|"Everyone Has a Choice" by George Hodan|
Some classify cultures as rape cultures that create sexual predators. Some aspects of culture do contribute to sexual predators, but predators decide what they do. Their culture didn't make them predators, only influenced them: they choose to become who they are. However, there are strategies to reduce rape cultures.
We tell men: don't rape! Well, women and adolescents rape too. Simply saying don't rape doesn't account all the factors that led to someone choosing to act on sexual predation. The ultimate act of rape begins slowly with small deviations that lead to bigger deviations. The key is to persuade and teach everyone to take care of the small sins that can lead to rape or molesting.
We tell women: don't learn self-defense. That's dangerous thinking for every woman who believes that statement. Every man, woman, and older child has the power to reduce their risk of rape and sexual abuse using deflection strategies and self-defense. We have to accept that we can't control predators, but we can control ourselves.
So what will we counteract to reduce and one day eradicate rape culture?
After reading Protecting Our Children from Sexual Predators by Dr. Leigh Baker, she describes characteristics of sexual predators. Counteracting these characteristics in our culture will reduce sexual predators. Here are the characteristics to counteract: doesn't take responsibility and blames others for failures, acts entitled, has low self-esteem, needs to control or have power, deviant sexual attitudes and behaviors, trouble forming relationships with adults, lacks empathy, abuses alcohol or drugs, and troubled/abusive childhoods. Anna C. Salter discusses other characteristics of sexual predators: practiced liars, glibness (slippery), likability, and outward niceness.
I will discuss the remedies going through this series: taking responsibility, humility, loving yourself, dealing with helplessness, healthy sexuality, forming healthy relationships, developing empathy, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, preventing/coping with a troubled past, being honest, and discernment.
This sounds simplistic, but we tend to overcomplicate solutions. As each of us takes responsibility for ourselves, we create a healthier society. It all begins with the individual and influencing other individuals for the better.
Have you noticed other characteristics of abusers? What would you recommend to reduce rape culture?