It's complicated, and I think too many people and group-thinkers try to push simple conclusions. I'd like to jump in, but need more time. Maybe by the weekend.
It seems that often, people who have been abused as children carry on being abused later on. It's like they are marked out as "people who get abused". This isn't their fault and the original abuse wasn't their fault - what child can control what happens to it?
I can't understand rape. I think it's an act of sexual domination or gratification.
I am somewhat confused. Even if the article you shared is bunk, unless you had a sign hanging around your neck asking to be raped(which kinda negates the rape part in the first place) how could it possibly be your fault? I think just the idea falsely assumes that all rapes are committed for the same reason. I would think there are very many variables involved in why someone rapes anyone and who that person is that they choose. I imagine sometimes it is just opportunity. I've read that rape isn't usually about sex but about power and control, though I imagine sex has to be some part of it and maybe even sometimes all of it. Hard to believe it would be black and white. I imagine you specifically were raped because you are the physically weaker of the species and the opportunity was there, maybe some irresistible attraction. Humans can be real shitty to each other, this is just one more manifestation of our ability to be shitty. On a related note, seen some doctor came up with what amounts to razor teeth inserts for your vagina for girls in Africa. Oh how sorry would they be then.
I don't know what causes it - my concern is how to avoid it. It cannot, of course, always be avoided. I worked at the state psychiatric hospital, to which a patient came from the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the prison. We were told we had to treat him, basically, as rehabilitated, even though he was multiple offender over many years, and had attacked female staff in at least one facility before.
I was told I should have compassion and understanding. I agree. However, I did not think I should trust that man for one minute, ever, no matter why he was a serial rapist, what he had done to rehabilitate himself, etc. I actually got in trouble for stating my concern that he could end up in the gym alone with female staff, and I wanted to know administration's plan to prevent that.
Eventually, he went after somebody, as I thought would be the case. My point is that I don't care what the cause is. necessarily. What I want is for people to not be raped. We can have increased understanding of rape and why it happens, but I'm still going to pepper spray some bastard who tries to do it to me while I'm out kayaking.
So my response is please do whatever you need to do to be and feel safe. I know you don't know what that is right now, but please allow someone to help you figure it out. You can sort out everything else later.
"Gratuitous violence is not typical of rape."
I wonder if that statement results from numerous interviews with rape victims? It's been my impression that many rapes involve violence and brutality in order to subdue the subject of the rape. Or are the researchers saying that rapists are so kind as to use just enough violence to get the job done, and no more?
Perhaps violence is a consequence/outcome of rape, but not (always) the direct intention of the rapist.
For instance, someone who slaughters animals for a living to provide meat to carnivores like myself - Their priority is to sell meat to people like myself - But violence, the act of taking the animals life or any pain associated with the killing was not an intention or desire, just a consequence.
@Unseen: "The levels of violence and force involved in rape typically stop at the level needed for the goal of sexual access. Gratuitous violence is not typical of rape." They're saying that in most cases only the violence necessary to achieve the rape is used solely, not that none occurs at all.
@Freek: I find a pervasive false dichotomy exists of rape being "either" an act of violence "or" sex. To me it's obviously both-hence the term "sexual violence", no? It's also not the case that all behavior has to be adaptive, just not so maladaptive that it stops your genes from being passed on entirely. Therefore, not all rapes (or any other behavior) need have adaptive utility, just enough to make a difference.
Wow, can of worms here. That article was fascinating and explores issues and concepts that I have been investigating for many years. Craig T. Palmer and Randy Thornhill are, to my mind, very close to the mark.
Before I start on my diatribe - RAPE CANNOT BE THE FAULT OF THE FEMALE - NEVER EVER EVER, NO MATTER WHERE SHE GOES OR WHAT SORT OF REVEALING CLOTHING SHE WEARS.
For years I have been told that MY boundaries are weak. And I am sure (I know) this is true. But I am not any more "weak" or "soft" than many women, and I am sick of racking my brain trying to figure out what I did wrong and how to "fix" myself. What if I don't need fixing? What if I am just fine? What if WE need to take a look as a society to realize our own understanding of rape is incomplete? I understand the worry that sex offenders will use this defense to their benefit, but the current judicial system here in the U.S really does no justice. Rapists are rarely prosecuted anyway. What if it REALLY is not my fault.....but furthermore.....what of there isn't a DAMN thing wrong with me?
You are spot on, there is NOTHING wrong with you, you DID NOT CAUSE THIS - the rapist is the one (are the ones) with the problem. Rape is an evolutionary adaptation - the same as infanticide practiced by (usually) step fathers - but that is a whole new post. We, humans, are totally the result of our ancestors being successful - no matter how distasteful the means they used to gain their success may have been. I would surmise that everyone on the planet is only alive today because a female in their ancestral line was raped - this is only a supposition, but from all the information I have seen, including that article, it has an extremely high probability of truth.
On the question of violence, the rape of a female, by definition, requires SOME violence to restrain her due to the fact that she is NOT WILLING to engage in the sexual act. However, if the violence goes beyond that required to complete the sexual act, then, again by definition, it is simply gratuitous and the perpetrator actually has two psychological problems.
Having said all that however, I feel the need to qualify, NOT JUSTIFY, a bit,
Women CAN’T POSSIBLY understand the power of the male sex drive, it is ALMOST all consuming. To illustrate this, I remember a TV show (sadly I don’t remember the name) where a woman, a normal heterosexual woman, in a supervised experiment, took vast quantities of testosterone, she was absolutely astounded as the drug kicked in and her desire for sex went through the roof and almost beyond her control. She then had much more respect for the vast majority of men who constantly do manage to restrain themselves AND, was extremely glad to stop the testosterone and get back to being herself. Being of the male gender myself, I can vouch for the power of the male sex drive.
The closest I can get to providing women with an understanding of the male sex drive, is to equate it with the drive of the female to have a baby - I have never, and can never experience that drive, but from what I have seen and read, it has virtually the same power to dominate female thinking.
The solution to rape, apart from castration, is to educate men and encourage them to use their intellect, not their instinct. As humans, we are only too keen to deny that we are all driven by very basic and strong instincts - that denial causes SOOOOO much pain in our world, war, religion, rape, child abuse, violence in general and countless other problems that our societies are far too scared or ignorant to address.
As a species, we need to grow up. Just before I leave, I wish toI repeat, there is NO EXCUSE FOR RAPE.
Good science requires detachment, and Palmer and Thornhill certainly demonstrate their detachment.
From the article:
...a key to female reproductive success was mating with, and only with, the highest quality men available.
Are Palmer and Thornhill detached enough to study the quality of men who rape?
They owe the scientific community such a study.
About the drives, which vary at least by the amount of testosterone in males and estrogen(?) in women.
Men reveal excess T with rape. Women reveal excess E(?) by choosing low quality partners.
There is one way that women of a sexual age can be PARTLY at fault (not talking about girls pre puberty here), and that is by leading a man on by letting him believe that you are willing to have sex with him and then saying no when it is too late.
I have never met a female yet who understands that leading a man on sexually IN ANY WAY and then saying ‘no’ is like pushing the accelerator pedal on a freight train and then trying to stop it by standing in front of it - it aint gunna work. Like the writers of the original article, I have to be careful not to be misinterpreted here, I am NOT IN ANY WAY saying that leading a man on and then saying ‘no’ JUSTIFIES rape, but I am saying that, after a male has reached HIS PERSONAL critical level of arousal, he has to be a very strong and exceptional man to actually stop the process and back off.
To continue the freight train analogy, the accelerator pedal can be activated by different events in different men - in Victorian times the pedal could be activated by something as innocent as a woman’s ankle, today, halter top, bikini, plunging neckline, short skirt or shorts, underwear, pheromones or just a subtle nod or wink can be enough to get the freight moving, naturally there are many others.
I am fairly big, strong and ugly - but, I still would not walk down a dark alley in a seedy part of town - if I did, I am not INVITING an attack, but, knowing human nature as I do, I am definitely increasing the chances of one occurring - life is about minimising risk - you should not avoid all men, but possibly just the seedy men - yes, I know, how do you pick the seedy ones?
It is NOT your fault that men are ‘wired’ the way they are, it is NOT your fault that you were not educated to understand men, it is NOT your fault that you were not educated to stand up for yourself, it is NOT your fault that you become immobilised when being attacked, these things are the result of evolution and very much the fault of society and religion not taking the time to understand the true nature of being human - it is VERY complex and most people are far too scared to face it head on - now you have, your understanding is MUCH greater and hopefully, you should be able to see trouble long before it sees you.
This is a HUGE topic and also very individual.