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A survey from the comprehensive study "Rape in South Africa" from 2000 indicated that 2.1% of women aged 16 years or older across population groups reported that they had been sexually abused at least once between the beginning of 1993 and March 1998, results which seem to starkly conflict the MRC survey results.
Similarly, The South African demographic and health survey of 1998 gave results of rape prevalence at 4.0% of all women aged between 15 and 49 years in the sampled households (a survey also performed by the Medical Research Council and Department of Health).
Averaging all provinces, rape ranked 7th in the crime that respondents thought was most prevalent, after housebreaking, property theft, robbery, murder, livestock theft, and assault.
This survey also investigated what type of crime respondents feared most in their area.
Nearly half of all South African inmates surveyed by the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services reported that sexual abuse happens “sometimes”, “often” or “very often”.
Sexual violence in prisons is linked to gang violence and its power structures, and inmates who are sexually abused are targets for repeated abuse, and usually are victimized again and again.
Child welfare groups believe that the number of unreported incidents could be up to 10 times that number.
In 1998, the region of Gauteng accounted for the largest percentage of prisoners in custody for sexual offences with 20.6% and Western Cape had the second largest percentage with 17.3%.
The province with the least percentage of prisoners convicted of sexual offences was Northern Cape with 3.8% and Northern Province with 2.6%.
The South African Crime Survey 2003 highlights the regional differences of citizens' perceptions and fears.
Nearly three out of four men who admitted rape stated they had first forced a woman or girl into sex before the men were the age of 20, and nearly one in ten admitted to doing so before the age of 10.
The Medical Research Council states, "Many forms of sexual violence, particularly sexual harassment and forms of sexual coercion that do not involve physical force are widely viewed as normal male behaviour." Market Research Africa, a Johannesburg-based market research agency, reported in 1994 that 76% of men felt that women had a right to say no to sex, one third thought that women could not decide for themselves on abortion, and 10% condoned a man beating a woman or his wife.Its report states that patriarchy is firmly rooted in Black culture and fighting it is seen as attempting to destroy South African tradition or South African ideals.