On 27 May 2017, Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius was found raped, stabbed and strangled. Cornelius’ murder was the latest in a slew of rapes and/or murders of girls and women. Once again, it’s not only the barbarity and brutality that is shocking, but the fact that nothing society and government have done in the past two decades has changed anything. South Africa is a patriarchal society. Conservative tribal and religious values play a significant role in shaping attitudes. The only way to inculcate more modern and egalitarian values is through education at high school. After school, it’s too late. As male children enter puberty, hormonal changes raise their levels of aggression. Some male children brought up in single parent households start to see themselves as superior to their mothers as they move into their teens. As the “man in the house”, they stop taking instructions from their mothers and even intimidate them (or worse) to stamp their authority and get their...

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