Hypothesis, Sex
comments 91

To Rape is to Want Sex, Not Power

In the 1975 bestselling book: Against Our Will, the feminist writer, Susan Brownmiller, asserted that “rape is about power, not sex.” Ever since, the conventional wisdom has been that rapists are misogynistic men seeking domination and power over women, not violent men seeking sex.

However, there is a fundamental problem with Brownmiller’s bold assertion. In the ensuing 45 years, there has been no significant empirical research to support her claim. Yet, almost everyone repeats it.

In examining eight years of FBI data on 250,000 rapes and other sexual assaults, one factor stands head-and-shoulders above the others: the age range of the victims. Herein lies the key to unlocking the mystery of the offender’s motivation.

Social science has demonstrated a strong relationship between age and sexual attractiveness. Heterosexual men are sexually attracted to young women, while homosexual men are attracted to young men. The age preference explains why adult film stars, sex workers, exotic dancers as well as glamour models are often young, and why their earnings decline as they age.

Studying the ages of victims, therefore, provides an opportunity to examine sexual motivation. If rapists are primarily motivated by the desire for power and domination, then one would expect them to prefer middle-aged, career women. However, if rapists primarily desire sex, then one would expect them to prefer young women and men. Our research demonstrates that offenders almost always attack the young (see the figure below). The percentage of female victims who are over 50 is close to zero. Similarly, in male prisons, where women are extremely scarce, heterosexual men target the youngest inmates.

rapefigureMost recent discussions about sexual assault have focused on college students. However, it is high school kids that are at the greatest risk of being sexually assaulted. Our analyses of FBI data reveal that 15-year-olds are at the highest risk of sexual assault. They are about 9 times more likely to be raped than 35-year-olds.  Women rarely engage in sexual assault – they make up 3% of the offenders – but when they do commit sexual assaults, they most often target 15-year-olds. A power motive can’t explain why both male and female offenders prefer young victims. Only a sexual motive can do the job.

Sexual assault is as much a crime against young people as it is a crime against women. A 15-year-old male is more likely to be a victim of a sexual assault than a 40-year-old female. 15-year-olds may be at greater risk because their social life brings them into contact with potential rapists.  But difference in opportunity is only a partial explanation. An analysis of whether female robbery victims are sexually assaulted during the incident suggests that the sexual attractiveness of young people is an important factor. Since the robber has already established dominance over a vulnerable victim, the effects of opportunity and vulnerability are removed, and only the effect of the offender’s age preference remains. In such cases, robbers are much more likely to rape victims between the ages of 15 and 29the years when women (and men) tend to be the most sexually attractive. Only a sexual motive can account for this pattern.

Sexual offenders of all ages prefer young victims.  Even elderly offenders target 15-year-olds the most. Also, men who commit sexual assault tend to be considerably older than men who commit other types of violent crimes. The relatively high rate of sexual offending by older men is likely due to the fact that they have become less attractive with age while their sexual attraction to young people is undiminished. The men and women they find most attractive are not attracted to them.  Some of them use force to get their way.

Most date rapes occur during consensual sex when one partner, usually the man, wants to go further and the other does not. At the point of assault, men have an especially strong sexual drive. This is not to argue that men are overcome by desire. They can still control themselves, so sexual motivation is no excuse. However, arousal from any source increases impulsive behavior so it probably plays a role in date rape. The same goes for drugs and alcohol.

The reason most rapists target females is that a larger percentage of males are heterosexuals, not that they hate females. Homosexual men actually have as high an offense rate as heterosexual men. Gay men are just as likely to attack males as straight men are to attack females.

Any explanation of sexual assault must account for why gay men commit the crime at least as often as straight men. It must explain why offenders, regardless of age and gender, overwhelmingly target young people.   Most importantly, it must be based on solid social scientific evidence, not feminist orthodoxy. The evidence is substantial and it leads to a simple conclusion: most rapists force victims to have sex because they want sex.

 

Richard Felson is professor of sociology and criminology at Penn State University.

Richard Moran is professor of sociology at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley MA.

 

References

  1. Richard B. Felson and Patrick Cundiff. 2014.  Sexual Assault as a Crime Against Young People.  Archives of Sexual Behavior.  43: 273-284.
  2. Richard B. Felson and Patrick Cundiff. 2012. Age and Sexual Assault During Robberies. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33: 10-16.
  3. Richard B. Felson, Patrick Cundiff, and Noah Painter-Davis. 2012. Age and Sexual Assault in Correctional Facilities: A Blocked Opportunity Approach. Criminology 50:887-912.

Latest posts by Richard Felson and Richard Moran (see all)

Did you like this post? Support Quillette on Patreon

91 Comments

  1. OOps. The assumption that underlies this whole interpretation is: ” If rapists are primarily motivated by the desire for power and domination, then one would expect them to prefer middle-aged, career women. ” What a shame that assumption wasn’t arrived at with some care with so much effort put into this article.

    Rapists who want to show their power and domination will look for a vulnerable victim that makes that goal easier. That would be younger women (and boys). Middle-aged, career women are going to be much more difficult to dominate. Haven’t these sociologists read basic victim studies?

    • Agreed. A middle aged career woman would be far more adept at resisting or later successfully penalizing her attacker. This would be a significant deterrent. But if criminals believe they won’t apprehended later during a robbery, the bigger “score” would be to dominate the indomitable, i.e., powerful, educated, and articulate professional women. Once the perp concludes this is an opportunity to score, these victims should be a top prize according to the prevailing wisdom.

      Additionally, the elderly are similarly “easy marks” as young women of reproductive age in terms of opportunity yet the curve remains steadily tapering with age.

    • If it were truly about finding the weakest victim, why aren’t the elderly targeted? I understand your assertion that they choose the weak to further their own power, but it is inconsistent with the demographics they choose not to assault. By and large, people will rape within their sexual preference (straight men tend to rape women, gay women tend to other women) when possible. Obviously, prison is the exception to this because their are no women available. In prison, rape may be a crime of both power and sexual satisfaction, but in the outside world, I would argue that it has more to do with sexual interest.

      • Because while the elderly are vulnerable they do not represent innocence like adolescents.

        I agree with other commenter’s objections to the authors’ premise.

        The authors assume a desire for exercising power would be more pleasurable or maximized exerting power over a successful woman.

        It’s that young people are innocent, or perceived as such. And the motivations may be working on multiple levels: they are perceived innocent in the sense of sexual experience – in that they are inexperienced and thus ‘pure,’ as well as perhaps pure in the sense of life experience – they (young people) aren’t corrupt or jaded in life. I’d also suspect they perpetrator might long to regain their own lost or compromised youth or innocence. The illegality of the act may also attract perpetrators.

        • But remember that the graph shows us a higher incidence of rape up until about the age of 30. I think what you provided might be a good explanation for child molesters, but many rapes occur with the victim being decently above the age of consent. Looking at the graph, it seems reasonable to conclude that age is a factor in that those within the most sexually desirable age ranges are targeted. This age group extends past early adulthood, leading me to agree with the premise of the article.

        • But isn’t inocence itself part of erotic attraction? Of course it is. Think of words like “nubile.” Add that if there’s any merit at all to evolutionary explanations, everyone (including rapists) is naturally more attracted to the young than the old.

          I see no reason reason to spin “innocence” into a power paradigm, and marvel over the insistence of some to maintain a quasi-feminist interpretation of rapists’ motives against all evidence.

          Mind, there is a legitimate area of confusion, since sex itself is inherently aggressive, even when it’s voluntary. From this, what’s her name of the same era argued that all intercourse is always rape. Well, if you want to go there, you will always win this rape-is-power argument, but at the expense of simplifying a far more nuanced reality.

      • Chris says

        Older people are less likely to be victimized for all crime because they tend to stay home and not put themselves in vulnerable situations.

    • Iulian says

      Not really, they could have easily do the same thing to older women (past 60) who also wouldn’t put too much effort..

    • Protector of the Realm says

      Just face the truth. This article is 100% correct. Rapists, like other criminals, are motivated by a cost vs. benefit calculation. Crimes are only about power insofar as the perpetrator feels empowered to commit a crime believing they will incur a benefit that is greater than the cost. Rapists want the perceived benefit of sexual pleasure. Feeling powerful might be sexually appealing to some, but to others feeling dominated might be more sexually appealing. The bottom line is that people who do not want sex will not commit rape very effectively. Perpetrators do not usually target the youngest children, but rather the slightly more sexually mature teenagers. Men, both straight and gay, are evolutionarily programmed to spread their genes as quickly and easily as possible, therefore they have more acute sexual desires that can potentially be fulfilled using force. That’s why 97% of rapists are men. To mischaracterize the motivation for rape as a non-sexual desire for power is really to misunderstand male sexuality.

    • My thoughts are the same. It’s really clear that criminals target situations and people that they can achieve their goals with. They don’t walk straight into a situation where they fail at doing the crime and get bad results. This article doesn’t warrant a read, but I have been trying to help children and younger folks that don’t have enough life experience and knowledge to see how talking to a man about male violence is, sometimes, almost akin to talking to a bunch of drunks at a bar about male alcoholics. We simply don’t have the proper environment to do it yet…and there is too much ‘banter’ of unexamined thinking being publicly aired but those in power who seem to think they can go about things as ‘normal’ and not learn first before exposing their thinking. Onward. Too many people hurting yet…..and that’s the goal. To end the harm.

    • I seriously think you misinterpreted what is the assumption. The “middle-aged career woman” is thrown around carelessly but does not correctly represent what is actually compared here. Young woman vs every other woman.

      A much broader target where the assumption seem to fit in just fine.

    • Filc says

      “The assumption that underlies”
      Actually the article is saying that the burden of proof is on you to show how rape is about power specifically calling out a lack of study and evidence on that assertion.

      They’ve provided their evidence so if/when you want to provide counter evidence then we can progress the discussion.

    • Exactly. This author has the wrong idea of what “power” means, assuming it’s about career status. Rapists want to overpower someone they think they could easily dominate. Rapists don’t want a challenge. One’s career status isn’t going to mean anything; it’s about who’s easiest to control. Rape is, in my opinion, the most extreme form of bullying you can go (since rape is about overpowering and humiliating the victim), and we all know that bullies always go for people they know will submit to the abuse. Bullies never challenge those they know will fight back.

      There are studies that have shown rapists go after younger victims, because children are much less likely to resist, and young adults are just beginning to gain independence and often are in situations that make them easy to overpower (going to college and away from home so they feel alone and are willing to trust, going to parties where alcohol and/or drugs are present, etc…). Plus we know that young people are more likely to submit rather than fight or resist, like you stated; this includes various scenarios involving sex, whether the sex is rape, consent gained from peer pressure, or the person is just too socially awkward to say “no”.

      Even RAINN has stated that though rape victims are often young, there is no age restriction. I’ve read stories about women in their 30s and 40s being raped, often because they were in a vulnerable state. I know of one story of a 33-year-old woman who just came out of the hospital and was still drowsy from the pain medication, called a taxi, and was raped by the driver. It’s been found that it’s fairly common for seniors in nursing care facilities to have been victims of rape because they’re vulnerable and easy to victimize. If rape was about sex, I don’t know why the rapist would go for the 80-year-old patient over the 25-year-old nurse.

      You’re right…a lot of these sociologists don’t even do their basic studies. They make assumptions and claim it’s fact.

      • David Hoyong Jeong says

        To an average adult or teenage male, both average young females and old females are easily to overpower. The gap of physical strength between average male and female in one-on-one situation is just a no match at all; resistance from both an average young female and an old female is rather feeble to an average male adult or teen. If there is resistance, the young female has more strength to fight than the old one. Plus, females are mentally vulnerable to rape regardless of their age.

        We all know that the age range varies among raped females. However, sill the majority of raped females are consistently young females at their peak of sexual attractiveness and youth, and hence that is the major and common [point of research and study when it comes to rape. We focus on what is the general, major case, not some minor ones that distract and miss the point. Consider this example: when we talk about “sex”, we generally talk about sex between human adults, not with children, other types of animals or some material objects.

        Your story about the 33-year-old female getting raped. Well, a 33-yr-old female holds a decent reproductive value to make her a decent target for rape (although it is not as good as that of younger females for sure), so it isn’t that radically surprising at all.

        • Except that she’s not an isolated case. I can think of at least three other rape stories where the female rape victim was in her 30s. Plus this article asserts it’s about raping beautiful women, but I’ve seen stories where the rape victim was either over 29, overweight, average in looks, etc… Many rape victims don’t fit what’s considered “the ideal woman” in society. Most reported rapes are committed on college campuses and in the military (most likely why “only yes means yes” is gaining popularity with faculty on college campuses…a terrible solution to the serious problem IMO, but that’s a whole different discussion). We’ll never really know what the demographics are when it comes to rape as long as most rapes aren’t reported. It could stay the same, or change dramatically.

          Realistically, rape is likely about sex and power. But considering the nature of rape and how abusive it is to the victims, it’s hard to believe it’s solely about sex, as consensual sex and rape are very different in nature. The way a woman is treated during consensual sex – even in BDSM – is still very different from how a rapist will treat their victim.

    • I as an actual victim of multiple rapes can tell you without any studies needed that they had everything to do with sex. Most rapes occur when a man is attracted to a woman or in an intimate situation and decide they don’t want to take it to far and the rapist is arroused and decides he doesn’t want to stop and rapes her this has everything to do with sex and for anyone who says a study proves otherwise has never been raped, therefore can have no idea what they talking about I don’t care how many studies there are!

    • Tickleme says

      Men, (and all humans apparently) want young, pretty partners. Women only say that men want power out of rape because that’s what the women are looking for. They want powerful males who are socially approved to be attracted to them. Women likewise want power to attract these anointed king males. They simply cannot fathom the joy of rape and impregnation as compelling the rapist because they physically lack the means to perform rape. If a woman tries to rape a man it all depends upon the man’s state of arousal. If he can’t get it up then no impregnation takes place. When a man tries to rape a woman it also only depends on his state of arousal. This is why female definitions of rape are incomplete and weird sounding to most men, they literally do not have the mechanical structure to perform rape and this is reflected psychologically. So all women can describe is the social power struggle they engage in with most suitors when reflecting on rape.

      So women mistakenly assume men are after the same thing as them. The power to attract. This is something that most men don’t have. Now it would be nice to have the power to attract as many partners as we want and pick among them. But men have another form of power already in spades, that is the power to dominate women. So women interpret rapists like this: Lacking the power to attract, men exercise the power to assault.

      What’s missing from this definition is why. Men want access to the best looking, youngest, most fertile females at all costs. They are the only only ones worth attracting with money or looks, and if that fails then raw physical dominance. We do want the power to get pretty women, but this lust doesn’t extend to old and likely infertile women.

  2. Richard says

    “Ever since, the conventional wisdom has been that rapists are misogynistic men seeking domination and power over women, not violent men seeking sex.”

    Maybe among women’s studies professors. I doubt this is the conventional wisdom among even educated members of the public.

    • Jonathan says

      Women’s studies professors determine what is allowable opinion in public, however. You can’t go around and claim that rapists target the most sexually attractive victims without enduring severe criticism and censure.

  3. Richard says

    “Homosexual men actually have as high an offense rate as heterosexual men. Gay men are just as likely to attack males as straight men are to attack females.”

    Not to be glib, but even 40 year old women are more fertile than 15 year old boys. If we accept the evolutionary account for why straight men rape, doesn’t the existence of homosexuality itself present an evolutionary puzzle?

    • Joshua says

      Yes, but why homosexual men desire sex is not on trial here. That homosexual men desire sex in the same way that heterosexual men do can only be taken as a reasonable assumption. Under this assumption, homosexual men seek out young boys not because of intellectually recognized fertility, but because they either a) think in the same way as a woman, or b) think like a man, but with the genders reversed.

      Why homosexual men rape males is similar to the question, “why do homosexual men desire sex with men?”. It’s not an intellectual choice, but an instinctual behavior, even if the particular target may be chosen intellectually.

    • Protector of the Realm says

      Not at all. Our evolutionary biology gives us unconscious instincts, like sexual desires. Sexuality is not a cognizant choice (perhaps you’ve heard the saying “We don’t choose who we love”). When I see a beautiful woman, it is not her uterus or womb that I am attracted to. Males and females, however, are evolutionarily hardwired to be attracted to certain features that are compatible with successful reproduction. Which is why modern concepts of physical beauty are highly correlated with characteristics associated with good physical health. It happens instinctively, without having to think about it. Regarding (male) homosexuality, it is actually a relatively common, natural phenomenon in many species. Homosexual males are evolutionarily hardwired with the same acute sexual desires as heterosexual males, just not towards females. There are many theories as to why this occurs. One is that homosexuality occurs in males that have multiple, highly fertile sisters, so that he may act as a caregiver to his sisters’ offspring instead of going off to spread his own seed. Regarding female homosexuality, recent studies have suggested that homosexual tendencies naturally occur *most* women. A recent controversial British psychology article essentially stated that “all women are born bisexual.” I’ve not heard a theory as to why this is the case, but anecdotally, when I have debated whether or not homosexuality is a choice, many women I’ve spoken with believe that it is a choice (not college educated women, of course) because, at least for them, it actually is.

  4. Mogden says

    Everyone with any common sense understands this already. Unfortunately, that does not include any academic feminists.

  5. jim nichols says

    The misogynistic explanation served a purpose of bringing to greater social consciousness this abhorrent behaor. The 45 year time gap could be seen as a description of how removed we the general public are from the mindset of this small set of individuals. This statistcal prespective does illuminate the situation further. Let’s be careful about our claims of understanding those who are fundamentally so different from the rest of us…

  6. René Milan says

    “If rapists are primarily motivated by the desire for power and domination, then one would expect them to prefer middle-aged, career women” – no explanation is given why this should be so. Physical force (violence) is the weakest manifestation of power. If it is about sex, more powerful individuals use money, seduction and charm to get it. Rapists do not have this power. Besides sexual attractiveness younger victims also display a lack of experience and are therefore easier targets.

    • 14-year-olds are weaker and less experienced than 15-year-olds, and 12-year-olds are weaker yet, thus it makes perfect sense to choose the stronger, savvier 15-year-olds over 12-year-olds.

    • jim nichols says

      ” Rapists do not have this power.” Indeed, this is a topic that deserves its own wide-ranging study.

  7. Henceforth let this hypothesis, this rationale, regarding sex as the primary motivation for sexual assault be known as, “Occam’s penis”. (Apologies but someone had to say it.)

  8. skeptic dude says

    Often both “left” and “right” sides in these social subjects form opinions based on sheer personal narrative-theory, that only loosely fits the big picture. On the “left”, it’s mostly based on narratives of oppression, and on the “right”, or perhaps just “not that far left”, this narrative is questioned by something seemingly more parsimonious. But often the truth may lie somewhat in between. Whereas the narrative of oppression is often plain made-up stuff, there is some empirical findings that give it some support. Rapists are often sort of “spoiled”, with a sense of entitlement, but not having an “ideological patriarchal” motivation, even though sometimes some misogyny may help. It can even blend with them being actually often charming and successful with women, and being “in denial” when not getting any sometimes. It’s “power” more in the sense of “I *deserve* sex”, “she really want’s me”, rather than “power” in a “I’m a privileged member of the ruling patriarchy, and rape is a tool of our dominion”.

    • jim nichols says

      So it doesn’t really matter who the rapist is, it’s always the non functioning limbic system deal

    • To rape is an expression of power, as it is to lie that one has been raped (a tendency surely not uncommon in feminists). There is nothing with greater moral connotations than the legitimacy of sex, and for a good evolutionary reason. Any kind of dysfunctional sexual practice is a normalization of trauma caused by the forceful, coercive means through which children are owned and conditioned to breed within the family. http://childparent.net/articles/what-is-rape/

  9. You don’t really refute “Rape is about power” but “The only way to assert power is rape”.

    If you don’t make that change you have an easy explanation.
    Rape is used for asserting power over attractive women and alternative forms of violence are used for asserting power over the rest.

    Not that I can prove that, but neither it is refuted by the text.

    Of course, the argument involving homosexual rapists doesn’t have that same problem.

    • jim nichols says

      I’m wondering if you could frame it your prospective strictly in terms of male competition, it might be interesting to hear how you process it.

  10. A_M_Swallow says

    Robbery is likely to have a financial motive. How do the graphs for victims compare with those for rape?
    Women commit robberies and indecent assaults plus they are normally sexually attracted to men and frequently have power over children. How do their graphs for victims compare?

  11. Such big holes in this piece.

    To suggest that sex and power are dichotomous is naive and a big failure to understand what the researchers refer to as feminist orthodoxy.

    Older victims of sexual assault are ignored above: You might want to look at Hannah Bowes’ work on rape of older women.

    Finally, in the Dobash & Dobash’s Murder Study, of 271 women murdered by men, they found that 40% of men’s murders of women were sexually motivated. Amongst women victims who were over 80 years old when they were killed, (although the numbers are small) this rises to 69% of victims.

  12. People engage in sex for a variety of reasons: reproduction, pleasure, intimacy, money, dominance, etc. Consequently, it is a more complex issue than this simple dichotomy would imply, i.e., it can be about both sex and dominance.

    There is, moreover, a confusion in this article by Felson and Moran which obscures an important point. They argue that since the preponderance of victims are in a young age-demographic – when women typically have very little power – while older women – who might be expected to have more power – are much less likely to be raped. They conclude that this implies that rape is not about exerting dominance since one would expect that rapists would preferentially victimize the more powerful. But this reasoning is entirely unwarranted.

    Rape can be understood as a sexualized form of bullying, also an exercise in dominance and victimization. However, it is very clear that bullies do not pick on those who are the most powerful, but rather on those who are the most powerless. Hence, it is no surprise at all that younger women are preferentially victimized. The dynamic in both bullying and rape is to accrue power to the perpetrator, and those with the least ability (i.e., power) to resist are the preferred victims.

    I would therefore suggest that Felson and Moran are missing the essential point of the subject they are studying.

    • jim nichols says

      Does your insightful inclusion of bullying have room for a territorial perspective?

    • Protector of the Realm says

      “They argue that since the preponderance of victims are in a young age-demographic – when women typically have very little power – while older women – who might be expected to have more power – are much less likely to be raped. They conclude that this implies that rape is not about exerting dominance since one would expect that rapists would preferentially victimize the more powerful.”
      I believe you may have glossed over the main point of the article. The preponderance of rape victims are of the age demographic considered most sexually attractive by men. While reading the comments to this article, I have stumbled upon a difference in the perception of sexuality between men and women. Most of the male commenters tend to agree with the authors with one or two qualifiers. Most of the female commenters tend to push back against the premise in the article. This is because women and men fundamentally misunderstand the opposite gender’s sexuality. Some women (not all) tend to feminize male sexuality by assuming men are too much like women. Some men will masculinize female sexuality by assuming women are too much like men. For women, many factors contribute to sexual attraction. While there is more than just a single factor contributing to male sexual attraction, they are all based on things a fully functioning human can sense immediately (sight, sound, smell, etc.). While you are correct when you state that people engage in sex for many reasons, including reproduction, pleasure, intimacy, money and dominance, it should be understood that men and women seek different things. I would say that men engage in sex for the following reasons in this order: 1) Pleasure, 2) Intimacy 3) Dominance (mostly over rival men, like when an older man has a younger “trophy wife” he likes to show off) and 4) Reproduction. Women, I believe, engage in sex for the following reasons in this order: 1) Intimacy, 2) Pleasure, 3) Money (there is a reason Christian Grey was a wealthy business man and not an impoverished rough-neck in that book), and 4) Reproduction.

    • Unto T. says

      You have good point.

      First, I think this part of the article gives (at least partial) answer:

      “An analysis of whether female robbery victims are sexually assaulted during the incident suggests that the sexual attractiveness of young people is an important factor. Since the robber has already established dominance over a vulnerable victim, the effects of opportunity and vulnerability are removed, and only the effect of the offender’s age preference remains. In such cases, robbers are much more likely to rape victims between the ages of 15 and 29—the years when women (and men) tend to be the most sexually attractive.”

      Second, bullies are bulling in social context because the are fighting their way towards the top of social hierarchy. Rape is not exactly public crime … and you can’t use rape to climb up in social hierarchy.

      So, it seems that rapists and other criminals use (physical) power to satisfy their personal needs and desires… They are not committing crimes to gain more (social) power.

    • David Hoyong Jeong says

      When it comes to rape, how does an old woman have more power than a young one? Both groups are very mentally sensitive to rape, physically weak against their male rapist during rape, likely to be very silent about their to other people (and thus not report) afterwards and so on. Just in what area of being raped is an older woman have “more power” than a younger one, really? Both fall quite hopelessly and helplessly after their rape. So this is where your argument that rapists prefer to rape younger females because they have less power than older women falters.

  13. Moran says

    As i see it you ignore two important issues:
    a. You base your data on FBI which means victims who reported their assault – could it be that sexual assault has a different report rate rather then a different occurrence rate between different age groups?
    b. You assume power means controlling over a more powerful women – but could it be that the power is targeted on other men – i can get the most attractive ladies while you can’t – as it is in the wild while the strongest get to reproduce…? it could be a product of a society that perceive women as a prize, as an object, and as i see an iphone and i can take it by force, i also see an attractive woman and i take it as a prize by force – the more expensive the iphone the more man i am….hence the more attractive woman is (the more valuable/expensive) the more man i am

  14. J Thomas says

    I think this reasoning is useful.

    The dogma has been that rape is about power, not sex.

    If we use this alternative reasoning to say that rape is about sex, not power, that would be the opposite mistake.

    Rape is about sex. For rapists who don’t think about how the victims feel, it might be only about sex. For rapists who do care how the victims feel, it might be about sex and power both.

    • People should just ask the rapists. I’m 32 and I feel pretty comfortable going out late at night because of my age. But according to this gap, 10-14 are more attractive than 20-24 which is bullshit

  15. Richard says

    We can accept the facts here and still consider them consistent with a power theory. Society finds young people sexually desirable, I’m sure for evolutionary reasons. Therefore, to forcibly take something that has inherent value to others may represents a power trip.

    The thing is, it’s not either/or. These things reinforce each other.

    Donald Trump surely enjoys having sex with his supermodel wives, but he also likes showing them off. To take another example, in a war time situation, a conquering people could both like sex with the losing tribes’ women and also enjoy humiliating their vanquished enemies simultaneously. I think rape is a combination of seeking power and sex. But contra feminist orthodoxy, even the “power” explanation is rooted in evolutionary biology.

  16. nami says

    Ok, this is going to be long… a lot of issues need to be addressed here.

    First off, the basic assumption is wrong: ” ” If rapists are primarily motivated by the desire for power and domination, then one would expect them to prefer middle-aged, career women. ”” – Why? This point needs to be explained much further.

    I am going to paste here a comment that was made by another woman on facebook regarding rape: “As a survivor, I know rape isn’t about sex. It’s about control. The rapist chooses his or her victim based on characteristics the rapist identifies as conquest worthy. The type of victim is as varied as the taste of each rapist. His or her ultimate goal in using rape is to gain power over the victim. He wants the victim to submit. In many cases, the victim is killed for not submitting.”

    So the researchers got it wrong when they identified power as something middle-aged successful women would have. It is defined by every individual, by the traits that individual see’s as worth having. Maybe the majority of them want a young attractive woman? In a society that promises every man a beautiful young woman and glorifies youth that would explain why they would want to dominate it – that still doesn’t mean it’s just about sex.

    Younger people are also easily manipulated and naive, most of the time they won’t tell. Teenagers also have more contact with the outside world as opposed to older middle-aged people and the elderly.

    This also doesn’t account for incidents of prison rape or rape of men in military zones – an act which is obviously not about sex but about humiliation and control.

    And to another point in the article: “Men have an especially strong sexual drive.”. Men have testosterone which on a whole would make them have more of a sex drive than women – but here’s my problem: a sex drive is a sex drive, maybe females would be horny a few less times than men but when they are – there is no indication that their sex drive would be less strong than their male countparts. So if a woman can control herself when she’s horny, a man can too.

    • Protector of the Realm says

      I believe you are missing some key points in the article. First, if a man rapes another man, the man who initiates the rape is homosexual. He is homosexual because he is sexually attracted to other men. Although any man can be raped by a gay man, a straight man will simply not rape another man. A straight man would rape a woman, only if he finds her physically attractive in some way. Second, the fact that 97% of all rapes are committed by men is an indicator that male and female sexuality are two very different things. Due to human evolutionary biology, males generally have more acute sexual desires, and women’s sexual desires are more chronic (men are programmed to spread their genes as quickly and easily as possible, women are programmed to make more careful considerations in choosing a sexual partner because they will have to incubate, birth and care for the offspring) .Male desires can potentially be fulfilled in a couple of minutes by a forced rape, female desires not so much. Think of male sexuality as a single switch that can easily be turned on and off. Think of female sexuality as full a control panel with lots of buttons, switches, knobs and gears that all need to be dealt with separately. Finally, the idea that rape is about power is really a kind of reverse psychology for rape victims meant to help them feel safe and powerful after a traumatic event. Believe me, if I were raped by another man (not that likely as I am a sizeable thirty-one year old, but still infinitely more likely than being raped by a woman) the most prevalent feeling I would probably have is powerlessness.

      • Chris says

        Straight men rape other men all the time. In prison and other settings, and they engage in behavior that some would label “gay” all the time too. There is plenty of evidence that male dominated environments foster and encourage this kind of behavior. Why do fraternities have such an obsession with putting stuff up their butts and vodka enemas? Why did a high school football team get in trouble when freshmen were hazed by having pine cones inserted in their anuses?

        • Protector of the Realm says

          Gay is as gay does. Only about 16% of male prisoners reported any changes in sexual preferences while incarcerated (12% went from straight to bisexual, 2% went from bisexual to straight, and fewer than 1% went from bisexual to gay, gay to straight and gay to bisexual). I’ve always suspected most frat guys of being a little bit gay. I’ll grant that maybe a straight guy will put an object into his rectum as a dare or a joke, but if he enjoys it…well, he’s probably gay. While 12% is a bit higher than the proportion of men identifying as gay in the general population, I would posit that a good percentage of free gay men are still “in the closet” so to speak. All sexuality, homo and hetero, is a function of sexual desire–the desire to engage in sexual activities with a member of the same or opposite sex. Nothing more.

      • Luara says

        “A straight man would rape a woman, only if he finds her physically attractive in some way.”

        Not necessarily. I’ve heard of rape-murders of elderly women.
        It’s not clear why a man would rape a woman who isn’t sexually attractive, but it happens.

        • Unto T. says

          It’s good to remember that this article was based on quantitative studies I.e this article discusses about averages.

    • David Hoyong Jeong says

      The comment from a raped female on facebook is not that useful, since it only tells the story from one side when the event has two sides. To the raped female, yes, she will have the bias that rape is about control and power because that is what she lost from it. Now, can we hear the perspective of the rapist too? It is vital to listen to the both sides of an event to accurately understand it. Rape is not an exception to this.

      Being naive, easily manipulated and having less contact with the outside world – none of which are crucial elements of rape. In fact, those qualities are irrelevant to rape. A young, smart, sharp female is not meaningfully more immune to rape than a naive, easily manipulated young one in a rape situation. Also, non-reporting of rape among raped females is pretty much the same across the all age variations.

      Male sexual drive and urge is much stronger and frequent than female’s. That’s why it is much more difficult for a male to control it and hence much more prone to failing to restraining it, resulting in the vast majority of rape perpetrated by men. What goes for females does not necessarily go for males.

  17. Chad S. says

    This article is a great demonstration of the idea that there are many aspects of human behavior that sociology is poorly equipped to explore. The concept that rape is about power and control is an experience primarily expressed from the victim/survivor’s perspective, who experiences a loss of both. As someone who has worked with both sex offenders and victims of sexual violence, my observation is that, for people who are sexually violent, the desire to gain power and control over another person and the desire to have sex are synonymous. To gain power and control over another person is sexy, to be that overwhelmed person in a non-consensual encounter is terrifying. The conflation of power, control, and sex, is easily demonstrated in pornography, which is consumed by both sexually violent and non-violent people alike.

  18. Chris says

    The comments here show how many misconceptions still exist about rape. One simple point is that while an individual rapist may or may not conflate sexual desire and rape at the micro level, and I agree with the comment above that they frequently do, there is a difference between power at the micro and macro or group level. The level at which we all as a society accepts and tolerates rape demonstrates that at the macro level, rape certainly is a demonstration of the power and privilege that we (all men) enjoy, whether we want to acknowledge it or not.

  19. anon says

    I think
    – some are impulsive/lust
    – some are hatred/punishment
    – some are the product of sociopath serial rapists who are a diluted form of serial killer.

    so a mixture of motives.

  20. anon says

    addendum

    with the impulsive/lust segment being concentrated among the
    – young
    – stupid
    – drunk

    and serial rapists
    – older
    – intelligent (above average at least)
    – self-controlled

  21. Rojas says

    Well they are reports about men who paid a prostitute to have sex and then raped her in an extraordinary bestial manner. That might sound strange – after all, they could have had the sex anyway, so why rape the prostitute? But the the special thrill for them was not just to have sex but to have COERCED Sex.

  22. David says

    Rape is not about power, but lust? Then why do babies and grandmothers get raped? They’re so seductive? Then why do married men rape? They’re not getting enough and are willing to risk prison for a little on the side? Why do 15-year-olds get raped more than 12s? Perhaps they’re not as protected by their parents as 12s?
    Right, so let’s just blame it on political correctness that’s all feminists’ fault.
    Nonsense.

    • Anon says

      You spelled “Susan” wrong, “David.” Women can’t possibly know the extent of a man’s sex drive anymore than a man can understand a woman’s need to have children.

  23. One cannot rape someone who has more power. Power can arise from physical strength, authority, illegal drugs and economic advantage.Motivation to rape another may be lust, may be dominance, may be punishment. But all motives fail if power is insufficient. There is only one ultimate arbiter of power and that is the political culture of communities. Rape is a failure of a community to restrain power to the benefit of citizens. For example, rapes on university campuses are the direct responsibility of the governing body. They should be held accountable in equity as well as criminality. imo

    • David says

      That’s ridiculous; power is situational. Did Oswald have more power than Kennedy? For one brief moment, he did, but he wasn’t a more powerful person.
      To accuse the community of not controlling every person’s power at every moment is to fault them for not being an authoritarian surveillance society, which few claim to want. Humanity is sufficiently varied and frequently antisocial and you just can’t control everyone all the time.

    • So essentially when someone commits rape, it’s not the rapist’s fault, but society’s? Does that mean any rape that occurs, YOU play a role in the fault?

      Despite the arguments for “rape culture”, not only is there no evidence to support rape culture, but there’s plenty of it to say opposite. Any sensationalized rape story in the media, the rapist is always seen as the bad guy. In movies, no rapist is portrayed as a protagonist (unless it’s Quentin Tarrantino, but consider the source). Of the criminals I have seen glorified in society, I can’t think of one that was because he was a rapist. Even when a man is accused – not proven – of having committed, rape, his reputation is lost, even if it turns out he was innocent of the accusation.

      The whole idea of rape culture is exactly what rapists want. It takes responsibility off of them and they can put the blame on society.

    • David Hoyong Jeong says

      In rape, power or domination is the means to achieve the ends, sex. And indeed, sufficient power is necessary for rape; otherwise the female will escape or fight back very hard, so that the goal of having sex with her (raping her) will fail. Be aware though: this means that power and domination is used as the means to achieve the ends, sex, not the other way.

  24. Pingback: In the News (#602) | The Honest Courtesan

  25. catsick says

    The root of the problem is men are under the influence of an extremely powerful and potent hormone, testosterone. Remove this and there will be no rape. Repression / abstinence will only serve to heighten its influence.

    Unfortunately for any pretty young men in the prison system, a sudden regimen of weight intensive exercise produces a very much elevated level of testosterone production, the result of this with no natural outlet can only end badly …

  26. It seems obvious to me that the typical drunken date-raper would prefer to have a date who willingly had sex with him, and that his desire is for sex, not for exerting power except as a means to the end of sex. On the other hand, a man who lurks in Central Park with a knife, which he plans to hold to the throat of a stranger-victim while raping her, may indeed derive more pleasure from the prospect and the action of knife-holding, exerting dominance and inspiring terror, than from the sex itself.

  27. Julia says

    The reason most rapists don’t prefer middle-aged career women is the same reason that magazine covers largely feature the faces of attractive women between the ages of 15-29. Being young and attractive is in and of itself a status symbol – particularly for women. In fact, I would argue that for women, youth and beauty are a much more universally accepted status symbol than having a great career in middle age. Thus, if one is seeking to feel more powerful through the domination of another human being, it would seem sensible to choose a victim whose status was high (i.e., someone young and attractive). This would explain why homosexual offenders tend to target younger men as well.

    If rape was just about sex, there would be no need for the Bill Cosby’s of this world to drug and rape young starlets when they, presumably, already have access to a variety of attractive and willing participants. It would also fail to explain the high incidence of sexual assault experienced by sex workers during the course of their job. Rape is about sex, but it’s certainly about power as well.

  28. Pingback: Rape is about sex, not power | Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar

  29. Carmen Nge says

    The conclusions here are too much of a generalization. While it may be true that a great many young people are the victims of rape, it is certainly not true that they are exclusively the victims.

    The theory certainly does not explain child rape cases where the child being raped is less than 7 years old or rape of older women in their 50s and 60s. I doubt the reason to rape such victims is due to the rapists’ need to have sex but more to do with power, opportunity and that it is easier to subdue a victim who is physically weaker.

    I am sorry to say that this kind of argument is often used by conservative Islamists in my country, Malaysia, who claim that victims should be fully covered and not act in any way that will provoke sexual desire in rapists. In short, it is the fault of the victim if the rapist is aroused. In the same way, they also use this “sex not power” argument to then claim that men cannot help themselves since they are wired for sex. Such arguments are dangerous because they make rape into a crime that cannot be avoided, except by the victim.

    I am also sorry to see that the authors of this article are professors because the arguments here do not take into account many sides of the issue and is rather simplistic.

    • David Hoyong Jeong says

      It is true that male sexual drive and urge is too strong to control sometimes. Everybody is different and not everyone has the same level of tolerance or self-restraint. You shouldn’t be surprised by that.

  30. Chrysta says

    I agree completely with Carmen Nge.

    This article is far too generalized. The reference materials were all written by the same two men and is merely three studies, out of I’m sure a fairly large selection of studies on rape.

    It does not explain rape of infants, children, the elderly, incest, or even bestiality.

    To say that rape is strictly about attraction is wrong. If it were only about attraction they would go find someone to willingly have sex with them. But, also to say that it is strictly about power is wrong, too. But considering that most rape victims are raped by someone they know shows that men aren’t just going for who they find attractive, but for who they can victimize. Rapists can become aroused simply by thinking of overpowering a victim, it is very much the power they are attracted to and it is very much the reason behind rape.

    And yes, it is disconcerting to see this is written by professors. They should be better educated in the psychology of rape and victims for this ridiculously overgeneralized, barely disguised anti-feminist crap.

    • David Hoyong Jeong says

      Not “far too generalized” at all, considering the vast majority of rape victims are young females. Other categories of rape that you mentioned are actually very minor points compared to the general cases of rape. This article and study is about the general case.

      You mentioned that “If it were only about attraction they would go find someone to willingly have sex with them.” There are many reasons. a) he is attracted to the particular female and wants to have sex with her, not with others; b) it takes just too much time and effort to find an alternative. (Carpe Diem) when the one you want is right in front of you; and c) why look for others when you have what you want here with you?

      Indeed a lot of rapes are between acquaintances. It is plausible though. Two people meet, they develop their friendship, and the male starts to feel sexual attraction towards her but she doesn’t feel the same way. He wants to sexually connected with her, but she says no. He wants her still, so rapes her. Not really a surprising development, is it? Afterwards, the raped female will feel victimized; but the raping male will not feel the same way. He earnestly wanted to make a deep connection with her. Always two sides of perspective in rape, remember.

      Those professors did a good job with discovering the facts about rape. Calling this “this ridiculously overgeneralized, barely disguised anti-feminist crap.” shows your lack of proper understanding of who rapes whom, why rape, and rape in general. The sooner you lose your ideological brainwashing, the more intelligent you will be.

  31. Saad says

    It is very obvious that the data shown here to support the overall argument of the writers.

    One data which I would like to see is the cross tabulation of the victim’s age with criminal’s age. I suspect that the criminal is almost always going to be older than the victim and / or physically stronger. As rape can not be perpetrated unless victim is forced into submission.

    Yes, rape is about sex. However, it is about sex with powerless. Victims are generally those who can not defend themselves.

  32. One reason I have wondered about, if maybe the reason feminists say rape is about power (and only do I hear feminists say it. All men seem to instinctively know it is not true) is that for women, it is about power. A loss of power and control. So they just project the opposite into men, assume they are experiencing the same thing but in reverse?

  33. Yergen says

    Dominance and/or submission can be strong factors in sex so why put power and sex as mutually exclusive? This is a big mistake in my book.

    Also, I think a large number of rapes are omitted from the numbers here. These conclusions are drawn from reported rapes and this means typically that they have been committed by someone other than a spouse and often with an element of assault. Most rapes (at least this is usually claimed by people working in the field) are committed by a spouse or someone close to the victim in a domestic setting. I guess coercion is a better word than violence in these cases. Although the motivation for raping can still be power (still, this may not be so different from being also sex, as mentioned before), I am rather certain taking these cases into the statistic would skew the age distribution a lot and mess up the presumption in the article that perpetrators prefer young aged victims.

    Keep in mind that in many countries, it is still not a crime to rape your spouse, and in most countries it was made illegal only a few decades ago. In the first case, there is no reason to report it and it is still a big social stigma to do so, even if it is illegal.

  34. Michael Houst says

    I think the authors are on to something. Rape, when sexual intercourse is the only contact between the rapist and the victim, which is the vast majority of all rapes, is , to put it crudely, all about the rapist getting his rocks off. It’s all about the pleasure center. There is a considerable amount of pleasure tied to the domination of the victim, but it falls far short without the sexual act itself. In fact, domination and power have nothing to do with rape, unless the majority of the rape consists of torture and threats of torture to the victim. Then the terror of the victim is the motivator, and sexual intercourse merely a footnote.

  35. Anon says

    Rape is absolutely not about power.

    Look at sex offender rehabilitation. They’re not treating them for power lust. They’re working on impulse control and/or giving them drugs to curb their libido up to and including chemical castration.

    Consider how much alcohol plays a factor in many instances of date rape. So does alcohol cause a lust for power? No, it just removes inhibitions.

    Really, rape is weighing two hands. One says you need sexual gratification. The other saying you need to act appropriately because there’s consequences. If the need for sex is too great it clouds judgement. If the judgement piece is already suspect then you end up doing dumb things that range from phone sex lines, to voyeurism, to cheating to any number of gradients of male sexual-induced stupidity. It all comes from the same place.

  36. Luara says

    So, what does it mean to say that rape is “about power rather than sex”?
    It seems to be an attempt to answer the question “Why does a rapist get his sexual gratification from rape, rather than some other way?”
    Is it because he can’t find a woman to have sex with, or because he wants to dominate a woman?
    The argument in this blog post doesn’t address this question. Instead, it gives evidence for the obvious: that rape involves sexuality.
    A man tried to rape me once. As I was running away, he yelled “I could’ve had you if I’d wanted you.”
    That sounds like he wanted to assert his entitlement. And insult me.

  37. Michelle says

    It is unlikely that rape has a single motivation in all cases. Power is no doubt one of them. Lack of empathy and respect coupled with attraction is another. Systematic rape is also common in war. Here a group subdues a group for power while satisfying the sexual urges of individuals in the group and diminishing the empathy and respect for the victims.

  38. Jay says

    Great article debunking inaccurate feminist bunk that has been circulating for too long. Clearly rape is about nasty filthy loser perverts who can’t keep their d**ks in their pants and will try to attack anyone remotely sexually arousing to them (usually a youngster and not some old lady).

  39. The article rather glibly ignores the reams of studies and interviews with incarcerated sex offenders by prison psychiatrists, which is where the ACTUAL theory of power and punishment gained credence (a few years after the publication of Against Our Will) and with victims of rape who reported the things their attackers said to them. The book “Men Who Rape” (so-called because the author worked in a prison with male sex offenders, not to imply that only men rape) by Nicholas Groth contains a lot of evidence and is a good starting point in this regard.

    The relative youth of victims is explicable by a number of factors: That the victims are less intimidating to a perpetrator who lacks sexual confidence is one, but another is the desire to “score points” – a perpetrator attempting to prove his manhood will seek out targets that they believe others would consider acceptable. Many attackers have been documented claiming they are proving themselves a “real man.”

    • David Hoyong Jeong says

      What rapists say during their victims in the process of rape does not prove the ultimate goal of the rapist. Sure, a rapist might say something regarding the desire to power and control over the female he is raping in the process, but it only serves as evidence that he is expressing such power and control as means to achieve his ultimate goal – sex. In fact, this is what happens in most rape cases – using verbal or physical means in order to reduce or eliminate the victim’s resistance so that the goal(of sex) can be more effectively and easily achieved.

      Consider why “scoring points”, “proving his manhood” and “feeling like a real man” applies to raping young females, but not old ones. Proving manhood means to impregnate a female to carry his offspring – reproduction. Young females are much more reproductively valuable than old ones for they have a higher reproductive value, are more sexually attractive and fertile, and are much more likely to get pregnant with the rapist’s baby – and thus can prove his manhood and make him feel like a real man. That is why young females are preferred in the field of rape than old ones. In the second paragraph of your comment, you actually support the theory that rape is about sex and also for reproduction.

      • kerry alaine says

        yet again you are discounting the men who desire young females and do not rape them but either take a cold shower or masturbate or use some other means of coping. It is not the statistics of the victim but the statistics of the perpetrator that need to figure into analysis of the crime. All the idiot males commenting on this piece clearly have never experienced rape or they would not leave these comments. It is sickening that a statistical analysis like this, however flawed, is being used to justify rape and paint it in a light as no different from sex; anyone who has been the victim of rape and has had consensual sex will be happy to tell you that they are worlds apart. What needs to be focused on is what feminists knew to focus on from the very beginning; what makes the perpetrators of rape different from ordinary men, not what makes them the same, because they are NOT the same…they find forceful, bodily-injury causing violence which terrifies and degrades a victims and puts the victim in what they see as a life-threatening situation, arousing. It is an insult to adult men everywhere to suggest that they are somehow no different than the mostly male perpetrators of rape, which are statistically a small class. To suggest that rapists rape the young because they are sexually attractive doesn’t hold up to the scrutiny that *most* males are attracted to younger sexual partners as well, but DO NOT rape them. What makes the rapist different from the non-rapist is that the violence of rape arouses rather than sickens them. Holding POWER of life or death over a terrified victim, which would deflate the erection of decent men, arouses the perpetrators of violent crimes such as rape. Truth be told, many of these male perpetrators of rape were raped themselves as children, and some element of their victimization became fetishized or stuck in their psyche to the point they are not able to express or process it in any other way but re-enactment.

  40. Alastair says

    If rape is not about power, how and why does rape occur? Any discussion aiming to seriously denude the ‘power’ element is fundamentally ignoring the fact that performing a rape demands the ability to wield power over the victim whilst distorting or ignoring their rights to say ‘No’.
    Can’t believe the amount of posts that deny this central problem.

  41. Rape is always motivated by sexual need exceeding the self control of the rapist, leaving the rapist with no other option than the use of force to gain sexual fulfilment. Thus, power is a side effect brought on by out-of-control sexual need. This article is 100% correct.

  42. kerry alaine says

    I read this entire piece waiting for the author to conclude, like most rational people would, that rapists rape because the *type* of sex that arouses them is violent and against the will of the victim. A hundred years ago Freud himself discussed something called ‘repetition compulsion’ where victims of abuse sometimes repeat the behavior that was done to them, on others, especially if this is done before the age of conscious memory or during a time in childhood where the child is not able to articulate the abuse but is more likely to be able to ‘play-act’ this out, this is why therapists use dolls to try to get children to describe their victimization. It is these characteristics of human psychology that feminists were referencing, despite the author’s seeming suggestion that feminists formulated rape/aggression theories out of thin air. It is well known that sexual offenders were more often than not victims in childhood. Sometimes elements of the violation become fetishes for the perpetrator for the rest of their lives; one only has to study the rapes of Bill Cosby’s victims to see the patterns repeating over and over (‘pretend you are drunk, get in the shower’, etc). I really do not want to be too hard on this writer as he seems well educated, but the fact that there is a tremendous amount of non-violent sexual activity going on in the world should factor into his theories about why people rape. He needs to look not so much at the characteristics of the victims (as he fails to even factor in the most glaring characteristic of vulnerability of the young, which is exposure, by virtue of age, to older, authority figures whom they are likely to unwisely trust after granting authority) and ask the question that feminists had the sense to ask from the beginning, which is what is it about the sex that sets the perpetrators apart from normal people who go masturbate when sexually aroused and attracted to an unavailable partner? Because rape, despite the idiotic representation of this author, is not just ‘sex’ it is violent, degrading, victimizing sex. Feminists came to the conclusion that it was something about the nature of this particular kind of sex that aroused the perpetrators. “Power” might be too simplistic a terminology; I would prefer something like ‘revenge’, ‘humiliation’, ‘dominance’ et cetera. Not only is this entire theorizing of the author somewhat inane, it is actually dangerous, as evidenced by the comment above mine in which it is suggested that people rape because they are overwhelmed by their sexual desire. Obtuse theories like this go a long way toward legitimizing rape by depraved perpetrators by intentionally ignoring the existence of millions and millions of men and women who do not rape and who are not turned on by degrading, humiliating, and physically wounding innocent adults and children. Rape is violent; it leaves bloodshed, scars, bruises. Some people eroticize these things, they eroticize dominance and degradation of another and it is that particular element that must be included in their sex for it to be satisfying…it is easy to see why the young are chosen because they are more vulnerable in appearance by virtue of fact. Also there are enough rapes of elderly, during robberies for instance, to discount the author’s supposition that ‘almost zero’ elderly women are raped, this has no basis in fact.

  43. Pingback: Rapists Want Sex. Not love, money, or dominance. Duh. - Sex Free List - Sex - Sexy - Amateur - Porn Videos - Bikini - Sexual

  44. metatron says

    Where is the evidence for the conclusion that rape is about power?

    I wonder if stealing is about power as well?

  45. tiffany says

    Thank you for being so brave.

    I have been stalked, sexually harassed, and raped. I was raped on a date, like many women. Also, like many women i was raped on a date. I went to his house. He wanted to have sex, i didn’t so he raped me. It was very simple. He wanted sex, and i didn’t.

    Rape is how men get around female choice. Females usually choose who they want to have sex with because they bear the brunt of the consequences. The violence in the rape is often simply a means to an end.

    Every man who has sexually assaulted me, stalked me, or what not was very sexually aroused and very sexually interested me. Many times, yes, IT IS ABOUT THE SEX. The victim may feel a loss of power, but that doesn’t mean the assault is power motivated. The attacker may not view the rape/sexual harassment/ stalking as assault.

    I have since grown older, and i’m very concerned about the advice given to girls nowadays.

    “If you get to his house, and you don’t want sex, you can always say no.”
    That is a very big and very silly gamble. If you don’t want to have sex with a man, it’s best to not be alone with him in his house, hotel room, or other sexually charged place. Many men view being alone with them as sexual consent. Also, if anything happens and she goes to testify against him here comes:

    “Well, if you didn’t want sex, why were you alone with him?”

    Drive yourself to and from dates until you know him. A man in the throes of passion may not care about any ‘no’ he receives.

    I do take offense with people telling women what they wore caused the assault. I’ve been sexually harassed while wearing shorts and a mens baggy tshirt, long maxi dresses that don’t show my shape, and on. The problem imo is men see the opportunity for sex when there is none. Just being nice to a man for a few minutes or merely having a curvy body can and does trigger a man. Ive heard from girls with big breasts that men assume they are sexual because they have a sexy body. In their minds, this women has a sexy female body so she must be sexual. She has her body because of genetics not because of her sex drive. I had a man try to have sex with me in the mall because we talked for 10 minutes.

    I think people are hesitant to say the truth because they don’t want male sexuality to look bad. Much of male sexuality is very impersonal. A straight man who is sexually aroused may not see a woman as a human but as a means to an end. Unfortunately, rape is not unheard of in the animal kingdom. Whether it’s kangaroos, bugs, and or human males they are using force to nullify female choice.

    *****The sooner we acknowledge rape is about sex, the sooner we can start giving women better advice. *******

Leave a Reply