Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

One in three SA men admit to rape, survey finds

More than one in three South African men questioned in a survey admitted to rape, the latest evidence in the country of a violent culture of patriarchy.

Researchers found that more than three in four men said they had perpetrated violence against women.

Nearly nine in 10 men believe that a woman should obey her husband — and almost six in 10 women also agreed with the statement.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. Last year a survey by the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that 28% of men in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces said they had raped a woman or girl.

A new MRC study in Gauteng, the country’s wealthiest province, found that 37,4% of men admitted having committed a rape, while 25,3% of women said they had been raped.

The survey questioned 511 women and 487 men, of whom 90% were black and 10% white.

Rachel Jewkes of the MRC said: “We see a situation where the use of violence is so widespread that not only is it seen as being legitimate but I think quite often women forget it. They just see it as a normal effect.”

Jewkes cited her survey’s findings on gender attitudes. Although both largely agreed that “people should be treated the same whether they are male or female”, 86,7% of men and 57,9% of women also endorsed the statement that “a woman should obey her husband”.

About 53,9% of men and 29,8% of women agreed that “a man should have the final say in all family matters”, while 37,3% of men and 23,2% of women supported the view that “a woman needs her husband’s permission to do paid work”.

Asked about sexual entitlement in marriage, only 55% of both men and women said they thought “it is possible for a woman to be raped by her husband”. About 38,7% of men and 29,3% of women thought that “a woman cannot refuse to have sex with her husband” and 22,3% of men and 8,8% of women felt that “if a wife does something wrong, her husband has the right to punish her”.

The survey also found that 32% of men and women agreed that “in any rape case, one would have to question whether the victim is promiscuous”, while 20,1% of men and 15,6% of women said that “in some rape cases, women want it to happen”.

Jewkes said: “What we see here is a set of attitudes reflecting men’s views that they are legitimate in the use of violence against women, and women in many respects acquiescing to this.” – guardian.co.uk

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Kenya’s beach boys fall into sex tourism, trafficking

In the face of their families’ poverty, young men, persuaded by the prospect of wealth or education, travel to Europe with their older female sponsors only to be trafficked for sex

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

Mkhize throws the book at the Special Investigating Unit

It’s a long shot at political redemption for the former health minister and, more pressingly, a bid to avert criminal charges
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×