Trigger Warning: This post is about rape.
There is an interesting post on Feministe by Thomas Millar
about Predator Theory
- a model that attempts to explain why some men rape, and sharing some interesting studies within certain confines - that of a cis- and hetero- dominated space, and concerning only male-committed rapes that occur between acquaintances - which is by far the most common situation.
It's a good post, and worth a read, but here are some of the take-home messages as far as I'm concerned. A lot of them are unsurprising, but it's worth noting that they tie in with each other.
- a very small percentage of men commit the vast majority of rapes. A large number of rapists are repeat offenders.
- most rapes involve drink or intoxication, rather than force
- rapists are more likely than other men to commit other violent acts
- rapists are more likely than other men to harbour misogynistic opinions and attitudes
- the 'undetected rapist' and the convicted rapist differ in modus operandi, not in attitude/motivation
I think this is important because sometimes there's a tendency in discussions about rape to seperate the kind of incident I encountered - a violent outdoor attack from a stranger - from "date rape" and, even if the existence and dominance of the latter is accepted, it's often treated like a seperate entity to violent assault; something that can't properly be dealt with because it's difficult to convict. The studies presented by Thomas (and I don't claim for a second that it's a comprehensive review) counteract that assumption - men who are predisposed to rape, wherever that predisposition comes from, will rape, and as often as not, it's a premeditated, deliberate act. 'Violent' rape and the more common variety come from a similar root cause, and if we tackle that root cause - for example, a permissive misogynistic culture of victim blaming* - then we can reduce the number of undectected rapes at the same time as tackling the violent rapes that actually feature on our cultural radar.
*I am not setting out, today, to prove to you that is the cause. But as I suspect it is, I'm leaving that claim there.