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: 118658 Find in a Library
Title: Synthesized Theory of Rape (From Theories of Rape: Inquiries Into the Causes of Sexual Aggression, P 55-80, 1989, Lee Ellis -- See NCJ-118654)
Author(s): L Ellis
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 26
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: This chapter proposes propositions for a rape causes theory that synthesizes the concepts of the feminist theory of rape, the social learning theory of rape, and the evolutionary theory of rape.
Abstract: The synthesized theory is stated in four propositions. One proposition is that rape is sexually motivated, and, as all sexual behavior tends to be, is motivated by a drive for erotic sexual experience and a drive for bonded sexual relationships. A second proposition is that although the motivation for sex is almost entirely the result of unlearned neurological processes, the actual techniques involved in committing rape are largely learned through operant conditioning and only secondarily through imitation and attitudinal factors. A third proposition is that natural selection has favored stronger sex drives and stronger tendencies to orient drives to possess and control multiple sex partners in males than in females, and females have been strongly favored for resisting forceful copulatory tactics, because it effectively prevents them from discriminating in favor of males who will help care for offspring after they have been conceived. A fourth proposition is that exposure of the brain to androgens tends to produce strong sex drives and strong tendencies to attempt to possess and control multiple sex partners, and it also helps to reduce sensitivity to any aversive consequences of one's actions.
Main Term(s): Rape causes
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Crime causes theory; Feminism; Social Learning
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.