There are many reasons that rapists are who they are. Psychologists have come up with many theories for the reasoning in a rapists mind. The theories range from, little boys being abused by their mothers to unsuccessful marriages influencing a hate toward women. Psychology Today reports that Gordon Nagayama Hall Ph. D. conducted a national forum on the question, why do men rape? In his findings he has identified four main types of rapist.
Type 1 is the kind of man that gets sexually aroused by thought of violence against women. This type is extremely impulsive and one of the most dangerous types. Type 2 is influenced by ‘ cognitive distortions’ which means they interpret things differently than other people. They believe that women like to be raped and they enjoy violence against them. To this type of man, rape is viewed as a challenge to prove themselves to their peers. Type 3 is the type that most women think that rapists are.
They are motivated by anger toward women, which they release in violence and sexual domination, this type is the most violent and the most dangerous. Type 4 is the men that were sexually abused as a child, didn’t achieve well in school, didn’t get on well with his family due to the abuse and has difficulty maintaining stable relationships in all aspects of their lives. Sometimes, rapists can be more than one type of rapist as defined by Hall.
He explains that rapists are not very easy to define and can be anywhere. Hall has demonstrated that there are 4 major types of rapist, and which that knowledge rapists could be categorised easily, and with further research into this field it is possible that there could be a rehabilitation program could be formed for each type of rapist which would simplify the process by tenfold. The New York Times contains an article written by Daniel Goleman which has research reported in it about the mind of a rapist.
The research conducts investigations on what arouses men, and whether this can contribute to whether a man is a rapist or not. The investigation involved the use of a penile plethysmograph to measure a man’s arousal by measuring the blood flow to a man’s genitals. The evaluation of arousal was conducted on lots of men while they were viewing erotic encounters. Some of the encounters were non-consensual sex, while others contained some forms of violence.
Dr Howard Barbaree who was involved in the study says that, ‘ For most men, hearing a description of an encounter where the man is forcing the woman to have sex, and the woman is in distress or pain, dampens the arousal by about 50 percent compared to arousal levels during a scene of consenting lovemaking’ This means that they were aroused watching a scene of consensual sex, but when the next scene showed a man forcing a woman into sex, they became less aroused, which showed that they do not have the potential to be a rapist as the 50% blood loss indicated that a man could not penetrate a woman with that amount of blood in his genitals.
Dr Barbaree found that the arousal to the scenes of violence increased when alcohol had been consumed before viewing the scenes. When the men were viewing the scenes of erotic encounters, each scene was different but only slightly, which gave the researchers an indication of what it was that made some men aroused by the factors in violent sex. By changing the factors of violence in the scenes slightly, Dr Barbaree claimed that most men can be aroused by violent sex. The different combinations in the scenes give an indication of what the man is aroused by.
This research improves our understanding of what men find arousing and what factors can be changed to change a man’s attitude towards violent sex. This method of showing men images to make them not aroused could possibly be used in future to change rapist’s attitude towards rape. They could be shown several scenes of non-consensual sexual scenes that make them not aroused, because as long as they find violent sex arousing, they are likely to continually rape women. An internet author analyses the different things that cause men to rape.
Expert psychologists have identified the different personality traits that make someone more likely to be a rapist. Those personality traits are; Emotional abuse, controlling, envious of other elements of someone’s life, is sometimes violent towards people close to them, thinks that he is of a higher status to females and is intimidating towards women in a physical and emotional way. Knowing all the traits that make some to be predisposed to be a rapist can give people some idea of who they can trust, and if someone is going to turn violent towards.
Unfortunately this study does not categorize date rapists, as most women do know the men that go on dates with personally, which is why they go on dates with them. They can’t know the danger signs within a person’s personality unless they know the person. An article written by a Delhi based correspondent for Youth Ki Awaaz studies the reasons that turn men into rapists. The writer reports that many men get to become rapists because they watch violent sexual pornography from a young age which contributes to the ideology that rapists do not view women as people, but as objects to use for their own sexual needs when they want, how they want.
Some rapists do not even ejaculate during rape, which shows that for some rapists, it is not the desire for sex that makes them rape; it is the need to be violent towards, and dominate women. The writer says that in some cases of rapists it can be that a man had a poor upbringing with abuse as a child, which does not excuse the dreadful crime which is rape, but does explain it. However, the writer makes the point that before Ted Bundy was executed in 1989 he said, ‘ I grew up in a wonderful home with two dedicated and loving parents, and one of five brothers and sisters.
A home where we, as children, were the focus of my parents’ lives, where we regularly attended church; two Christian parents who did not drink, they did not smoke, there was no gambling, there was no physical abuse, or fighting in the home’ This shows that a bad upbringing is not necessary to generate a rapist. This insight into a highly dangerous serial rapist and murderer proves that there are many different explanations that depict why men rape, and although many families that have a rapist in them often blame the way that they brought them up, it is often nothing to do with their childhood.
A forensic science website has an article about profiling rapists. The forensic nurse writes that ‘ rape is not about sex. Rape is about anger and control and violence. Sex is merely the weapon. ’ Rapist typology is divided into 4 main categories; Power reassurance, these rapists are the last violent and count for 81% of rapists. This type of man is suffering from low self-esteem, and often fantasizes that his victim is enjoying the experience, and can usually be talked out of the act if the victim fights back, as his intention is not to hurt the woman, he just wants to control her, as his motive is sexual, not violent.
Power assertive rapist thinks that he is entitled to rape a woman because he is superior. This man will look for his victim in bars and clubs, and he will use moderate force. This kind is remorseless and couldn’t care less for his victim, in his opinion he is only taking what he wants because he is allowed and because he just can. Power assertive rapists account for 12% of rapists. Anger retaliatory rapists hate women and were probably physically or emotionally abused as a child by a woman. This type of rapist will usually injure the victim significantly either genitally, or facially.
This type is likely to murder his victim; the rape isn’t about sexual gratification, but about causing pain to his victim and degrading her. Anger retaliatory rapists constitute 5% of rapists and are one of the most dangerous types. The most dangerous type of rapist and only accounts for 2% of rapists which is a worrying statistic. This type of rapist’s intent is to kill his victims, but not before torturing her and repeatedly raping her. This type of rapist plans his rape and murder in advance, stalking his victim for weeks.
To him, the rape is not about sex, or anger, he rapes and revels in the fear from his victim, he loves dominating and will tell the victim her fate to increase her fear for him, this is what excites him. This article explains which type of rapist are the most dangerous, and explains what the rapists intents are. It is reassuring that the least dangerous rapist constitutes for the most of rapists, and the most dangerous has the smallest percentage. This in-depth article about the characteristics of a rapist is very insightful into the workings of a rapist, and includes statistical information to back up their research.
This list of famous perverts gives a little bit of background information about each of the perverts. This article proves that men do not need to have a terrible childhood to become a vicious rapist. John Wayne Gacy was reported to be ‘ charming and sociable’ but this front is very concealing, as he murdered at least 30 people, he grew up with a very normal childhood. However, on the other end of the scale, there is a man called Carlton Gary who was brought up only by his mother in poverty, he eventually raped and strangled his mother’s employers.
The study of these two different men, each from completely different backgrounds, shows that childhood is not the reason that some men become hateful rapist killers. In this internet article reporting about a gang rape case involving an 11 year old girl, the victim has been turned into the accused, and the rapists are the victims. The defense attorneys in this case the defense are accusing the 11 year old girl of, ‘ being a seductress who lures men to their doom’ and that she is the type of women who, ‘ who has sex and “ cries rape,” presumably because destroying men for no reason is fun.
The defence are playing on one of the excuses that rapists commonly use, which is that she was ‘ asking for it. ’ The 11 year old girl may have been wearing a dress or a short skirt which the group of men mistakenly took to mean that she was sexually active and wanted to have sex with them, however this was not the case. Relating back to the article in Psychology Today, looking at the type 2 rapist as categorised by Dr Hall, it is likely that these men have cognitive distortions, which made them think that the young girl wanted to be raped and that she enjoyed it.
In India rape is viewed very differently, the Imrana rape case depicts that a 28 year old woman, with 5 children and a husband, was raped by her father-in-law. The Indian community elders sees this as adultery and blames the woman for deserving it and they believe that she should now treat her husband as her son, as she had sex with his father despite it being against her will. She has been forced to leave her husband and start a life with her rapist. In these circumstances, the reason of the rape could have been so that the 69 year old father-in-law could have a young wife and he was possibly jealous of his son, so he ‘ claimed’ her from him.
In conclusion, I think that rape is committed for many different reasons, but I believe that mainly men think that the majority of rape occurs, because the men think that the woman wants it and they are trying to prove their masculinity. The minority or rape ends with injury or murder, which enforces the point that most rapists are in it for the sexual gratification rather than to cause pain and humiliation to their victims.