Societal mindset, not dressing, incites rape

Letters, Normal

The National, Monday March 3rd, 2014

 THIS  is in regard to the article “Dressing provokes rape, pastor says” (The National, Feb 24). 

I  do  no t agree  with  Pastor Nicholas Konia of the Assembly of God Church who told a men’s forum in Western Highlands that “women, including school girls with close fitting clothes exposing their body shape (that)  tempt  men  to  rape them”.

You, as a pastor, should speak of love and compassion and for all God’s children to live in harmony with each other, rather than supporting the ongoing mindset of a minority of small-minded people. 

I do not think dressing is a factor that contributes to rape of most women in PNG, but it is the ideological perception and mentality of some men who definitely have some unresolved issues. 

If you say that dressing provokes men  to  rape, then  what  about children or old women?

Did they dress in an appropriate manner  that provoked the ones whom they trusted to rape them? 

Pastor, please be considerate before making generalisations as words determine the course and outcome of one’s life.

We now have, and will continue to have, the fruit our tongue produces. 

Thus, to change our life, we  need  to  change our words and to change our words, we need God’s help. 

There is no evidence that dressing provokes rape. 

Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago says that rape is pathological, not natural. 

Thus, research has shown that there are three main causes of rape.

First is socialisation, which explains how men and women are raised to have different gender roles. 

Some men are socialised to be aggressors and some women are socialised to be non-assertive peacemakers. 

According to a research conducted by Peggy Reeves Sanday, there are higher incidences of rape in societies that tolerate masculine violence, where young boys are taught to be aggressive and use physical force, if necessary, to get what they want. 

Sanday went on to say that in societies where men and women share equal power and authority, young boys and girls that were taught to avoid  aggression  and violence tend to experience no incidences of rape activity. 

The second cause is mixed signals or  miscommunication, where  signals are misread.

The third is changing times, where hard-core  pornographic materials are readily and easily available to almost everyone who has access to mobile phones or laptops  wth internet connection. 

Sanday says that, society plays a major part in influencing and reinforcing gender roles that are learned through peers, school and the media. 

From the early ages, young boys are taught  to  be  aggressive  and  young girls are taught to be passive. 

Many researches indicate that not all rapes are sexually motivated as some are motivated by the desire for power and domination. 

Thus, we should have more men like Apolls Yambak from the provincial AIDS council who stated that “it is time for us to change our mindset (and) that social problems will not go away unless we change our attitude”.


Lorraine Basse