Some societies accept conduct which our American values condemn as criminal and punish accordingly, e.g. female genital mutilation. This instance concerns the sexual violence of Hispanic immigrant men.
A recently released report compiled by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg [NC] Police Department showed there has been a 50 percent increase in sexual assault among the local Hispanic population. But experts say part of that might be attributed to cultural differences. In many Hispanic cultures, it is acceptable for men to engage in sexual activity with younger women, says Dr. Elizabeth Peterson-Vita, who is speaking this week at a mental health conference in Charlotte. She is focusing on cultural differences concerning North Carolina`s growing Hispanic community."Younger women" ... does that include nine-year-old girls peddling around on their bikes, like the child in Hamilton, Ohio, who was recently raped? The accused, Alfredo Lopez Cruz, may be an illegal alien if his collection of aliases is any clue.
In 2002, the Washington Post presented a straightforward description of Mexican sexism, "In Mexico, an Unpunished Crime: Rape Victims Face Widespread Cultural Bias". The article revealed that the social status of women in some rural areas is not much better than Taliban level, where females have no civil rights and are essentially slaves for men. For example, a kind of kidnap-for-sex custom remains legal in Oaxaca:
In the southern state of Oaxaca last summer, the one-year-old, government-funded Oaxacan Women`s Institute persuaded the legislature to pass heavy criminal penalties against a practice known as "rapto." Laws in most Mexican states define rapto as a case where a man kidnaps a woman not for ransom, but with the intent of marrying her or to satisfy his "erotic sexual desire." The new law championed by the women`s group established penalties of at least 10 years in prison.But in March, the state legislature reversed itself and again made the practice a minor infraction. A key legislator — a man — argued for the reduction, calling the practice harmless and "romantic."
Get that? A Mexican political leader called kidnapping and rape "romantic." Keep that fact in mind the next time Presidente Bush drones on about Mexican family values as he works toward the political unification of the United States and Mexico.