Men who rape

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

It seems more and more common that I find out about someone close to me who has been raped, or occasionally a former associate who has committed rape.

What approximate percentage of adult males do you believe has raped another person?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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10%?

I don't know.
 
  • #3
GCT
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Anytime that you have alcohol and the situation gets to the point where the "foreplay" has started, then there's the possibility of it occuring. It depends on the person in question, if the testosterone levels are high, then you can guess that the man is going to ignore the woman who should have said "no" before things started to get going. The thing is that this type of a setting is prevalent at parties.

As a fetish, where a man completely isolates himself to a relatively more twisted endeavor, probably very very very few. Such is the substance
of delusions, and delusions are always unhealthy because they have no real basis.
 
  • #4
JasonRox
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I'd say like 1% or less.
 
  • #5
Danger
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I'm not even going to hazard a guess. For one thing, the term 'rape' is so ambiguous that most of us here won't totally agree upon the definition. As a 'for instance'... let's say that you get her to the point of having consentual sex, and half-way through she tells you to leave. Is it rape if you keep going?
(And before some smart-ass pipes up about it, this is not from personal experience. I've never received a standing ovulation, but nobody has kicked me off either. :tongue: )
 
  • #6
arildno
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It seems more and more common that I find out about someone close to me who has been raped, or occasionally a former associate who has committed rape.

What approximate percentage of adult males do you believe has raped another person?
Depends on cultural factors.
There will, for example, be a lot more intra-marriage rape (sanctioned by society) in cultures where the male is regarded as the head of the family, who has the "right" to have sexual intercoourse with his wife, than in modern, Western societies.
 
  • #7
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Danger said:
I'm not even going to hazard a guess. For one thing, the term 'rape' is so ambiguous that most of us here won't totally agree upon the definition.
I'm not trying to criticize you personally, but this is part of the problem - men not understanding what constitutes rape and why. However, I think (and know of a few guys) that if you asked a guy if it were a female relative/friend/loved one of his in a situation that seemed "ambiguous" at first, then it would suddenly seem a lot clearer.

http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/myths.html
71% of rapes are planned in advance. 60% of convicted rapists were married or had regular sexual partners at the time of the assault. Men can control their sexual impulses. The vast majority of rapists are motivated by power, anger, and control, not sexual gratification.
As a 'for instance'... let's say that you get her to the point of having consentual sex, and half-way through she tells you to leave. Is it rape if you keep going?
Not sure if you are joking, but yeah, of course it is. Stats on rape and rapists. Seems studies don't always agree.

http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1772e.htm" [Broken]
In the United States, national statistics indicate that a women is raped every six minutes.
http://pdfdl.oceighty.net/pdf2html.php?url=http://www.icasa.org/uploads/adult_victimss.pdf"
According to a study conducted by the National Victim Center, 1.3 women age 18 and over in the U.S are forcibly raped each minute; 78 per hour; 1,871 per day, or 683,000 per year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_on_college_campuses" [Broken]
One study has concluded that as many as one in four college aged females have either been a victim of attempted rape, or rape.
http://www.economist.com/World/africa/displayStory.cfm?story_id=5220396"
Other WHO figures suggest that, around the world, one woman in five is likely to be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen/scandal-index-eng" [Broken]
At least one out of every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in her lifetime. This figure comes from a study based on 50 surveys from around the world.
http://pdfdl.oceighty.net/pdf2html.php?url=http://www.icasa.org/uploads/adult_victimss.pdf"
Almost 18%, or 17.7 million women, in the United States have been victims of rape or attempted rape sometime in their lives.

Of the 12.1 million who have been raped, 39%, or 4.7 million women, were raped more than once.

The United States has the highest rate of rape of any country that publishes such statistics; 13 times higher than Great Britain and 20 times higher than Japan.

One in four female college students reported they had been the victims of attempted or completed rapes; 80% were victimized by boyfriends, friends or acquaintances.

A Portland, Ore., study in 1990 found that only 1.6% of rape complaints were determined to be false, compared to 2.6% of stolen vehicle reports.
http://pdfdl.oceighty.net/pdf2html.php?url=http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/rsarp00.pdf"
Most rapes and sexual assaults against females were not reported to the police. Thirty-six percent of rapes, 34% of attempted rapes, and 26% of sexual assaults were reported to police, 1992-2000
http://vip.msu.edu/theCAT/CAT_Author/MPK/colorado.html" [Broken]
The National College Risk Health Risk Behavior Survey-A nationally representative survey of 4,838 college students funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded reported a rape prevalence of 20% for college women...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1795319,00.html" [Broken]
According to the British Crime Survey, only one in six rapes is reported to the police.
Stats from - http://www.rainn.org/statistics/punishing-rapists.html" [Broken]

According to a 1987 study by Mary Koss on the prevalence of rape, 4.5% of men admitted to raping someone.

http://www.scs.unr.edu/~sapac/myths.htm" [Broken]
One out of 13 men report having committed sexual assault at some point in their lives. In addition, approximately 35% of men report that they would sexually assault a woman if they knew they would not get caught for committing the crime.
http://pdftohtml.markoer.org/pdf2html.php?url=http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/soo.pdf" [Broken]
Rape and sexual assault offenders account for just under 5% of the total correctional population in the United States:
Among 906,000 offenders confined in State prisons in 1994, 88,000, or
9.7%, were violent sex offenders.

In the latter half of the 1980's, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), together with the Committee on Law and Justice of the American Statistical Association, sought to improve the survey components to enhance the measurement of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence. The new NCVS questions broadened the scope of covered sexual incidents beyond the categories of rape and attempted rape to include sexual assaults and other unwanted sexual contacts. The new questions and revised procedures were phased in from January 1992 through June 1993 in half the sampled households. Since July 1993, the redesigned methods have been used for the entire national sample. Based upon the half-sample, BJS was able to determine that the new questionnaire would produce estimated rates of rape and sexual assault that were about 4 times higher than previously measured.
http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,9294,2-7-1442_2019752,00.html" [Broken]
Johannesburg - Shocking findings of a report by the SA Medical Research Council (MRC) show that a staggering 20% of men aged 15-26 admit having raped at least once.

The average age of the country's young rapists - 17-years-old.

But the full truth is even more appalling than that... experts say the "actual" figure is even higher. The MRC study reveals statistics only on men who admit to the crime.

The findings did not come as any surprise to women's organisations who work at the front of South Africa's ever-escalating rape nightmare
Review of Men on Rape
This book is a selection of men's reactions and attitudes to rape. Some of it is interesting, but the majority of the book is rather disturbing. A large variety of males seem to think that rape is not really something that one should get too worked up about!
So, most rapes go unreported and most rapists are repeat offenders. Not sure how many men that adds up to in reality.
 
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  • #8
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I'm not trying to criticize you personally, but this is part of the problem - men not understanding what constitutes rape and why. However, I think (and know of a few guys) that if you asked a guy if it were a female relative/friend/loved one of his in a situation that seemed "ambiguous" at first, then it would suddenly seem a lot clearer.
Its not that men dont understand what constitutes rape, its that its not clearly defined from culture to culture... In some states in the US you can get arrested for Statutory Rape, even when both youths consented, typically only the men will be arrested for this...

Anyway, no offence intended to Loren Booda , but the OP question is totally vage, and impossible to give an accurate answer to...
 
  • #9
Danger
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Swerve, so offense taken. I agree with you, with the caveat that Anttech pointed out.
 
  • #10
BobG
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Danger said:
For one thing, the term 'rape' is so ambiguous that most of us here won't totally agree upon the definition. As a 'for instance'... let's say that you get her to the point of having consentual sex, and half-way through she tells you to leave. Is it rape if you keep going?
I'm not trying to criticize you personally, but this is part of the problem - men not understanding what constitutes rape and why. However, I think (and know of a few guys) that if you asked a guy if it were a female relative/friend/loved one of his in a situation that seemed "ambiguous" at first, then it would suddenly seem a lot clearer.
Perhaps a little like this? Good Country People

She smiled, looking dreamily out on the shifty landscape. She had seduced him without even making up her mind to try. “How?” she asked, feeling that he should be delayed a little.

He leaned over and put his lips to her ear. “Show me where your wooden leg joins on,” he whispered.
Strange story with some perhaps overly transparent names. The differences seem pretty clear to me, but I wouldn't want to kill the story with too many comments on it.
 
  • #11
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Often rape within a family is overlooked, male-male gang rape in prison laughed at, male-female sexual assualt on psych wards written off, and female-male statutory rape applauded.

0TheSwerve0,

Thank you for your voluminous and all too true account of how some men express their shame upon the already disenfranchised gender.

How does a man's upbringing affect his potential to rape?
 
  • #12
The rate of forcible (as opposed to statutory) rape is about 0.03% of the population in 2005 for the US. Considering it is almost all men against women, and half the population is women, the commission rate would be twice that, 0.06%.

Here's the data: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_01.html" [Broken]

There's a continuum from "consent the night before, but morning after regrets" to dragging someone into an alley with a knife at her throat. If it wasn't bad enough to report, then it probably tended more towards the former and less towards the latter.

And the statistics are distorted by morning after regrets. There was one infamous report that 25% of college women could expect to be raped before graduation. But that same report contained the curious fact well over half of those who had been raped didn't even realize they had been raped. About half the repondents who said they hadn't reported it (presumably half of those who realized they'd been raped) indicated they did not report it because they didn't want to risk loosing their friendship with the perpetrator. Say what? We obviously aren't talking about knives, here.

If you restrict the discussion to rapes serious enough to be reported, you find the number suddenly gets very, very small.
 
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  • #13
arildno
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Sure, and women who feel "it's their duty" to give in to the male's insistence aren't really raped, are they?

Or perhaps, that's what we ought to call it.
 
  • #14
GCT
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Also note that the victim isn't always "innocent" women like to play games and sometimes they go way too far. At my college, there were several instances when the news of a college freshman getting doped and then victimized were on the front page, females shouldn't get themselves into situations like that. This discussion brings the point that sex is a really delicate matter and is hardly "perfectly" consensual.
 
  • #15
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Sure, and women who feel "it's their duty" to give in to the male's insistence aren't really raped, are they?

Or perhaps, that's what we ought to call it.
Some woman (believe it or not) actually enjoy the fact that they satisfy their man... If a woman feels it is their duty to marry a man given to them by their parents, and thus consents to sexual relations with that man, and visa versa, are both these men and woman raping each other?
 
  • #16
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Also note that the victim isn't always "innocent" women like to play games and sometimes they go way too far.

Anttech said:
Some woman (believe it or not) actually enjoy the fact that they satisfy their man... If a woman feels it is their duty to marry a man given to them by their parents, and thus consents to sexual relations with that man, and visa versa, are both these men and woman raping each other?
Another part of the problem - blaming the victim, making excuses. As for women that like to play games, did you ever consider that it's very likely they do those things because they were sexually abused, probably as children? Geez, does nobody else listen to loveline...
 
  • #17
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Attitudes like those lead to this:
http://www.rwu.edu/Campus+Life/Student+Services/Counseling+Center/Rape+Myths+and+Facts.htm" [Broken]
*1 in 12 male students surveyed had committed acts that met the legal definition of rape.
* 33% of males surveyed said that they would commit rape if they could escape detection.**
* 25% of men surveyed believed that rape was acceptable if: the woman asks the man out; or the man pays for the date; or the woman goes back to the man's room after the date. ***

* Koss, M.P. (1988). Hidden Rape: Incidence, Prevalence and descriptive Characteristics of Sexual Aggression and Victimization in a National Sample of College Students. In Burgers, A.W. (ed.) Sexual Assault. Vol II. New York: Garland Publishing Co.

** Malamuth, N.M. (1986). Predictors of Natural Sexual Aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 953-962.

*** Muehlenhard, C.L., Friedman, D.E. & Thomas, C.M. (1985). Is Date Rape Justifiable? Psychology of Women Quarterly, 9, 297-310
 
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  • #18
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http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2294/is_2001_August/ai_82782443/pg_1
Somewhere in America, a woman is raped approximately every 2 min. However, less than one third of these rapes and sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement officials (U.S. Department of Justice, 1997). In addition, many women who are raped do not identify themselves as rape victims (Kahn, Mathie, & Torgler, 1994; Koss, 1985). One reason that women do not report rape and do not acknowledge being raped might be based in societal stereotypes surrounding sexual violence. Stereotypes about rape victims include the notions that she "asked" to be raped, secretly enjoyed the experience, or lied about it. Rape victims who feel that these stereotypes will be applied to them may be unwilling to report the rape.

Given the importance of these stereotypes in terms of the victim's experience, a number of studies have examined their impact. Specifically, researchers have been interested in factors that influence victim blaming (see Pollard, 1992, for a review). For instance, a victim of rape is blamed more for her victimization when she has had previous sexual experiences (L'Armand & Pepitone, 1982), which seems related to the stereotype that certain types of women "ask for it" by being promiscuous. Rape victims are blamed more when they resist the attack later in the rape encounter rather than earlier (Kopper, 1996), which seems to suggest the stereotype that these women are engaging in token resistance (Malamuth & Brown, 1994; Muehlenhard & Rogers, 1998) or leading the man on because they have gone along with the sexual experience thus far. Finally, rape victims are blamed more when they are raped by an acquaintance or a date rather than by a stranger (e.g., Bell, Kuriloff, & Lottes, 1994; Bridges, 1991; Bridges & McGr ail, 1989; Check & Malamuth, 1983; Kanekar, Shaherwalla, Franco, Kunju, & Pinto, 1991; L'Armand & Pepitone, 1982; Tetreault & Barnett, 1987), which seems to evoke the stereotype that victims really want to have sex because they know their attacker and perhaps even went out on a date with him. The underlying message of this research seems to be that when certain stereotypical elements of rape are in place, rape victims are prone to being blamed.

Stereotypical Beliefs: Rape Myths

Stereotypes about rape victims are often subsumed under what are called rape myths. Burt (1980) defines rape myths as "prejudicial, stereotyped, or false beliefs about rape, rape victims, and rapists" (p.217). Lonsway and Fitzgerald (1994) define rape myths as "attitudes and beliefs that are generally false but are widely and persistently held, and that serve to deny and justify male sexual aggression against women" (p. 134). Koss et al. (1994) have argued that rape myths can be subsumed under three themes: victim masochism (e.g., they enjoy/want it), victim precipitation (e.g., they ask for/deserve it, it only happens to certain types of women), and victim fabrication (e.g., they tell lies/exaggerate). Belief in such myths may allow men to justify male sexual violence and women to deny personal vulnerability to rape (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1995).

Rape myth acceptance has generally been thought to be widespread, with various personality (e.g., adversarial sexual beliefs, acceptance of interpersonal violence) and demographic (e.g., gender, race, age) factors predicting the degree to which individuals will accept rape myths (Burt, 1980; Giacopassi & Dull, 1986; Gilmartin-Zena, 1988; Hinck & Thomas, 1999; Johnson, Kuck, & Schander, 1997). For example, one consistent finding in the literature is that males are more accepting of rape myths than are females. This result may reflect defensive attributions, or the idea that individuals tend to blame victims who are dissimilar to themselves (Shaver, 1970). Because most rape victims are women, men feel different from this particular group of victims and are thus more likely to endorse rape myths than are women (Giacopassi & Dull, 1986; Gilmartin-Zena, 1988).

Evidence from legal verdicts also suggests that rape myths may be widespread (Heise, Pitanguy, & Germain, 1993). For example, most countries outside North America do not legally recognize the possibility of rape occurring within marriage (Koss, Heise, & Russo, 1994). Even within the United States, eight states do not have marital rape laws (Russell, 1998). In the United States, the conviction rate for rape is well below that of other violent crimes (Frazier & Haney, 1996; Williams, 1981). Most rape cases never go to court; they are often dismissed by police (Campbell & Johnson, 1997) or dropped by prosecutors (Frohmann, 1991). It has been suggested (e.g., LaFree, 1989; Sinclair & Bourne, 1998) that rape myth acceptance may play a role in these laws and verdicts that do not validate the victim's experience.

It is clear that rape myths are present in many individuals (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1994). It is probable that rape myth acceptance is even higher than has been assessed to date, because of the negative attitudes being below individuals' level of awareness (Bargh, 1996; Greenwald & Banaji, 1995) or to self-censorship of politically incorrect views (Jones & Sigall, 1971). It is also probable that even though individuals may not express high levels of rape myth acceptance, their actual behavior towards rape victims might suggest otherwise (Wicker, 1969).

On the other hand, perceivers' understanding of the trauma of rape might not necessarily be beneficial for rape victims if that information is used to describe how rape victims should behave. Burgess and Borgida (1999) make a distinction between descriptive and prescriptive gender stereotypes. The descriptive component refers to the characteristics that women do possess (e.g., "Women are nurturing"), whereas the prescriptive component refers to the characteristics that women should possess (e.g., "Women should be nurturing"). Burgess and Borgida argue that although these components are related, they lead to different consequences. Prescriptive stereotypes are considered more hostile and more likely to be related to sexual harassment...

Other research has examined respondent and victim characteristics that could influence the extent to which victims are perceived to be harmed by rape (King, Rotter, Calhoun, & Selby, 1978; Luginbuhl & Mullin, 1981; Tieger, 1981). For example, one study found that 24% of police officers, 11% of lawyers, 6% of doctors, and 3% of rape counselors agreed that "sexually experienced women are not really damaged by rape" (Ward, 1995). In addition, rape is considered less psychologically harmful to the victim when carried out by a steady date rather than a first date or a stranger (Bridges, 1991)...

It might seem puzzling at first glance that people could simultaneously believe in rape myths and believe that rape is so harmful. One possibility, discussed earlier, is that these emotional/behavioral reactions listed by participants are in fact rape myths of a different sort. If women are supposed to be negatively affected by rape (Burgess & Borgida, 1999), and if they are less credible when they appear calm (Krulewitz, 1982), then these beliefs may comprise another, relatively unexplored type of rape myth that has detrimental consequences for victims. For example, a jury may be less likely to convict in rape cases if the victim is not crying during her testimony. A woman may not even believe she was raped if she feels her reaction does not measure up to societal standards...

Alternately, categorization processes may contribute to some individuals' propensity to endorse both myths and emotional/behavioral reactions of the victim. Glick and Fiske (1996) considered this possibility with regard to sexism. They differentiated sexism into two components: hostile (e.g., women are asking for special favors, women exaggerate discrimination, etc.) and benevolent (e.g., women should be protected by men, women should be put on a pedestal, etc.). Individuals who score high in both hostile and benevolent sexism are considered ambivalent sexists. One reason why ambivalent sexism occurs might be because women are subtyped. Certain types of women (e.g., feminists) might represent the hostility component, and other types of women (e.g., homemakers) might represent the benevolent component (Glick, Diebold, Bailey-Werner, & Zhu, 1997). Therefore, when completing the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, individuals may score high on both components because different subtypes of women come to mind.

...There is some evidence that women are expected to be visibly upset after a rape (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1974; Gilmartin-Zena, 1988; Holmstrom & Burgess, 1983) and to take a long time to recover (Schneider, Ee, & Aronson, 1994). In one study, a rape victim was rated as more credible when she was described as clearly upset rather than controlled and calm the day after the rape (Calhoun, Cann, Selby, & Magee, 1981). Krulewitz (1982) presented students with vignettes describing a rape victim as having either a negative emotional response (anger or guilt) to the rape or as calm and unemotional. Participants identified more with a victim who exhibited an emotional response rather than a victim who remained calm and unemotional. An emotional victim was perceived as less responsible for the rape than a calm victim, and the rape was perceived as more serious when the victim was emotional rather than calm. This study seems to suggest that an emotional response to rape is perceived as normal and appropriate. As mentioned earlier, many victims are nonemotional after being raped (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1978) and may thus encounter insensitivity from observers who believe they should be exhibiting more emotion (e.g., "It must not have been that bad since you aren't crying").

...More research is also needed to assess perceptions of the cultural stereotypes surrounding rape victims. The present research suggests that cultural stereotypes are composed primarily of the traditional rape myths. However, females listed significantly more myths than did males, which suggests that females are more knowledgeable about cultural stereotypes surrounding rape than are males. It was suggested above that females may be more knowledgeable due to their experiences with potentially being victims of rape...

It is clear that rape myths are present in many individuals (e.g., Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1994). Rape myths may be held implicitly by other individuals (e.g., Bargh, 1996; Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). Even if many people do not express high levels of rape myth acceptance, their actual behavior toward rape victims may not be concordant with their attitudes (e.g., Sinclair & Bourne, 1998).
 
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  • #19
Astronuc
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men not understanding what constitutes rape and why.
Perhaps the main factor and biggest part of the problem. Men who impose or force themselves upon women, don't seem to get it, or maybe they do, but they don't respect women as a persons. :grumpy: :mad:
 
  • #20
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Yep. Men aren't just born this way, their culture teaches them. Another stark example of culture dictating behavior to a high degree is in Pacific Islander cultures where murder is extremely rare, maybe like 1 a year. Apparently, it has to do with a cultural practice of indebtedness to people whom you harm, borrow from, etc. If you kill someone, you and your descendants owe that person's family forever. It extends to competitive, basically, gift giving. If you give someone a gift, you've shown them up and they have to give you something even better to not be indebted to you. Anyhow, you can see that the culture heavily restricts violence or crime of any kind. It seems our culture ennables misogynistic and sexual violence behavior to some degree, just not openly.
 
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  • #21
Sure, and women who feel "it's their duty" to give in to the male's insistence aren't really raped, are they?
Do you mean something like this?

"OK, I'd rather not, but if you insist...."

That's not rape. She just consented.

Let's also straighten out the matter of what constitutes "coercion" while we are at it. The major reason cited in everything I've ever read for a woman having sex when she really didn't want to (as distinct from rape) was because she didn't want to loose the guy's friendship. "I won't be your friend anymore," is hardly coercion. Coercion involves the threat of something that would still be illegal if done on it's own.

If I pressure my brother into giving me money when he really doesn't want to by threatening to skip his wedding, that's not robbery. The same applies here.
 
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  • #22
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Another part of the problem - blaming the victim, making excuses. As for women that like to play games, did you ever consider that it's very likely they do those things because they were sexually abused, probably as children? Geez, does nobody else listen to loveline...
Sex is not a sin, its not a right, its the way we reproduce.. :rolleyes:

I am not blaming anyone, are you inferring I am?

So Millions of people in India are abused as children because they prescribe to a different set of universe laws and a different culture than *you*?
 
  • #23
selfAdjoint
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Anttech said:
Sex is not a sin, its not a right, its the way we reproduce..[
And evolution has made sex a tremendous pleasure, possibly to encourage us to reproduce, but it is very easy to reduce the probability of pregnancy (but not remove it) by simple interventions. So that "what sex is for" is as much about mutual pleasure sharing today as it is about reproduction, and I for one am not going to put down the pleasure, or the sharing, just because no baby results.
 
  • #24
Gokul43201
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So Millions of people in India are abused as children [snip]
Very possible!
 
  • #25
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Sex is not a sin, its not a right, its the way we reproduce.. :rolleyes:
lol, did I say otherwise?

Anttech said:
Some woman (believe it or not) actually enjoy the fact that they satisfy their man... If a woman feels it is their duty to marry a man given to them by their parents, and thus consents to sexual relations with that man, and visa versa, are both these men and woman raping each other?
Anttech said:
I am not blaming anyone, are you inferring I am?
Ah, I guess not. Sorry, what was the point of that scenario? Because you do know that in some places (8 U.S. states), it isn't rape to force a spouse to have sex with you. Btw, in a lot of arranged marriages, women (and probably men, too) don't have a choice. There's an organization in Britain that deals specifically with this problem, which happens often in India. At this point, you gotta ask whether or not it's justifiable to interfere with other cultures: is genitial mutilation ok? Widow burning? Honor killings?

Anttech said:
So Millions of people in India are abused as children because they prescribe to a different set of universe laws and a different culture than *you*?
Yeah. Culture dictates a large amount of behavior. Circumstances and individuals as well, but of course these are influenced immensely by culture...

Is this news to you? Is there something incorrect about this?

For example, the caste system dictates social standing. I consider cultural beliefs like this to be proximate causes; I'd say the ultimate cause of a lot of behavior is potential for power. When there is potential for a lot of power, it seems people create cultural circumstances in order to utilize that power their benefit. Hence why civilizations are so inequitable and smaller scale societies are more often egalitarian - there's just no point in trying to utilize the little power you could, plus there's enough resources to go around (and yeah, I'm implying there aren't enough resources for larger scale societies - very simplified explanation). So, it's not just the hallmark beliefs of a culture, but also their social scale that determine behavior; i.e. if India was a lot smaller, I bet there'd be less abuse and other social ills (gross, but still useful oversimplification).

Also important in cultural evolution is their unique history. For example, we might have as much abuse here if it had been India that colonized and fcked up Britain rather than the other way around. I mean, Western countries have pretty much plundered and economically enslaved most other countries that were doing fine until then.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_particularism" [Broken]
 
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