What is meant by "rape culture"?

Stellenbosch Professor Louise du Toit says SA has one of the highest sexual assault rates in the world, and initiatives such as the Stellenbosch University SRC’s attempt to address “rape culture” on campus should be supported by all.

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<span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"">The Student Representative Council (SRC) of Stellenbosch University (SU) recently launched a campaign to fight against “rape culture” on campus.

<span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"">The term “rape culture” triggered an avalanche of emotional responses, but seemingly without leading to any attempts to clarify what the term may mean.

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<span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"">Unfortunately, lack of conceptual clarity, especially with regards to an emotive term such as “rape culture”, often leads to miscommunication, misunderstanding, heated debates and high rhetoric, which hinder rather than promote much needed concerted action.

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When thinking about or discussing the term “rape culture” or “rape-prone” culture, it is important to keep in mind that it does not mean that actual rape has become the literal norm, or even that a majority of cultural members become involved in it.


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