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Changing Perspectives on Sexual Assault


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Presentation to the Southwestern Anthropological Association on preliminary findings of my ongoing research on sexual assault.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Changing Perspectives on Sexual Assault

  1. 1. Changing perspectives on sexual assault Dr. Leanna Wolfe Southwestern Anthropological Association April 28, 2017
  2. 2. Overview • Anthropological Perspectives on Gender and Violence • Yanomamo • Inuit • Sexual Violence in India and Pakistan Today • Rape in India • Turbulent Protests and Conversations • US Media Conversations • Brock Turner, Stanford student convicted for rape • Donald Trump’s Groping Exposed • The Hunting Ground • Uncovering my Family Story of Sexual Violence • Deciding to Join a Conversation I’d spent my Professional Life Avoiding • Sexual Assault Research • Current Findings • Political Action • Protests in India • Women’s March • Denim Day
  3. 3. Traditional Inuit women would live in a quiet and sleepy way with little self- direction. Only when their hunting husbands returned home to the family igloo, would they spring into action to make tea and cook full meals.
  4. 4. Yanomami women live in a patriarchal and violent Amazonian jungle culture. If they attempt to run away from their home villages they typically are raped when seeking refuge in neighboring villages.
  5. 5. Winner of 2016 Oscar for best documentary short follows the survivor of a Pakistani Honor Killing. The subject ultimately forgives her father and his brothers for attempting to murder her.
  6. 6. Sexual Assault becomes part of the national conversation in Fall 2016 when Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is shown in a 2005 news clip bragging about groping attractive women.
  7. 7. Brock Turner, a Stanford student and athlete, is given a very short jail sentence for raping an intoxicated unconscious woman at a frat party in Jan. 2015. During the Spring 2016 trial, the victim’s statement goes viral while Turner’s father refers to the rape as “20 minutes of action.” Turner serves just 3 months in jail.
  8. 8. 2015 Documentary Film exposes rape on US college campuses
  9. 9. My family story My Mother at 11 Perpetrator, her older brother
  10. 10. My mother at 14 with her two sisters (who were not molested) and her mother.
  11. 11. My Mother ultimately emerged as a beautiful woman who did all she could to stuff away her childhood abuse.
  12. 12. I was first raped when I was 22 as a young anthropologist exploring Mexico’s gender divide.
  13. 13. Survey: What is sexual assault? • Voluntary Internet Survey • In Progress – Launched October 2016 • 200 Respondents • 72% female; 28% male
  14. 14. Beliefs: males vs females
  15. 15. Beliefs: Millennials vs boomers
  16. 16. Activities Considered Sexual harassment
  17. 17. Incidence of Sexual Harassment
  18. 18. Incidence of sexual assault
  19. 19. Rape definitions
  20. 20. Incidence of rape
  21. 21. Those Raped 3+ Times 100% Female 76% White 12% Mixed 8% Asian 4% Hispanic Baby Boomers Gen X Millennials
  22. 22. Changing views on consent • Seduction requires converting a “No” into a “Maybe” and then into a “Yes” (150+ moves, Warren Farrell, Why Men are the Way They Are (1986) • Rape Myths • Women who Dress Provocatively • Leave a Party with a Guy • False Accusations Are Common • Consent Training • “No Means No” shifts to “Yes Means Yes” • Presumes Immediate Interest in full on sex… • Must all consent be verbal?
  23. 23. What “no means no” means
  24. 24. What “yes means yes” implies
  25. 25. Ever Asked to end a sexual encounter
  26. 26. Response to being asked to end a sexual encounter
  27. 27. THOSE WHO WOULD “FINISH UP QUICKLY” • Male (2/3) • Hispanic • 18-25 • Never Raped
  29. 29. Protestors in India seek justice following the December 2012 gang rape and subsequent death of a young woman on a bus.
  30. 30. On January 21, 2017, the day following the Trump inauguration, 2.7 million marchers across the globe asserted that women’s rights are not up for grabs!
  31. 31. MY BODY—MY CHOICE!
  32. 32. Denim Day – April 26, 2017 Commemorates the Italian Supreme Court’s reversal of a 1992 rape exoneration where the defense claimed the victim who was wearing tight denim jeans must have cooperated in removing them thus making the rape consensual.
  33. 33. TAKE THE SURVEY!