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Rape myths: is elite opinion right and popular opinion wrong?

Reece, Helen (2013) Rape myths: is elite opinion right and popular opinion wrong? Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 33 (3). pp. 445-473. ISSN 0143-6503

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Abstract

England and Wales have recently experienced wide-ranging rape law reform and a galloping rape reporting rate but no comparable increase in rape convictions, leading many erstwhile law reformers to turn attention to attitudes. In essence, their argument is that reform has proved relatively ineffective because a range of agents hold ‘rape myths’. Despite the broad consensus that this approach has attracted, I argue that the regressiveness of current public attitudes towards rape has been overstated. The claim that rape myths are widespread may be challenged on three grounds: first, some of the attitudes are not myths; secondly, not all the myths are about rape; thirdly, there is little evidence that the rape myths are widespread. To a troubling extent, we are in the process of creating myths about myths. This process functions to close down, not open up, the possibilities of a productive public conversation about important and at times vexed questions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://ojls.oxfordjournals.org/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
K Law > KD England and Wales
Sets: Departments > Law
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2013 13:12
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/49556/

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