Psychology Behind Rape

Topics: Sexual intercourse, Rape, Abuse Pages: 6 (2172 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Cognitive functions behind rape
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. [1]

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...
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