Im Genderfeminismus wird üblicherweise davon ausgegangen, dass Vergewaltigung nichts mit Sex zu tun hat, sondern es dem Vergewaltiger um Macht geht.
I believe that the rape-is-not-about-sex doctrine will go down in history as an example of extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds.
It is preposterous on the face of it, does not deserve its sanctity, is contradicted by a mass of evidence, and is getting in the way of the only morally relevant goal surrounding rape, the effort to stamp it out. Think about it.
First obvious fact: Men often want to have sex with women who don’t want to have sex with them. They use every tactic that one human being uses to affect the behavior of another: wooing, seducing, flattering, deceiving, sulking, and paying. Second obvious fact: Some men use violence to get what they want, indifferent to the suffering they cause. Men have been known to kidnap children for ransom (sometimes sending their parents an ear or finger to show they mean business), blind the victim of a mugging so the victim can’t identify them in court, shoot out the kneecaps of an associate as punishment for ratting to the police or invading their territory, and kill a stranger for his brand-name athletic footwear. It would be an extraordinary fact, contradicting everything else we know about people, if some men didn’t use violence to get sex.
Let’s also apply common sense to the doctrine that men rape to further the interests of their gender. A rapist always risks injury at the hands of the woman defending herself. In a traditional society, he risks torture, mutilation, and death at the hands of her relatives. In a modern society, he risks a long prison term. Are rapists really assuming these risks as an altruistic sacrifice to benefit the billions of strangers that make up the male gender? The idea becomes even less credible when we remember that rapists tend to be losers and nobodies, while presumably the main beneficiaries of the patriarchy are the rich and powerful. Men do sacrifice themselves for the greater good in wartime, of course, but they are either conscripted against their will or promised public adulation when their exploits are made public. But rapists usually commit their acts in private and try to keep them secret. And in most times and places, a man who rapes a woman in his community is treated as scum.
The idea that all men are engaged in brutal warfare against all women clashes with the elementary fact that men have mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives, whom they care for more than they care for most other men. To put the same point in biological terms, every person’s genes are carried in the bodies of other people, half of whom are of the opposite sex.
As for the morality of believing the not-sex theory, there is none. If we have to acknowledge that sexuality can be a source of conflict and not just wholesome mutual pleasure, we will have rediscovered a truth that observers of the human condition have noted throughout history. And if a man rapes for sex, that does not mean that he “just can’t help it” or that we have to excuse him, any more than we have to excuse the man who shoots the owner of a liquor store to raid the cash register or who bashes a driver over the head to steal his BMW. The great contribution of feminism to the morality of rape is to put issues of consent and coercion at center stage. The ultimate motives of the rapist are irrelevant. Finally, think about the humanity of the picture that the gender-feminist theory has painted. As the equity feminist Wendy McElroy points out, the theory holds that “even the most loving and gentle husband, father, and son is a beneficiary of the rape of women they love. No ideology that makes such vicious accusations against men as a class can heal any wounds. It can only provoke hostility in return.”
What about the more basic question of whether the motives of rapists include sex? The gender-feminist argument that they do not points to the rapists who target older, infertile women, those who suffer from sexual dysfunction during the rape, those who coerce nonreproductive sexual acts, and those who use a condom. The argument is unconvincing for two reasons.
First, these examples make up a minority of rapes, so the argument could be turned around to show that most rapes do have a sexual motive. And all these phenomena occur with consensual sex, too, so the argument leads to the absurdity that sex itself has nothing to do with sex. And date rape is a particularly problematic case for the not-sex theory. Most people agree that women have the right to say no at any point during sexual activity, and that if the man persists he is a rapist — but should we also believe that his motive has instantaneously changed from wanting sex to oppressing women?
On the other side there is an impressive body of evidence (reviewed more thoroughly by the legal scholar Owen Jones than by Thornhill and Palmer) that the motives for rape overlap with the motives for sex:
- Coerced copulation is widespread among species in the animal kingdom, suggesting that it is not selected against and may sometimes be selected for. It is found in many species of insects, birds, and mammals, including our relatives the orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees.
- Rape is found in all human societies.
- Rapists generally apply as much force as is needed to coerce the victim into sex. They rarely inflict a serious or fatal injury, which would preclude conception and birth. Only 4 percent of rape victims sustain serious injuries, and fewer than one in five hundred is murdered.
- Victims of rape are mostly in the peak reproductive years for women, between thirteen and thirtyfive, with a mean in most data sets of twenty-four. Though many rape victims are classified as children (under the age of sixteen), most of these are adolescents, with a median age of fourteen. The age distribution is very different from that of victims of other violent crimes, and is the opposite of what would happen if rape victims were picked for their physical vulnerability or by their likelihood of holding positions of power.
- Victims of rape are more traumatized when the rape can result in a conception. It is most psychologically painful for women in their fertile years, and for victims of forced intercourse as opposed to other forms of rape. • Rapists are not demographically representative of the male gender. They are overwhelmingly young men, the age of the most intense sexual competitiveness. The young males who allegedly have been “socialized” to rape mysteriously lose that socialization as they get older.
- Though most rapes do not result in conception, many do. About 5 percent of rape victims of reproductive age become pregnant, resulting in more than 32,000 rape-related pregnancies in the United States each year. (That is why abortion in the case of rape is a significant issue.) The proportion would have been even higher in prehistory, when women did not use long-term contraception.97 Brownmiller wrote that biological theories of rape are “fanciful” because “in terms of reproductive strategy, the hit or miss ejaculations of a single-strike rapist are a form of Russian roulette compared to ongoing consensual mating.”98 But ongoing consensual mating is not an option for every male, and dispositions that resulted in hit-or-miss sex could be evolutionarily more successful than dispositions that resulted in no sex at all. Natural selection can operate effectively with small reproductive advantages, as little as 1 percent.