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Does saying that a woman can be raped because of what she is wearing or her demeanor mean that she should be raped? I shall answer both questions again for clarity: Can a woman be raped based on her dressing and demeanor? The answer to this question is yes.

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But then again I ask: Should a woman be raped because of her dressing and demeanor? In other words: Is it desirable that a woman be raped because of her dressing and demeanor? The answer to this question is NO. There is no justification for rape. No matter what a woman wears, does or does not do when she says NO it means NO, not maybe, not try harder.

It means STOP. The second question put the responsibility of raping on the rapist.

The first puts the responsibility of knowledge on every woman. There is a need to make a distinction between rape and sexual harassment. Although these two terms are usually used together, when discussing rape and dressing, it is important to make this distinction.

Some regard flirtations from a man in whom they have no interests as sexual harassment. But really, can what a woman wear lead to rape or is this just a myth?

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Let me share the conclusions of some research I found. I will be including links so that if you choose you may read the entire research. There generally are expectations of formality at the workplace. Note though that plaintiffs raised the issue of their clients dressing in order to show that they were not welcoming of harassment. Looked at on its own merit, this finding does indeed draw a link between sexual harassment and dressing. But, the elephant is in the room and refuses to go away. Defendants interested in winning a case for their clients would raise the argument if they had to but only IF — another proof that there is a relationship between sexual harassment and dressing.

In January , NOI polls published the following findings: Furthermore, in view of the debate that often arises about the cause s of rape in the society respondents were asked the following: What do you think is the prevalent cause of rape in the society? The Government must launch a new drive to counteract this sexist culture. A more recent study conducted in the UK provides similar finding. It is important to clarify that the myth which ought to be dispelled is that a woman deserves to be raped because of what she is wearing.

As noted earlier, nothing a woman wears or does not wear should be interpreted to mean that she ought to be raped.

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However, we must also admit that when it comes to rape, we are not dealing with people who are acting rationally. No rational male would countenance rape under any guise. Speaking on this, Dr Hannah Bows, of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse at Durham University, is quoted as expressing her frustrations about how little progress has been made on dispelling rape myths. Sharon Lennon and a group of other scholars did a content analysis of various research that has examined a link between sex and dressing. The studies they analysed was carried out over a 50 year period ending in and led to the propagating of various theories including the Prospect Theory and Attribution Theory and Objectification Theory.

A holistic review of these research works shows that mankind has hardly evolved in the way they view dressing as a signal of intent or in the use of dress as signal of intent. Their findings conclude: it is clear that dress is used to infer a range of information about sex. They added: researchers have demonstrated that revealing dress evokes objectification of the woman so dressed. She got an overwhelming response. However, a majority of the women who responded were victims of assault from an acquaintance or were molested as minors.


These instances hardly provide a basis for drawing the conclusion that dressing does not play a role in sexual harassment. It is impossible to tell if the acts were spontaneous or premeditated. What conclusion can be drawn from this poll however is that a woman is more likely to be assaulted by someone she knows. The SlutWalk protest marches began on April 3, , in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with subsequent rallies occurring globally. Slutwalks are organized where some of the women dress like sluts to show it is wrong to rape a woman because of how she dresses.

These walks in themselves go to show that there is a relationship between sexual harassment and dressing. Telling men not to rape a woman because of how she dresses is an admittance that some men could be moved to rape women because of how they dress. Sorry, just checking. The different types of rape leads to different ways of profiling a rapist. One thing is clear, it could be anyone. Also, the victim could be anyone. But, some factors lead to a higher propensity of a person either getting raped or committing rape.

The Arizona State University Center for Problem-Oriented Policin g has this to say about stranger rape: Offenders may pick a victim at random or because she has certain characteristics e. Women who are alone and appear to be distracted or otherwise unaware of their surroundings may also be targets.

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What then is wrong with giving women realistic preventive advice that includes the link between rape and dressing? Many people feel that giving women guidelines about things that can be done to stay safe actually shames them. However, in the United States Colleges, sexual assault prevention workshops are conducted. Research has shown that the type of instruction provided during these workshops can be counterproductive and have a boomerang effect.

It is also important to note that provocative dressing is a relative term. What can be termed provocative in one culture can be seen as modest in another. So women need to be Aware of Non-verbal Cues. Know that if you dress sexy and flirt, some men may think you want to have sex. Maybe the feminists are right. But, you are not a victim until you actually become a victim. The researches that say most rape has nothing to do with dressing is right, this is because most rape is acquaintance rape.

The perpetrators use rape as a tool not as an end. For them it is a tool of oppression. It is all about power over the victim. But what about Stranger Rape and other instances that may have to do with dressing. No other study has added a statistic because it is simply impossible to provide a figure. First, it would require analysing data by type of rape and then asking perpetrators why they did it.

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The human brain continues to see dress as a signal of sexual interest or disinterest. I will use every strategy available to prevent rape including talking to ladies about sending out the wrong signals in anyway. I will educate everyone around me that rape is wrong whether it is committed by a stranger or acquaintance. I will encourage anyone who is a victim or has witnessed a rape to report it.

I will contribute to talks to ensure that the right legislation is in place to help actual victims get justice. Legislation plays a key role in ensuring that when a rape occurs, no one will be allowed to use the way the victim dresses to deny them justice. It contains perspectives from Barristers who have actually handled rape cases. It was felt, for example, that juries were very affected by the appearance of witnesses.

BAR2 said: It would be useful if they could sit down without showing their knickers. But, they represent my convictions. I have noted the deliberate distortions of my words and I have chosen to ignore them. My personal stand remains: Rape is wrong and nothing a woman does should give anyone a right to rape her. If she says NO it means NO. Whether she said no at the beginning or just when the man is about to penetrate. The worst a man can do is ask for a refund. I shall be polite to even rude comments. People are too emotional to think of preventive measures. A girl I like so much blocked me on Twitter for sharing these same views. This is how a lot of men think, especially in Nigeria.

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There is a need for education on both sides. The ladies should say what they want and mean it and the guys must stop when she says so. The decision as to whether it is date rape or not falls on the lady if she had said no and you pushed she could say she was raped. Which is why I believe communication should be clear and straight forward. No should be no. While people perceive dress to have an impact on who is assaulted, studies of rapists suggest that victim attire is not a significant factor.

Instead, rapists look for signs of passiveness and submissiveness, which, studies suggest, are more likely to coincide with more body-concealing clothing. In a study to test whether males could determine whether women were high or low in passiveness and submissiveness, Richards and her colleagues found that men, using only nonverbal appearance cues, could accurately assess which women were passive and submissive versus those who were dominant and assertive.