n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - A phenomenological description of corrective rape and a new terminological perspective of the phenomenon

Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Corrective rape is a term used to describe the rape of lesbian women with the intention to 'cure' such raped women by force to change their sexual orientation (Alfred, 2011:1; Mufweba, 2003:1). Mieses (2009:2) notes that gays and lesbians are being raped because they are violating the 'traditional gender presentation' and also challenging the dominant African ideas about gender identity. As a result, straight men sexually and brutally punish those who deviate from the accepted gender identity. Apart from the fact that the crime is in itself different from other rape categories, the authors do not agree with the term currently used in the media and academic writings, namely 'corrective rape'. The use of this term implies that rape has some inherent 'rehabilitative focus'. Although most people condemn this assault on lesbian women, the term itself creates some idea of correction and should not be used at all. The term: 'homophobic rape', instead is proposed.

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