skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 118655 Find in a Library
Title: Feminist Theory: Hypotheses and Evidence (From Theories of Rape: Inquiries Into the Causes of Sexual Aggression, P 19-31, 1989, Lee Ellis -- See NCJ-118654)
Author(s): L Ellis
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Hemisphere Publishing Corp
Bristol, PA 19007
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: Hypotheses related to the feminist theory of rape causes are tested from a review of relevant empirical studies.
Abstract: Three of the hypotheses tested are that rape should be associated with sex disparities in social status and power; rape is primarily motivated by a desire for power and dominance rather than a desire for sex; and increased exposure to pornography and prostitution should increase male tendencies to rape. Two other hypotheses are that societal trends toward sexual egalitarianism should be associated with a lessening of rape victimization and rapists should hold less egalitarian and more pro-rape attitudes toward women than nonrapists. A review of the relevant literature does indicate a relationship between rape and sex disparities in sociopolitical and economic affairs (although not in the sense that the risks of rape are lessened by lowering sex disparities in political and economic power, but rather the reverse). Evidence of the relationship between rape and exposure to nonviolent pornography is mixed. Long-term exposure to explicit pornography, however, may increase general tendencies to behave aggressively toward women and decrease the seriousness with which males view rape. Regarding the weaknesses of the feminist theory of rape, it considerably underestimates the degree to which rape is sexually motivated and perhaps overestimates the degree to which "sexist attitudes" are important in inclining males to commit rape.
Main Term(s): Rape causes
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Feminism
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.