Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Violence, Women, Crime, Cinema, Sexual Abuse, Study, Education, Behavior

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/10/19

Jane Doe

Sexual violence is a deviant behavior that has gone on throughout history for various reasons. A very basic definition of sexual abuse is when sexual acts are forced on an individual against the permission of the victim. The issue is complex because it comes in so many forms, for numerous reasons with a long history of exploitation of the victim. Women are the gender that comes to mind when one thinks of the victims of these crimes, however, children and men are also susceptible targets. The topic is concerning enough to explore in further detail. To better understand the deviant behavior of sexual violence, looking at past studies, media portray (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and how I would explore the behavior if given the opportunity.

Historical Analysis

Prior to exploring studies done in the past on the subject of sexual violence, one must not only acknowledge concern for the victim, but the perpetrator as well. The mindset of the individual inclined towards such extreme behavior is not psychologically sound. It is an illness in the offender who is willing to subject another person to the trauma of his or her unjust actions.
Regardless of a historical timeline, the types of people who have fallen prey to sexual assault are numerous. The situations in which these crimes occur are as expansive as are the backgrounds of the individuals involved. The majority of studies done in the past focused on the female victim. For the sake of the particular inquiry of the broad topic, the focus will remain on women as the target for the research.
In the study on the behavior of sexual violence, one cannot be sure of specific reasons why women have been victims of sexual violence more often than any other category of people. A couple possible assumptions include the physical nature of the female body, along with the societal position of women, as reasons for the statistics. Sexual violence can be more than just physical; it can also be psychological.
Rape is the most likely word one thinks of in relation to sexual violence. Rape occurs between strangers, spouses, family-members, and even friends. It is the most common form of sexual violence Americans are aware of, but there are multitudes of heinous acts of this nature that occur globally. The "Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls" (2012) website, reported sexual violence as a tactic of war; sexual exploitation; sex trafficking; female genital mutilation; forced child marriage; crimes in the name or ‘honor’; femicide; dowry-related violence; and acid-throwing attacks on females. These types of attacks are less frequent to the Western culture so not many studies regarding the global phenomenon exist.


An important point on the subject is the driving force behind the perpetrators unnatural urge to violate another individual in such a way. One fundamental and disturbing truth about the problem with sexual violence is that many men and women do not recognize the incidents as unacceptable. A husband may believe he has a right to his wife whenever he wants; sometimes the woman is unaware of her rights and is forced to accept the advances of her husband. Rutgers University Violence Prevention and Victims Assistance website (2015) states, “Perpetrators have a strong sense of entitlement and use power and control to commit acts of sexual violence” (Why Does Sexual Violence Occur?, para.1). A primary motivation for sexually deviant behaviors begin with the need for power and control in the perpetrators of the crimes. The dysfunctional manner, in which the individual fulfills this desire, is through violent acts against a vulnerable individual.
Proper studies on the psychological issues of the perpetrators of rape are inconclusive because the studies were done primarily on incarcerated men (Lisak, n.d.). The statistics also indicate that the majority of sexually violent crimes are not reported. The lack of unbiased information available on the global problems of the subject is also a factor in a conclusion of inadequate findings on the topic of sexual violence. Sexually deviant behavior against woman seems to land in a sociological conflict perspective theory with men as the instigators of placing women in a less valuable class.

Media and Sexual Violence

The media have influence on a lot of social norms creating a culture of what is acceptable and what is not. Sex is a topic that is shown to audiences on a constant basis, in a magazine, in fashion, television, and movies, as well as music. Women are encouraged to be sexy. An enormous amount of a woman's worth relies on how she looks. Despite the advances women have made in the world in respectable positions, the stigma of female sex appeal is strong, and the media are the primary culprit.
Technological growth of the Internet and gadgets (tablets, smartphones) has made access to porn easier than ever resulting in excessive exposure to extreme sexual behavior. The message media depict to both men and women make sex in a variety of forms acceptable and appealing. The world culture continues to become sexualized at an increasing rate. Needless to say, sex is on the minds of almost everyone. The reality of this is unnerving when one thinks of the dysfunctional members of society using this message, justifying their sexually violent acts.

Girl with a Dragon Tattoo

A blockbuster movie Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is one of the many top grossing films that one could watch to see how sexual violence is used by the media. There is clearly profit by exploiting sex in this fashion, but it does not make it suitable. The portrayal of sexual acts seen in movies may further encourage the mentally unstable individuals to act violently in their sexual encounters. A couples important things to mention prior to the discussion of the film is the significance of the message in the movie. The movie symbolizes a strong attitude in the imbalance of male dominance over females, but it can also imply condoning sexually violent acts based on the mindset of the viewer.
Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, originally a novel by Stieg Larson presents the topic of sexual violence boldly as multiple aspects of the story express the attitude society has had (may continue to have) towards females. One eye opener regarding this movie (story) is the fact that the Swedish translation for the title of the book is “Men Who Hate Women” (Bondurant, 2011). The original meaning of the title of the movie sets a disturbing tone about the direction of the film's plot.
The story is about a troubled young girl named Lizbeth Salander. She possesses a photographic memory that adds to her brilliant hacking ability, these skills are not celebrated but abused by her perpetrator (Rudin & Fincher, 2011). The character is not represented as a sexually attractive woman, but as an almost androgynous individual with a rebellious unattractive appearance (Rudin & Fincher, 2011). . Bondurant (2011), “In the book, Mikael speculates that Lisbeth has Asperger's Syndrome and this lines up with two aspects of her character that contravene gender expectations. AS afflicts social functioning and to an outside observer, this is often interpreted as being not nice. Women, in particular, are expected by society to be nice, to be obliging in their social manners” ('Dragon Tattoo' tackles rarely-discussed issue of sexual violence). Lizbeth is socially awkward and not the type of individual to conform to societal norms. This is a significant factor in the movie because she is mistreated and abused because of this characteristic trait.
Lizbeth has been under the guardianship of others since a young age with no legal rights to make her choices. She is put into the custody of a man who begins to abuse her sexually. He justifies his indiscretions by devaluing her because of his claims of her promiscuity. The message of her worthlessness is evident in the horrible portrayal of her being held like an animal for her keeper to use for his pleasure, benefit, and power-trip (Rudin & Fincher, 2011).
The story represents a strong argument for the overpowering chauvinistic patriarchal role in the minimizing of females and their most fundamental rights to guard themselves. It is an extremely difficult movie to watch, especially when observing with the back drop of studying the deviant behavior of sexual violence.

My Thoughts

If given the opportunity to study sexually deviant behavior I would have to recruit the help of many individuals specialized in various fields of expertise. I would request an anthropologist and historian to work together in formulating a conclusion on data gathered from the societal attitudes and practices that have kept the male-dominant culture in place. Using the findings from the first step in the study, I would recruit the help of an expert psychologist and sociologist. We would then begin a study in various parts of the world, both developed and undeveloped, to start to piece together a hypothesis about the nature of sexual violence and how society is responsible. Ideally we would then find a method of behavioral therapy that would begin the process of correcting and creating a shift in the global attitude to bring an end to the acceptance of sexual violence throughout the world.


Bondurant, E. (2011). Sound on site. Retrieved from http://www.soundonsight.org/dragon-tattoo-
Lisak, D. (n.d.). Understanding the Predatory Nature of Sexual Violence. University of
Massachusetts Boston, (), 1-12. Retrieved from http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/240951/original/
Rudin, S. (Producer), & Fincher, D. (Director). (2011). The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Motion
Picture). United States: Columbia Pictures.
Rutgers University Violence Prevention and Victims Assistance. (2015). Website. Retrieved
Virtual knowledge centre to end violence against women and girls. (2012). Retrieved from
Young, S. L., & Maguire, K. C. (2003). Talking about sexual violence. Women and Language,
26(2), 40-52. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/198817937?accountid=458

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WePapers. (2020, October, 19) Free Sexual Violence Essay Sample. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-sexual-violence-essay-sample/
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"Free Sexual Violence Essay Sample," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 19-Oct-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-sexual-violence-essay-sample/. [Accessed: 28-Jun-2022].
Free Sexual Violence Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-sexual-violence-essay-sample/. Published Oct 19, 2020. Accessed June 28, 2022.

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