On the September 15th episode of The Doctors, Jillian Michaels said in a segment discussing Slutwalks that also included Ann Coulter, that she did not believe that what a woman wears doesn't contribute to her being raped. "It's inviting danger", she stated.
On a television program that touts itself as being based in scientifically and medically accurate information, this kind of myth-mongering is not only wrong, it's dangerous. Actual studies show that:
* A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only 4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part of the victim.
* Most convicted rapists do not remember what their victims were wearing.
* Victims range in age from infants to those in their 90's who can hardly be accused of dressing provocatively.
Perpetuating and endorsing rape myths has significant consequences for victims, including:
*People who endorse rape myths are less likely to label a scenario as sexual assault, even when it meets the legal criteria (Muehlenhard & MacNaughton, 1988; Norris & Cubbins, 1992)
*Endorsement of rape myths leads people to be less likely to
blame the man for an assault (Check & Malamuth, 1985; Linz, Donnerstein, & Adams, 1989; Muehlenhard & MacNaughton, 1988)
*Priming men’s rape myth acceptance increased their self-reported likelihood of sexually assaulting a woman (Bohner et al.,
1998; Bohner, Jarvis, Eyssel, & Siebler, 2005)
*Women who endorsed rape myths were 3 times more likely to be victims of coerced sex than were those who did not strongly endorse rape myths (Muehlenhard & MacNaughton, 1988)
*Rape myth acceptance has been shown to lead to greater victim blame, lower conviction rates for accused rapists, and shorter sentences for convicted rapists
(Finch & Munro, 2005; also see Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1994)
Tell Jillian Michaels, The Doctors, and CBS to stop perpetuating rape myths and putting more women, and men, at risk. Demand a public apology from both Jillian Michaels and this television show, to present accurate and scientifically sound information on the topics of rape and sexual assault, and to stop blaming victims for their rapes and instead start blaming the only one at fault: the rapist.
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