Open Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
Department or School
English Language and Literature
Annette Wannamaker, Ph.D.
Amanda K. Allen, Ph.D.
Adolescent novels about rape are one way to discuss rape and rape culture with a young audience. These novels can depict and challenge aspects of rape culture, including the myths that ultimately reinforce a culture hostile to rape victims. Considering the prevalence of rape in society at large, as well as its prevalence among adolescents, this thesis examines the elements of rape culture at play within adolescent rape novels, which can serve as pieces of activism as they give voice to adolescent survivors of rape. Adolescent rape novels explore the internal struggles of survivors as well as the external process of reporting their assault and the affect the rape has on their life and the relationships they have with families, friends, and peers. Adolescent rape novels challenge rape culture while also including defining traits that also reinforce contemporary rape culture in an adolescent landscape. These novels, in tandem with nonfiction adolescent works about rape culture, can lend a hand in connecting readers with contemporary movements that speak out against sexual violence and rape, such as the #MeToo movement. This allows adolescents a way to truly understand the impact of rape culture and find ways they can bring an awareness to and ultimately work against rape culture as they become adults in contemporary society.
Greca, Holly J., "“Hideous things have happened here”: Rape myths, rape culture, and healing in adolescent literature" (2023). Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. 1193.