Transforming Our Cultural Norms and Deconstructing Sexual Violence against Women

10 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2013 Last revised: 29 Aug 2013

Date Written: April 11, 2013


These remarks were delivered at the Stoneman/Katz Human Rights, Gender and the Law Conference: The State of Equality in Comparative Perspective, held at Albany Law School on April 11-12, 2013. The conference transcript will be assembled into a monograph, on file with Albany Law School, to memorialize the conference itself, as well as the Spring 2013 Kate Stoneman Series of Events. These remarks were part of a larger panel examining the issue of law and “culture.” I addressed culture in the United States which, though an ambiguous concept, greatly informs our world and our actions. I examined how our country at times has adopted a culture that normalizes violence towards women. I posit that while explicit gender bias is often deemed unacceptable, our society is embedded with implicit biases against women. These implicit biases contribute to a culture that is imbued with gendered norms relating to domination, over-sexualization, violation, power and control. I argue that the way to remedy these problems is to change our underlying culture in such a way that redefines gendered norms and gender equality.

Keywords: gender, implicit bias, rape, culture, inequality, norms

Suggested Citation

Breger, Melissa L., Transforming Our Cultural Norms and Deconstructing Sexual Violence against Women (April 11, 2013). Albany Law School Research Paper No. 4 for 2013-2014, Available at SSRN:

Melissa L. Breger (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States
518-445-2311 (Phone)

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