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Education in the Media, Philosophical Meanderings, Student Voices

Victim Shaming, Rapist Celebrating Society: The Lessons Children are Learning

A few months ago, I wrote a post about how rape culture has a strong relation to America’s taxpayer-funded schools. Since, the evidence of rape culture in schools has shown such a strong connection to the existence of rape culture that the truth has become axiomatic. However, that is just the brunt of this issue, the perpetual existence of rape culture in American society has a strong relation to the fact that too many young children do not know what rape is and no one emphasizes how detrimental actions like rape can be for everyone. Too often, this is due to the fact that as soon as the word “rape” becomes a part of the curriculum in the nation’s schools there is some type of backlash, as if it’s something that children should learn about on their own. Although, it is the pattern of how rapes of our youth and who the offenders are that arises the larger question of whether certain academic cultures cultivate that expectation of sadistic righteousness.

Now, when I wrote the first post, I said that 23 cases of rape and sexual abuse had relations to taxpayer-funded schools. Since, that number has risen to 105 cases documented in mainstream media, with the U.S Dept. of Education giving a more sobering figure of 83.33% of RAPES going unreported to law enforcement by schools and school districts while 73.43% of SEXUAL ASSAULTS going unreported to law enforcement by schools and school districts. However, the fact that of those 105 media documented cases, 25 were “gang rapes” and 26 were rapes committed at the behest of a high school athlete, which raises the highest amount of concern. Not because these males were “promising” or because they had “bright futures,” but because somewhere there is an expectation of acceptance for high school aged boys to gang up and “be boys” because of their position or for whatever untold reason.

With figures like those, it’s no wonder why 2 in 10 girls fear being sexually abused or raped at school by another student or why 6 in 10 girls are victims of rape while at school at the behest of another student. Yet, instead of taking these figures and addressing the issue for what it is,  we are teaching young girls how not to become victims, which is basically teaching them how to survive in a scenario where they are defenseless and are always at fault for the actions of the uncontrollable. This in its own is nothing more than a state sponsored form of educational neglect and neglect to humanity that dangerously resembles a form of hate crime against females who have promising, bright futures.

However, another issue that often gets left out of sexual education because the majority favoring of abstinence only sexual education, is that too many young girls don’t know what rape is, who to turn to in the event of an rape, and what exactly to do after they become victims of rape. Moreover, for some reason, there is no large emphasis of “see something, say something, do something” when it comes to these types of crimes. Further, in too many cases, do youth stand around or walk by when they witness these types of heinous acts because of the lack of empathy that youth possess today.

Conclusively, our schools are becoming breeding grounds for a sense of excusing for rapes and sexual assaults. Too many youth carry an apathetic sense when it comes to these types of crimes and too many youth do not know what to do in the event of these crimes. This large disconnect in empathy and knowledge is detrimental because it will perpetuate rape culture within global society. There is no reason with numbers like these, for an inadequate response from schools, governments, and from society as a whole. These numbers reflect a sobering reality that there are millions of youth out there who think that rape and sexual assault is acceptable to commit, and for 180 days they all spend hours together in an enclosed setting with increasingly less adults to keep a watchful eye.

No longer can we rely on the apathetic blame game known as victim shaming in response to rape culture…as it will only allow rape culture to consume American culture. No longer can this happen, because that consumption will mark the beginning of a perpetual war against this nation’s young girls and women. 

*School= any facility or event sponsored by schools or their districts including bus stops and buses 


13 thoughts on “Victim Shaming, Rapist Celebrating Society: The Lessons Children are Learning

  1. I agree with you, completely. I just wrote about this. I think that some people don’t even realise that they have bought into rape culture and I devised and easy self- test for this.

    Posted by The Double Parent | March 19, 2013, 12:42 am
  2. I agree with Jabreel. There are too many kids in our public school in little attention /supervision to them. nce they are out of elementary school there is not much for them to do in general during recess, so that is when they start hanging around with others and many times without a responsible adult guiding them , they make bad choices and grow and pass on that kind of attitude towards girls etc. to others.
    On the other hand I do not see why we still have “cheerleaders” in sports , It seem to me that it is just plain sexism.

    Posted by isabel | March 19, 2013, 1:02 pm
  3. I see no evidence that ‘rape culture’ is a consequence of the schools being taxpayer funded. Indeed, the contrary: my observation is that there is greater tolerance for the sort of behaviour that leads to a rape culture in schools under less stringent public scrutiny.

    Posted by Stephen Downes | March 19, 2013, 8:46 pm
    • I’m not suggesting that rape culture is a consequence of the schools funding source, but that rape culture has a presence in schools that are taxpayer funded. Though, as you said, one would assume considering the perspective people hold toward public ed you’d think that this would’t be an issue. However, for that to be entirely true, every community would have to have the same values and stringent investment within schools to curtail cultures like rape culture. Still, even in those communities, the question still has to be what is the social definition of rape for this particular community.

      Posted by Jabreel Chisley | March 19, 2013, 9:17 pm
    • Stephen, do you think it’s curious that the author keeps mentioning “taxpayer funded schools” but when confronted seems to be trying to avoid admitting that he is targeting only one particular institution (and a subset of the members thereof)? Given the breadth of institutions that have created and/or sustained rape-culture in this and other nations, why target public schools and only public schools?

      Posted by Markov Chaney | May 31, 2013, 11:54 am
      • I used the term “taxpayer funded schools” because public schools is not a synonymous term to district run schools but to a large array of different types of schools receiving public dollars. In noting the instances, I looked at 1st gen public schools (normal district schools and district operated magnet schools), 2nd gen public schools (charter schools) and voucher schools. However, the majority of the news stories found occurred in 1st gen public high schools, but the data from the Civil Right Data Collection made no distinction between charters and 1st gen public schools. What made me narrow in on public schools in my research was the number of student gang rape instances and the number of educator=student cases highlighted by the US Dept of Education and the AAUW.

        Posted by Jabreel Chisley | May 31, 2013, 12:19 pm
        • Jabreel,

          Given the State Action/Private Action divide, I think it important to consider whether the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution and a number of Civil Rights statutes are applicable — “public schools” and other publicly funded organizations and institutions are more subject to governmental regulation than those that are fully private.


          Posted by Brent Snavely | May 31, 2013, 12:31 pm
  4. Our students spend the most amount of their waking time in our care, and yet we seem powerless to change the culture that supports rape, bullying, abuse, and violence. Why is this so?

    Posted by David Wees | March 21, 2013, 12:22 pm
    • I think this is so because there seems to be a fear to go over content involving relationship ethics and personal responsibility within sex ed curriculum and within the general curriculum. If we got content like that into schools, especially during the middle and high school years, than more students can learn how to cultivate respectful and responsible relationships. However, content like this must be comprehensive, it can’t be heteronormative nor homonormative, but all inclusive.

      Posted by Jabreel Chisley | March 22, 2013, 11:34 am
      • Well, we have to be careful to assume that just exposing students to the “right” content will make a difference. Students have all sorts of other types of content to which they are exposed which influences their decision making process here. How much of what we have in society emulates the kinds of activities these teens did? We need a multi-pronged approach… one which targets society at large as well.

        Posted by David Wees | March 22, 2013, 12:30 pm


  1. Pingback: RAPE, RAPE CULTURE, AND YOUR UNCONSCIOUS…. | The Double Parent: - March 21, 2013

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