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Anaamika
05-31-2011, 12:59 PM
I have read, mostly in fiction but occasionally non-fiction, about how brutal gang rapes can eradicate or severely reduce the possibility of having few children. I admit I don't understand why.

I understand major damage can happen, tears and rips in the vaginal lining; lots of bleeding, and I can see how that might affect actually birthing the child but how does that affect carrying it in the first place? Does the uterus get damaged somehow?

Or is it just an artifact of fiction in the first place?

A morbid question that I am sorry to be even asking but I've heard it often and have always been a little curious. And it's hard to get information on it. The kind of stuff you get by googling generally relates to recovery, etc., from gang rapes. :(

GilaB
05-31-2011, 01:05 PM
While it doesn't give technical details, and isn't about a gang rape per se, this article (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/child-brides/gorney-text/2) about child marriage that I happened to read this morning ends on this heartbreaking note: Two days after I received the video, a dispatch arrived from Yemen. Newspapers were reporting that a bride from a village had been dropped off at a Sanaa hospital four days after her wedding. Sexual intercourse appeared to have ruptured the girl's internal organs, hospital officials said. She had bled to death. She was 13 years old. To me, that sounds like being raped to death, and rupture of internal organs ought to be enough to make a rape survivor infertile.

Little Nemo
05-31-2011, 01:13 PM
I'm not a doctor but from what I've heard, violent rape causes trauma and that causes internal scarification of the reproductive organs. These scars are what supposedly cause the infertility.

I don't know if this is actually possible but it sounds plausible.

shiftless
05-31-2011, 01:30 PM
If you are imagining gang-rape as similar to having normal sex (against ones will) over and over then yes, it is hard to see how such internal damage would result. But there is probably much more going on in these cases, things that I don't even want to think about. I would expect is more like being beaten by multiple people with special emphasis on the genitals.

Nava
05-31-2011, 02:10 PM
I'm not a doctor but from what I've heard, violent rape causes trauma and that causes internal scarification of the reproductive organs. These scars are what supposedly cause the infertility.

I don't know if this is actually possible but it sounds plausible.

Some of the stories I've heard where violent (not necessarily collective) rape was considered to have caused a woman's infertility took place when she was very young: 10, 12. Hopefully one of our medical professionals will bring better data, but it seems as if causing severe damage to someone who's still got a kid's body will be easier than doing it to a fully-grown, average-sized woman.

That scarification (which sometimes manages to go away, most scars do fade with time) can also be caused by doctors being total brutes during a delivery.

WhyNot
05-31-2011, 02:33 PM
I can think of two possible mechanisms of action: scarring on the cervix and infection.

Scarring of the cervix from healing after trauma can cause an incompetent cervix - one that won't stay closed during pregnancy, resulting in miscarriage. Or scar tissue can form over the os, the opening of the cervix, making it unlikely for sperm to get through in numbers large enough to realistically have a shot at impregnation.

Infection's a likely culprit, too, though. Two scenarios here: a sexually transmitted infection (which is going to be more likely the more sexual partners you have, one at a time or in a group) leading to PID which can lead to infertility, or infection in those scrapes and cuts in the vagina or cervix spreading up into the uterus or fallopian tubes and causing scarring. Scarring in the fallopian tubes tends to block them, making fertilization unlikely. Scarring in the uterus leads to problems with implantation - the fertilized ova can't implant on scar tissue, so it may bounce around like a pachinko ball before just being flushed out with a period, or it may find an unscarred but shitty place to implant, like down near the cervix, leading to placenta previa - also a high risk, high likelihood of miscarriage event.

md2000
05-31-2011, 02:37 PM
IIRC scarring as a result of strong infection, espicially if it spreads to the lining of the uterus or into the fallopian tubes, is a common cause of reduced fertility; this is why various venereal diseases can cause reduced fertility. I suppose the thickened scar tissue will impede the progress of the egg or make it harder to implant.

Presumably an excess of vigorous assault by a group that includes some guys with limited concern for personal hygene raises the risk of infection; plus the risk of diseases. Also, as mentioned above, some guys may express their rage to do additional damage.

Anaamika
05-31-2011, 02:38 PM
All of that makes sense. Thank you all.

dracoi
05-31-2011, 02:50 PM
It might help to focus on gang rape in specific contexts, rather than lumping them all together like a single entity. Any gang rape is going to have a higher chance of physical damage and STDs, but they're definitely not all the same.

Many of the gang rapes perpetrated in places like Africa and Bosnia were part of an overall ethnic cleansing effort. The goal was not sexual satisfaction - the rapes were part of a effort to completely destroy another group of people. The attacks went far beyond sexual intercourse, including mutilation like cutting off the victims' breasts. Infertility would not be an accident in those cases.

WhyNot
05-31-2011, 02:56 PM
It might help to focus on gang rape in specific contexts, rather than lumping them all together like a single entity. Any gang rape is going to have a higher chance of physical damage and STDs, but they're definitely not all the same.

Many of the gang rapes perpetrated in places like Africa and Bosnia were part of an overall ethnic cleansing effort. The goal was not sexual satisfaction - the rapes were part of a effort to completely destroy another group of people. The attacks went far beyond sexual intercourse, including mutilation like cutting off the victims' breasts. Infertility would not be an accident in those cases.

I understand that these are politically motivated gang rapes, as opposed to whatever motivates other gang rapes, but I'm not sure the mechanism of injury is very different, unless they're pouring caustic liquids into the uterus or something. Which, I don't know, maybe they are. But still, we're talking scarring and infection, just by a different tool. Unless removing breasts harms fertility in some way I'm unaware of.

Anaamika
05-31-2011, 03:12 PM
I understand that these are politically motivated gang rapes, as opposed to whatever motivates other gang rapes, but I'm not sure the mechanism of injury is very different, unless they're pouring caustic liquids into the uterus or something. Which, I don't know, maybe they are. But still, we're talking scarring and infection, just by a different tool. Unless removing breasts harms fertility in some way I'm unaware of.

No,I understand what he is saying - they are even less women to their eyes, less than human. Say for example in a gang rape the woman decides to cooperate - there is always a chance the rapists might not be as rough with her since she is not fighting back. In this case, there would be violence no matter what.

Ann Hedonia
05-31-2011, 04:58 PM
My younger sister ran away for 6 weeks with some older men when she was 12. When we finally got her back, she had a massively severe case of pelvic inflammatory disease which caused her to lose her fertility. I was under the impression it was a uterine scarring issue caused by the infection.

maggenpye
05-31-2011, 05:55 PM
No,I understand what he is saying - they are even less women to their eyes, less than human. Say for example in a gang rape the woman decides to cooperate - there is always a chance the rapists might not be as rough with her since she is not fighting back. In this case, there would be violence no matter what.

Not according to the niece of a friend, who was drugged, tied and usually beaten unconcious for the four days they had her - she never had the chance to fight back, but they seemed to enjoy the begging. Scaring, infection, psychological damage.

Broomstick
05-31-2011, 06:52 PM
I understand that these are politically motivated gang rapes, as opposed to whatever motivates other gang rapes, but I'm not sure the mechanism of injury is very different, unless they're pouring caustic liquids into the uterus or something.
This is not unheard during sexual assaults.

But still, we're talking scarring and infection, just by a different tool. Unless removing breasts harms fertility in some way I'm unaware of.
Makes a woman less likely to obtain a husband, perhaps? More likely to be rejected by a husband afterwards?

phouka
06-01-2011, 02:27 AM
Makes it impossible for a woman to breastfeed, which, in a second or third world country most assuredly sentences any child to death.

And it doesn't take pouring a caustic chemical into the vagina to cause infertility. The kind of violent gang rapes discussed here would include beatings bad enough to rupture internal organs, foreign objects like knives inserted (stabbed) into the vagina or anus, and intercourse so brutal it rips tendons, ligaments, and other tissues holding the organs in place. I would not be surprised if those involved didn't do other things to humiliate or degrade their victims - rubbing excrement into the wounds, leaving the victims in environments that are extremely septic.

To top it off, any area experiencing those kind of gang rapes and ethnic cleansing, is probably going through a collapse of infrastructure. Medical care and sufficient nutrition to heal are probably going to be very hard to come by. Wounds fester, don't heal properly, adhesions form, pelvic inflammatory disease sets in. The victims are often lucky just to survive. I would imagine many are crippled, physically or emotionally, and most are infertile due to multiple factors caused by the trauma, lack of medical care, and poor nutrition.

kanicbird
06-01-2011, 08:01 AM
Not according to the niece of a friend, who was drugged, tied and usually beaten unconcious for the four days they had her - she never had the chance to fight back, but they seemed to enjoy the begging. Scaring, infection, psychological damage.

Bold mine.

I think that psychological damage has to be considered even if it seems at first like it shouldn't matter in this biological process. But even the female orgasm can help fertility and that ability can be effected by past sexual trauma. Many infertile couples trying to get pregnant sometimes follow strict guidelines of the most fertile time to have sex without success, once they stop, or perhaps give up trying to have a child they finally get one.

Rachellelogram
06-01-2011, 10:17 AM
The average length of an unaroused vaginal canal is only 3-4 inches from opening to cervix. Most guys are longer than 4 inches. So physical damage is very likely to occur to the cervix if it's rough (which rapes tend to be).

Part of the physiological response to rape is to lubricate the vagina to minimize damage, I believe, but it might not happen soon enough all the time. Or it might not happen at all in much older or much younger victims.

code_grey
06-01-2011, 12:28 PM
Makes it impossible for a woman to breastfeed, which, in a second or third world country most assuredly sentences any child to death.


in 2nd and 3rd world countries they sell the mixtures for infants like in all other countries. They also sell actual human milk for consumption by infants not belonging to the lady producing it, in case you were wondering. I personally have not heard of sale of breastfeeding services per se, but of course that's not hard to do also - just ask the wet nurse of Ms. Juliet Montague.

So no, on the off chance that any women in Bosnia got breasts amputated, it does not sentence their future children to death. And frankly, this sort of savagery sounds more like something out of Democratic Republic of the Congo backcountry bush than out of any even borderline civilized locale. The typical atrocity narrative that I have read from Bosnia sounds more along the lines of "beaten up, burned with cigarettes" i.e. pretty much what you would expect to happen to unpopular people in your standard issue American prison without any war crimes tribunals looking into the matter.

WhyNot
06-01-2011, 12:36 PM
Infant mortality and infertility are not the same thing.

irishgirl
06-01-2011, 01:20 PM
This article (http://www.newsweek.com/2006/11/12/more-vicious-than-rape.html#) about the Congo, rape and fistula might give some idea.

Warning- very, very upsetting article.

Manda JO
06-01-2011, 02:06 PM
It's also possible that this occurs in narrative more often than in real life because it makes a sort of emotional sense, or did at one time: a woman who has been severely sexually violated is tainted, and because it's a genital-taint, it "makes sense" that it would impair fertility. It's the final insult to injury if you have a melodramatic tale of victimhood, and the last vicious slash of karma if the rape was some sort of narrative about justice. (That sounds terrible, but when someone's mother is talking about what happened to a FOAF who did whatever bad thing, that's what it is).

I'm not saying sexual trauma can't cause infertility--that's been answered by much better informed people than I--but just a reason why this particular consequence might be so oft repeated.

maggenpye
06-01-2011, 06:36 PM
Bold mine.

I think that psychological damage has to be considered even if it seems at first like it shouldn't matter in this biological process. But even the female orgasm can help fertility and that ability can be effected by past sexual trauma. Many infertile couples trying to get pregnant sometimes follow strict guidelines of the most fertile time to have sex without success, once they stop, or perhaps give up trying to have a child they finally get one.

And many don't - they remain infertile even though the are loving and fully orgasmic partners. And some achieve fertility through medical intervention without an orgasm in sight.

In the particular case you're quoting, she wasn't able to identify all of the 20+ men (or even acurately count them, that figure is from the evidence gathered by the police), so she feels unsafe forming a relationship with anyone in case they were one of her attackers. Moving cities didn't help as the gang has a presence throughout the country.

The men who attacked her were from her own social group and family. Her cousin drugged and gave her to the gang as price of his admission. He or other family members may give the gang her location at any time, just because they now consider her 'theirs'.

It's not a psychological infertility, it's a physical one from the mutiple fistulas, organ damage, infections etc. The psychological trauma is just another thing she gets to live with because her cousin wanted to be a tough guy.

This wasn't some political weapon in a far off land or an interesting study to gather opinions. It was four days of torture committed within a kilometre of my home and I'm sorry I posted about it.