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Rape myth attitudes in rural Kenya: toward the development of a culturally relevant attitude scale and "blame index".

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of interpersonal violence
Publication Date
Volume
28
Issue
10
Pages
2156–2178
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0886260512471086
PMID: 23300194
Source
Medline
Keywords
  • Kenya
  • Adolescent
  • Attitudes
  • Focus Groups
  • Health
  • Rape
  • Sexual Violence

Abstract

Rape myth attitudes (RMAs) can excuse men for rape, placing blame on female victims. This study identified and classified RMAs in rural western Kenya through 31 focus group discussions with youths and adults. We found that about half of the participants were likely to blame victims unconditionally. Stereotypes about rape victims and perpetrators were rife. Five of seven standardly used RMA categories emerged spontaneously in focus groups, along with a new category: "she owed him." Based on the data, we developed a "blame index" to assess the likelihood of community victim blaming in Kenya. To reduce victim blaming and bring about more prosecutions for rape, community education, teacher training, and reforms of rape laws are highly recommended.

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