Pearson Publishers Under Fire For Rape Question In Textbook Exercise


Pearson’s grade 10 learner’s textbook-Focus Life Orientation Grade 10 Learner’s Book – has been accused of promoting rape cases in South Africa.

Bearing in mind the rate of rape cases in South Africa, it is quite thoughtful that the educational sector are including texts that can sensitize the young on the criminal act.

Be that as it may, the South African Pearson publishers have been under massive attack by South Africans for the choice of words in an exercise that concerns rape.

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The exercise in Pearson’s grade 10 learner’s textbook reads:

“List the ways in which Angie’s behavior led to sexual intercourse”

For the first time since 2011, South Africans are spotting the insensitivity of the exercise question in the Focus Life Orientation Grade 10 Learner’s Book. A large number of people believe that the question was presented in a way that blames a rape victim and exonerates the rapist.

The passage in the book in form of a letter is a narrative of a rape victim’s experience.

A girl named Angie according to the passage went to a party without her parents’ consent. She then gets drunk; was locked up in a room and raped by a boy.

From a didactic point of view the question could be perceived from a less offensive point of view. The question could have been asked to help the readers who are of the 15-16 age range to avoid occasions and environments that can lead to rape.

It may have come in as insensitive but some rape victims in truth may have triggered it. However, nothing justifies the hideous crime. The latter is the perspective of most South Africans.

United Nations says that from the information gotten from the police department there are 147 sexual offences a day. It says South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world.

See Also: The Unbelievable Evil Of Corrective Rape

Perhaps from the above statistics, majority of the people who have taken offense with the question are more particular about making the crime one-sided.

Ben Phillips, the director of policy at ActionAid International, has called on Pearson Publishers to apologize for the rape question in his text.

Phillips is concerned with the subtle way rape was presented in the question.

“To use ‘rape’ and ‘sexual intercourse’ interchangeably is to fundamentally misunderstand the nature and effects of rape.”

A petition was signed nationwide to address the misconceptions spotted in the Pearson Focus Life Orientation Grade 10 Learner’s Book.

Pearson Publishers, South African subsidiary has agreed to amend the language of the question.

“We have been made aware of the wording in the publication. We do not believe this sentence is an accurate reflection of how the topic of responsible development is taught and we have immediately amended the language.”