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One quarter of men in South Africa admit rape.

The South African Medical Research Council surveyed a representative sample of 1,738 men in rural and urban areas of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal about rape and HIV and blood was taken for HIV testing. 28% said they had raped a woman or girl, and 3% had raped a man or boy. 46% of those admitting to rape had done so more than once, with 73% saying they had carried out their first assault before the age of 20. Men who raped were more likely to be older, more educated, and have higher earnings, although they were not more likely to be in the top income bracket. Parental absence, childhood trauma, bullying and delinquent behaviour were more common in those who had raped. HIV prevalence was high--more than 25% among 25-45 year olds--but not significantly different between men who had and had not raped. Men who are physically violent towards women were twice as likely to be HIV-positive and are more likely to pay for sex and not use condoms. There is considerable risk of HIV transmission to rape victims. South Africa's government has been criticised for failing to address the crisis; only 7% of reported rapes lead to a conviction. Rape prevention must focus on changing social norms, and comprehensive care packages must be given to victims of rape. (1,2)

(1.) Smith D. Quarter of men in South Africa admit rape, survey finds. The Guardian (UK), 18 June 2009.

(2.) Jewkes R, Sikweyiya Y, Morrell R, et al. Understanding men's health and use of violence: interface of rape and HIV in South Africa. MRC Policy Brief. June 2009.

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Title Annotation:ROUND UP: Research
Publication:Reproductive Health Matters
Article Type:Author abstract
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:May 1, 2009
Words:272
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