By David Lee on March 1, 2010 · tagged as , ,

Study examines men’s anti-rape web sites

The web site has replaced the brochure as the primary public statement about organizations.  How times have changed – I remember in the 1990s when working at a domestic violence agency I tried to get permission to start a web site.  While approval was delayed (I was asked “why do we need a web site?”), I decided to ask for forgiveness (nor permission), and went ahead to work with a volunteer to register the URL ourselves and set up a simple site.

Now the first thing to learn about an organization (or a person) we is check the web site.  In a recent paper in the journal Sexualities, Tatiana Masters analyzes the content of six men’s anti-rape web sites (Men Against Sexual Violence, Men Can Stop Rape, Men Ending Violence, Men Stopping Rape, The Safety Net and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.)

In today’s era of blogs and fast changing content, web site are not necessarily static – they may change content everyday (as we do here at CALCASA.org). Content analysis done in the past may not be relevant today.

It is interesting to look at the question of how men and rape is framed in web sites, as the author examines. Masters suggests in her conclusion that “Making men both part of the problem and part of the solution in this way could lead to more powerful anti-rape messages.”

What are you looking for in web site focusing on men and rape prevention?

The full abstract follows:

‘My Strength is Not for Hurting’: Men’s Anti-Rape Websites and their Construction of Masculinity and Male Sexuality.

Masters NT Sexualities 2010; 13(1): 33-46.

Click here for a link to the abstract on the journal’s web site.

(Copyright © 2010, Sage Publications)

Acquaintance sexual assault prevention in the USA has largely comprised educational programs for women on college campuses and has left an unmet need for interventions targeted at men in the general community. Men’s anti-rape websites attempt to address this need. This article describes a sample of six such sites and examines them for insights into the social discourses on masculinity and male sexuality that they both produce and reflect. Findings indicate that these sites construct alternative masculinities, using socio-sexual behavior to delineate the boundary between ‘good’/non-rapist and ‘bad’/rapist masculinity, and use the rhetorical strategy of othering the rapist, with a few interesting exceptions. Sites’ depictions of consensual sex and rape are also briefly described. Implications of these discourses for rape prevention are discussed.

David Lee

More Posts by David Lee

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project PreventConnect, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 27 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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