Thesis Proposal Sample

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Sexual Violence


Gender violence has become a serious issue all over the world. It is estimated that 35% of women around the world have been physically or sexually abused[ CITATION Kot18 \l 1033 ]. As much as women fall victim to sexual abuse everyday African women are the worst hit by sexual violence. However, the statistics on sexual violence are not reliable since most victims of rape are afraid to report. Lesbians being raped in South Africa have become common since the rate of lesbian rape is at an all-time high that it has been named corrective rape. Men who rape lesbians claim that they are trying to cure them of their sexual preference. South Africa like any other country has all sorts of people lesbians, gay transgender, a majority of South Africans are heterosexual and find homosexuality to be immoral and Un-African and they, therefore, go to extreme measures to cleanse the country of homosexuality. This paper is going to analyze the cases of lesbian rape in South Africa.


There are several theories of sexual violence that have been developed over the years. Many theories focus on human thoughts and behaviors that are usually influenced by their environment. Psychological theories claim that most rapists have some psychological problems that normalize their sexual violence. Some theories claim that corrective rape is a result of colonization of Africa and apartheid, most Africans believe that homosexuality is a white person thing and therefore black people should not be homosexuals.


Most hate crimes against lesbians usually go unrecognized by the state or the legal system; it is believed that these cases are not prioritized by the state. There are several non-governmental organizations as well as the United Nations that pressures the country’s criminal and justice system to recognize the rape cases and classify them as hate crimes, with the aim of making the police take action over this epidemic. The curative rape cases came to the limelight when a South African football star Eudy Simelane became a victim of rape due to her sexual preference. Miss Simelane was one of the first women to be open about her sexual orientation and she was raped and brutally beaten for it. There are hundreds of women who have been targeted and raped for their sexual orientation in South Africa alone. Research shows that nearly 90% percent of lesbians in Cape Town live in the fear of being sexually abused because of their sexuality. A gay rights organization called triangle claims that they receive nearly ten cases of rape each week [ CITATION Wil17 \l 1033 ].


It is estimated that nearly half of the lesbians who are raped are usually murdered. In Cape Town at least 10 lesbians are gang-raped while 150 more lesbians are raped countrywide in South Africa [ CITATION Wil17 \l 1033 ]. South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV/ Aids infections in the world, this is the biggest threat facing the victims of rape in South Africa[ CITATION Kot18 \l 1033 ].

The most dramatizing thing that the survivors have to deal with is seeing the offenders everyday walking free, it is said that in every 25 men accused of rape 24 of them walk free. Most of them are usually given very low bail, the bails usually reach as low as 60 rands while the judicial process takes even longer [ CITATION Wil17 \l 1033 ].

There has been a lot of tension between the black and white people of South Africa, given the fact that homosexuality is believed to be a white man’s culture the Africans strongly refuse it and find means to remove it from their society. Corrective rape is being used by South Africans to eradicate the white man’s culture, most South Africans believe that their culture was robbed from them by the colonialists and the apartheid regime.

It is therefore correct to say that corrective rape is directly linked to the colonization of the country. However, this fact does not excuse the horrendous act of rape[ CITATION Wil17 \l 1033 ]. The country is in a dilemma in what cause of action that they will take, should homosexuality be illegal or should the people be educated about homosexuality and acceptance.

In the last two years, there have been more than a dozen incidents of corrective rapes that lead to the murder of the victims in South Africa and there are only two incidents that people were convicted. It is estimated that nearly 40 cases of rape occur each month in cape town alone this is a very high rate. Despite these numbers, the attackers rarely get convicted. It seems that corrective rape has become a normal thing with the cultural acceptance, normalization and the lack of convictions[ CITATION Wil17 \l 1033 ].


The research methodology will focus on the methods that the data will be collected. Primary methods will be used but since corrective rape is a field that has been highly researched and analyzed the best method of data collection will be Secondary methods. The research methods that will be used will be conducting interviews from both therapists and the victims, reading articles and journals, the internet is another good source of information among several others.

The content analysis of this research will be guided by a set of questions that the researcher will wish to answer. These questions can be formulated from interviews or books and internet sources. The types of questions answered can be limited to qualitative or quantitative aspects. The qualitative and quantitative methods can substitute one another or supplement one another. Analyzing the data collected will involve coding the content into categories, this will help in summarizing and systemizing the data collected. The categories that the researcher will utilize during the research analysis can be inductively or deductively determined using a combination of both.


Some reports indicate that most lesbians who have been raped claim that therapists blamed them for being lesbians and that by raping them it will cure them of their sexual orientation. Studies also indicate that the rise of these types of hate crimes has been linked to the macho political environment in South Africa. Politicians claim that they do have a lot of issues to deal with like poverty and the rate of unemployment among the youth that is why they have not prioritized this hate crime. Ever since the death of Miss Simelanes a lot of human rights organizations and non-governmental organizations have stepped in to fight this type of injustice, and the process they have documented a lot of incidences and reports about them.

Another primary source to be used is the constitution of the country. The constitution of South Africa is one of the most progressive in the world for a lot of things. Section 9 subsection 3 of the South African constitution prohibits the discrimination of people on the basis of their sexual preference. In nearly all constitutions in the world, sexual orientation is not mentioned in their constitution but in South Africa, it is clearly stated that sexual orientation is protected. Studies indicate that the main problem that faces South Africa is the gap between the socio-cultural realm and the legal realm. This gap is where corrective rape comes in. homosexual men are not faced with this phenomena women mostly black women of South Africa are the ones who are most affected. Such rape cases involving black lesbians are witnessed in other countries as well it is not limited to South Africa alone.

Several reports indicate that during the apartheid period such rape cases did not exist. this basically means that rape is a new thing and deeply embedded in the African culture. A lot of research has been conducted on these phenomena. Most Africans believe that homosexuality is Un-African and it was brought to Africa by the white people during the colonial period. All African ethnic groups do not have homosexuality in their culture and they, therefore, believe that homosexuality is exclusively a white man’s culture[ CITATION Kot18 \l 1033 ]. The black lesbians are usually alienated from communities and they would only be allowed back to the community if they changed their sexual preference. This is the sole reason why these women are subjected to the so-called corrective rape as a way to turn the lesbians back to the community where they can assume their proper role in society.


This research is very important in raising awareness about hate crimes happening in South Africa. By gathering as much information as possible about corrective rape people will get to understand more about the rapist’s mind and where they get such evil intentions from. It will also help in understanding the victims of rape and what they go through. Most African people think of homosexuality as a taboo and something that was brought to Africa by the white people, the research will help them understand more about homosexuality and understand homosexuals better.


The research method that will be utilized during the research process will consist of qualitative and quantitative content analysis. Interviewing directly the victims of corrective rape will be very fruitful for this research since the researcher will have first-hand information about what the victims went through. The convicted rapists can also bring some insight to the research if an interview with them is made possible. The ultimate goal for this research design ensures that the data collected remains the focus of the research. It is important for the researchers to note that the victims of corrective rape are not just statistics and that they are humans who should be defended and protected.


Wilson, J. K. (2017). Unfolding Knowledge on Sexual Violence Experienced by Black Lesbian Survivors in the Townships of Cape Town, South Africa. European Journal of Social Sciences Education and Research, 10(1), 7-15.

Kotze, E., & Bowman, B. (2018). Coming-Out Confessions: Negotiating the Burden of Lesbian Identity Politics in South Africa. Journal of homosexuality, 65(1), 1-18.

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