Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on myths in media reporting on sexual violence against women. The reporting on sexual violence in women has been shadowed by existing myths on the definition, nature, and intent of sexual violence. These myths hinder the way in which the sexual violence against women is viewed as relevant or significant in regards to understanding the impact it has on the victims. This paper will analyze the harmful myths that affect the effectiveness of the media reporting on sexual violence against women.
Myth I: Sexual Assault is not about Violence but the Lust in Men that cannot be controlled
In an argument by Grubb & Turner (2012) men are mythically viewed as sexually-oriented beings to a larger extent more than women. For this reason, men are viewed to have a difficulty in controlling their sexual urge. This myth eliminates violence as an effect of sexual assault as sex is the main intent of sexual assault. This is, however, not the case as most victims of sexual assault are diagnosed with bodily harms that are not sex-oriented. For instance, women are usually battered before they are assaulted. In severe cases, many women have lost their lives as caused by violent approaches leading to sexual assault. The myth is also highlighted by Gill (2007) who is of the assumption that violence in sexual assault is not viewed as a significant issue as sexual activity. The author further points out that the myth hinders the effective understanding of the intent of the offender (Gill, 2007).
The effect of the myth in reporting on sexual assault is significant. The media mostly focuses on the sexual part of the assault and ignore the violence involved. The signs of violence are cited as part of the bigger picture which is the uncontrollable lust in men (Gill, 2007). The media also portrays men as sexual figures other than driven by the need to violently assault women. From these assumptions, the violence associated with sexual assault is not represented as relevant a feature of sexual violence against women.
Myth II: The Victim, Women, Provoke and Influence Sexual Assault
This myth is created from the depiction of women as sexual targets. Kitzinger (2009) asserts that the myth sexualizes women and portray men as unable to control their sexual lust may justify the offense of sexual assault.