Where is the risk? Inter-reality comparison study of multiple-perpetrator rape assailants in Spain
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Casabó-Ortí, M.A. (María Ángeles). "Where is the risk? Inter-reality comparison study of multiple-perpetrator rape assailants in Spain". Communication & Society. 36 (4), 2023, 99 - 116
This research paper aims to shed a critical light on the moral panic surrounding multiple-perpetrator rape (MPR) in Spain, by exploring the interplay between official statistics of this type of crime, and the depiction in the media. The concordance between media representation and the statistical reality of crime raises questions: (1) how multiple perpetrator assault and its assailants are represented in media narratives (content analysis) is examined, including the content, framing, and underlying themes within the media coverage, with a particular emphasis on the role of nationality, and (2) this representation is compared to official crime statistics (Ministry of Home Affairs report on crimes against sexual freedom and indemnity in Spain (detentions/accused) and the statistics of the sentences passed by various Spanish Provincial Courts between 2005 and 2020 from criminal justice data), and to what extent, they align. If they do not align, do news portrayals influence a moral panic? In conclusion, the idea of tabloid justice (Fox et al., 2001) is not present in the three largest Spanish daily newspapers from 2005 to 2021. There is a misrepresentation of non-Spanish nationalities having the highest rates, Romanians being underrepresented and the French being overrepresented. Media coverage perceives tourists as a certain danger, and is questioning the idea of certain non-Spanish immigrants as ‘folk devils.’

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