Why Do Men Rape? CBS 11 Settles it Once and For All.

Categories: Media, News

Thumbnail image for RapePainting.jpg
Coverage of the serial rapist targeting South Dallas has dominated local news for the past week. First came the revelation of the attacks, then questions about the speed of the police department's response, then the search for and capture of a suspect, Van Dralan Dixson.

All of the major local news outlets have been dogged in their pursuit of the story, but only CBS 11 was bold enough to tackle the bigger question: Why do human beings rape each other?

The answer is a nebulous muddle of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors, the nuances of which would be impossible to capture in a two-minute segment on the local news. So, reporter Robbie Owens turns instead to a Dallas psychologist/and expert-witness-for-hire named Bill Flynn.

"It's about sex," Flynn declares. "Rape is about getting sex ... When I have interviewed my guys" -- (Editor's note: Yes, he said "my guys.") -- "and I have asked them why they did it, they all said it was about sex. They didn't say anything about need to humiliate somebody."

The academic research on the topic is much less definitive. The prevailing view among feminists and some social scientists for the past four decades or so, popularized by Susan Brownmiller's 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, is that sexual assault is more about power than sex.

In the first chapter, Brownmiller writes:

[O]ne of the earliest forms of male bonding must have been the gang rape of one woman by a band of marauding men. This accomplished, rape became not only a male prerogative, but man's basic weapon of force against woman, the principal agent of his will and her fear. His forcible entry into her body, despite her physical protestations and struggle, became the vehicle of his victorious conquest over her being, the ultimate test of his superior strength, the triumph of his manhood.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the notion that evolution has hard-wired the urge to rape into human males, expressed most forcefully in the more academic book A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion. In it, biologist Randy Thornhill and anthropologist Craig Palmer write:

When one is considering any feature of living things, whether evolution applies is never a question. The only legitimate question is how to apply evolutionary principles. This is the case for all human behaviors -- even for such by-products as cosmetic surgery, the content of movies, legal systems, and fashion trends.

The crucial legitimate scientific debate about the evolutionary cause of human rape concerns whether rape is a result of rape-specific adaptation or a by-product of other adaptations.

It's safe to say the truth falls somewhere between those two extremes. Social scientists just haven't come to an agreement on where and probably never will, meaning the ideal approach toward rape prevention will forever be elusive. Luckily, CBS 11 knows who's best suited to identifying rapists.

"Kindergarten teachers," Flynn tells the station. "This behavior of not caring about what happens to others and being a bully comes out very early."


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
rufuslevin
rufuslevin

why do male prisoners rape other male prisoners?

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

black rapists are motivated differently from white rapists.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

So, all these years of going out with women, getting to know them, sharing common interests, talking, buying them the occasional dinner and/or gift, then in some rarer cases going on to form an emotional bond with one, and, finally, even marrying a woman... all that, only to find out I was doing it wrong?

I feel so stupid now.

Ryan Hill
Ryan Hill

Hey Observer, your analysis ain't that much better for suggesting that the truth lies "somewhere in the middle" between Brownmiller (who gets the power thing right) and sociobiological horseshit that naturalizes rape, gives "solutions" like women dressing in less revealing clothes (because men can't help it!), and only acknowledging a very narrow definition of rape. What gives?

gayven
gayven

I hate to disagree with your comment about greasy food...but all dermatologists agree that a bad diet can lead to acne (bad with no good food thrown in) So if you only ate greasy food and nothing else you would have glowing skin but not in a good way.  A good diet promotes good skin. And since everyone's reaction to food is different the anchor's reaction to greasy food may be a breakout. It was an generalization but was not a completely incorrect statement. On the other issue I'm not touching that but I do think violence against women is increasing  unfortunately.

scholarmom
scholarmom

If rape boils down to wanting sex, and not power, or control, than that explains Warren Jeffs and his followers. Was Flynn an expert witness for him by any chance? If not, he should have been.

ATxann
ATxann

I heard a Dallas CBS anchor claim yesterday, in an off-the-cuff remark, that greasy foods cause acne. She then told people to check with their dermatologist, who would supposedly confirm this. I have repeatedly heard and read that this is no longer thought to be true, but regardless of whether it is or not, I really doubt that the news anchor has the expertise to know.

Joe Bannon
Joe Bannon

Next week.... Why do prisoners kill rapists and child molesters?

Debbie Wiley
Debbie Wiley

If it came from CBS, it has no veracity.

chad
chad

I think it's more about sex than anything else. I think people use their power to get the sex they want, forcibly or not.

Steve Nabors
Steve Nabors

Your genes are programmed to survive and carry on, if not we wouldn't be here. Sometimes the impulses to do so are too overwhelming, but I feel logic, awareness, education can help to make more rational decisions and not act on impulses. We need more rational sex education for our youths.

Guesty
Guesty

No one would dispute that murderers have different motivations.  Why are scientists so reluctant to say that different things motivate different rapists?  A serial rapist who uses violence is different than a meat head who gets freshman coeds drunk is different than a man who abuses a young child is different than a prisoner who rapes a fellow prisoner.  To acknowledge that they may be acting on different types of impulses isn't the same thing as suggesting that they aren't all wrong.    

matt.helm75
matt.helm75

If it were simply about sex, rapists would just use their hands to get themselves gratification.  Bill Flynn failed to realize that these rapists perhaps didn't really know the WHY...the underlying reason that they sought to violate their victims.

Eric Timmons
Eric Timmons

I thought it was funny too... All those years, the "experts" were soooo wrong!

Marc C. Socolov
Marc C. Socolov

"It's about sex," Flynn declares. "Rape is about getting sex ..." Well, that clears a whole lot up for me!

LeggoMyEgo
LeggoMyEgo

"It's about sex," Flynn declares. "Rape is about getting sex ..."

8 years in college and that's what he learned??

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

If its about sex and not power, then they need to remake every episode of Law & Order SVU.  

ahayesfam
ahayesfam

@Steve Nabors Agreed. If only there were seminars youth males were required to go through in the early years of high school or late middle school. Even if it was just a one day seminar on what it means to consent, it would go so far, in my opinion.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@Steve Nabors"but I feel logic, awareness, education can help" Morality and ethics would be useful, too.

manpanties
manpanties

@matt.helm75  thats a silly first sentence. if sex and masturbation were the same, we would run out of people.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...