Race And Sexual Violence – Essay Example

Race and Sexual Violence Being a multicultural nation, in United s one can come across various instances where race plays a dominant role in both becoming a victim of and perpetrating sexual violence. However, the question as to who becomes the victim and who perpetuates sexual violence needs to be answered. Even though most of the sexual violence is intra-racial occurring within the same race, it is a fact that the interracial sexual violence is very often reported, recorded and is being sensationalised by the media. Subsequently, the sexual violence against the African American and lower-class women has not been represented adequately. This is very well suggested by Merril D. Smith when the author states that “American culture has tended to sexualise and criminalise interracial encounters and to inflect sexuality according to class, race and ethnicity” while “intraracial and intraethnic sexual violence has oftentimes remained unmarked and insignificant” (Smith, 2004, p. 109). Even though, the white women are usually considered to be the victims of sexual violence, the race statistics on sexual violence show that it is the American Indians and the Blacks who suffer the most out of sexual violence. The rape/sexual assault statistics of the United States by race/ethnicity per 1000 persons in 2000 reveals that the American Indians (7.7) have the highest rape/sexual assault rate than the Whites (1.1), Blacks (1.5), Asians (0.2) and Hispanics (0.6) in the United States (Ellison 2003). Similarly, in Britain and the United States, interracial sexual crimes that involved a black male suspect and a white female complainant were common. Gregory & Lees, in this regard, state that there were more of white women reporting sexual violence from black males; a study conducted by the authors showed that 85 percent of the women reporting rape were whites while only 15 percent were non-whites (Gregory & Lees, 1999, p. 104-05). To conclude, it can be stated that race acts as a pivotal factor in both becoming a victim of and perpetrating sexual violence.
Ellison, Mary. (December 2003). OJP Fact Sheet. Minnesota Department of Public Safety. FS-2003-001. Retrieved 24 Sep. 10 from: http://www.ojp.state.mn.us/cj/publications/FS-2003-001_Sexual_%20Assault.pdf
Gregory, J & Lees, S. (1999). Policing sexual assault. Illustrated Edition: Routledge.
Smith, M.D. (2004). Encyclopedia of rape. Greenwood Publishing Group.