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Abstract

The media portrayal of rape influences how the public views, not only that specific case, but rape in general. Language that victim blames and perpetuates the rape myth is subtly, at times blatantly, used to discredit the person who should be protected. I use a 21-point system of analysis to examine three different newspaper articles of 4 national rape cases. The first 2 cases look at how a white athletic assailant is portrayed as opposed to an African American athlete. The final two cases look at how a victim that was drugged is portrayed as opposed to one who was drinking. These cases are extremely similar with concrete evidence that the assailant committed the assault, yet they were portrayed differently. In these cases, the news articles on the white assailant and the victim that was willingly drinking had more victim blame statements and rape myths added to it. Through subtle language, news media outlets have distorted rape cases to continue this societal cycle of blaming rape victims and accusing them of enjoying the attack.

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