Kara M. DelTufo

Document Type

Book Review

First Page



Susan Ehrlich's book examines the linguistic practices of acquaintance rape trials. She contends that the proceedings are framed by the ideology of the "utmost resistance standard." This ideology, as represented in the language of a rape trial, tries to reconstruct strategic acts into consensual sex. Ehrlich suggests that by viewing the events and the participants in a rape trial through an alternate ideology-one informed by the cultural knowledge of women's social and physical vulnerability to sexual violence-alternative forms of agency and notions of gender can be understood. This Book Review examines the role of rape myths in acquaintance rape trials and explores how Rape Trauma Syndrome can foster alternative ideologies in the courtroom.