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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118654 Find in a Library
Title: Theories of Rape: Inquiries Into the Causes of Sexual Aggression
Author(s): L Ellis
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 185
Sponsoring Agency: Hemisphere Publishing Corp
Bristol, PA 19007
Publication Number: ISBN 0-89116-172-4
Sale Source: Hemisphere Publishing Corp
1900 Frost Road
Suite 101
Bristol, PA 19007
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book reviews three scientific attempts (feminist, social learning, and evolutionary theories) to understand rape causes and proposes a theory that synthesizes these three theories.
Abstract: The feminist theory views rape as "a pseudosexual act" used by males to intimidate and dominate women. The social learning theory postulates that rape results from the male acquisition of attitudes and vicarious learning experiences favorable to males behaving aggressively toward women. According to the evolutionary theory, rape is an extreme response to natural selection pressure which has favored male assertiveness in attempting to copulate with numerous sex partners and has favored females who resist male attempts to control their sexual behavior. A review of the major strengths and weaknesses of each of these theories as supported by the available research indicates that no one of the theories is clearly superior to the other two in predicting all that is currently known about rape. Each contributes significantly to understanding rape by making empirically supported predictions the other two theories did not make. The proposed synthesized theory reasons that rape, like sexual behavior generally, is motivated by two largely unlearned and closely linked drives: the sex drive and the drive to possess and control (especially regarding sex partners). Although under this theory the motivation to rape is largely unlearned, the techniques and strategies involved in committing rape are learned, largely through operant conditioning rather than through attitudes and imitation. 970 references, name and subject indexes. For individual chapter, see NCJ-118655-59.
Main Term(s): Rape causes
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Crime causes theory; Feminism; Social Learning
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