The next problem with no name: The politics and pragmatics of the word rape

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study I asked women how the word rape fit and did not fit their own experiences of forced or unwanted sex with acquaintances. Although some participants noted that the term removed self-blame and indicated severity, most suggested that the word was limiting. It did not distinguish varied harms, created uncomfortable expectations for participants' behavior, eliminated moments of agency, and dichotomized experiences. By considering these limitations of available vocabulary, scholars may develop more robust theories of sexual violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-63
Number of pages22
JournalWomen's Studies in Communication
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 8 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acquaintance rape
  • Naming
  • Nonconsensual sex
  • Sexual violence

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