Last edited Wed Mar 17, 2021, 03:36 PM - Edit history (1)
The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime
by Adrian Raine (Author) Format: Kindle Edition
Dr. Raine's argument is basically in agreement with you and he provides a lot of explanation and evidence that is is a deeply biological, sexual behavior.
I might, somewhat agree, and I'm not even sure that most behavioral biologists, forensic psychiatrists or neuropsychiatrists would find your position all that controversial. That viewpoint that "rape is about power, not sex" was something I grew up hearing whenever the topic of rape came up--like an automatic response--and I have always wondered about its origin and it indeed left me with questions when I began to research criminal behavior and motivations in the 90s for some writing projects. It does get confusing when you are looking at the behavior of, say, sexually motivated serial killers because in a strange way it often does have to do with their relationships with their mothers, and it then does seem to circle back to being about power and (even moreso) control. But looking back at the biological roots of rape, at least according to behavioral scientists, it seems to have to do with a drive to reproduce the genes.
When we talk about a 'crime of opportunity', as you point out, it does lead to obvious questions: If it is about power and not sex, why is the perpetrator choosing to express his power sexually? It's not like there aren't dozens of other ways to express power and control. That is always why I had questions as a young person about the cliche'd response that rape is about power, not sex. It went against what I perceived to be common sense and it seemed like people were trying to avoid talking about sexual violence for what it is by tossing it in a bin with any other types of deeply interpersonal violence despite the fact those behaviors vary widely. I remember once asking someone who told me this, "Okay, but why rape?" and that person had no answer. I stopped asking and just began repeating what I was taught: "Rape is about power, not sex," but I have always wondered about it and turned to books by scientists and psychologists for deeper and more thoughtful answers.
As controversial as the issue is, it's not a hill I want to die on, but that is my two cents. I'll keep up with the latest scientific thinking on this.
One conclusion I've gradually come to is that maybe society has reached an unspoken consensus that it is important for us as to assert and believe this whether it is true or not because it serves some important function or larger purpose to culture and civilization.