Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Between 1939 and 1946 the number of rapes in the United States increased approximately 45 percent. This project strives to explain the cultural factors the fueled this increase. Existing societal beliefs and the legal system of this period held rape victims responsible for their own victimization. Additionally, the wartime mobilization of the 1940s liberated millions of young men from community and family moral surveillance. Some men experienced this liberation as license to coerce sex from women. Popular culture accepted and even praised sexual aggressiveness in men, especially military men, and linked women's sexuality to their patriotism. The combination of all of these factors contributed to the sharp increase in sexual violence against women that we see for this period.
© The Author
Smith, Michaele Katherine, ""You Can't Say 'No' to a Soldier": Sexual Violence in the United States during World War II" (2013). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539623622.