Women who drink, smoke, and stay out after 9pm invite rape, a Beijing court study says

The court didn’t say anything about bunny ears.
The court didn’t say anything about bunny ears.
Image: Reuters/Carlos Barria
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A recent Chinese court study concluded that “bad habits” like drinking and smoking lead women to be raped. Wearing revealing clothing and being out at night can also cause rape, the court found.

After studying 151 rape cases and 162 defendants (link in Chinese) at the Beijing Haidian District Court over the past three years, a judge concluded that “bold” victims put themselves in dangerous situations. It is rare that rape occurs between two strangers, the judge found. A report on the study in the Beijing Evening News (link in Chinese) said:

According to statistics, 60% of the rape cases happened from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am. Some of the victims in this period of time have open sexual attitudes. When provoked and enticed by strange men, they didn’t take protective measures initially. Defendants in many cases confessed that they saw victims are young and pretty, scantily clad, so they thought of raping them.

So what about the accused rapists? The court study found they were mostly migrant workers aged from 18 to 30, who are single, or married but without their wives’ company. The vast majority, 79%, were educated to high school level or less, and 64% to a junior high level or less. So, the study concluded, their “exuberant” physical needs are repressed, they are poorly educated, and have low awareness of laws. In addition, they watch a lot of “perverted information” online rather than spending money on other forms of recreation.

The results of the court study were re-posted widely by other major Chinese news outlets. To be fair, what was reported might not be the exact words used in the study (which is nowhere to be found on the Haidian Court’s website).

Still, many Chinese readers agreed the underlying message was providing a rationale for the rapists and blaming the victims. Some Sina Weibo users (links in Chinese) were very creative in their mocking at the study:

@Cold-blooded talented woman:
Those who have hair are more likely to be sexually assaulted than those don’t; those who have teeth are more likely to be assaulted than those don’t. What’s more important, those who’re alive are more likely to be assaulted than dead female bodies. So to love ourselves and protect ourselves, we should die.

@Crazy Amy Who:
According to a survey, men with penises but without brains are more likely to be criminals and accomplices.