In Some Asia-Pacific Nations, 1 in 10 Men Have Committed Rape

"Sexual entitlement" most common reason for violence, new study finds

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Indonesian women stage a protest wearing miniskirts in 2011 after Jakarta's governor blamed a gang rape on the victim's choice of clothing.

According to a U.N.-backed study of six countries in the Asia-Pacific region, around 10 percent of men admit to having raped a woman who was not their wife or girlfriend. When partners were added, that figure jumped to an alarming 1 in 4 men.

The findings, published in The Lancet on Tuesday, are part of the first ever survey on rape and sexual violence to be conducted across several countries.

Researchers surveyed more than 10,000 men from Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka.

Rather than using the word “rape”, interviewers (who were also male) asked the respondents if they had ever forced a woman to have sex when she wasn’t willing or had sex with someone who was too drunk or drugged to consent.

By country, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea had the highest number of respondents who admitted to forcing sex on a woman. Bangladesh had the lowest.

When asked why, more than 70% of respondents said it was because of “sexual entitlement,” while almost 60% said they were seeking “entertainment.” Just over half said they felt guilt and less than a quarter said they had been sent to prison for rape.

Endemic sexist attitudes, poverty, and childhood abuse were all likely contributors to high rates of sexual violence, the study’s authors concluded.