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Committee Members

Ava Chamberlain (Other), Sarah McGinley (Committee Member), Patricia Schmil (Committee Member), Valerie Stoker (Other), Mark Verman (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Humanities (MHum)


This analysis disputes common interpretations that the Sodom narrative (Genesis 19) is an anti-homosexual story by presenting it as part of a four-story arc about rape in the Bible. The three other stories discussed in addition to Sodom are as follows: the gang rape of the Levite’s concubine (Judges 19), the rape of Dinah (Genesis 34), and the rape of Tamar (2 Samuel 13). Each of the four stories discussed in this analysis contain various types of sexual violence, such as male-to-male rape or attempted rape, female-to-male rape, and male-to-female rape; in each case, the rapes or attempted rapes lead to disastrous social consequences, which this analysis concludes is the overarching message to each of the four narratives. In addition, this analysis will consider how the Sodom narrative became incorrectly associated with homosexuality and the negative impact that this misinterpretation in American jurisprudence and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

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