EDUCATION IN CONTEXT: EXAMINING ATTITUDES TOWARD SEXUAL ASSAULT IN JAPAN AND DEVELOPING AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
by Karen Fukuda
Abstract – In Japan, the reluctancy to talk about sexual assault has lead to a culture where harmful attitudes toward the crime create a toxic environment for survivors of sexual violence. These attitudes are only reinforced by the lack of a standardized curriculum for sexual violence education. Without education, misconceptions of the crime are able to persist. This paper discusses the reasons behind this silence in Japan, and how to use the understanding of the silence to effectively educate students about sexual violence in Japan’s context. Through examining a variety of academic and non-academic resources, I discovered that the main barrier to better outcomes for survivors is the reluctance to discuss what is considered a private discussion in public. With this understanding I created a sexual violence educational tool that addresses the pressing issues in Japan’s culture surrounding sexual violence. Normalizing the discussion around sexual assault is a vital step in creating a better environment for survivors in Japan.