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The enigma of rape

Authors: Ahmed, Trisha
Roy, Avijit
Keywords: Women's studies;Gender and sexuality;Rape;Violence;Social structure
Issue Date: 16-Jan-2013
Publisher: Voice Bangladesh
Description: "The topic of rape has historically been approached from a multitude of angles; it has been justified as an act of uncontrolled emotion of sexual attraction by some, and as a display of supremacy by others. Rape is often regarded as a despicable act that is conducted to display male domination over females, but is power really the only factor in explaining why men rape? Some scientists have pointed out that rape is not geographically unique to any society; it is a cultural universal, meaning that rape occurs in all known cultures. From this perspective, it becomes hard to believe that rape is fueled only by the desire to establish dominance stemming solely from societal influences. If power and social class are the only determining factors, then we would have noticed rich and powerful to be the culprits of the crime. On the contrary, researchers found the overwhelming majority of predatory rapists to be men of lower class and status – men with very dim prospects of gaining ‘legitimate access’ of women. For example, four of the suspects involved in the recent Delhi rape incident lived in a nearby slum, and one of them was the regular driver of the bus. Their wealth and social status were significantly lower than the status of the young psychology student and her male friend. Perhaps, from this line of thinking, many experts are now beginning to believe that power and social status are not the driving forces for rape."
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Appears in Collections:South Asian Born-Digital NGO Reports Collection Project

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