Forced sex, rape and sexual exploitation: attitudes and experiences of high school students in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (2014)

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Cult Health Sex. 2014 Aug 13:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]

Mulumeoderhwa M1, Harris G.

Abstract

This paper reports on fieldwork carried out in 2011 with the aim of investigating the attitudes and reported behaviour of Congolese high school students concerning sexual relationships. A total of 56 boys and girls aged 16-20 from two urban and two rural high schools in South Kivu Province took part in focus groups, and 40 of these were subsequently interviewed individually. The majority of boys felt that they were entitled to sex from their girlfriends and that if persuasion was unsuccessful, the use of force was legitimate; this, in their minds, did not constitute rape. Girls, on the other hand, were clear that such forced sex was rape. However it may be understood, rape was perceived as having increased in recent years and was explained by weak legal systems, pornography and provocative dressing by girls. Boys were angry at the competition from older, often married, men who were able to provide monetary and other incentives to the girls.

KEYWORDS:

Democratic Republic of Congo; gender violence; rape; sexual exploitation; young people