One in four men in South Africa admitted to raping someone and many confessed to attacking multiple victims, according to a new study conducted by the Medical Research Council and reported by the Mail and Guardian.
Of those surveyed, 28% said they had raped a woman or girl, and 3% said they had raped a man or boy. Almost half who said they had carried out a rape admitted they had done so more than once, with 73% saying they had carried out their first assault before the age of 20.
The study, which had British funding, also found that men who are physically violent towards women are twice as likely to be HIV-positive. They are also more likely to pay for sex and to not use condoms.
The study also found that gang rape is common in South Africa because it is considered a form of male bonding, reports the BBC.
The Mail and Guardian also reports that the South African government has faced stiff criticism for its nation's high level of rape. Only a fraction of rapes are reported, and only about 7 percent of those reported lead to a conviction.
"The absolute imperative is we have to change the underlying social attitudes that in a way have created a norm that coercing women into sex is on some level acceptable," Professor Rachel Jewkes of the MRC told the BBC.