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Title: Talking about rape : a discursive study of convicted adult rapists' accounts of rape
Author: Pemberton, S. L.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2012
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At least 167 women are raped every day in the UK, yet rape remains one of the most under reported and least prosecuted of all violent crimes. Low conviction rates can be attributed in part to the failings of the criminal justice system including the infiltration of rape myths into said system and the ambiguity surrounding sexual consent. This thesis has drawn on data generated from eighteen semi-structured interviews and one focus group with men who have been convicted of (acquaintance) rape/aggravated rape. In doing so, this research has utilised critical discursive psychology to analyse the ways in which ‘rape myths’ and knowledge of sexual consent, coercion and refusal is incorporated into participants’ offence accounts. Findings suggest that offenders employ a variety of rape myths when accounting for their offence in accordance with particular issues of stake and interest. All of which is tied to the management of identity, sentence type and treatment received. Subscription to rape myths was often relatively subtle and was based on offenders’ accounts of their mens rea (or lack thereof) or their consumption of drugs and/or alcohol, rather than primarily about the culpability of their victim as the more historic rape myths might suggest. Furthermore, through offence accounts, participants were able to demonstrate a sophisticated articulation and appreciation of sexual refusals and negotiations through their ability to ‘hear’ sexual refusals which did not involve the word ‘no’ - reinforcing the subtle nature of sexual communication. These findings highlight that ‘knowledge’ of rape myths needs to be contemporised and that the legislation surrounding consent needs to incorporate all its subtleties. All of which has implications for the treatment of sexual offenders.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available