On a similar subject, The Philly Enquirer reports that grade schoolers in Philadelphia are being screened for abuse or exposure to sex after a rash of sexual acts, some forced and/or violent. (A quote: "What years ago used to be natural curiosity that manifested itself in 'playing doctor' or 'show and tell' has taken on a more aggressive and sexual tone in some children, who are exhibiting acts that should be far beyond their knowledge.") The story made me feel physically ill, though I was much more upset about the repeated rape of a girl by various classmates a couple of years ago at Willard Middle School (then again when she transferred to another school!), where I was a tutor during my freshman year. I haven't watched much television in the last six years, but what I have seen - in addition to the loads of explicit and violent stuff on the internet - makes me think that most of these kids are learning this from the media rather than from influences at home.
On a more positive note, Amnesty International has launched a campaign to change the common perception that sees rape as an "inevitable" part of war to one that views rape as a "deliberate war strategy" and one that is punishable in war crimes tribunals. It's about fucking time. Here's a summary article. One place they examine is the Democratic Republic of Congo, which I researched last year as part of my "True Costs of Technology" project. Last fall I also read the book Bananas, Beaches, and Bases, which has a chapter dedicated to this subject.