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View Diary: Rape Is About Sex (199 comments)

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  •  False analogy (16+ / 0-)

    a woman or man, or child, who is raped isn't losing something fungible like money.

    And I repeat, the other diarist went to some pains to use available studies and data as a foundation.

    What do you got?

    For real Texas Kaos, you want texaskaos.net, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

    by boadicea on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 12:28:59 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I think your first sentence shows the problem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psychothumbs, rb608

      Many people, I suspect, are confusing the impact on the victim with the motivations of the perpetrator.  The idea that rape exists divorced from sexual desire is absurd for reasons to obvious to get into.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:49:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes the impact on the victim IS the motive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psychothumbs

        Or, looking at it from the perp's perspective, what he feels he will gain by inflicting his crime on the victim.  

        In those instances it isn't analogous to a bank robbery.  But I am not convinced that abuse of the victim explains all rapes.

        I suppose that will make me a "rape apologist."

      •  Any time I hear "for reasons too obvious to (7+ / 0-)

        get into", or bother with, or whatever, I get really, really suspicious. What it usually means is "I believe this, and I'm not going to think about it".

        If sexual desire is about getting your rocks off, and you have no particular need for dominance, masturbation is a great way to go. No need for a sexual partner at all.

        If rape were about sexual desire, and not dominance, then looking for someone who is willing to be a sexual partner would seem, just offhand, to be the most likely direction to go. That kind of lets rape out of the question - if you're looking for someone who wants to be that sort of partner.

        If rape is about dominance, and not sexual desire, then yeah, look for someone to take the place of your hand (over which you have full control). The sexual experience isn't going to be anywhere near as good, but the added pleasure from controlling someone else makes up for it.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 03:24:02 PM PDT

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        •  You're trying to apply logic where it won't work. (3+ / 0-)

          Regardless of whether rape is about sex or about violence, there's tons of evidence to show that people are illogical about either one. Assuming that men would do something rational when it comes to sex -- or violence -- considerably weakens the rest of your argument.

          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

          by Nowhere Man on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 05:22:58 PM PDT

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          •  But I'm not assuming rationality. I'm assuming (0+ / 0-)

            self-interest, which oddly enough I have found to be a pretty good predictor, totally aside from the reasons that people say they do things.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 05:32:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you're assuming rational self-interest. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              UntimelyRippd

              Seriously. Because if a guy wants sex (the self-interest part), then he'd only act the way you describe if he's being rational. If he's irrational, all bets are off, other than that he's going to try to coax or, perhaps, coerce someone to have sex with him.

              Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

              by Nowhere Man on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 06:29:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We actually have evidence (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch

                Proffered in the diary to which this one is a response.

                So, check that assumption.  

                I repeat, there is no 'had to get my rocks off' pass for rape.

                For real Texas Kaos, you want texaskaos.net, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

                by boadicea on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 06:44:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Since I've seen no link to that diary (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Be Skeptical, angelajean, boadicea

                  and it doesn't seem to be on the Community or Rec lists, I have no way to check those links.

                  I wonder if that earlier diary mentioned this study, in which 73% of men reported "sexual entitlement" as one of the reasons for raping (they could choose more than one reason). You can't really have sexual entitlement without sex, so...

                  But I don't believe any one study, or even a number of studies, will provide an open-and-shut explanation for the motivations behind rape; human motivations are never all that obvious even to the person involved.

                  However: You commented elsewhere that it's important to show that sex is not a part of rape, because otherwise that shifts the focus to victim-blaming. I can see the concern, but I don't accept that that's a good reason to believe that sex has nothing to do with rape. Nor do I believe that anything justifies blaming the victim for rape. Regardless of motivation, the blame for rape is always on the rapist, not the victim.

                  Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                  by Nowhere Man on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:58:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Think a little (2+ / 0-)

          You seem to be regressing to a pretty primitive understanding of sex, which I assume you would never use in other contexts.

          Think about people who are into BDSM. That's about sex isn't it? Sex isn't limited to just 'getting your rocks off,' there are plenty of things that people find sexy that aren't directly related to the physical act. Some of these sexual oddities are totally acceptable, like furries or somebody with a foot fetish. Others are not, like rape or pedophilia. That doesn't change that they're all about sex and the different ways that people desire it.

          •  To continue on the "primitive" level, I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

            The variety of behaviors, and I agree that you have barely scratched the surface of the potential variants, are about sex and the things that people have conflated with sex, for one reason or another.

            It would be reasonable to suggest (and it has been suggested), that everything is in some way or another about sex, and sexual desire. It might even be reasonable to suggest that everything, to some extent, is about dominance, considering the game playing that goes on at almost every level of society, both below and at the level of violence.

            But the point that angelajean makes in her previous diary, which is pretty well backed up by the studies she quotes, is that there are some solid distinctions between men who rape and men who don't, and anger/dominance seems to be one of the main areas of difference.

            Check out the diary - I don't think anyone brought up the BDSM case there in the comments I read, and you might want to post that as a potential gray area, for further discussion.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:38:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a stretch to say psychology is science (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              serendipityisabitch

              Sorry for 'primitive,' I meant it in a literal, not disparaging way, but the internet is not a friend to subtlety.

              Of course there are differences between men that rape and men that don't, and given that sexual desire is fairly universal (our asexual friends excepted) those differences would have to be in other areas of people's lives. However, the fact that rapists are angry and get off on violence, dominance, and control doesn't mean that what they do isn't about sex.

              Everything may be about sex in a grand Freudian sense, but I think we can agree that rape is more about sex than your average activity.

              •  I cannot stretch far enough to find a way to (0+ / 0-)

                call psychology a science. Nor sociology, nor economics. Semantics -almost- makes the cut, but only in the hands of a very few people.

                That doesn't mean that a well posed study can't make solid points. Getting most psychologists to adhere to the "well posed" part is worse than trying to herd cats. Getting them to agree that it is critical is even harder. So I have to agree that almost anything from the psychological and sociological literature has to be taken with great skepticism.

                Still, I thought the Lisak study results were unexpected enough to be worth thinking carefully about. Most researchers don't allow results that contradict generic biases to surface unless they're pretty strong.

                I don't know that I can agree with your last statement. I agree pretty strongly that a lot of men, possibly most, tend to think of rape as being about sex. Whether they are correct is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Perhaps it isn't, and perhaps the lessening of rape in this culture correlates with this change in perspective that is being argued. Given that correlation isn't causation, I'm leery about making a blanket statement, but it feels as though splitting sex and rape into separate categories may be contributing to the decline.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:37:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Titles are hard (0+ / 0-)

                  You're not sure if you can agree that rape is more about sex than your average activity?

                  So for example, drinking coffee and raping someone: basically the same sexual content?

                  As for Lisak's study, it seems his main finding is:

                  "When compared to men who do not rape, these undetected rapists are measurably more angry at women, more motivated by the need to dominate and control women, more impulsive and disinhibited in their behavior, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes, less empathic and more antisocial."

                  None of this seems at all surprising or counter-intuitive. I just don't see how this information implies that rape isn't about sex. Assuming that there is some portion of men who are interested in sex regardless of whether consent is offered, and are indeed turned on by overcoming that lack of consent (a safe assumption unfortunately) then I would expect those in this group who act on those impulses to be pretty much exactly as described by Lisak. Someone with a lot of empathy and inhibitions who rather likes women as people is unlikely to force himself on them, even if it would be sexually enjoyable.

                  •  No, not that piece of it - the simple idea that (0+ / 0-)

                    these men did not think of what they were doing as rape. I don't know whether that's a cultural problem, or a psychological one, or both, or "merely" a problem in semantics.

                    There's this "rape is what bad people do" meme underlying a lot of the problem - well, it's not exclusive to men, either, judging from some of the comments. 'Since I'm not a bad person, what I do isn't rape' seems to be the  response from this group. It's a perspective that simply hadn't occurred to me before, but it seems as though it could be the key to a whole bunch of stuff. The correlary would seem to be 'since I'm not bad, then somebody else has to be to blame, if it was a bad thing to do'. Lots of other stuff probably correlates with that.

                    I'm ignoring the first bit, btw - virtual snort as a response. But I think perhaps we need to make the distinction between sex and rape, whether it's a clear one or not, simply as a teaching tool. Nuance and overlap would need to follow the initial distinction, once it's been made, the same way any other simple explanation becomes more complex with additional learning.

                    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                    by serendipityisabitch on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 11:05:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Good Points (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      serendipityisabitch

                      I think the "I'm good, rape is bad, so I must not rape" is an interesting point. I see that perspective a lot in discussions of racism, where people think that because they're not some epithet spewing, lynch mob participating monster that they must not be racist at all.

                      I'd describe rape as the subset of sex in which at least one party doesn't give consent. So the boundary isn't between rape and sex, but between rape and consensual sex, and thus we do have a pretty easy hard and fast line.

          •  The difference between rape (0+ / 0-)

            and consensual BDSM should be obvious, but in case it isn't, I recommend "Learning the Ropes" by Race Bannon as an introduction.

            For real Texas Kaos, you want texaskaos.net, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

            by boadicea on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:56:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Rich, there are scientific studies that say it (7+ / 0-)

        isn't absurd.

        Men who rape are not raping in order to ejaculate or in order to get a woman pregnant or in order to get sexual gratification. Those things might happen but they aren't the reason the man rapes. He rapes to exert their dominance over another human being.

        Did you read my diary today or just this one that is the response?

      •  Money is an object. People are not objects (0+ / 0-)

        Money can be replaced, while people's lives and well-being cannot.  

      •  What you mean is (0+ / 0-)

        you want to make an assertion without being willing to back it up with an actual argument.

        For real Texas Kaos, you want texaskaos.net, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

        by boadicea on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 06:41:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ever been incarcerated? I have. I was... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boadicea, angelajean, a gilas girl

        ...raped while an inmate. The rapes totally divorced from sexual desire. They were about control. They were proof that if I didn't do other things the rapist wanted from me I would suffer for it.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 10:22:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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