COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS ABOUT RAPE AMONG MALE AND FEMALE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
AbstractBackground: Rape and other forms of violence against women have been reported to be common inPakistan, and police is often reluctant to register a rape complaint. We assessed and compared theattitudes and perceptions of male and female university students towards rape of females by males.Methods: A cross-sectional survey with convenience sampling was conducted among the male andfemale students of Quide-e-Azam University, Islamabad. A structured, self-administered, anonymousand pre-tested questionnaire was used with close-ended questions. Students were asked about theirattitudes and beliefs regarding characteristics of the female rape victims, male perpetrators and contextsin which this type of violence is more or less likely. Interviewers approached conveniently-selectedparticipants and explained the objectives of the survey, while emphasising voluntary participation inthis study. Data was analysed for frequencies and counts, while Chi-square test was used to for pairwise comparisons between male and female students with STATA 9. Results: Five hundred and fourstudents, 247 male and 257 female, completed the questionnaire. Male students were more likely tobelieve that strong character of a woman would ostensibly shield her from the advances of a rapist; onlyyoung and pretty women get raped; woman’s willingness is present in rape. About 25% of students alsobelieved that a raped woman is not worthy of becoming another man’s wife. One third of studentsbelieved that there could be no rape in marital context. Conclusion: Rape myths were common in oureducated study respondents with significant gender differences. Attitudes and beliefs blaming thefemale victim of rape were more common in males.Keywords: Rape, Attitudes, University Students, Pakistan
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