TW: Rape; Sexual Assault – Why does Rape Happen?


musingsofanawkwardblackgirl:

One of my followers (I am assuming you follow me) asked me: “Why does rape happen?” Considering that I am passionate about the topic and I am pretty knowledgeable in regards to the topic, I thought maybe instead of just giving a very basic answer, I could explain it. Firstly, I would like to say that’s an EXTREMELY loaded question, so I am going to throw the thesis out there for people who don’t want to read a long post:

Rape Happens because people have a false sense of entitlement, and/or insecurities thus causing them to attempt to overpower another person.

Now onto explaining that thesis… Firstly before we even get into rape we have to announce what rape is, according to Pandora’s Project:

The exact definition of “rape” differs from state-to-state within the U.S. and by country internationally.  In the US, it is often called “criminal sexual conduct in the first degree”.  Generally, rape is defined as sexual contact or penetration achieved:

  • without consent, or
  • with use of physical force, coercion, deception, threat, and/or
  • when the victim is:
  • mentally incapacitated or impaired,
  • physically impaired (due to voluntary or involuntary alcohol or drug consumption)
  • asleep or unconscious.

Next we have to go into the different TYPES of rape. According to Nicholas Groth‘s theory, there are three different types of rapes/rapist (It is argued that there are more, but for simplicity lets focus on his theory). These different rapes are classified as the: Anger Rapist, the Sadistic Rapist, and the Power rapist.

Characteristics: 

Anger Rapist –  Expressing and Discharging Feelings of Pent-up Anger and Rage

This rapist rapes because he is angry, long story short. His rape is more likely to use physical aggression, and/or brutality. This man on average may not be an opportunist, and target the woman who is unconscious or use drugs to get to his victim (not to say this couldn’t and hasn’t happen).  This type of victim want to get his aggression out, and would be the guy who would violently attack his victim and would WANT to overpower her, with the end goal of penetrating her. It is not about sex to these men, it is about taking his anger out on someone, and using sex as a weapon.

Sadistic Rapist – Fusion of Sexuality and Aggression

This rapist might as well be the scariest in my opinion, mostly because this rapist finds sexual gratification in hurting his victims. This rapist is like the anger rapist, except worst.The Sadistic Rapist finds some kind of sexual thrill in tormenting their victims, they want to see your distress, they want to see your suffering, they get off to see you in pain. They have some how turned someone’s suffering into a fetish, and they rape because they are turned on by doing so.  According to Groth “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.”

Power Rapist – Sexual Conquest

Statistically, these are the most common type of rapist that you’ll come across (from what I understand). These rapist rape because they are insecure, to over compensate for whatever they are lacking. According to Groth “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.” I think on average we hear about these guys more so. These men are the men drug women, or wait for the woman who is under the influence and they RAPE her when she CANNOT consent (just one common example).

Now that we understand what rape is, and the three major types of rapist, I should note that it’s not just women who get raped. Everyone can be a victim of a rape or a sexual assault, however women and children on average are more likely to be targeted. If you are a woman of color, you are even more so likely to be a victim of rape. But why is that? Why is it that women, children, and women of color are more likely to be targeted? Honestly, this is just my theory but I think it has something to do with being a minority. Realistically Women, Children, and Women of Color are minority powers (Western Focus argument). These groups of people have been oppressed historically (for far too long), and due to that oppression are seen as powerless. I think it’s safe to say very few rapist rape because they want to get into legal trouble, so why not go for the victim who is least likely to get justice?

Rape a women? Say she wanted it, flip the story back on her, make it seem like she wanted it (you). I think it’s fairly well known we have a terrible legal system in America, what are the chances of a female getting justice? How can she prove it? Very few women ever collect enough evidence to convince the legal system she was raped anyway. For children, just scare them. Tell them they’ll get in trouble, make them feel like they are in danger, remind them of how helpless and powerless they are. If you aim for a child young enough, they may never be able to find the word to articulate what happened (much less have enough bravery to do so). Now if you aim for a Woman of Color, you can take the woman argument and then add onto it. When you are “Colored” there are so many more factors that come into play, at least in my opinion. The legal system might care less about you considering your skin color, if you rapist was a white male on average he is more likely to get away with it (Click HERE for an article in regards to that), and rape/sexual assault does happen within POC families.. Now families tend to keep their dirt hidden under rugs, so normally the issues stay within the families.

So now we understand what rape is, why it happens, and who are the victims of it… In short, I think rape happens because people don’t value human life, because people don’t consider minority powers human, because some people out there are just really mean, some people out there use sex as a weapon to make their egos feel better. If you guys have anymore questions feel free to message me. If I explained something terribly, tell me. If you have any questions about sources, ask me! I hope this answered my follower’s question.

Sources: 

1. Pandora’s Project: What is Rape

2. Power, Anger and Sadistic Rape Information from Men Who Rape by Nicholas Groth

3. The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County, Inc. | Statistics on Sexual Assault

4. Who are the Victims? | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network

5. TW: Rape; Racism; Sexual Assault – Why My Rapist’s Race is Relevant

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About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.