The data do not explicitly support the scholars’ argument that a higher rape rate is associated with lower gender equality. According to the graph, developed European countries with the highest scores of gender gap also demonstrate the highest rates of national rape. However, these statistics should not be analyzed based on only the two factors. Rape is a highly under-reported crime that also frequently puts the woman in danger if she informs the sexual assault law enforcement organizations. Oftentimes, the penetrator will be acquitted of the charges, while the woman will become the target for victim-blaming and social contempt. Therefore, a higher gender equality index might actually indicate the confidence of women to report crime and trust in law enforcement. As a result, the current graph does not reveal the objective number of rape assaults but only indicates the number of reported crimes. Furthermore, in some developing countries (unlike developed countries), marital rape is not criminalized, which also leads to confusing statistics.
Concerning the rape culture in US colleges, I believe that the primary reason is the social perspective on sexual assault. It implies that rape is not universally condemned; students frequently joke about this topic, blame the victims, and do not perceive rape seriously. Such behavior significantly normalizes sexual assault, which leads people to believe that rape is inevitable and natural. Obviously, it is a detrimental approach to the problem, which, consequently, increases the rate of national rape. Another factor that deepens the problem is the media influence. Music, movies, TV series, games, and other types of entertainment frequently sexualize and objectify women. While the media is most likely a consequence rather than the source of the problem, it still promotes unhealthy sexual behavior. Ultimately, the issue of rape can only be solved by widespread education on the topic and the promotion of social and gender equality.