The following is extracted from a paper I wrote and presented at the Council for Social Work Education in February, 2006. It will be republished in another journal.
But briefly, and I'm sorry, a bit scholarly, here's a summary:
Feminist writers trace the history of perpetrator motivation to a patriarchal society that assigns females a status as property without rights. As property, they had no right to object to their treatment.
Sociologists have discussed women as objects, commodities to be bought or stolen—the pornographication of women, a process by which men relate to women as pornea, a Greek word for whores.
This perception of a woman’s body as property or a commodity is grounded not just historically, but in contemporary metaphors, language, and common slang for sex. Like:
Sex is a hunt, a conquest: I’m going to go out and get a piece of ass.
Sex is instruction: I know how to show a woman a good time.
A review of the literature into the etiology of rape indicates that overall, men who rape have rape supportive attitudes, misinterpret social clues, and blame the victim.
Younger offenders learn from their families, peers, or the media that their role in a relationship is to take the initiative in sexual relationships. This is called the dominance theory.
Studies find significant associations between beliefs in rape myths and acquaintance rape, i.e:
Men think women want sex but are not comfortable asking, which justifies their force
Nice girls don't dress provocatively or use alcohol. Bad girls, girls who want sex, do and deserve to be raped.
Cross-sectional studies of male college students find significant correlations between having committed acquaintance rape and having hostile attitudes towards women.
In one study students who raped acquaintances also reported accepting domestic violence, an attitude uncharacteristic of students who did not rape.
Stranger rapes, conversely, have been found to be characteristic of serious psychopathology—extreme anger, a need for power and control, and sadism.
They have feelings emptiness, worthlessness, insecurity, loneliness, depression, suicidal and homicidal ideation, and desperation.
And no empathy, obviously. They have few friends, and most came from disengaged families.
I'll let you know when the rest is published and where to look.
Copyright 2006, Therapy Doc