Bad laws or bad attitudes? Assessing the impact of societal attitudes upon the conviction rate for rape in Ireland

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/322220
Title:
Bad laws or bad attitudes? Assessing the impact of societal attitudes upon the conviction rate for rape in Ireland
Authors:
Leahy, Susan
Affiliation:
University of Limerick (UL)
Citation:
Leahy, Susan (2014) "Bad Laws or Bad Attitudes? Assessing the Impact of Societal Attitudes upon the Conviction Rate for Rape in Ireland," Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies: Vol. 14: Iss. 1, Article 3.
Publisher:
Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies
Journal:
Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies
Issue Date:
May-2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/322220
Additional Links:
http://arrow.dit.ie/ijass/vol14/iss1/3
Item Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
The low conviction rate for rape is often highlighted as a cause for concern. The typical response is to call for reform of Irish rape law. Although reform is necessary, this article argues that the low conviction rate for rape is caused not simply by ‘bad’ or inadequate laws but also by ‘bad’ or prejudicial attitudes about rape which persist in Irish society. These attitudes are at odds with the reality of rape and therefore create unrealistic expectations as to what, for example, constitutes a ‘real rape’ or a ‘real victim’. Jurors who are influenced by these attitudes are likely to be unduly sceptical about allegations which do not match their stereotypical perceptions of rape. These prejudicial attitudes are usually referred to as ‘rape myths’. In this article, the most common ‘rape myths’ will be outlined. The effect of rape myth acceptance (RMA) on juror deliberations will then be discussed. It is suggested that non-legal initiatives are necessary to ensure that in future jurors will not be influenced by RMA. The article concludes by recommending the introduction of model jury directions which would tackle the ill-effects of rape myths upon juror deliberations at trial, as well as wider public awareness initiatives to educate the public generally about the reality of rape.
Keywords:
RAPE; STIGMA

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorLeahy, Susanen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2014-06-26T08:49:39Z-
dc.date.available2014-06-26T08:49:39Z-
dc.date.issued2014-05-
dc.identifier.citationLeahy, Susan (2014) "Bad Laws or Bad Attitudes? Assessing the Impact of Societal Attitudes upon the Conviction Rate for Rape in Ireland," Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies: Vol. 14: Iss. 1, Article 3.en_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/322220-
dc.descriptionThe low conviction rate for rape is often highlighted as a cause for concern. The typical response is to call for reform of Irish rape law. Although reform is necessary, this article argues that the low conviction rate for rape is caused not simply by ‘bad’ or inadequate laws but also by ‘bad’ or prejudicial attitudes about rape which persist in Irish society. These attitudes are at odds with the reality of rape and therefore create unrealistic expectations as to what, for example, constitutes a ‘real rape’ or a ‘real victim’. Jurors who are influenced by these attitudes are likely to be unduly sceptical about allegations which do not match their stereotypical perceptions of rape. These prejudicial attitudes are usually referred to as ‘rape myths’. In this article, the most common ‘rape myths’ will be outlined. The effect of rape myth acceptance (RMA) on juror deliberations will then be discussed. It is suggested that non-legal initiatives are necessary to ensure that in future jurors will not be influenced by RMA. The article concludes by recommending the introduction of model jury directions which would tackle the ill-effects of rape myths upon juror deliberations at trial, as well as wider public awareness initiatives to educate the public generally about the reality of rape.en_GB
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherIrish Journal of Applied Social Studiesen_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://arrow.dit.ie/ijass/vol14/iss1/3en_GB
dc.subjectRAPEen_GB
dc.subjectSTIGMAen_GB
dc.titleBad laws or bad attitudes? Assessing the impact of societal attitudes upon the conviction rate for rape in Irelanden_GB
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Limerick (UL)en_GB
dc.identifier.journalIrish Journal of Applied Social Studiesen_GB
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