguments on Rape Myths and Sexual Scripts. New Criminal Law Review 1 May 2016; 19 (2): 141–170. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nclr.2016.19.2.141
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