Preventing Rapists

How can our society better prevent children from growing up to be rapists? I think if we stop looking for excuses for rape everytime someone accuses another of rape and if we teach our children that immediately before initiating sex with someone for the first time, they need to get positive verbal consent that we would raise fewer rapists.

I doubt very much that teaching young children to get informed verbal consent before having sex would do anything to stop rapists. The average normal kid will grow up and want to have sex out of pleasure. Teaching him that the girl must say yes is of course good, but does nothing to prevent rape.

Rape is NOT about sex. Rape is about anger, and about power. No rapist is going to be deterred by a “no”.

As I said in another thread:

I think that pretty much everyone agrees that rape, and rapists, is bad. The problem is making people see that more falls under this heading than ‘stranger rape in a dark alley.’ I think that quite a few people that are guilty of rape don’t actually see themselves as rapists due to the caricature we’ve constructed around it.

I don’t think I have ever been in a group of 7 or more women and been the only one in that group to have been raped. The high number of rapes leads me to believe that there are a high number of rapists. I’d very much like to believe that even if we can’t change current rapists, that we can prevent children from growing up to be rapists.

Part of my hope stems from the numbers of rapists varying over time and place. If becoming a rapist was somehow set from the start and not preventable, I would expect to see the same percent across time and society. The numbers of at least some types of rapes vary from society to society. Look at the high number of infant rapes in South Africa. I will venture to say that the rate of infant rates is much higher there now that it is in North America now, or was in South Africa fifty years ago. This leads me to believe that whatever is causing people to become rapists there is a part of the current society and not inate to the culture or to humans. I think the same is true of other types of rapes.

Do you think there is no way to prevent someone from becoming a rapist in the first place?

The best way to approach your proposed solution is to look at how it works in other fields.

Does telling kids drugs are bad stop them from taking drugs? No.
Does telling kids sex is bad stop them from having sex? No.
Does telling kids not to steal prevent them from stealing? No.
Does telling kids not to smoke or drink prevent them…
And so on and so forth.

In my view, there are a few distinct kinds of rape.

There is the full on criminal assault - forced sex by two unacquainted individuals.

There is date rape, where the issue of whether it was rape or not can be fuzzy, as it is frequently she said-he said, and there are a number of cases where women accuse men of rape as a means of punishment.

There are sociopathic rapes. People with a mental illness. Or stalkers (though stalkers kinda fits into group 1). This is very rare.

It is tragic, but it is human nature. The first group is somewhat like armed robbery - you can’t stop it with conventional means (though taking the approach of self-defense that liquor stores and many women do is a productive means). The second group you will never eliminate, because people are just viscious towards each other, and there can be considerable ambiguity with casual sex, especially when drugs or alcohol are involved (which is frequently). The third group is rare and can’t be prevented without medical intervention.

I would also like to add on a fourth group, and I add it on last because it is the most vague. It is related to the first group in the same way that corporate crimes are related to armed robbery. Rape via position of power - sometimes it comes up where a woman does something she later regrets because a man was in a position of power over her - her boss, or some other powerful figure. She often goes along willingly, but later finds herself feeling raped. Though it isn’t always the case. Sometimes such romances are just sex with no ill effects (cite: Monica Lewinsky). Other women can become very damaged psychologically. Another example related to this could be a peer-pressure rape, such as a high school girl having sex out of some kind of obligation she, or her friends, or someone puts on herself.

Deciding what is rape and what isn’t rape is still a challenge; preventing it, I think, is almost impossible. Though you can certainly lessen it. My conclusion is that women should be trained to defend themselves, avoid situations where they are alone, and to report sexual advances to the appropriate authorities (here there is a strong emphasis on educating them that they CAN do this. Many feel shamed by it and never report it. But if that high school girl or secretary reports the pressure to have sex to the school officials, police, or HR departments, things can be done to prevent it (isolating and dividing the individuals, most frequently, though this leaves predators on the prowel).

This thread is not about changing what the people who get raped do before getting raped. This thread is about what can be done to prevent people from becoming rapists. If you want to discuss what the people who get raped do before getting raped, take it to another thread.

lee, from what I recall, the rise of infant rapes in Africa is due to an urban legend that sex with a virgin will cure AIDS.

Right, and my post was about how it is impossible to prevent rape. I merely tacked on the most realistic alternative.

If you have any ideas on how to prevent rape short of castration of all men at birth or… um, your post amounts to psychological denial, the floor is yours.

Right, and my post was about how it is impossible to prevent rape. I merely tacked on the most realistic alternative.

If you have any ideas on how to prevent rape short of castration of all men at birth or… um, your post amounts to psychological denial*, the floor is yours.

  • I believe the correct term would be disassociation

Sorry if this doubles

I have heard that as well, although it does not fully explain what is happening. How could this legend explain a gang rape of a child? Virginity would be gone after the first rape, would it not? There are programs attempting to dispell this legend and address the problem. People there are hoping that education will prevent some from becoming rapists.

I think that removing the stigma associated with male virginity would have some effect on reducing date rapes. And trying to remove the feeling that the more people a man has had sex with the better that man is. I susspect some of which are due to the male thinking “well she’s very drunk and getting very touchy feely, this is my chance to break my virginity/up my ‘score’. She seems to want sex, and there is an empty room upstairs …”

I am pretty sure every male who has been a virgin in their twenties fellt they were some how some sort of failure. I susspect that allone would make some of them take any opportunity that came allong, no matter how drunk that opportunity might be.

Are you accusing me of having multple personalities? That is what disassociative disorder seems to be about. Denial is separate from that.

When I was three, I stole a salted peanut from a bin. My mother figured it out and scared the bejezuz out of me with her lecture. She also systematically taught me that stealing was wrong and that I should not steal. She taught me to look at my own actions and evauate what I was doing. She was successful. I don’t steal. I don’t even commit larcenies that some others of my association feel are acceptable at least partially because I extrapolate the consequences.

Sure, there are kleptomaniacs that can’t help but steal and I don’t know how to prevent them, but teaching children not to steal does reduce the number of theives. If I had not been taught otherwise, I would be a thief. Advocating the prevention of children becoming theives is not denial that theivery exists. I do lock my car and take other precautions against theft. We can discuss what to teach children about stealing without discussing what kinds of locks are best to prevent autotheft.

I think that rape is a behavior that can also be reduced in prevalence. I think it would be beneficial to do so and want to discuss how we can do this.

Firstly, I would strongly advocate self-defense training for all girls starting in kindergarden (we did Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies in PE- I suppose I could make a potential rapist laugh too hard to get it up?).
Secondly, we need to identify the mental process a rapist goes through. My guess is that it goes something like this:

What causes rape is this feeling of powerlessness, combined with a deep selfishness and a tendency to treat other people as things.

That is what everybody wants to know.

A summary of Nicholas Groth’s work

[quote= “I wanted to knock the woman off her pedestal and I felt rape
was the worst thing that I could do to her.”[/quote]

A 1997 Government Study on Rape stats

A great profile of a rapist’s mind
My take on it is that in a society like ours, where isolation is easy and connection hard, it is all too simple to slip into a mindset where yours are the only needs that matter. Treating people as things is the root of all evil (IMO, of course), and the only way to cure it is to have enough people that you care about that you can see strangers and aquaintances as people, too.

I grew up in a typical small town, and even though I hated the gossiping and the nosiness, I never felt alone. There were always people I could call, and I could hardly leave my house without meeting someone I knew, who would notice if something had changed. For me, that usually meant my hair or clothes, but it also meant that when the lecherous music teacher crossed the line from leering to touching, people noticed and warned me.

So a stronger community helps to keep people sane to begin with, and can warn others when someone does become dangerous. I’m probably not explaining this very well - does anyone else agree and want to take a crack at it?

Your post is exactly what lee doesn’t want to discuss in this thread.

You see, every time a woman asks “what can we do to reduce the frequency with which MEN rape WOMEN”, a man pops up and say “You should learn to protect yourself.”

THIS IS NOT THE ANSWER. You cannot place all the responsibility to reduce the frequency of rape on women. it is men, not women, who need to change their behavior.

Your response is morally bankrupt, and you should be ashamed for having offered it.

I think the discussion here is not “what can we do to stop rape” but rather “what can we, as parents and teachers and leaders of our communities, do to prevent our children from growing up to be rapists”. Most emphatically, it is not “what can we do to pevent our children from becoming victims of rape”, as that focuses not on eliminating the behavior, which, as far as I can tell, is the result of a failure to learn appropriate moral values than a result of mental disease or defect.

In other words, it is apparent that the manner in which we instruct our children in moral values is deficient, in that they learn that having nonconsensual sex is, at times, acceptable behavior. How do we change their perceptions of morality so that they understand that all nonconsensual sex is unacceptable and refrain from actually doing so? If we succeed in this endeavour, then the only rapes that will be attempted will be by those who do, in fact, suffer from mental disease or defect, rather than being the consequence of an inadequate moral upbringing.

From that “A great profile of a rapist’s mind” site

I think this is dead wrong. I think we want it to be true, but it is now. I know otherwise honest people who would cheat on their taxes. I know people who are drug dealers to children who were kind to others honest in their dealings and would not litter. I know that some of the boys who held me down and others who cheered as I was raped became solid citizens, family men.

I think if far more likely that many rapists justify their actions to themselves, in as far as they consider them at all.

but is not .

What? We’re talking about rapists here, not you.

True, but neither does disassociation equal “having multiple personalities,” which is an entirely different thing.

As I outlined the multiple types of rape (which you threw out the window to focus on my “women should learn to defend themselves” concept), there is no way to raise a child to not be a rapist. Your cookie-jar example is poor. As I listed in my first post, there is a plethora of things that parents tell their kids not to do, sometimes heatedly, which are nonetheless ignored - or in some situations, done as a form of rebellion.

I’m making the argument that a rapist of my first category fits a psychological profile. I have read studies where released rapists were given medication and therapy to prevent recurrance.

Well, first of all, woah. Back the horse up a bit here. Promoting women’s self defense - or men’s self defense, for that matter - is not “morally bankrupt.” I’m not placing all of the responsibility on the woman, any more than I am placing responsibility on people from getting murdered. The violent reaction you have to the concept of women’s self defense is, while I’m sure well intentioned, frankly very frightening. Are you saying that women shouldn’t learn to defend themselves? Because you just called my concept of women defending themselves “morally bankrupt”. I never claimed that self-defense was THE solution to the problem. I claimed that the problem can not be simply cured by a stern lecture and a health class in high school. I live in a realistic world, and in this realistic world, there are rapists. Short of some kind of Clockwork Orange-style programming, I don’t know what you are proposing to change in men to stop rape. The whole point is, the rapist doesn’t care if it is morally wrong or not - he is going to do it, for whatever motivation.

And frankly, I think it is quite asinine to attack anyone who DARES suggest that people defend themselves from crime as “morally bankrupt.”

I mean, seriously. Let’s put your money where your fingers are. What are your proposals for reducing incidents of society producing rapists? Stern lectures by mother? Include it in mandatory high school sex education class? Run anti-rape commercials on TV? That’s all naive to the utmost. It doesn’t work on rape any more than it works on drugs.

Put some cards on the table. How do you identify a rapist at a young age? Or at an old age? What is the process of re-programming him?

When you figure all that out and pour billions of dollars into the black hole of government warnings about evil stuff, I’ll feel better knowing that my mother and sister are adept at judo. That is a REALISTIC way to respond to the problem. Not to cure it, but to respond to it.

Seriously, morally bankrupt? Where do you yourself to a point of saying that? That is… I lack the vocabulary to describe it.

I want to add to what I said to add some perspective.

The most absolutely wholesome profession imaginable is that of a priest. A priest is pious and moral, believes strictly in fundamental laws deeper than any national laws could ever reach. Day in and day out, often from childhood, they are bathed in what is right and wrong, morally correct and incorrect.

Based on the concept of educating or preventing someone from raping anyone - or even having sex with anyone - the path of the priest would seem to be the ideal road.

BUT IT IS NOT. Sick men still act out their sick passions. Priests rape, cheat, abuse, steal, and do pretty much everything “normal” people do.

What are your proposals? Conditioning from a young age? Telling people that rape is wrong? They KNOW it is wrong. They KNOW it is illegal. Rape isn’t happening because some teenager doesn’t know it is wrong, or because he wants to not be a virgin.

And you know what? It isn’t limited to women. As the top of this post may have made you instantly connect to, young men are also frequent targets of sexual abuse, molestation, and rape.

You’re asking how to stop rape. How to stop murder. How to stop stealing. Very fundamental questions - but human psychology is far more complex than that.

So scorn all you want. Call me names, yell at me, do whatever pleases you (short of rape, obviously). More relevantly, present an idea to stop those things that hasn’t already been covered in dystopian literature.

Sex is something that is very primal. We may be very complex animals, but we are still animals at heart. Sometimes that comes out more.

Think rationally about it. I’ll get you started. First, outline what the causes of rape are. Build from there.