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NCJ Number: 192864 Find in a Library
Title: Rough Sex? Understanding of Rape in Finnish Police Reports
Journal: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:2001  Pages:15-30
Author(s): Paivi Honkatukia
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: This study used discourse analysis to examine rape reports written by the police in Finland and aid gender-based understanding of sexual assault in the descriptions of the cases.
Abstract: The study sought to reveal and analyze gendered understandings of heterosexuality and sexual violence that the prevailing ethos of gender neutrality often hid. Data came from 448 rape cases reported to the Finnish police during 1998. Results revealed five discourses. The first was the distance discourse, which emphasized the rape victim’s attempts to resist the perpetrator’s attempts to rape her. The second was the submission discourse, which provided reasons why the victim was unable to prevent the rape. The third was the minimizing discourse, which portrayed the victim as more or less explicitly responsible for what had happened. The fourth was the discourse of rape as physical force and emphasized the physically violent nature of rape. The fifth was the discourse of rape as sexuality and emphasized the sexual features of rape by describing either the aggressive nature of male sexuality or the course of events as a serious violation of the victim’s sexual integrity. The analysis concluded that the societal and cultural context of rape provided neutralization of sexual violence and legitimized male violence in sexual encounters and that the discourses used in police reports formed a part of this reality. The analysis recommended future research to determine whether Finland’s new law on sex offenses had changed the nature of cases reported to the police or the discourses used in the criminal justice system. Footnotes and 44 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Victims in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Finland; Gender issues; Police attitudes; Police reports; Rape; Report writing; Sex discrimination; Sexual assault victims
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