Rape is a national crisis in South Africa. The high prevalence of rape is evidenced
by reports that a woman is raped every four minutes. Various studies have
explored attitudes of adolescents to rape; however, they tend to focus on urban,
township and college youth with the attitudes of rural boys almost neglected.
Drawing on the socialisation theory, it is assumed that the way a boy is socialised
through communicative practices at home, school, among the peer group, and
in society at large impacts on his attitudes to gender and rape. Through focus
group interviews with adolescent boys in Duthuni village in the Limpopo province
of South Africa, this study confirms that cultural communicative practices about
gender, such as interpersonal communication in family, shape the socialisation
of these boys, which influence the acceptance of gender roles displayed in the
social construction of masculinity and femininity. This consequently influences
their perceptions of rape, and the social efforts to combat rape.