Chapter

Rape or Seduction?

Caroline Blyth

in The Narrative of Rape in Genesis 34

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199589456
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594571 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589456.003.0003
Rape or Seduction?

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This chapter focuses on the common cultural myth that rape is little more than an outplaying of normative sexuality, where the dominant male pursues and conquers the typically reluctant female. The author argues that rape is an act of sexualized aggression and therefore its harmful effects on the victim cannot be underestimated. Attention then turns to the subject of Dinah's rape, where the author offers a close reading of the Hebrew text of Genesis 34.2 in an attempt to refute the suggestion made by a number of biblical scholars, that the sexual encounter between Dinah and Shechem was one of seduction rather than violation. It is suggested that those scholars who cast doubt upon Dinah's status as rape victim may unwittingly be perpetuating the cultural normalization of sexual violence and the concomitant confusion between abusive and acceptable sexuality.

Keywords: sexuality; rape myths; Dinah; Genesis 34; rape victim; sexual violence; Hebrew

Chapter.  21688 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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