Dr. Tracy Tamborra

"Sexual Violence in the Media"
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. in the Marvin K. Peterson Library


This presentation examines cultural norms regarding sexuality and the exploitation of women. This presentation examines marketing campaigns aimed at children which introduce gender role norms, specifically violence against women by men. For instance, commercials depict boys running and banging into each other with their trucks, while girls sit smiling with their dolls.

The assigning of gender roles to young children is highlighted in an analysis of Halloween costumes. Boys are marketed masked, weapon carrying, violence oriented costumes; and in contrast, girls are sold short skirts, make-up and "flirty" costumes. In addition, messages sent to older children and adults through music, movies and video games are discussed.

This presentation reviews song lyrics which promote rape directly. In addition, this presentation discusses Japanese rape simulation video games, which were available for purchase in the US. These video games allow the user to rape and torture three women in a family. One victim is a ten-year old girl who holds her teddy bear and bleeds as she is raped.

Finally, this presentation reviews data which suggests that rape and sexual assault occur in great numbers, with few consequences for the perpetrator. Therefore the presentation concludes by questioning if rape is culturally promoted and excused intentionally.

Biographical Information

Dr. Tamborra earned a Ph.D. and M.A. from the City University of New York, and a M.S. and B.S. from the University of New Haven.

Dr. Tamborra's research interests include domestic violence, sexual assault/abuse, and the effects of the criminal justice system on women, persons of color, persons affected by poverty and other traditionally marginalized groups.

Current Research Projects:

Coerced Sex: Does Relationship Status and the Women's Reputation
Mitigate the Acceptability of Coercion? (2007)
University sexual misconduct policy: Considering students as critical stakeholders when developing campus policy (2007)


Dr. Taborra's web page