avoid rape

The psychology of a rapist, and how to avoid rape

The raping of women has been on the increase recently, and social media is agog with revelations of unreported crimes that have been perpetuated in the past. Hence, we decided to delve into this matter, do some fact finding about the psychology of a rapist and how to avoid rape.

Rape is a crime that is often misunderstood and surrounded by myths. It is our goal to dissect some aspects of this insidious act and share some of the more recently discovered facts.

One commonly believed myth is that rape is primarily a sexual act. Persons with this belief often unintentionally place the victim on trial. Her motives, her dress and her actions become suspect not only to law enforcement officials but also to her family and friends.

The woman’s credibility may be questioned and her sexual activity and private life may be made public. Perhaps because of the guilt, embarrassment and humiliation, rape has been a highly under-reported crime. However, throughout the past 20 years a variety of psychologists and sociologists have begun to study the psychology of rape and rapists.

Their findings have shown that rape is a crime of violence, often regarded by the woman as a life-threatening act in which fear and humiliation are her dominant emotions. Sexual desire is less a motivation for the man than violent aggression.

Rape as a crime of violence is perhaps best understood by examining studies of the rapist, who he is and why he does it. However, it is somewhat disconcerting.

Research by Dr. Menachiam Amir, an Israeli criminologist indicates that rapists are not the psychopathic, antisocial men one would think them to be.

There are of course the extreme individuals, but most rapists blend well into their own communities. In fact, there may be more similarities between rapists and ourselves then there are differences. However, research on the rapist is subject to serious questions.

The sampling of subjects are often full of bias. Most rape arrests still do not result in conviction. Therefore the men who are interviewed represent a very small percentage of the entire rapist population.

Dr. Amir studied rape and rapists in Philadelphia and found the median age of the Philadelphia rapist was 23 but the largest age group among rapists was the 15-19 year olds. Amir found most rapists were unmarried, however that could be due to their young age. He also found that the older the rapist the younger the victim.

According to him, most rapists were at the lower end of the economic scale and about half had previous arrest records. However, few of their prior arrests were for sex offenses. Amir also found that more than half the rapes took place on the weekends with Saturday being the peak day. Again almost half were committed between 8:00 P.M. and 2:00 A.M.

Further, approximately 71% of the rapes were planned. The choice of victim was often left to chance and circumstance, but the rapist set out to rape someone. Planning is even more prevalent in pair or gang rapes.

It was also discovered that most victims tended to be under 30 years old; and most rapists did some planning before the rape occurred. Amir however found 43% of the rapes involved more than one offender.

Offenders interviewed by members of the Institute at a maximum security state mental hospital believed that the prevention or avoidance of rape was the responsibility of the women. Their advice, perhaps sexist, nonetheless advised women not to go out alone, not to hitchhike, not to drink alone and to learn self defense.

Amir theorized rapists fell into 2 categories which he labeled “criminal” and “psychiatric”.

The criminal rapist he viewed as a poorly educated man from the lower socioeconomic level who had a criminal record of offenses such as exhibitionism, fetishism, etc. He saw him as generally antisocial and easily influenced by his peers.

The psychiatric rapist was viewed as a well educated man from a higher economic bracket. He was believed to rape because of some personal problems or inadequacy and he may feel remorse after the assault. However, these are not generally accepted theories but are considered a stepping stone to more in-depth research.

A more widely accepted theory is that most rapists seem to come from a subculture of violence whose values may be different from those of the dominant culture. Therefore these adolescents and young men may be demonstrating their toughness and masculinity in a more violent and antisocial manner.

 

HOW TO AVOID RAPE

Men get raped too, but the larger statistics of rape have women as the major victims. Hence, these set of advice will tend towards women and how they can avoid rape.

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Women, both young and old, generally believe that they could fight off a rapist. Unfortunately, few women give much thought to how they would do this other than believing they could stop him by kicking him in the genitals.

Indeed, this may be guide unrealistic since males are taught at a young age to protect their genitals and doing so becomes almost instinctual. Women tend to be shorter and physically less strong than males. Forcefully striking a man in the groin with a knee or foot is not always possible. What then is a woman to do?

The first step in preventing any crime is to avoid placing oneself in a vulnerable position. Women should avoid walking alone at night, keep car doors locked, check the back seat of the car when getting in, and if giving directions to someone, maintain a distance between oneself and the stranger’s car. Hitchhiking and admitting strangers to one’s home should be avoided always. If a repairman is expected, it is a good idea to have more than one person at home.

Each rapist operates in an individual way, and women need to be aware of a variety of techniques to help themselves in a rape situation. There is no one answer to assure safety. Suppose a woman, in spite of taking care not to place herself in a vulnerable position, finds herself face to face with a man threatening rape. What alternatives does she have?

One possibility is to talk her way out of the situation. Some women have turned a rapist off by saying they were menstruating, pregnant, or had a venereal disease. Others have surprised their attackers with some repulsive physical act such as vomiting, urinating, defecating, belching or fainting.

Behaving in a friendly, solicitous manner and gaining a potential rapist’s confidence has been used successfully by some women. Complimenting him and appearing to go along with his advances will sometimes cause the rapist to relax and perhaps give the woman an opportunity to escape. However, for some rapists, such behavior may be encouraging.

Verbal self defense may be effective with many potential rapists. To succeed in talking one’s way out of a sexual assault, a woman must have confidence in herself and her ability to gain control of a situation. Often though, a woman does not have the opportunity to use her verbal skills or she finds that words have not worked in dissuading the rapist.

Physical self defense is an option with which some women may never feel comfortable. Electing to submit to a rapist, rather than risk injury or even death is a legitimate choice. Females have been taught from birth not to fight or even rough house, and therefore, find physical resistance impossible.

If a woman chooses to defend herself by force, she must be certain that she can hurt a man badly enough to stop him—merely inflicting pain is not sufficient. The nose, eyes, and throat are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to pain, whereas striking a man on the arm or head is virtually useless.

Self defense classes teach people to use the weapons that are at their disposal always—their hands and feet, and of course, their voices. Women who carry cans of mace or sharp objects do not always have them available when they are needed.

Self defense and martial arts classes increase one’s self confidence as well as one’s ability to defend oneself, and women should consider enrolling in such a course.

Children and adults of all ages need to be taught to feel positive about themselves. A positive self image will go a long way in helping a person defend herself against a sexual assault.

 

This article was done with major help from http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu

Enjoyed reading? Please help this blog grow by leaving a comment and sharing with friends. Thank you.

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About Admin

Olumide 'Glowville' Lawrence is a Digital & Social Media Strategist, Content/Concept Developer and Blogger with special interest in the fun side of relationships. His blog - glowville.net - is his creative expression of how he views dating and relationships. Follow him on BBM: D610A114 | 08038273738 | lummyglow@gmail.com | Twitter & Instagram: @oluglowville | Facebook: Olumide Glowville

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