Sexual Assault Victim Blaming

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Victim-blaming has been in the limelight within society for centuries, yet women are still asked whether the “unwanted sexual comments or advances” (Curtis, 1974, p.594-605) from men was their fault. This assignment will critically evaluate the influence that victimology and positivism has made to our understanding of sexual assault. It will first consider key ideas about why sexual assault victims are blamed for their ordeal, the key ideas from a selection of theorists within criminology, such as Wolfgang, Von Hentig, and Marshall and Barbarees will be selected upon. The third part of my assignment will compare and contrast these key ideas to identify whether our understanding of sexual assault has improved due to the critical assessment of theories.
The radical feminist view on sexual assault theory’s “is fundamentally an aggressive rather than a sexual act, that its motivation and dynamics arise out of hostility rather than sexual need” (Melani & Fodaski, 1974, p.82). Early psychological hypothesising on sexual assault focused on clinical clarifications such as poor parenting, castration anxiety and repressed homosexual inclinations, lack of
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However, an old woman who is mugged would be seen as an innocent victim. In comparison those regarded as living or acting outside the constraints of acceptable social behaviour were observed with suspicion when evaluating the degree of culpability in victimisation. Leap from victimisation proneness to victim blaming can lead to issues as victimology is supposed to be on the side of the victim Research on victimisation proneness is debateable – particularly relations to sexual assault. Victims and offenders are often from the same background, this means that differences between offender and victim are not always clear or helpful. (Goodey, 2004, p. 4, 10, 76) (Amir, 1971, p.
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