Black women are far more likely than white ones to be raped, according to a study released Wednesday by the University of Missouri.
The report was based on a survey of 2,086 black women, as well as a similar survey of 1,857 white women, and was conducted over the past decade.
The findings suggest that while black women have historically been less likely to report being raped, it’s been happening more recently, the Associated Press reports.
“The more that you hear about the issue, the more you hear of it, the higher your probability is that it’s happened to you,” said Jessica Wright, a professor at the University at Buffalo and lead author of the study.
“It doesn’t seem to be an issue that is exclusive to black women.”
In the study, Wright and her colleagues asked participants if they had been raped or were victims of sexual assault and whether the assault happened on the bus, on a bus stop, at a party, or by someone else.
Of the 2,080 black women in the study who were raped, a majority — 57 percent — said they were victims.
A mere 1 percent said they had actually been assaulted.
That’s a stark contrast to the overwhelming majority of white women who were victims: 61 percent of black women said they’d been raped.
The researchers also asked participants whether they believed that rape is a crime against whites and blacks, and how much of a factor it was in their lives.
The results, published in the journal Rape Culture, were startling.
“When it comes to rape, there is no race-specific or gender-specific reason for black women being more likely or less likely than other women to be assaulted,” Wright said in a statement.
“We have to acknowledge that rape, especially against white women and men, is a serious problem and that there is an under-reporting of it.
But as far as we know, it is also a problem of unequal power.”
“The results do not necessarily reflect that women are treated differently or that women of color are less likely or more likely victims,” she continued.
“These results do show that black women are more likely at the local, state, and national level to be the victim of rape.
But the reasons are complex and include racial and socioeconomic disparities.
In the U.S., black women constitute about a quarter of the U