‘Some aspiring vets live with aspiring police inspectors …

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There are some persistent myths about rape among prospective police inspectors. This emerged from a survey by researchers from the Department of Criminology of Ghent University, in which 224 aspiring inspectors took part. The researchers argue in favor of paying more attention to this theme within the program.

For example, 31.3 percent of aspiring inspectors believe that women often accuse men of rape for the purpose of revenge. 14.3 percent believe that men usually do not intend to coerce a woman into sex, but are sometimes “carried away too far sexually.” After all, 12.5 percent say men rape ‘when they lose control of their libido’. 25.4 percent say they have trouble believing a man who says they have been raped by a woman. After all, according to 8.5 percent, a healthy man can successfully resist a woman if he really wants to. For 25.4 percent, women who rape men are sexually frustrated.

The results about the female myths are largely comparable to foreign research, where percentages of up to 32 percent were found for the myth that rape is used as revenge. “Our research shows that such reasoning is also common within the police population,” said the researchers. The general acceptance of a male victim also needs a lot of improvement within the police population. The researchers therefore argue in favor of paying sufficient attention to sexual violence against women and men within police training.

As part of their investigation, respondents were also presented with two rape scenarios, each with a man as perpetrator and successively a woman and man as victim. The female rape scenario did not appear to have a significant effect, which the researchers attribute to the many media reports in the context of #MeToo that raise awareness about female sexual victimization. However, exposure to a male rape scenario did substantially reduce disbelief around male victims. The researchers therefore argue in favor of including rape victims in the training.

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