Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access



Faculty Mentor

Kelly Sorensen


Presented during the 17th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 24, 2015 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

Sexual violence is occurring everywhere, constantly. According to Crisis Connection, every 45 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted, with a total of around 1,270,000 women a year. Because of this alarming prevalence, there has been considerable research in the field. The first priority in research is rightly put on victims; but without looking at perpetrators this research is incomplete. My research looks at how perpetrators of sexual violence claim to justify their actions. While some view rape and perpetrators as anomalies, I argue that through their actions and justifications perpetrators are reflecting the culture that they are in. I am using the law throughout history and in present day as a way of tracking the culture of a society and to see how rape is viewed. This in turn influences how the perpetrators regard their crimes. What the law considers rape affects how the perpetrator justifies his actions. This correlation between justification and the law shows a need for stronger and stricter rape laws. This would limit the possibility for the perpetrator to justify the crime and subsequently limit the amount of rape that occurs.


Available to Ursinus community only.