Transforming Cultural Norms of Sexual Violence Against Women

Journal of Research in Gender Studies, Volume 4(2), 2014, pp. 39–51, ISSN: 2164-0262

Albany Law School Research Paper No. 3 for 2015-2016

14 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2014 Last revised: 25 Sep 2015

Date Written: December 20, 2014

Abstract

A version of these remarks was delivered at the Stoneman/Katz Human Rights, Gender and the Law Conference: The State of Equality in Comparative Perspective, held at Albany Law School in April of 2013. The conference transcript was assembled into a monograph to memorialize the conference itself, as well as the Spring 2013 Kate Stoneman1 Series of Events. These remarks were part of a larger panel examining the issue of law and “culture.” In my remarks, I addressed culture in modern society which, though an ambiguous concept, greatly informs our world and our actions. I examined how individuals have become complacent at times, adopting a culture that normalizes violence towards women. I posited that even while explicit gender bias is often deemed unacceptable, modern 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, and power and control over women and girls. I argued that the way to remedy these problems is to change the underlying culture in such a way that redefines gendered norms and gender equality. This can be achieved at least partially by educating our children before these gendered norms become embedded in their minds.

Keywords: gender, bias, violence against women, rape, culture, norms, modern society

Suggested Citation

Breger, Melissa L., Transforming Cultural Norms of Sexual Violence Against Women (December 20, 2014). Journal of Research in Gender Studies, Volume 4(2), 2014, pp. 39–51, ISSN: 2164-0262; Albany Law School Research Paper No. 3 for 2015-2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2541934

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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