Rape is a distortion of human sexuality. It is sexuality in the service of nonsexual needs. Rape is the sexual expression of hostility and aggression - a behavioral act not a psychiatric condition. Rape typically reflects deep seated feelings of inadequacy. For the most part, offenders report finding little if any sexual satisfaction in the act of rape. Their subjective reactions range from disappointment to disgust. When rapists discuss pleasure they speak of being aggressive and having power over their victim, her actions, her life. "It gave me pleasure knowing that there was nothing that she could do." Of the men interviewed by Groth in his work: 55% - power rapists 40% - anger rapists 5% - sadistic rapists
Power Rape: Sexual Conquest
For these men, sexuality becomes a means of compensating for underlying feelings of inadequacy and serves to express issues of mastery, strength, control, authority, identity and capability. The offender may say that his offense was prompted by sexual gratification, but examination of his behavior shows that he didn't pay any attention to the woman's receptiveness. Instead, his aim is to capture, conquer and control his victim. Consensual sex is available; this is not consensual sex. Frequently, the power rapist denies that the sexual encounter was forced. He needs to believe the victim wanted and enjoyed it. Following the assault, he may insist on buying the woman a drink or dinner and express a wish to see her again. This reflects his fantasy expectation that sexual conquest has created a desire for him on the part of the victim. The offender can not accept that the victim was not attracted to him but rationalizes that she had to allege rape to protect her reputation. The intent of the power rapist is to assert his competency and validate his masculinity. Sexuality is the test, and his motive is conquest.
Anger Rape: Expressing and Discharging Feelings of Pent-up Anger and Rage
The assault is characterized by physical brutality. Far more actual force is used in the commission of the offense than would be necessary if the intent were simply to overpower the victim and achieve penetration. This type of offender attacks his victim by grabbing her, striking her, knocking her to the ground, beating her, tearing her clothes, and raping her. The rape experience for this type of offender is one of conscious anger and rage, and he expresses his fury both physically and verbally. His aim is to hurt and debase his victim and express his contempt for her through abusive and profane language. These men consider rape the ultimate offense a man can commit against another person. Sex is this man's weapon and rape constitutes the ultimate expression of his anger. Sex is a weapon to defile, degrade and humiliate the victim. "I wanted to knock the woman off her pedestal and I felt rape was the worst thing that I could do to her."
Sadistic Rape: Fusion of Sexuality and Aggression
For these men, there is a sexual transformation of anger and power so that aggression itself is eroticized. The offender finds the intentional maltreatment of his victim intensely gratifying and takes pleasure in her torment, anguish, distress, helplessness, and suffering. The assault usually involves bondage and torture and frequently has a bizarre or ritualistic quality. Sexual areas of the victim's body become a specific focus of injury or abuse. In extreme cases, there may be sexual mutilation of the victim's body or sexual intercourse with her corpse. For these men the rape experience is one of intense and mounting excitement . The rapist may find the victim's struggling with him an exciting and erotic experience Excitement is associated with the inflicting of pain upon his victim. Hatred and control are eroticized, and he finds satisfaction in abusing, degrading, humiliating and, in some cases, destroying his captive. His intent is to abuse and torture. His instrument is sex; his motive is punishment and destruction. The sadistic rapist is often believed to be blatantly psychotic, but these men are usually able to conceal these impulses from others. One of the disconcerting features of such offenders is that they are often quite personable--a quality they capitalize on to gain access to unsuspecting victims.
In Groth's study, victims able to resist assault successful:
-managed to keep self-control and refused to be intimidated -did not counterattack, were assertive without being aggressive -did or said something that registered with the offender and communicated to him that she was a real person not just an object. But there is no one defense strategy that will work successfully for all victims against all offenders in all situations, The goal of survival is more important than the goal of escape. Every strategy that has succeeded in some cases has failed in others. There is no guarantee that any other strategy a woman decided to use would have been more effective.
Alcohol and Rape
Intoxication reduces inhibitions, impairs reasoning and judgment, distorts contact with reality, and increases insensitivity to the impact of one 's behavior on others. But alcohol is not what causes a man to commit a rape. It may be a catalyst and play a contributing role, but it is not a causative one. Alcohol is a releasor only when an individual has already reached a frame of mind in which he is prone to rape.
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