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Conflict theory states that tensions and conflicts arise when resources, status, and power are unevenly distributed between groups in society and that these conflicts become the engine for social change.In this context, power can be understood as control of material resources and accumulated wealth, control of politics and the institutions that make up society, and one's social status relative to others (determined not just by class but by race, gender, sexuality, culture, and religion, among other things).

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But both forced and other types of rape can have many other physical consequences: Victims experience both short and long-term psychological effects of rape.

One of the most common psychological consequences of rape is self-blame.

Negative mental health effects that have been consistently associated in the research with child sexual abuse include post-traumatic symptoms (Canton-Cortes & Canton, 2010; O'Leary & Gould, 2009; Ullman, Filipas, Townsend, & Starzynski, 2007); depression (Fergusson et al., 2008; Nelson et al., 2002); substance abuse (Lynskey & Fergusson, 1997; O'Leary & Gould, 2009); helplessness, negative attributions, aggressive behaviours and conduct problems; eating disorders (Jonas et al., 2011); and anxiety (Banyard, Williams, & Siegel, 2001; Nelson et al., 2002).

More recently child sexual abuse has also been linked to psychotic disorders including schizophrenia and delusional disorder (Bendall, Jackson, Hulbert, & Mc Gorry 2011; Lataster et al., 2006; Wurr & Partridge, 1996) as well as personality disorders (Cutajar, 2010b).

Conflict theory originated in the work of Karl Marx, who focused on the causes and consequences of class conflict between the bourgeoisie (the owners of the means of production and the capitalists) and the proletariat (the working class and the poor).

Focusing on the economic, social, and political implications of the rise of capitalism in Europe, Marx theorized that this system, premised on the existence of a powerful minority class (the bourgeoisie) and an oppressed majority class (the proletariat), created class conflict because the interests of the two were at odds, and resources were unjustly distributed among them.

Conflict theory and its variants are used by many sociologists today to study a wide range of social problems.

The effects of rape can include both the initial physical trauma as well as deep psychological trauma.

Explaining why Marx's theory of revolution did not manifest in his lifetime, Italian scholar and activist Antonio Gramsci argued that the power of ideology was stronger than Marx had realized and that more work needed to be done to overcome cultural hegemony, or rule through common sense.

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