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Denying rape: justifications and excuses for rape: heterosexuality and the engendering of denial

Denying rape: justifications and excuses for rape: heterosexuality and the engendering of denial
Denying rape: justifications and excuses for rape: heterosexuality and the engendering of denial
This paper discusses some of the justifications and excuses for committing rape; and why these linguistic strategies occur and are used. The data were collected from a feminist sociological doctoral research project which explored of the language used by convicted rapists serving sentences in an English prison. Six men were interviewed over a period of six months. Life History interviews were undertaken which were on average 2 ½ hours each, with each man interviewed an average of 5 times each, and due to their ‘open’ nature, the interviews amassed vast amounts of data. Four of the men raped current or former partners; the remaining two raped strangers. One of whom was a sex worker in a ‘red light district’; the other woman was raped in her own home. This paper draws on the narratives of two of the participants: Andrew and Eddie. Andrew raped a stranger who was a sex worker in a local ‘red light district’, whilst Eddie raped his partner six times in one night. The paper explores how in reconstructing a post-conviction identity, the men draw on constructing justifications and excuses for their rapacious behaviour to linguistically exonerate them from wearing the badge of dishonour that announces their status ‘rapists’, or ‘guilty’. In order for them to do so, they must re-frame the protagonist as the victim, who ultimately, in their view, is responsible for the men’s downfall in ‘respectability’.
Chalder-Mills, Julie
36bc6079-5e38-4867-83cc-124cbedad0fa
Chalder-Mills, Julie
36bc6079-5e38-4867-83cc-124cbedad0fa

Chalder-Mills, Julie (2012) Denying rape: justifications and excuses for rape: heterosexuality and the engendering of denial. LIB, 1.

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper discusses some of the justifications and excuses for committing rape; and why these linguistic strategies occur and are used. The data were collected from a feminist sociological doctoral research project which explored of the language used by convicted rapists serving sentences in an English prison. Six men were interviewed over a period of six months. Life History interviews were undertaken which were on average 2 ½ hours each, with each man interviewed an average of 5 times each, and due to their ‘open’ nature, the interviews amassed vast amounts of data. Four of the men raped current or former partners; the remaining two raped strangers. One of whom was a sex worker in a ‘red light district’; the other woman was raped in her own home. This paper draws on the narratives of two of the participants: Andrew and Eddie. Andrew raped a stranger who was a sex worker in a local ‘red light district’, whilst Eddie raped his partner six times in one night. The paper explores how in reconstructing a post-conviction identity, the men draw on constructing justifications and excuses for their rapacious behaviour to linguistically exonerate them from wearing the badge of dishonour that announces their status ‘rapists’, or ‘guilty’. In order for them to do so, they must re-frame the protagonist as the victim, who ultimately, in their view, is responsible for the men’s downfall in ‘respectability’.

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Published date: 15 September 2012
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

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Local EPrints ID: 369593
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/369593
PURE UUID: da93e815-75d1-4d6b-903b-4f90e3557d0c

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Date deposited: 08 Oct 2014 11:35
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:56

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Contributors

Author: Julie Chalder-Mills

University divisions

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