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I'm no expert on pregnancy, rape, nor on "right to life" thinking. I have, however, been intrigued about any possible back story on the concept of "legitimate" rape, and the claim that women have some sort of biological mechanism to prevent pregnancy in case of such rape (which is total nonsense). A lot of theories have been advanced to explain why such nonsense is perpetuated – something amiss with male psychology; perhaps there is some deviant male will to dominate that seems self-evident on the coservative side of the political spectrum. There's also been speculation about the perverse fascination for categorizing different levels of force where rape is concerned – "forcible" rape, "legitimate", "consensual" rape, etc. I've read some articles about these ideas which often theorize without clearly delineating a likely motive. I find most of these arguments unpersuasive.

I now think a different theory seems more plausible – we don't need to explore male psychology or pathology to understand why some promote this nonsense; there is, rather, a dark, pathetic, yet very straightforward explanation that fills the bill. It springs from the will of the so-called pro-life community to curtail abortion by whatever means. I note that Todd Akin has not just support, but also total agreement from the likes of the American Family Association and from the Family Research Council, and these endorsements appear to bolster this simpler explanation:

Women who have been persuaded they have an innate defense mechanism against pregnancy in case of rape are less likely to seek medical help, and are therefore more likely to forego any sort of pregnancy and/or abortion counselling. Ergo, fewer abortions.

This social impact of the likes of Todd Akin's bungled propaganda was noted by Dr. Jill Powell, a gynecologist at St. Louis University. Her comments were added (almost as an afterthought, it seems) to an article that explored how heavily right to lifers continue to rely upon now discredited sources. For those who appreciate the more arcane twists of bizarre "legitimate" rape trauma/pregancy shutdown theorizing, the article quoting Dr. Powell in Missouri's own St. Louis Post-Dispatch also explores the Nazi death camp roots of the concept.

Originally posted to Richard Myers on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sluts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Follow me on Twitter: @denverunionguy

    by Richard Myers on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:31:49 PM PDT

  •  Why you ask...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    the repug party has become sociopathic.....

    and they've been recruiting their candidates from the state mental institutions for the criminally insane who have IQs no higher than 80..... that was the year Reagan was elected......

  •  Let Me Be Blunt* (0+ / 0-)

    With both men and women for sex to work the way it is supposed to work, both need to be "aroused." The male to become erect. The women so her vagina can more easily accept an erect penis.

    But her gamete don't know if this process was followed and if sperm reaches an egg, and her cycle is right, she can get pregnant.

    I am sure somebody that studies this for a living can say this in a more accurate detailed manner, but this is what it is. The women has NO defense against my sperm unless she is on birth control. None!

    *I am not an expert here as well.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 10:12:02 PM PDT

    •  Well, actually, the vagina is a pretty (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, Tam in CA, freerad

      hostile environment for sperm and only a very few get through and even fewer get as far as the egg and only one (usually) gets in and even then the majority of fertilized eggs are aborted before implantation or even soon after. It's a perilous situation for sperm to be in and to think that after all that the repository can decide to have it expelled is just too much for sensitive insecure males to accept. How their will to power must suffer! How can their sense of insecurity be effectively countered by the promise of natural superiority over women, if women are the arbiters over whether or not they reproduce themselves?

      It's an entirely self-centered perspective, but there are, apparently, a lot of entirely self-centered humans (both male and female) around and they exploit their own kind without giving it a second thought.  In fact, they don't think.  They are driven by instinct and do what appears to come naturally.  They respond to external and hormonal prompts.  So, in effect, they "do what they are told" and are obedient to nature.  They are responsible, able to respond and respond they do, automatically and habitually.  How can that be wrong?

      "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

      The answer, of course, is that because humans can speak, we expect them to ask, to think ahead about consequences and to treat their fellow human beings with care.  But, what if they have no awareness of human beings being special and different? What if they do it like the dogs and the birds?  What if they have no self-restraint?  What if the only restraint they can be made aware of is religious teaching and indoctrination?  In the absence of self-restraint, doesn't it seem necessary to have religious instruction to turn a beast into a man?

      I keep coming back to the preconceived notion, the prejudice, the predicate or assumption we begin with. If people have no self-restraint, self-control or self-direction, then they are at the beck and call of every Tom, Dick or Harry, as well as the hormones they are totally unaware of.  If they have no self-direction, then their behavior must be prompted by some external force and, if the result is morally wrong, then it must be the fault of the prompt. The light bulb is responsive, but it is not responsible, in the moral sense, for being switched on. That life won't be created, if the woman does not consent is entirely consistent with this line of "reasoning."  If we start from a false premise, then the conclusion will be false. And it's not logically correct to argue from the result to the cause -- i.e. life is conceived, so there must have been consent.  But, instinct-driven people are not logical thinkers.  In fact, they may not know what thinking, as in reflecting on oneself, even is because they have no sense of self.  Their brains run on automatic the same when they are awake as when they are sleeping.

      Indeed, I wonder if these people are even aware of dreaming. The few instinct-driven people I've asked if they dream didn't know what I was talking about, until I explained and then they said no, that didn't happen to them.

      MLK had a dream, but what he described was really wishful thinking.

      Not all instinct-driven people are mean, just as not all dogs hunt.  Some shepherd and protect.  Our problem is letting people without self-direction, who act on instinct, direct the behavior of other people.  Why do they do it?  I suspect it's just habit.  People tell them what to do and they, imitatively, do it back. That their directives are not appropriate to the situation is beyond their comprehension, since they cannot consider alternatives. Their binary brains have only two options -- on or off, yes or no, stop or go.

      I don't think it's happenstance that we have built computers on a simplistic model of the human brain. Willard acts like a robot because we have built machines that function like people with a binary brain. The etch-a-sketch is not quite appropriate because it doesn't store information and it doesn't talk. A tablet which records sound and plays it back is probably more accurate.

      Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

      by hannah on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 11:55:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I bet to differ my friend. (0+ / 0-)

      Women do NOT have to be aroused for sex to work.  Plenty women have sex and are not aroused. Many sex workers are not aroused when they service man after man.  
      The male penis can go into the vagina no problem.

  •  And the ban on abortion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    is about preventing sex and keeping women economically dependent and oppressed. Pro-life is a lie, it is anti-sex. Ironically this is why the only possible sincere pro-life position is to prevent exceptions for rape.  The rape does not make the life less worth protecting, and allowing an exception really reveals that abortion is not what they are trying to prevent.

  •  I think pro-lifers rely on Nazi propaganda (0+ / 0-)

    because their think-tanks aren't as well funded as the various other corporatist movements.  They just can't afford to buy enough modern researchers to fabricate the 'science' they need..

    •  Couple of bizarre responses here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlynne, Smoh

      Please, the diary isn't about how sex works.

      The diary is about the reason for the propaganda that is based upon phony science.

      Follow me on Twitter: @denverunionguy

      by Richard Myers on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:22:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Meant this as a top level comment *** n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Smoh

        Follow me on Twitter: @denverunionguy

        by Richard Myers on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:20:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is a long-standing myth (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Myers, TexMex, Smoh, Tam in CA

        that women who are not aroused can't get pregnant and/or that women who are being assaulted can't get aroused.  

        It's all wrapped up in that "she must have asked for it" mentality.  Kind of like how most of us assume that the criminal defendant must have done something bad or he wouldn't be a defendant.  

        It seems to be part of human nature . . . the need to assume the worst about victims of circumstance in order to justify some level of predation.  

        Doesn't reflect well on us as a species, much less as a  civilized society.  

        Social and cultural evolution is a slow process, but as repulsive Akin's propaganda is, at least it is no longer accepted by the majority.  There was a time when the prevailing propaganda considered women to be chattel, the proper treatment of which was completely at the discretion of the property owner.  According to Wikipedia, raping your spouse in North Carolina remained a legal impossibility until 1993, not even 20 years ago.  That's messed up.  

        "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

        by jlynne on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:30:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would respectfully submit that it is obviously (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers

    driven By the anti-abortion nuts who will lie, cheat, steal, literally murder to win their agenda.  It is still important to understand the "psychology and pathology" of those perpetuating and legislating based on lies.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:59:39 AM PDT

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