EXAMINATION OF THE EFFECT OF RAPE ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN INDIA
1.1 Background of the study
Based on the findings of the UN Crime Trends Survey conducted in 2010, India ranks third globally in terms of reported incidents of rape, behind the United States and Brazil (Dilip & Bates, 2021). India ranked third among the top ten nations in terms of reported rape cases in 2010, and second in terms of reported murders in 2012. The prevalence of rape incidents in India has garnered significant attention in the media, with reports emerging on a frequent basis. Although it is often argued that incidences of rape represent just a fraction of the larger issue at hand: Women in India experience several forms of victimisation, which start from their youth and persist throughout their lives. These forms of victimisation include female feticide, inadequate nutrition, human trafficking, and the practise of widow burning, among others. A preliminary examination of the sequence of unfolding events and advancements occurring worldwide suggests that the global sphere is rapidly deteriorating in terms of criminal activities and offences. One example of such criminal acts is the sexual abuse perpetrated by males against women, namely via non-consensual and coercive engagement in sexual intercourse with girls and women. In recent times, India has seen a persistent occurrence of rape cases, particularly instances of gang rape, targeting vulnerable and defenceless women and girls. This distressing condition has reached a chronic and alarming level, as described by Obasi and Onagoruwa (2019). In Nigeria, a distressing pattern persists, inundating both the nation and the Nigerian media, specifically the print media, with a multitude of accounts and narratives detailing instances of girls and women being subjected to sexual molestation, abuse, and the most heinous act of rape. These acts are committed without remorse, inflicting severe physical and psychological trauma upon the unfortunate victims. Despite the existence of legislation aimed at curbing such despicable and inhumane crimes, the provision of prompt remedies remains elusive. This cruel deed is not constrained by age limitations, since it transcends considerations of tribe, colour, or class, rendering these factors unimportant in relation to the perpetration of this horrible crime. Despite the extensive number of rape victims in India, the compilation of a comprehensive list of those affected by this pervasive issue inside the nation poses significant challenges. The reason for the inaccuracy of statistics data on rape cases over the years is mostly attributed to the underreporting of occurrences, which may be attributed to the fear of social shame and inadequate follow-up investigations conducted by law enforcement agents and agencies. The Indian media has recorded several instances of rape that are characterised by a lack of conscious thought or consideration. According to recent research conducted by Kayode (2019) and a study published by UNICEF (2020), the United Kingdom has an estimated annual incidence of around 147,000 occurrences of rape. However, the number of convictions resulting from these cases remains very low, with just a modest fraction exceeding one thousand. In India, there exists a consistent pattern wherein a reported occurrence of rape occurs around every 20 minutes, with a prosecution rate of less than 25% for these incidents. In the region of Lagos state, located in western Nigeria, a total of 78,079 occurrences were reported, accounting for about 68% of the documented incidents of rape that transpired over the period spanning from 2019 to 2020 (Peters & Olowa, 2020; Caroline, 2019). The Mirabel Centre, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), documented a total of 170 incidents of rape occurring throughout the period of July 2019 to July 2020. Furthermore, the police command has seen a significant increase in reported incidents of rape. Among these instances, gang rape has emerged as the most prevalent kind, occupying the highest position on the crime chart for the year 2020. Nevertheless, this emerging pattern has raised concerns among educational psychologists and guidance counsellors. Despite the implementation of a new state of emergency and the formulation of anti-rape laws and policies in India, there is a troubling increase in the prevalence of rape and a culture of impunity. Consequently, victims face significant challenges in holding their perpetrators responsible for their actions. According to a recent research undertaken by the United Nations Development Programme (2020), it has been shown that a significant proportion of girls and women in India, around one in four, are likely to encounter incidents of rape and/or sexual assault before reaching the age of 18. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (2020), over 20% of women experience rape or sexual assault throughout their lifetime, often perpetrated by those that they are acquainted with and have placed faith in. According to a research by the World Health Organisation (2019), a significant proportion of women globally, around 85 percent, encounter various forms of physical or sexual violence during their lives. Furthermore, it is observed that teenage girls are particularly susceptible to incidents of rape, attempted rape, or assault. Moreover, it is evident that there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of rape cases within Indian culture, as highlighted by Agaba (2019). This concerning trend seems to be escalating at an alarming rate, as shown by Okunzua (2020). This phenomenon has generated tangible concerns among a significant number of individuals. According to Ifeacho (2019), a portion of sexual assaults and rapes are either disclosed or deliberately concealed by victims, their parents, or their relatives due to concerns about social stigma. Conversely, a small number of cases are brought to light by the media.The academic performance of learners has been recognised as a catalyst for social and economic growth on a global scale [Kamuti, 2015]. The concept of using academic achievement as an indicator of school success may be traced back to the Victorian era. Subsequently, the evaluation of educational achievement has been used as a means to assess educational institutions and, notably, to ascertain individuals' professional trajectories. According to Ogbudebe et al. (2018), schools that are recognised as "good" are those that effectively cultivate students' abilities to meet established benchmarks. The measurement of students' academic success is conducted via the assessment of their achievements both inside their own schools and on a nationwide scale. The phenomenon of substandard academic achievement has been a persistent issue within the field of education, prompting much scholarly investigation into the many factors that contribute to this occurrence. Moreover, the problem of rape may have a variety of effects on the academic performance of victims, as they may be reluctant to return to school owing to diminished self-esteem and the social shame associated with the traumatic experience of being raped. Therefore, it is against this upward rape trajectory that this study seeks to examine the effect of rape on students academic performance in India.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The worldwide prioritisation of increasing students' access to education is hindered by many hurdles that provide substantial challenges to accomplishing this goal in schools (Caroline, 2019). Numerous variables may influence academic success among pupils. One significant issue that may be examined is the victimisation experienced by those who have been subjected to rape. There are many aspects that may be taken into consideration while examining poor academic performance in a classroom setting. This element may arise from several sources, including personal considerations, university-related factors, academic factors, and economic reasons. The impact of male students, male lecturers, and other staff members, as well as the surrounding environment, are key aspects in the context of universities [Okunzua, 2020]. The research findings indicated a negative correlation between those who have experienced sexual assault and their academic performance, as seen by lower grade point averages. Hence, the study investigate the effect of rape on students academic performance in India.
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the effect of rape on students academic performance in India. The specific objectives is as follows:
i. Ascertain the prevalence of rape among secondary schools in India
ii. Ascertain the factors associated with the incidence of raping of students in India
iii. Assess the effect of rape on students academic performance in India.
1.4 Research questions
The following questions have been prepared for the study
i. What is the prevalence of rape among secondary schools in India?
ii. What are the factors associated with the incidence of raping of students in India?
iii. What are the effect of rape on students academic performance in India?
1.5 Resrearch Hypotheses
The hypotheses have been formulated for the study
H0: The prevalence of rape among secondary schools students in India is low.
Ha: The prevalence of rape among secondary schools students in India is high.
1.6 Significance of the study
The findings of the study will be significant to the government school management and policy makers as they will be exposed to the havoc sexual violence has wrecked on both male and female thereby making laws that will combact the issue of sexual violence and also prosecute offender found guilty of sexual violence.
The findings of the study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
1.7 Scope of the study
The study focuses on the effect of rape on students academic performance in India. Hence, the study will ascertain the prevalence of rape among secondary schools in India, ascertain the factors associated with the incidence of raping of students in India and assess the effect of rape on students academic performance in India.
1.8 Limitations of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.9 Definition of terms
Rape: unlawful sexual activity, most often involving sexual intercourse, against the will of the victim through force or the threat of force or with an individual who is incapable of giving legal consent because of minor status, mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception
Academic performance: the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects