Rates of Rape in the U.S. Are Declining

April 8, 2007

In an opinion piece, Mike Males, senior researcher at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice describes the decline. Crime reports, victimization surveys, and public health measures consistently reveal large declines in the percentages of young women reporting sexual violence against them and of young men committing rape and other violent crimes. “The most likely explanation involves impressive generational developments,” especially the growing empowerment of women. In 1970, for example, women were only 33% of all college students while today they are 57%. “Women’s rapidly rising status and economic independence in the larger society fostered new attitudes and laws that rejected violence against women.” “The youngest teenagers (presumably those raised with the most modern attitudes) show the biggest declines of all. Over the last 30 years, rape arrest rates have fallen by 8-% among Californians under age 15.” (EW)
<P>Los Angeles Times, 18 February 2007, Mike Males, “The decline of rape.”</P>

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