Most Americans say that reluctance to report sexual assault is a greater issue than false reports, and two-fifths say there is a 'rape culture'
In November Rolling Stone published an explosive article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely in which she said that UVA student 'Jackie' had been brutally gang-raped by a fraternity. The story quickly unravelled after reporting by the Washington Post and others made it became clear that Erdley failed to properly check her facts and misrepresented the actions of virtually everyone involved.
The latest research from YouGov shows that most Americans (73%) think that there are more people who are reluctant to report being a victim of rape than there are people who falsely report being a victim of rape (13%). Men (18%) are twice as likely as women (9%), however, to say that the number of people who falsely report being a victim is greater than the number who are reluctant to report being a victim.
Rape culture is an idea that has come to be used widely in recent years, and basically argues that societies like the United States are places where sexual violence is considered the norm and that instead of teaching people not to rape, potential victims are taught how to avoid being raped.
Americans do tend to agree with this analysis, with 40% of adult Americans saying that this is an accurate description of the U.S., while 30% say that it is inaccurate. Most Democrats (51%) say that America has a rape culture, while only 20% say that it does not. Independents also tend to say that the U.S. does (40%) rather than does not (33%) have a a rape culture, but Republicans generally say that the U.S. does not (39%) have a rape culture, though 27% of Republicans say that the U.S. does.
Men (41%) tend to say that America does not have a rape culture, though 34% say that it does. 45% of women, however, say that America has a rape culture while only 21% say that it does not.
Full poll results can be found here.