Debating Rape Myths

23 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2014

See all articles by Helen Reece

Helen Reece

London School of Economics - Law School

Date Written: September 18, 2014


In a recent article, I argued that the regressiveness of current public attitudes towards rape has been overstated, suggesting that, to a troubling extent, we are in the process of creating myths about myths. The article itself and the arguments contained within it have provoked various responses from feminists. While these responses proceed at times on the basis of misunderstandings or misinterpretations of my argument, they are helpful both in clarifying areas of disagreement and in underscoring some important points of agreement - at times explicitly by accepting, and at other times implicitly by leaving unchallenged, some of my core claims. In what follows, I aim to point out the misunderstandings or misinterpretations, and to clarify both the areas of assent and the areas of dissent in an attempt to move us towards the productive public conversation we believe we want.

Keywords: Feminist research, rape, rape law reform, rape myths, Sexual Offences Act 2003

Suggested Citation

Reece, Helen, Debating Rape Myths (September 18, 2014). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 21/2014, Available at SSRN: or

Helen Reece (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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