Rape Myths and Gender Stereotypes in Croatian Rape Laws and Judicial Practice

Feminist Legal Studies 22 (1):67-87 (2014)


In this paper I examine the presence of rape myths and gender stereotypes, and the norms of sexuality they reflect and reinforce, in Croatian rape laws, as exemplified by the recent practice of the Zagreb County Court. I begin with a general discussion of the gendered myths and stereotypes that have shaped the content and application of the criminal law of rape everywhere. I then briefly introduce the definition of rape under the 1997 Croatian Criminal Code which was in force at the time of my research, after which I proceed to the critical analysis and the assessment of the Zagreb County Court practice. Next, I turn to the changes in the new Criminal Code to see how they address the identified problems. I offer a model of an affirmative consent standard, based on a communicative model of sexuality, which values reciprocal responsibility, communication and mutuality of sexual desire. I argue that this standard has greater potential to challenge rape myths and gender stereotypes and to promote sexual freedom and gender equality.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,805

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

22 (#518,577)

6 months
1 (#386,031)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Real Rape.Susan Estrich - 1989 - Ethics 99 (2):443-444.
Rape Without Consent.Victor Tadros - 2006 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 26 (3):515-543.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rape Myths: Is Elite Opinion Right and Popular Opinion Wrong?Helen Reece - 2013 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 33 (3):445-473.
Gender Neutrality, Rape and Trial Talk.Philip N. S. Rumney - 2008 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 21 (2):139-155.
Sexual Specificity, Rape Law Reform and the Feminist Quest for Justice.Louise du Toit - 2012 - South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):465-483.
Cultural Memory, Empathy, and Rape.Lisa Campo-Engelstein - 2009 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 16 (1):25-42.
Rethinking 'Rape as a Weapon of War'.Doris E. Buss - 2009 - Feminist Legal Studies 17 (2):145-163.
The Wrong of Rape.David Archard - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):374–393.