Just Sex?

The Cultural Scaffolding of Rape

By Nicola Gavey, Nicola Gavey

© 2005 – Routledge

280 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415310727
pub: 2004-12-09
Hardback: 9780415310710
pub: 2004-12-09

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Winner of the Association for Women In Psychology 2006 Distinguished Publication Award!

The past two decades have witnessed a significant shift in how rape is understood in Western societies. This shift in perception has revealed the startling frequency of occurrences of date rape, obscuring the divide between rape and what was once just sex. Just Sex? combines an overview of the existing literature with an analysis of recent research to examine the psychological and cultural implications of this new epidemic. The result is the conclusion that feminist theory on sexual victimisation has gone both too far and not far enough. The reader is presented with a challenging and original perspective on the issues of rape, sex and the body, incorporating subjects including:

* rape as a social problem

* the social constructionism of sex, subjectivity and the body

* heterosexuality under the microscope

This book succeeds in making a valuable contribution to feminist and social contructionist work on rape that will be of interest to those studying psychology, gender studies, cultural studies and sociology.

Just Sex? The Cultural Scaffolding of Rape was selected as a 2005 winner of AWP's (Association for Women in Psychology) distinguished publication award.


'Nicola Gavey's book is a must-read for anyone involved in rape research, prevention and education, or clinical work. … Her unique viewpoint on many of our favourite (and a few new) controversies in the field make for delicious reading. … [Her] work does much to dismantle the master's scaffold by getting real about the tools of rape. It is the best book I have read on the topic in many years, and I expect it will find its way to most of your bookshelves.' - Patricia D. Rozee, California State University, in Psychology of Women Quarterly

Table of Contents

Introduction. Part 1: Rape in a Different Light. Rape as a Social Problem. The Discovery of a Rape Epidemic. Part 2: Gender, Power and Sexuality - and the Limits of Individual Choice. The Social Construction of Sex, Subjectivity and the Body. Heterosexuality Under the Microscope. Unsexy Sex: Unwanted Sex, Sexual Coercion and Rape. Part 3: Going Too Far, Not Going Far Enough. Can a Woman be Raped and Not Know It? Turning the Tables? Women Raping Men. Towards Ending Rape.

About the Authors

Nicola Gavey is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her work examines the convergences of gender, power and sexuality, in order to critique cultural conditions of possibility for rape.

About the Series

Women and Psychology

This series brings together current theory and research on women and psychology. Drawing on scholarship from a number of different areas of psychology, it bridges the gap between abstract research and the reality of women's lives by integrating theory and practice, research and policy.

Each book addresses a 'cutting edge' issue of research, covering topics such as postnatal depression and eating disorders, and addressing a wide range of theories and methodologies.

The series provides accessible and concise accounts of key issues in the study of women and psychology, and clearly demonstrates the centrality of psychology debates within women's studies or feminism.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies