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Duke University Lacrosse Team Alleged Gang Rape

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Fraternity of Silence - Rape accusations involving three lacrosse players raise troubling questions of race and privilege

"Some of the best sports teams are tighter than brothers: on the field, the players read one another's every move, push one another to work harder and trust in their teammates, win or lose. Off the field they apply the same principles in the pursuit of fun. The party-loving Duke University lacrosse players--known, like the school's other teams, as the Blue Devils--ranked as high as No. 2 in the country this season. They share a bond that might have carried them to a national championship; instead, it has put their faces on WANTED posters on Duke's idyllic campus in Durham, N.C."


Duke launching investigations, initiatives in wake of lacrosse allegations

"Duke University President Richard Brodhead said Wednesday he has formed a faculty group to look into a "culture of bad behavior" involving the men's lacrosse team, including a "history of boorish behavior and underage drinking.""


E-mail rocks Duke campus

"Half an hour after a 911 call launched an investigation into the alleged gang-raping of an exotic dancer by Duke lacrosse players, a team member wrote an e-mail saying he planned to kill strippers the following night in his dorm building, court documents allege."


Duke Lacrosse Team Known for Its Swagger

"At Duke University, they like to say there's only one real fraternity on campus: LAX, shorthand for lacrosse. Long before the university was rocked by allegations that lacrosse players raped a stripper during an off-campus party March 14, Duke's highly ranked team had a reputation for swagger and a powerful sense of entitlement. Now administrators are starting to wonder whether they put up with it for too long."


Graphic and disturbing email in Duke rape scandal

"A disturbing new email has emerged in the rape scandal that forced Duke University to cancel it's lacrosse season. University officials suspended sophomore Ryan Mcfadyen of Mendham, New Jersey. They say he wrote a stomach-turning message just hours after a stripper says she was attacked by members of his team."

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Cultural diversity

Online resources for rape and sexual assault victims of diverse cultural heritages.


What can you expect from a rape survivor?

Behaviour characteristics involved in Rape Trauma Syndrome.

"Two main styles of emotion were shown by the victims within the first few hours after the rape:

  • expressed &
  • controlled

In the expressed style. the victim demonstrated such feelings as anger, fear and anxiety. They were restless during the interview, becoming tense when certain questions were asked, crying or sobbing when describing specific acts of the assailant, smiling in an anxious manner when certain issues were stated.

In the controlled style, the feelings of the victim were masked or hidden, and a calm, composed or subdued affect could be noted. "

Related pages:

College and Fraternity Rape

Secondary victimization

Victim blame

Hate crimes

Current events


Journal articles


Articles on related topics:

Martin, P. Y., & Hummer, R. A. (1989). Fraternities and rape on campus. Gender and Society, 3, 457-473. Find this journal in a library

Boswell, A. A., & Spade, J. Z. (1996). Fraternities and collegiate rape culture: Why are some fraternities more dangerous places for women? Gender and Society, 10, 133-147. Find this journal in a library

Sanday, P. R. (1996). Rape-prone versus rape-free campus cultures. Violence Against Women, 2, 191-208. Find this journal in a library

Fischer, B., & Cullen, F. (2001). Sexual Victimization of College Women. Retrieved Jan. 19, 2006, from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/svcw.htm

"Most of the sexually assaulted women knew the person who victimized them. For completed and attempted rapes, nearly 90 percent of the victims knew the offender, who was usually a classmate, friend, ex-boyfriend or acquaintance."

Copenhaver, S., and Grauerholz, E. (1991)Sexual Victimization among Sorority Women: Exploring the Link between Sexual Violence and Institutional Practices. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. 24(1-2): 31–42. Find this journal in a library

Schwartz, Martin D. and DeKeseredy, Walter S. (1997). Sexual Assault on the College Campus: The Role of Male Peer Support. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Find this journal in a library




Lori Robinson (2003). I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse. WA: Seal Press: 224. Find this book in a library

I Will Survive- related site

"In I Will Survive Lori Robinson has created a valuable resource for African-American survivors of sexual assault (as well as their families, friends, and communities), incorporating personal stories, civil rights history, and a call for community activism. An award-winning journalist and a rape survivor herself, Robinson walks readers through the ways survivors can experience emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual healing, offering her firsthand knowledge on the particular difficulties African-Americans face on their journey toward recovery. She also explores why black women are more likely to experience sexual crimes—an insightful discussion framed in the context of the American slave system and modern institutionalized racism. This groundbreaking guide for African Americans contains an abundance of culturally specific and compassionate advice and information that includes accessible instruction on navigating police, health care, and legal systems, as well as an extensive resources section."


Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus Find this book in a library

Sanday, Peggy Reeves. (1990) Fraternity gang rape : sex, brotherhood, and privilege on campus. New York : New York University Press, 203.

HV6561 .S25 1990

NCJ Number: 132833

ISBN 0-8147-7902-6

"This study documents how gang rape occurs with regularity in fraternities, athletic dorms, and other exclusively male enclaves. The book begins with one incident at a fraternity that involved one woman having sex with five or six fraternity members after a party. Perspectives on what happened were obtained through interviews with the victim, the participants, onlookers, and university administrators. As background for understanding the incident, the analysis reconstructs daily life in the fraternity as it identifies the roles played by pornography, male bonding, degrading jokes, and ritual dances in shaping the fraternity's attitude toward women and sexuality. Two fraternity members detail the degrading fraternity initiation rituals they were compelled to undergo. The discussion also covers gang rape on other campuses in other fraternities. The evidence reveals a common pattern; the "brothers" target a vulnerable "party girl" who wants acceptance or is high on alcohol (sometimes her drinks have been deliberately spiked); she is taken to a room in the fraternity house where she may or may not agree to have sex with one man; she then generally passes out, and a "train" of men have sex with her. Such incidents of gang rape are rarely prosecuted or even labeled rape, reflecting an institutional attitude that grants men sexual privileges and accepts sexually aggressive behavior. The book's analysis concludes that the subculture of many male groups on college campuses conditions men to view women as objects to be used for confirmation of their masculinity and as vehicles for acceptance into the male fraternity. Women, on the other hand, are manipulated and conditioned to accept this role as a means of attaching themselves to men of power in the male community. 53-item bibliography"





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Related links: Victim blame



Macdonalds, John (2004). World Book Encyclopedia. United States of America: World Book Inc.

Smith, M. D. (2004). Encyclopedia of Rape. USA: Greenwood Press.

Sedney, Mary Anne, "rape (crime)." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006 <http://gme.grolier.com> (February 1, 2006).



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