Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog

SCIENTIFIC PUNISHMENT FOR RAPE

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SCIENTIFIC PUNISHMENT FOR RAPE:

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In my article on ‘The Rape’ published on this website few years ago, I have shown that rape is the most under-reported heinous crime in the world and the best way to prevent future rape is to report present rape. The worst myth about rape is that a woman cannot be raped against her will and this myth is propagated by patriarchal society and law enforcement authorities. Rape is a crime, which has a devastating effect on the survivors; it has been described as a “beginning of a nightmare”. The aftershocks include depression, fear, guilt-complex, suicidal-action, diminished sexual interest etc.; and the victim becomes afraid of half the human race. Unfortunately, women in this world, belong to a class or group of society who are in a disadvantaged position on account of several social barriers & impediments and have therefore been victims of tyranny at the hands of men with whom they under the constitution supposedly enjoy equal status. Legally rape is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, though never so innocent. Thus, rape laws did not provide a reliable or efficacious vehicle for addressing most sexual violence, and it continues to be of limited utility for most acquaintance rapes. Statistically many rapes are never reported; once reported, many rapes are never prosecuted; once prosecuted, many accused are never convicted. At the end of the day, there is lot of shame and humiliation borne by the victim no matter whether accused is convicted or acquitted; not to mention inordinate delays for years by courts in a country like India where 100,000 rape cases are pending in courts. On the top of it, a rape victim is asked repeatedly in court to describe the number of times she was penetrated and the size of the rapist’s erection. The precise way in which news of the rape is received by a society and the way it is discussed are often a fairly accurate and disturbing gauge of its people and how they think. Why are the conversations around a rape focused on the victim rather than the perpetrators?  How the woman was dressed and why she was out at night and did she have a boyfriend; are the issues discussed by society rather than the wickedness of the perpetrator.  I have already condemned rapists as beasts in my Christmas message on my facebook page but I thought let me go into the details of rape so that befitting scientific punishment can be given to the rapists. Instead of driven by emotions against rapists, let us solve the menace scientifically.    

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Let me begin with quotes about rape made by eminent jurists:

The Supreme Court of California had this to say on a case involving a woman who was raped by a police officer:

“Along with other forms of sexual assault, it belongs to that class of indignities against the person that cannot ever be fully righted, and that diminishes all humanity.”

One Supreme Court of the United States opinion included:

“By its very nature, rape displays a total contempt for the personal integrity and autonomy of the victim; short of homicide, it is the ultimate violation of self.”

As observed by Justice Arjit Pasayat:

” While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless female.”

Justice Krishna Iyer has observed:

“A murderer kills the body but a rapist kills the soul.”

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We have come a long way from what rape was thought of hundreds of years ago. Let me take you to history of rape to understand mindset about women.

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History of rape:

As you can see, in early human history, woman was considered as property and rape was considered forcible acquisition of that property.

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As depicted in ancient Indian civilization thousands of years ago, Sita the wife of Lord Ram was abducted by Ravana to settle score with him and Lord Ram brought her home after defeating Ravana. However she was deserted by Lord Ram subsequently because some citizen criticized her chastity. During Mahabharata, the leading lady Draupadi was publicly stripped off in front of the king and other dignitaries as she was considered ‘lost property’ in a gambling game. All these speak volumes about status of women in those days.  

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The concept of rape, both as an abduction and in the sexual sense (not always distinguishable), makes its first historical appearance in early religious texts. In some cultures, rape was seen less as a crime against a particular girl or woman than as a crime against the head of the household or against chastity. As a consequence, the rape of a virgin was often a more serious crime than of a non-virgin, even a wife or widow, and the rape of a prostitute or other unchaste woman was, in some laws, not a crime because her chastity could not be harmed. Furthermore, the woman’s consent was under many legal systems not a defense. In seventeenth-century France, even marriage without parental consent was classified as rape. The penalty for rape was often a fine, payable to the father or the husband whose “goods” were “damaged”. In some laws the woman might marry the rapist instead of his receiving the legal penalty. This was especially prevalent in laws where the crime of rape did not include, as a necessary part, that it be against the woman’s will, thus dividing the crime in the current meaning of rape, and a means for a couple to force their families to permit marriage. The punishment for rape varied wildly in medieval times. Middle Ages penalties could range from fines to torture and death, with the most severe penalties being given to the poor. There were also cases of women being forced to marry their rapists, therefore making it a prize rather than punishment, especially if the rapist had money and power.  

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The evolution of the raped woman in Medieval France and England:  

Rape was a very prominent issue in several areas of medieval society – especially in the law, the church, literature and everyday life – and the actions of men to define and regulate rape impacted both the way women perceived themselves and the way the feminine was viewed by society. The idea that the female body is the source of human frailty and sinfulness continues to achieve a central position in ideas of rape and masculine application of force on the feminine. It is mentioned in several early penitentials that a man who has sex with a pretty woman is less guilty because her beauty has “compelled” him to feel overwhelming sexual attraction. If a man has sex with an ugly woman, then his lust is at fault, but a beautiful woman is something which cannot be resisted and most of the sin lies with her as she is too great a temptation. Another male conception of the guilt of the female body is present in medieval law – derived from the Galenic physiological model – that a woman could not conceive a child unless she consented to intercourse. Not only did she have to consent but, because a woman was believed to conceive only by the releasing of female sperm through orgasm, she had to enjoy the intercourse. This “guilt” of the female body would due to a raped woman’s pregnancy, betray the fact she had enjoyed being raped, ending her right to accuse her rapist. True that the “courtly” medieval literary society viewed sexual aggression as an expression of the natural animal forces of the universe – beneath the notion of amor, it was simply an extreme form of intense sexual desire carried through to its natural end. The man is powerful and wants to possess the subservient female, so why should he not? Andreas Capellanus gives a startling description of what one should do if this feeling of amor strikes where a peasant is the object:  “If you should, by some chance, fall in love with some [peasant] women, be careful to puff them up with lots of praise and then, when you find a convenient place, do not hesitate to take what you seek and to embrace them by force. For you can hardly soften their outward inflexibility so far that they will grant you their embraces quietly or permit you to have the solaces you desire unless first you use a little compulsion as a convenient cure for their shyness”. The belief that women enjoyed being raped has a long literary tradition dating back to the early hagiographic writer Wace, who said the “experience of rape is stuporous and trancelike: a woman suffers no pain from sexual assault”. As early as the thirteenth century, in France the conflation of rape and ravishment, and the literal meaning of sexual violence was being erased behind a romantic troping of ravishment. A “romantic” verse states the believed effects of rape on a woman pretty clearly: “Never would a woman dare say with her own mouth what she desires so much; but it pleases her greatly when someone takes her against her will, regardless of how it comes about. A maiden suddenly ravished has great joy, no matter what she says”. Here it is stated that a woman will say something against being raped, but encourages the rapist to ignore what she says as she doesn’t mean it; the victim’s voice is yet again taken away from her.

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I am embarrassed to acknowledge that fact that hundreds of years ago, our civilization was so primitive that it was believed that woman enjoys rape, that her ‘no’ means ‘yes’, and pregnancy due to rape means she consented for sex and got orgasm. However, it is more embarrassing to know that such mean mindset exists even today in 2013. 

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Let me begin with few examples of rape:

On a cold December morning in 2006, a 20 years old postwoman was just starting her work day, delivering mail in the city of Brno in the Czech Republic. At around 5 a.m., a man with a knife in his hand grabbed her and requested money. He then dragged her into his yard, forced her to undress, and proceeded to rape her. After 20 minutes he let her go and told her to come again the next day. The police was informed and he was arrested immediately. It was established that the man was already convicted to 13 years imprisonment for attempted murder, rape, and extortion in the past. After serving 11 years of his sentence, he was released from prison and took part in a sex offender treatment program which ended in 2002. For his new crime he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. At the time of the trial, the expert witness who judged his personality stated “the offender’s stay at large is very dangerous; the only possibility of his rehabilitation is castration.”   

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After a movie she returned with her date to his car, which had been left in an isolated parking lot. She was expecting him to drive her home. Instead, the man locked the car doors and physically forced her to have sex with him. The victim was emotionally scarred by her experience: she became anxious about dating, and even about going out in public. She had trouble sleeping, eating and concentrating on her work. Indeed, like some war veterans, rape victims often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, in which symptoms such as anxiety, memory loss, obsessive thoughts and emotional numbness linger after a deeply disturbing experience.

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The infamous Delhi gang-rape in the largest democracy of the world:

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The 2012 Delhi gang rape case involves a rape and murder that occurred on 16 December 2012 in Munirka, a neighborhood located in the southern part of New Delhi, when a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was brutally beaten and gang raped in a private bus in which she was travelling with a male friend. There were six others in the bus, including the driver, all of whom raped the woman. The woman died from her injuries thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment in Singapore. The incident generated widespread national and international coverage and was widely condemned, both in India and abroad. Subsequently, public protests against the Government of India and the Government of Delhi for not providing adequate security for women took place in New Delhi, where thousands of protesters clashed with security forces. Similar protests took place in major cities throughout the country.

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Reported rapes for each 100,000 of population in India are 1.6 whereas the corresponding figures for US, UK and Sweden are 32.3, 26.4 and 25.2 respectively.  However, for every rape case reported in India, there are hundreds that are never acknowledged: Then, if the case ever makes it to court, you have to contend with a prosecution that might not necessarily be interested in pursuing your case. Ranged against you could be well-paid defense lawyers who can, with ease, pull the prosecution’s case apart if it is not watertight or if it has details such as the outcome of the ‘two-finger’ test. And that is precisely what happens. Nine times out of 10, such cases are dismissed because of lack of evidence, or “unreliable” evidence.

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A man commits rape of a woman if he “has sexual intercourse with a woman” against her will or consent. The peno-vaginal penetration is taken to constitute the offence of rape. However, in the Delhi rape case, iron rod was also used to penetrate the victim’s vagina. Moreover, it is also reported that one of the perpetrators of the offence stick his hand through the victim’s vagina and pulled her uterus out and damaged her intestine irreparably. Is it just mere rape? Let us talk about Ram Singh, the chief rapist of the Delhi gang-rape, who told his rape-colleagues, as they cleaned the bus, “not to worry, nothing will happen.’ Ram Singh and his five fellow rapists were right. After all, the conviction rate for rape cases in India, between 2001 and 2010, is only 26 per cent. And in Delhi, in the same period, only one in four culprits of reported rape was punished, reveals a survey by Thomson Reuters’ Trust Law Women.

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Misogyny in India:

Misogyny has long permeated Indian textbooks, Indian pedagogy and Indian parenting. In fact, it runs so deep that it reflects itself even in Indian linguistics. The Hindi phrase most commonly used to describe sexual violence or rape against women is “izzat lootna,” which means “to steal the honor of.”  The necessary question: Why should a rapist be given so much credit?  Rape is a criminal act of force and perverse subjugation. When a woman is raped, her most fundamental rights as a human being are violated. Yet, she is just as honorable as she ever was. Honor cannot be stolen. It can only be surrendered. Surely in the act of rape, it is the perpetrator, not the victim, who surrenders honor; but Indian society considers rape victim as dishonorable woman.  

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Rape in India:

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It’s official: India is 3rd worst offender in rape cases. India stands third, leaving behind countries like Sri Lanka, Jordan and Argentina, when it comes to rape cases, latest data of the Indian Union Home Ministry suggest. Ahead of India are only the United States and South Africa. Rapes happen across the social strata in India. In the Indian villages, it is the poor villager’s wife or sister or daughter who gets raped by another poor rowdy villager, and everyone from the local thanedar to the landlord. These rapes, unless the news becomes public due to unavoidable reasons, are never reported. It is reported in the newspapers or reaches the police only when a rape becomes part of a larger caste battle, family feud or political game. We do not hear about the massive number of them happening all the time. The media will report a rape only when it is a different kind of rape – a ‘normal’ rape is not news. The police, even when they get to know of a rape, or even when a rape victim approaches them, almost always discourage the family from filing a complaint. Often they are threatened, if the alleged rapist is someone in a powerful position. Some other times, the police remind the victim’s family of the social repercussions and attention (and permanent social humiliation, no marriages for anyone else in the family etc. etc) and the victim returns home to wash away all evidence of the crime.  India is no different to other places in that men known to the victim commit the majority of sexual assaults. The minimum sentence for gang rape in India is 10 years, the maximum is life. The Indian legal system has real problems with excessive delays, low conviction rates and police with a terrible reputation for dealing with victims of sexual assault. In March 2012 journalists at the Indian weekly journal Tehelka conducted an investigation they titled ‘The Anatomy of a Rape’. In a nation where the conviction rate for rape has gone from 46 per cent in 1971 to 26 per cent in 2012 and where over 100,000 rape cases are before the courts, it was a timely story. There was no political reaction to it at the time. Tehelka interviewed a range of people, from the policeman investigating a gang rape case who held “the girl and her parents equally responsible… Too much independence in the name of modern culture is not justified”; to the lawyer who described brutal cross-examinations in which victims are treated “as the accused” and subjected to medical examinations that still include the archaic two-finger test to establish whether the victim was accustomed to sex.

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Unreported rape:

Rape is the most under-reported heinous crime in the world. The under-reporting of rape is more common in developing nation like India than western nations because the status of women is much lower in India compared to western nation. Kilpatrick et al. (ibid., p. 6) estimate the percentage of rapes of women not reported at between 66 and 84. Responses collected from the National Women’s Study U.S. show that 84% of rape victims never reported the crime at all (CDC Fact Sheet, 2/2000).  According to the American Medical Association (1995), sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime. The most common reasons given by victims for not reporting rapes are the belief that it is a personal or private matter, and that they fear reprisal from the assailant. Also there is a feeling of shame, guilt and family honor. A 2007 government report in England says “Estimates from research suggest that between 75 and 95 percent of rape crimes are never reported to the police.” It goes overwhelmingly unreported, whether because of threats, distrust in the law or notions of shame and dishonor. From all these studies I may conclude that about 80 to 90 % of rapes are not reported, more so in developing countries like India.   

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Does rape reporting solve the problem?

97 of every 100 Rapists receive no punishment in the U.S.:

Only three out of every 100 rapists will ever spend even a single day in prison, according to a new analysis by RAINN of Justice Department data. The other 97 will walk free, facing no consequences for the violent felony they have committed. Because many rapists tend to be serial & habitual sex offenders, this leaves communities across the nation at risk of predators. While the percentage of rapes reported to police has risen in recent years in the U.S., a majority — 54% — still are not reported, according to the Justice Department. But increasing reporting alone won’t solve the problem: only about one out of four reported rapes leads to an arrest, and only about one out of four arrests leads to a felony conviction and incarceration. RAINN’s new analysis is based on the most recent available Justice Department data, using an average of the five most recent years when available.  Most rapists are never caught, and conviction rates for those apprehended are notoriously low. Even more troubling is that the average sex offender may commit hundreds of crimes in his lifetime, which means that the vast majority of rapes go undetected and unpunished.

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Most incidents of rape are never reported to the police (Koss et al., 1987), and, of those reported, less than 10% result in a conviction (Darke, 1990). Abel and Rouleau (1990), therefore, correctly concluded that “the majority of sex offenders are not within the prison system, but ‘on the street’” (p. 10). Furthermore, incarcerated rapists cannot be considered as representative because acquaintance rape is especially underreported and because rapists with a more criminal background are more likely to be convicted and get longer sentences. Therefore, findings of research with convicted rapists may not be relevant to the typical rapist, who, according to Pollard (1994), is “an acquaintance, probably an intimate of the victim, does not have a criminal background, and has not been reported to the police” (p. 172).

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Why women report rape to police?

As noted earlier, a low percentage of women reported their rape to law enforcement.  For this reason, sample size is small for identifying motivating factors around victims’ decision to report to law enforcement. Of these, the most common reason given by women for reporting was to prevent crimes against others. Very few women reported the rape for the primary purpose of getting help, getting medical care, catching or finding the perpetrator, or punishing the perpetrator.

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Contradictory patterns of rape reporting and rape conviction rates:

A research study found paradoxical relationship between rape reporting and rape conviction rates as seen in the table blow.

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Researchers conclude that whilst reporting rates and wider definitions undoubtedly change the profile of cases, these alone do not explain low and falling conviction rates. Factors which were more common in the low conviction rate samples included: failures in investigation to interview victim and/or suspect and high rates of victim withdrawal. Conversely, the samples with higher conviction rates had neither of these and were systems where prosecutors took control of the investigation and made most decisions about whether cases proceeded.  

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Is every man a potential rapist?

McKibbin et al. (2008) argue that there may be several different types of rapists or rape strategies. One is rape by disadvantaged men who cannot get sex otherwise. Another is “specialized rapists” who are more sexually aroused from rape than from consensual sex. A third type is an opportunistic rapist who switches between forced and consensual sex depending on circumstances. A fourth type is psychopathic rapists. A fifth type is partner rape due to sperm competition when the male suspects or knows that the female has had sex with another male. There are varying degrees of empirical support for the existence of each of these types. More generally they mention research finding that at least one-third of males “admit they would rape under specific conditions” and that other surveys find that many men state having coercive sexual fantasies. They, as have others, “propose that rape is a conditional strategy that may potentially be deployed by any man.”  

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Why rapists don’t admit they raped?

Getting at the real motives of rapists is difficult since rapists typically do not admit their crimes. They often find excuses, and experts say they don’t always tell the truth. “Rapists rarely want to admit that they raped at all let alone why they might have done it,” says Ghiglieri. “Oftentimes, the only confession of these people comes out during rehabilitation programs that they’re put through in social services. These rapists will learn what they’re supposed to say, which is, ‘I’m a victim of society, we live in a macho society that made me the way I am, women are too attractive, and they’re not available to me, and it’s the woman’s fault,’ and on and on and on.” So why don’t rapists admit their crime? Ghiglieri says it has to do with a very simple fact — “A man who rapes, among men, is probably the most hated individual that can exist in a male society,” he says. “It’s actually dangerous to admit that you raped anyone. So men don’t admit to rape, even in prison, because of fear of retribution by men who aren’t rapists.” Indian prison reports say that many rape accused or rape convicts are beaten by other criminals who are not involved in rape crime although they may be involved in other heinous crimes.    

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Biology of sex:

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Sex:

Sex is the male or female division of a species, especially as differentiated with reference to the reproductive functions. It is the sum of the structural and functional differences by which the male and female are distinguished, or the phenomena or behavior dependent on these differences. “Sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. “Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women

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Sexual intercourse:

Sexual intercourse, as coitus or copulation, is the insertion and thrusting of a male’s penis, usually when erect, into a female’s vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction; this is also known as vaginal intercourse or vaginal sex.  Other forms of penetrative sexual intercourse include penetration of the anus by the penis (anal sex), penetration of the mouth by the penis or oral penetration of the vulva or vagina (oral sex), sexual penetration by the fingers (fingering), and sexual penetration by use of a strap-on dildo.

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Erectile anatomy of penis:

Anatomy:

The key structures mediating penile erection are the paired corpora cavernosa or ‘erectile bodies’ as seen in the figure below. These cylindrical structures form the bulk of the penis and fill with arterial blood under pressure at the time of erection. Fused distally for three- quarters of their length, they separate proximally to fuse with each ischial tuberosity of the pelvis.

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Arterial Blood Supply:

The blood supply to each corpus cavernosum is derived mainly from the internal pudendal artery which after giving off the perineal artery, becomes the common penile artery. This vessel pierces the pelvic floor adjacent to the inferior ramus of the ischium near the bulb of the urethra and gives off the bulbar, urethral, dorsal and cavernosal branches before reaching the corpus cavernosum to form one element of the paired dorsal arteries.  

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Neuroanatomy of penis:
Three sets of peripheral nerves are involved in penile erection and subsequent detumescence: parasympathetic nerves from the second to fourth sacral (S2–S4) segments, sympathetic nerves from the tenth thoracic to the second lumbar (T10–L2) thoracolumbar outflow, and somatic fibers via the pudendal nerves as seen in the figure below.

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The sympathetic nervous system is important for penile function: it mediates detumescence and may contribute to the maintenance of the penis in a non-erect state. The sympathetic preganglionic neurons are found in the intermediolateral gray matter of the spinal cord. Postganglionic neurons are located to the sympathetic chain ganglia, the inferior mesenteric, hypogastric and pelvic ganglia, and possibly to ganglia near the target organ. Sympathetic fibers can be found in the pelvic, cavernous, and pudendal nerves. Stimulation of the sympathetic pathways to the penis may, however, also produce erection. It has been suggested that the suprasacral vasodilator pathway is a sympathetic cholinergic pathway, operating through cholinergic neurons in the pelvic plexus. The sympathetic nerves reach the corpora, as well as the prostate and bladder neck, via the hypogastric nerves, where they are susceptible to injury in retroperitoneal lymph node dissection performed for the treatment of metastatic testicular cancer. Postganglionic noradrenergic fibers pass posterolateral to the prostate in the so-called nerves of Walsh to enter the corpora cavernosa medially.

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Parasympathetic nerves stem from the so-called sacral erection center and their cell bodies lie in the intermediolateral nuclei from S2 to S4. Exiting through the sacral foramina, these nerves pass forward lateral to the rectum as the nervi erigentes to reach the pelvic plexus. In this location, preganglionic fibers relay in ganglia, and postganglionic non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic (NANC) fibers pass in the cavernous nerves to the corpora cavernosa. These nerves are vulnerable during procedures such as abdominoperineal resection of the rectum and radical prostatectomy.

Cavernous nerves of penis:

Two nerves, major and minor, derived from the prostatic portion of the pelvic plexus supplying parasympathetic fibers to the helicine arteries and arteriorvenous anastomoses of the corpus cavernosum stimulating erection.

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The pudendal nerves comprise motor efferent and sensory afferent fibers which innervate the ischiocavernosus and bulbocavernosus muscles as well as the penile and perineal skin. Pudendal motor neuron cell bodies are located in Onuf’s nucleus of the S2–S4 segments. The pudendal nerve enters the perineum through the lesser sciatic notch at the posterior border of the ischiorectal fossa and runs in Alcock’s canal towards the posterior aspect of the perineal membrane. At this point, it gives off the perineal nerve with branches to the scrotum and the rectal nerve supplying the inferior rectal region. The dorsal nerve of the penis emerges as the last branch of the pudendal nerve. It then runs distally along the dorsal penile shaft lateral to the dorsal artery. Multiple fascicles fan out distally, supplying proprioceptive and sensory nerve terminals to the dorsum of the tunica albuginea and skin of the penile shaft and glans penis.

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The above mentioned basic anatomy, blood supply and nerve innervations are important in later discussion on castration and interventional impotence as punishment and for reducing recidivism of sexual offence.

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Libido, erection of penis and rape:

Man cannot rape a woman unless he has strong libido and sustained penis erection especially when woman is resisting, shouting and fighting. Of course man can rape woman by putting his fingers in her vagina or bottle neck or iron rod but that is rare. In most rapes, man inserts his erect penis in the vagina of woman against her wish & consent. 

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Penile erection is basically a spinal reflex that can be initiated by stimuli from the periphery and from the central nervous system:  A coordinated sequence of physiologic events (psychic, endocrine, vascular, and neurologic) controls normal sexual and reproductive function in men. Simply stated, normal male sexual function can be divided into four events, each of which is under diverse regulation: libido, erection, ejaculation, and detumescence.

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Libido:

The first, libido is a person’s overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity. Sex drive is determined by biological, psychological, and social factors. Biologically, levels of hormones such as testosterone are believed to affect sex drive; social factors, such as work and family, also have an impact; as do internal psychological factors, like personality and stress. Castration produces a decline in libido that can be restored by treatment with testosterone. Libido is a strong natural instinct.  Thoughts about it are said to be constantly swirling in the mind. The Oscar winning Hollywood actor, Dustin Hoffman, was reported to have disclosed in an interview that he was thinking about sex every seven minutes. Most males have a similar experience. There was a revealing story about Swami Vivekanand who was once so plagued by it that he sat on a hot stove to eliminate it, scorching his underside. Seers, are, thus, also not exempt from its searing intensity. Our mythology relates many anecdotes of holy men not able to control their libido and losing their discrimination. Fulfillment of a sexual desire is a natural quest.   

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The second phase, erection, is primarily a neurologic event that results in modification of the vascular supply to the penis, causing it to become engorged with blood. The neurologic aspect of erection is controlled by both reflex and psychic stimuli. The sensory portion begins with fibers that originate in pacinian corpuscles of the penis and pass via the pudendal nerve to the S2-S4 dorsal root ganglia. The efferent limb begins with parasympathetic preganglionic fibers from S2-S4 which synapse in the perivesicular, prostatic, and cavernous plexuses. From there, postganglionic fibers pass to blood vessels of the corpora cavernosa. Efferent fibers from S3-S4 also travel in the pudendal nerve to the ischiocavernosus and bulbocavernosus muscles. Sympathetic innervation of the male genitalia originates in fibers from the lateral columns of T12 and LI, the so-called thoracolumbar erection center, that synapse in the pelvic and perivesicular plexuses. Postganglionic fibers innervate the smooth muscle of the vas deferens, seminal vesicle, and internal sphincter of the bladder. Sympathetic innervation can act synergistically with the sacral parasympathetics to mediate erection initiated by psychic stimuli but is not mandatory for erection, because most men have normal potency after bilateral complete sympathectomy. The central nervous system modulates erectile response via pathways thought to descend in the lateral columns of the spinal cord. The effect of the central nervous system on erection can either be stimulatory or inhibitory, thus the importance of psychic factors for erection.

While erection is controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system, the transformation of the penis from a flaccid to an erect state is a vascular phenomenon. Blood reaches the penis via terminal branches of the right and left internal pudendal arteries. The erectile tissue of the penis consists of two corpora cavernosa lying side by side on the dorsal aspect of the penis and the corpus spongiosum that surrounds the urethra. This erectile tissue consists of an irregular spongelike system of vascular spaces interspersed between arteries and veins. Erection is initiated by a decrease in arterial resistance resulting in increased arterial blood flow with a subsequent decrease in venous outflow.

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Androgen and erection:

While it is generally accepted that the erectile response in mammals is regulated by androgens, the extent of involvement and the precise role of these steroids remains to be established. A number of neurotransmitters have been identified that may mediate erectile function, of which nitric oxide (NO) has been recently demonstrated as the principal mediator of penile erection. And NO is synthesized from L-arginine by nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Several research groups are actively investigating how androgens may affect the synthesis and action of these agents. The previous research found that the NOS activity in the rat penis was significantly reduced by 70% after castration. It suggests that androgen deprivation may lead to the failure of NO-dependent penile erection.  Apart from the role androgens play in erectile function, they are necessary for erectile tissue and their deficiency results in significant structural abnormalities. It is well established that apoptosis is a prominent feature following castration in other androgen-dependent tissues, such as the prostate. Researchers postulated that apoptosis (programmed cell death) might play a role in castration-induced erectile dysfunction. Their study attempted to elucidate the role of androgen on cavernous structure through investigating whether androgen elimination would result in apoptosis in corpus cavernosum. The study found that castration induced apoptosis in rat corpus cavernosum could be prevented by Testosterone supplementation. It suggests that androgen plays an important role in maintaining the structure of corpus cavernosum.

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The third phase, ejaculation, is under control of the sympathetic nervous system and consists of two processes, seminal emission and true ejaculation. Emission results from the contraction of the vas deferens, prostate, and seminal vesicles which causes seminal fluid to enter the urethra. True ejaculation results from contraction of the muscles of the pelvic floor including the bulbocavernosus and ischiocavernosus muscles. Retrograde ejaculation into the bladder is prevented by partial bladder neck closure mediated by the sympathetic nerves.

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Detumescence after orgasm and ejaculation may be the result of vasoconstriction of the arterioles supplying blood to the erectile tissue, thus allowing venous drainage to empty the sinuses and the penis to become flaccid. Following orgasm, there is a refractory period that varies with age, physical condition, and psychic factors during which erection and ejaculation are inhibited.

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Erection is basically a spinal reflex that can be initiated by recruitment of penile afferents, both autonomic and somatic, and supraspinal influences from visual, olfactory, and imaginary stimuli. Several central transmitters are involved in the erectile control. Dopamine, acetylcholine, nitric oxide (NO), and peptides, such as oxytocin and adrenocorticotropin/ melanocyte-stimulating hormone, have a facilitatory role, whereas serotonin may be either facilitatory or inhibitory, and enkephalins are inhibitory. The balance between contractant and relaxant factors controls the degree of contraction of the smooth muscle of the corpora cavernosa (CC) and determines the functional state of the penis. Noradrenaline contracts both CC and penile vessels via stimulation of 1-adrenoceptors. Neurogenic NO is considered the most important factor for relaxation of penile vessels and CC.

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Caverno-pudendal nervous communicating branches in the penile hilum:

Classically, the peripheral neural pathways for erection are proerectile, issuing from the parasympathetic sacral fibers, and antierectile from the thoracolumbar sympathetic trunk. The cavernous nerves as terminal branches of the pelvic plexus convey the parasympathetic fibers to the penis. The pudendal nerve conveys sensory fibers from the penis and somatic fibers to the bulbospongiosus and ischiocavernosus striated mm. In animals, it has been demonstrated that the dorsal nerve of the penis contains sympathetic fibers. These findings suggest that communicating branches exist between the cavernous nerves and the dorsal nerve. The aim in a research study was to demonstrate the presence of such connections in man. Researchers dissected 20 fresh male cadavers. The pelvic plexus and pudendal nerves were dissected to identify their terminal branches and connections. Histologic study was performed. Their results showed evidence of communicating nervous branches between the cavernous nerves and the dorsal nerve of the penis. Several variants existed concerning the number and type of connections. The presence of such communicating branches proves that the supralevator and infralevator neural pathways communicate and suggest the possibility of a kind of plasticity of the nervous supply of penile erection.

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Erectile response to acute and chronic occlusion of the internal pudendal and penile arteries:

 Researchers designed two animal experiments to elucidate the effect of obstruction of the internal pudendal artery on erectile function. In five dogs the internal pudendal or penile artery was acutely clamped unilaterally or bilaterally with a non-crushing vascular clamp. In eight dogs, the internal pudendal or penile artery was ligated, unilaterally or bilaterally, and occlusion was maintained for two months. In both models, electrodes were implanted around the cavernous nerves for electroerection. In unilateral occlusion, blood flow in the contralateral internal pudendal artery was recorded via an ultrasonic probe. In both unilateral and bilateral occlusion, intracavernous pressure in both corpora cavernosa was recorded through a 21-gauge butterfly needle connected to a Statham transducer. In the chronic model, selective pudendal angiography was done after the erection study was completed; the dogs were then sacrificed and the penile tissue was examined histologically under light microscopy. Unilateral acute clamping of the internal pudendal or penile artery caused a compensatory increase in arterial flow in the contralateral pudendal artery with only moderate impairment of intracavernous pressure on the ipsilateral side, but bilateral occlusion resulted in a marked reduction in the intracavernous pressure response to neurostimulation. In contrast, chronic obstruction of penile vessels had a minimal effect on erectile function due to the development of a rich network of collaterals around the penis. Histological evaluation revealed mild local changes in the cavernous tissue with characteristic compensatory enlargement of branches of the cavernous artery on the control side in cases of unilateral occlusion. 

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Pudendal artery syndrome with erectile dysfunction: treatment by pudendal canal decompression:

Pudendal artery syndrome (PAS) was studied in 10 patients with erectile dysfunction (ED). Ages ranged from 38 to 55 years. All had chronic constipation and straining at stool, absent nocturnal penile tumescence, low penobrachial pressure index (p < 0.01), low peak flow velocity (p < 0.001), and a diameter increase (p < 0.0001) upon duplex ultrasonography screening. Four of the 10 patients had perineal hypoesthesia, prolonged bulbocavernosus reflex (p < 0.05), and pudendal nerve terminal motor latency (p < 0.05), and weak anal reflex and EMG activity of the external anal sphincter. The levator EMG activity was reduced in all patients. Intracavernous papaverine injection induced partial erection after a period longer than normal. Selective pudendal arteriography showed narrowing or obstruction of the distal part of the internal pudendal artery (IPA) on both sides with poorly or non-visualized penile arteries. A generalized arterial disease was excluded and pudendal artery compression in the pudendal canal (PC) was suspected as causing ED. The narrow or obstructed part of the IPA corresponds to the part in the PC. Four of the 10 patients had manifestations of pudendal neuropathy in addition to IPA compression. Pudendal canal decompression (PCD) was performed through a perineal approach. ED improved in 8 of the 10 patients 3-6 months postoperatively. Two of the 4 patients who had pudendal arteriopathy combined with neuropathy did not improve. In conclusion, the 10 patients with ED had common clinical and investigative findings that constitute the pudendal artery syndrome. PCD effected improvement in 80% of the cases.

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Cover-map:

It is a well established fact that permanent loss of erectile function occurs when both neurovascular bundles are widely resected at radical prostatectomy. The CaverMap Surgical Aid helps surgeons protect the cavernous nerves during nerve-sparing prostatectomy. It is a device that maps and locates the cavernosal nerve filaments during radical prostatectomy, helping preserve the nerve bundles, when feasible, in an attempt to maintain penile potency. CaverMap is an electronic device combining nerve stimulation and tumescence monitoring. During surgery, the surgeon uses a probe tip to stimulate areas suspected to contain the neurovascular nerve bundle responsible for erectile function and then checks for tumescence.  The researchers found that before the prostate was removed, stimulation to the area thought to contain the neurovascular bundle produced a positive response 88% of the time. But stimulation to areas thought not to contain the neurovascular bundle also produced tumescence in 46% of cases. There are spontaneous changes in the diameter of the penis that occur during surgery, probably because surgeons are putting pressure on the nerves or doing something else to them, and this instrument is not specific enough for surgeons to use to detect the difference between these spontaneous changes and the effects of an intact cavernous nerve.

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In a nutshell, biology of sex tells us that castration by reducing testosterone in men will reduce sex drive, libido and erections and thereby prevent recurrence of sexual offence. It is also clear that blood supply through internal pudendal arteries and parasympathetic nerve supply through cavernous nerves to penis are essential for erection to occur and therefore any disruption of this blood plus nerve supply will cause permanent impotence preventing habitual sex offender to rape again and again. This is the concept of ‘interventional impotence’ as punishment of habitual sex offender put forward by me as a solution to the menace of rape [vide infra].

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Definition of rape:

The definition of rape varies both in different parts of the world and at different times in history. It is defined in many jurisdictions as sexual intercourse, or other forms of sexual penetration, of one person by another person without the consent of the victim. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines it as “sexual intercourse without valid consent,” and the World Health Organization defined it in 2002 as “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object”. The American Heritage Dictionary defines rape as “The crime of forcing a female to submit to sexual intercourse.” And the legal definition is “carnal knowledge through the use of force or threat of force” according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. All these definitions describe a violent infringement on the personal dignity of an individual.  Rape is also defined as “an event that occurred without the woman’s consent, involved the use of force or threat of force, and involved sexual penetration of the victim’s vagina, mouth or rectum”

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A man is said to commit “rape” if he has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions :-

1. Against her will.

2. Without her consent.

3. With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.

4. With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.

5. With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.

6. With or without her consent, when she is under the age of consent (for e.g.18 years in India).

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The word rape is legally defined u/s 375 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. Whenever a man penetrates or does sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent or will it amounts to rape. Penetration here means that only a slightest of the touch of penis to vagina amounts to rape; unruptured hymen of woman does not prove that rape was not committed.

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Rape is a crime wherein the victim is forced into sexual activity against his or her will. Effectively, it co-opts the victim’s own sexual anatomy as a weapon of domination. It is considered, by most societies, to be among the most severe crimes. In UK and United States common law, “rape” traditionally described a man who forces a woman to have sexual intercourse with him. Forced sex by a husband against his wife was not considered rape, or even a crime, throughout most of history, since as part of the marriage both partners were deemed to have given implicit informed consent in advance to a lifelong sexual relationship. Modern criminal law eliminates this exception and includes acts of sexual violence other than vaginal intercourse, such as forced anal intercourse, which were traditionally barred under sodomy laws. Under the British Sexual Offences Act 2003, which came into force in April 2004, rape was redefined from non-consensual vaginal or anal intercourse and is now defined as non-consensual penile penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person. The changes also made rape punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

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Though traditionally limited to attacks on women by men, the definition of rape has been broadened to cover same-sex attacks and attacks against those who, because of mental illness, intoxication, or other reasons, are incapable of valid consent. Statutory rape, or intercourse with a person younger than a certain age (generally from 12 to 18 years), has long been a serious crime in most jurisdictions. Rape is widely considered an expression of anger or aggression and a pathological assertion of power by the rapist. The psychological responses of victims vary but usually include feelings of shame, humiliation, confusion, fear, and rage. Many rape victims fail to report the crime, deterred by the prospect of a distressing cross-examination in court and the difficulty of proving a crime for which there usually are no witnesses.

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Rape is a sexual assault on any unwilling victim. The term has been used in conjunction with both heterosexual and homosexual assaults. People often talk about sexual assaults in prisons as rapes, for instance. But the most common legal definition is “carnal knowledge without consent.” This appears to apply exclusively to male assaults on females. Under that definition, rape is a very serious crime. In most states the possible penalty is approximately the same as that for premeditated murder.

Let’s examine that definition further:

•”Carnal knowledge” consists of contact with the female genitalia. While that contact is almost always with the penis, that organ need not always be involved. In one case the female organ was penetrated with the neck of a bottle, for instance. Perhaps more to the point, there is no need to prove completion of the sexual act. Rape can certainly have occurred without semen being deposited.

•”Without consent” normally means that vigorous efforts were made to avoid sexual contact. Unfortunately mild verbal protests have sometimes actually been (and frequently been interpreted as) part of sexual byplay. Saying “no” or “please don’t” once has not generally seemed adequate denial of consent when the issue involves a possible life sentence in prison. This interpretation can be challenged, since some women have been paralyzed by terror and unable to offer resistance. But the charge of rape is much more likely to be sustained if there is evidence of both verbal and physical resistance.

•On the other hand, neither verbal nor physical resistance is necessary if the victim is unable to give consent. This situation exists if the victim is “below the age of consent,” so-called statutory rape. Determination of the age of consent is a function of state governments, but 16 years seems to be most common. People with sufficient degree of mental retardation can also be deemed unable to give consent. Anyone who is unconscious, from illness, from drugs or from alcohol may also be considered unable to give consent. A woman threatened with serious body harm, as with a knife at her throat, is deemed not to have given consent even if she (as authorities generally advise) makes no effort to resist.

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Types of victimization:

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Rape of males by males:

Male-on-male rape has historically been shrouded in secrecy due to the stigma associated with males being raped by other males. According to psychologist Dr. Sarah Crome, fewer than 1 in 10 male-male rapes are reported. As a group, male rape victims reported a lack of services and support, and legal systems are often ill-equipped to deal with this type of crime.  Research from the UK suggests that almost 3% of men reported a non-consensual sexual experience as adults and over 5% of men reported sexual abuse as a child. This does not take into account the possibility of underreporting. Recognition of male on male rape in law has historically been limited; the first successful prosecution for attempted male on male rape in the UK was not until 1995.

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Rape of males by females:

Much like female erectile response, male erectile response is involuntary,  meaning that a man need not be aroused for his penis to become erect and be placed in a woman’s vagina; mechanical stimulation is all that is necessary. However, male victims of sexual abuse by females often face social, political, and legal double standards.  Gender-neutral laws have combated the perception that rape rarely occurs to men, and other laws have eliminated the term rape altogether. In 1978 in the UK, Joyce McKinney was sentenced to 12 months in prison for forcing a man to have sex with her while chained up. Several widely publicized cases of female-on-male statutory rape in the United States involved school teachers raping their underage students.

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Rape of females by females:

Female-on-female rape is often labeled “lesbian rape”, though the sexual orientation of one or both (or more) persons involved may or may not actually be lesbian. Assault by forcible stimulation of external sexual female genitalia or forced penetration by another woman is possible with the use of strap-ons, other dildos, other foreign objects such as the use of the tongue (inserted or external) in forced oral sex, or forced digital manipulation, and non-consensual tribadism.

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Male rape:

Males can also be raped (more commonly by other males, but also by females). It is a myth that a man cannot be forced into sex, and the effects are as traumatic as for female victims. In many countries rape of males is legally classified under a different law or name, however the nature of the incident, and its consequences, are similar or identical. It is said that rape of males is taken less seriously due to the stereotypical views held about males in modern society.  Male victims, like female victims, do not all “want sex”, nor does the physiological effect of erection or orgasm mean that sex was “really wanted” or “liked”. (A capable assailant can force these physical responses in the majority of males, given appropriate planning for their assault). Rape of a male by a male means a victim is violated, not that a victim is “gay”. 

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Male Sexual Victimization: Myths & Facts:

Adapted from a presentation at the 5th International Conference on Incest and Related Problems, Biel, Switzerland, August 14, 1991.

Myth 1 – Boys and men can’t be victims.

Fact: This myth, instilled through masculine gender socialization and sometimes referred to as the “macho image,” declares that males, even young boys, are not supposed to be victims or even vulnerable. We learn very early that males should be able to protect themselves. In truth, boys are children – weaker and more vulnerable than their perpetrators – who cannot really fight back. Why? The perpetrator has greater size, strength, and knowledge. This power is exercised from a position of authority, using resources such as money or other bribes, or outright threats – whatever advantage can be taken to use a child for sexual purposes.

Myth 2 – Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by homosexual males.

Fact: Pedophiles who molest boys are not expressing a homosexual orientation any more than pedophiles who molest girls are practicing heterosexual behaviors. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the vast majority are not homosexual. They are pedophiles.

Myth 3 – If a boy experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, this means he was a willing participant or enjoyed it.

Fact: In reality, males can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. Therapists who work with sexual offenders know that one way a perpetrator can maintain secrecy is to label the child’s sexual response as an indication of his willingness to participate. “You liked it, you wanted it,” they’ll say. Many survivors feel guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical (and visual or auditory) stimulation is likely to happen in a sexual situation. It does not mean that the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant at the time.

Myth 4 – Boys are less traumatized by the abuse experience than girls.

Fact: While some studies have found males to be less negatively affected, more studies show that long term effects are quite damaging for either sex. Males may be more damaged by society’s refusal or reluctance to accept their victimization, and by their resultant belief that they must “tough it out” in silence.

Myth 5 – Boys abused by males are or will become homosexual.

Fact: While there are different theories about how the sexual orientation develops, experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation. It is unlikely that someone can make another person a homosexual or heterosexual. Sexual orientation is a complex issue and there is no single answer or theory that explains why someone identifies himself as homosexual, heterosexual or bi-sexual. Whether perpetrated by older males or females, boys’ or girls’ premature sexual experiences are damaging in many ways, including confusion about one’s sexual identity and orientation. Many boys who have been abused by males erroneously believe that something about them sexually attracts males, and that this may mean they are homosexual or effeminate. Again, not true. Pedophiles who are attracted to boys will admit that the lack of body hair and adult sexual features turns them on. The pedophile’s inability to develop and maintain a healthy adult sexual relationship is the problem – not the physical features of a sexually immature boy.

 Myth 6 – If the perpetrator is female, the boy or adolescent should consider himself fortunate to have been initiated into heterosexual activity.

Fact: In reality, premature or coerced sex, whether by a mother, aunt, older sister, baby-sitter or other female in a position of power over a boy, causes confusion at best, and rage, depression or other problems in more negative circumstances. To be used as a sexual object by a more powerful person, male or female, is always abusive and often damaging. 

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•About 3% of American men – a total of 2.78 million men – have experienced a rape at some point in their lifetime (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006).

•In 2003, one in every ten rape victims was male. While there are no reliable annual surveys of sexual assaults on children, the Justice Department has estimated that one of six victims are under age 12 (National Crime Victimization Study, 2003).

•71% of male victims were first raped before their 18th birthday; 16.6% were 18-24 years old, and 12.3% were 25 or older (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006).

•Males are the least likely to report a sexual assault, though it is estimated that they make up 10% of all victims (RAINN, 2006).

•22% of male inmates have been raped at least once during their incarceration; roughly 420,000 prisoners each year (Human Rights Watch, 2001).

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Note:

This article is written to discuss scientific punishment for rape and since male rape is an established fact, it is included in this article as one of the type of rape. However, when the term rape is used without context, it would necessarily mean rape of woman/girl by man and the essence of discussion of this article is to punish the male perpetrator guilty of rape of woman/girl using science. Management of rape of man is not discussed in this article.       

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Sexual assault:

Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented. This includes rape (such as forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration), groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the victim in a sexual manner. In legal terms, sexual assault is a statutory offence in various jurisdictions, including United States, Canada, England and Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. The legal definition of the crime of sexual assault is determined by each jurisdiction.

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Sexual violence: 

Sexual violence is defined as any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.  Coercion can cover a whole spectrum of degrees of force. Apart from physical force, it may involve psychological intimidation, blackmail or other threats – for instance, the threat of physical harm, of being dismissed from a job or of not obtaining a job that is sought. It may also occur when the person aggressed is unable to give consent – for instance, while drunk, drugged, asleep or mentally incapable of understanding the situation. Sexual violence includes rape, defined by some as physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object. The attempt to do so is known as attempted rape. Rape of a person by two or more perpetrators is known as gang rape. Sexual violence can include other forms of assault involving a sexual organ, including coerced contact between the mouth and penis, vulva or anus.

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Data on sexual violence typically come from police, clinical settings, nongovernmental organizations and survey research. The relationship between these sources and the global magnitude of the problem of sexual violence may be viewed as corresponding to an iceberg floating in water as seen in the figure above. The small visible tip represents cases reported to police. A larger section may be elucidated through survey research and the work of nongovernmental organizations. But beneath the surface remains a substantial although unquantified component of the problem. The WHO has conducted a survey of available data and studies globally to assess the extent of this issue and issued a chapter-length report, called “Sexual Violence,” as part of the WHO’s larger 2002 “World Report on Violence and Health.” The report states that, globally, one in four women will likely experience sexual violence by an intimate partner and one in three girls report their first sexual experience being forced.

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Sexual harassment is subtle rape:

Sexual harassment is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors.  Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. The United Nations General Recommendation 19 to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women defines sexual harassment of women to include: “such unwelcome sexually determined behavior as physical contact and advances, sexually colored remarks, showing pornography and sexual demands, whether by words or actions. Such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem; it is discriminatory when the woman has reasonable ground to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment, including recruitment or promotion, or when it creates a hostile working environment.” There are many similarities, and also important differences in laws and definitions used around the world.

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Consider the case of a male supervisor who, in the midst of a conversation with a female employee about an assignment, asked her out of the blue, “Are you wearing panties?” and then blithely continued the conversation seemingly pleased that he had left her rattled. Years later, the woman says she is still outraged by the incident, though she said nothing at the time. It has less to do with sex than with power. It is a way to keep women in their place; through harassment men devalue a woman’s role in the work place by calling attention to her sexuality. “Sexual harassment is a subtle rape, and rape is more about fear than sex,” said Dr. John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington. “Harassment is a way for a man to make a woman vulnerable.”  Sexual harassment and rape are two sides of the same coin. Both showcase the power of man to dominate that of women. Both have one victim- ‘women’. Both are barbaric in nature; but many people extenuate sexual harassment to rape, just because the victims are not physically harmed whereas in rape- the victim is ravished like an animal for the fulfillment of desire and lust of another man. Both have the same object- to undermine the integrity of the victim, physically as well as mentally. Sexual harassment is nothing less than the showcasing of male dominance. Given an opportunity, such men (those committing sexual harassment) would try fulfilling their desire. However, it also not true that all cases of sexual harassment are such- where the accused is guilty of conceiving the intention of a sexual intercourse. But it also depends on each individual case and circumstances, because it may well be the case that the woman may also be at fault. 

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It was in 1997 in Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan and others, that for the first time sexual harassment had been explicitly- legally defined by Indian Supreme Court as an unwelcome sexual gesture or behaviour whether directly or indirectly as 

1. Sexually coloured remarks

2. Physical contact and advances

3. Showing pornography

4. A demand or request for sexual favours

5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal/non-verbal conduct being sexual in nature.

It was in this landmark case that the sexual harassment was identified as a separate illegal behaviour. The critical factor in sexual harassment is the unwelcomeness of the behavior thereby making the impact of such actions on the recipient more relevant rather than intent of the perpetrator- which is to be considered.

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In fact, only about 25 percent of cases of sexual harassment are botched seductions, in which the man “is trying to get someone into bed,” said Dr. Louise Fitzgerald, a psychologist at the University of Illinois. “And in less than 5 percent of cases the harassment involves a bribe or threat for sex, where the man is saying, ‘If you do this for me, I’ll help you at work, and if you don’t, I’ll make things difficult for you.’ “The rest, she said, are assertions of power. All the Signs of a Tactic. In research with 832 working women, Dr. Gutek found that although nearly half said they had been sexually harassed, none had sought legal recourse, and only 22 percent said they had told anyone else about the incident. Few women complain. Several studies have found that only 3 percent of women who have been sexually harassed make a formal complaint. “We find that close to 90 percent of women who have been sexually harassed want to leave, but can’t because they need their job,” said Dr. Paludi.  

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Stalking:

Stalking is a form of mental assault, in which the perpetrator repeatedly, unwantedly, and disruptively breaks into the life-world of the victim, with whom they have no relationship (or no longer have). Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together (cumulative effect). Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them. 43% of male stalking victims stated that the offender was female, while 41% of male victims stated that the offender was another male. Female victims of stalking were significantly more likely to be stalked by a male (67%) rather than a female (24%) offender. Although stalking is illegal in most areas of the world, some of the actions that can contribute to stalking can be legal, such as gathering information, calling someone on the phone, sending gifts, emailing or instant messaging. They become illegal when they breach the legal definition of harassment e.g. an action such as sending a text is not usually illegal, but is illegal when frequently repeated to an unwilling recipient. In fact, United Kingdom law states the incident only has to happen twice when the stalker should be aware their behavior is unacceptable e.g. two phone calls to a stranger, two gifts following the victim then phoning them etc.  Predatory stalkers spy on the victim in order to prepare and plan an attack – often sexual – on the victim. So stalking may be precursor of rape in some cases.

The Violence Against Women Act of 2005, amending a United States statute, 108 Stat. 1902 et seq, defined stalking as “engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—

(A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of others;

(B) Suffer substantial emotional distress.

In 2013, Indian Parliament made amendments to the Indian Penal Code, introducing stalking as a criminal offence. Stalking has been defined as a man who follows or contacts a woman, despite clear indication of disinterest to such contact by the woman, or monitoring of use of internet or electronic communication of a woman. A man committing the offence of stalking would be liable for imprisonment up to three years for the first offence, and shall also be liable to fine and for any subsequent conviction would be liable for imprisonment up to five years and with fine.

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Gang rape:

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Gang Rape (Sec.376 Subsection 2- g: Indian penal code):

Where a woman is raped by one or more in a group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention, each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang rape within the meaning of this sub-section. Thus even if five men force a women into having sexual intercourse with only one of them, the remaining four will also be considered to have committed rape under this law.

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Gang rape is a rape perpetrated by multiple offenders at once. The Bureau of Justice Statistics report that 15% of all rape cases involve more than one offender. Another study found that only 57% of rapes involve only one assailant. 16% involve 2 rapists and 27% involve 3 or more rapists. Most rapists rape again and again and again until they are caught. The classical example is the recent gang-rape of photojournalist in Mumbai where perpetrators have gang-raped many women in the past in similar modus-operandi.    

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Some forms of sexual violence, such as gang rape, are predominantly committed by young men.  Sexual aggression is often a defining characteristic of manhood in the group and is significantly related to the wish to be held in high esteem.  Sexually aggressive behavior among young men has been linked with gang membership and having delinquent peers. Research also suggests that men with sexually aggressive peers are also much more likely to report coercive or enforced intercourse outside the gang context than men lacking sexually aggressive peers.  Gang rape is often viewed by the men involved, and sometimes by others too, as legitimate, in that it is seen to discourage or punish perceived immoral behavior among women, such as wearing short skirts or frequenting bars. For this reason, it may not be equated by the perpetrators with the idea of a crime. In several areas in Papua New Guinea, women can be punished by public gang rape, often sanctioned by elders.

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The social psychology behind gang rapes – Parrot and Bechhofer:

Individuals are shown to be more aggressive in groups than they would be alone. Social psychologists have defined three factors which may explain why groups are easily spurred into aggressive behavior. These factors are diffusion of responsibility, deindividuation, and modeling, all of which can be applied to the dynamics of gang rape.

1. Diffusion of responsibility refers to situations in which the presence of others acting in a similar manner diminishes the feeling of responsibility that any one person may feel. Thus, no one individual in a gang rape believes that he is solely to blame for the victimization taking place.

2. Deindividuation refers to loss of self-awareness, including one’s beliefs, morals, and standards, in a group setting. Loss of self is encouraged to promote group spirit or to prompt behavior that is viewed as unacceptable. Strong cohesion within a group can produce deindividuation by substituting a group identity with its own histories and beliefs. It would stand to reason that if one’s group identity is stronger than one’s personal identity then acceptance of gang rape by the group would out-weigh one’s individual objections.

3. Modeling – The last group dynamic that can be applied to the incidence of gang rape is modeling. When group identity produces conformity, modeling of aggression can take place. Not only would watching the rape of an individual demonstrate the appropriateness of the behavior taking place but it would also show how it is done.   

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A Comparison of Gang and Individual Rape Incidents:

A study examined differences between gang and individual offender rape incidents reported to the Chicago police. Analyses showed that victims and offenders in gang rape incidents were younger, more likely to be unemployed, but not different in marital status or race than victims and offenders in individual rapes (e.g., single offender, single victim crimes). Gang rapes were characterized by more alcohol and drug involvement, fewer weapons, more night attacks, less victim resistance, and more severe sexual assault outcomes compared with individual rapes. Regression analyses revealed distinct correlates of physical injury outcomes for gang and individual rape incidents.    

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A study found that men who were poor or had no high school education were more likely to have raped in a group setting.

  • 50% of multiple perpetrators had no high school education
  • 74.8% of multiple perpetrators had ever married or co-habitated
  • 60.5% of multiple perpetrators experienced childhood physical abuse
  • 43.1% of multiple perpetrators rarely or never had their father at home

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Gang-rape in college campus:

Between one and two percent of college women are victims of rape. Overall on college campuses, 16 percent of all rapes and 10 percent of all attempted rapes engage multiple perpetrators. Fifty-five to seventy percent of gang rape perpetrators belong to fraternities. Eighty-six percent of off-campus attempted rape or sexual assaults are at fraternity houses.  College gang rape tends to be perpetrated by middle- to upper-class men. There are higher incidents of gang rape within fraternities for many reasons: peer acceptance, alcohol use, the acceptance of rape myths and viewing women as sexualized objects, as well as the highly masculinized environment. The Neumann study found that fraternity members are more likely than other college students to engage in rape.  Part of the prevalence of fraternity rape may be due to the fact that some colleges do not have complete control over the privately owned fraternity houses. Although gang rape on college campuses is an issue, however, date, acquaintance, and party rape are more likely to happen.   

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Date rape:

Date rape is the most common form of rape.

Date rape refers to rape committed by a person, who could be a friend, acquaintance or stranger (first date with stranger), against a victim. Commonly, date rape refers to drug facilitated sexual assault or an acquaintance rape. Drug facilitated sexual assault is any sexual assault where alcohol and/or drugs affect the victim’s ability to give informed consent. Acquaintance rape is an assault or attempted assault usually committed by a new acquaintance involving sexual intercourse without consent. Date rape is also a term commonly used to describe nonconsensual sexual intercourse that takes place between people who (1) are or were dating, or (2) are voluntarily spending time together.

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The brief literature review should make two important points quite clear. First, date rape is a crime that occurs with surprising frequency, particularly on college campuses. Second, at least some college men seem willing to force sex on a date. Why? One answer might be that men perceive date rape to be less of a crime than women. Certainly, some evidence suggests this to be the case. Several studies (e.g., Abbey & Harnish, 1995; Holcomb et al., 1991; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987; Varelas & Foley, 1998) have confirmed that college men hold more rape-tolerant attitudes than do college women. For example, Holcomb and his colleagues (1991) found that the college men in their sample were significantly more likely than college women to endorse statements such as “Some women ask to be raped and may enjoy it” and “If a woman says ‘no’ to having sex, she means ‘maybe’ or even ‘yes'”. They also found that their male participants were more likely than their female participants to agree that “Any woman could prevent rape if she really wanted to”, suggesting that men tend to blame the victim more than women. This finding is consistent with that of other researchers (e.g., Bell, Kuriloff, & Lottes, 1994; Kanekar & Kolsawalla, 1981; Kanekar, Pinto, & Mazumdar, 1985; Krahe, 1988). Bell and her colleagues (1994) found that although men tended to blame the victim of date rape more than women, both men and women tended to blame the victim of date rape more than the victim of stranger rape.

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Shocking Responses of the date rape Victim:

  • Only 27 percent of those women whose sexual assault met the legal definition of rape thought of themselves as rape victims.
  • 42 percent of the rape victims did not tell anyone about their assaults.
  • Only five percent of the rape victims reported the crime to the police.
  • Only five percent of the rape victims sought help at rape-crisis centers.
  • Whether they had acknowledged their experience as a rape or not, thirty percent of the women identified as rape victims contemplated suicide after the incident.
  • 82 percent of the victims said that the experience had permanently changed them.

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Is it any less traumatic to be raped by someone you know than by a complete stranger?  
To say that a date rapist who is known to their victim should be given a lighter sentence, would be like saying that a murderer who is known to their victim should be given a lighter sentence. A woman’s right to refuse or decline sexual activity is her right — no means no, no matter who the attacker is. Date rape should, by no means carry a lesser sentence. If a woman’s right is violated, when she is forced into having sexual intercourse which she has not consented to, then she has been raped. The situation should not be viewed any differently just because she has spent the evening with the man, is a mutual friend of his or is his wife. Instead of taking away shame and guilt from these men who cross the barrier of decency, we should be imposing tougher sentences. Date rape is still rape because it is a violation of another’s body and security. Date rapists are just as wrong as your regular Sex Offender and they certainly do not deserve a lighter sentence. Lighter sentences only promote that Date rape is acceptable and it is not. Any person who forces himself on another for sexual purposes should be tried the same way regardless if was a “date” or not. There is no excuse for raping a person. 

Please remember during date rape trial:

Voluntary intoxication may negate consent.

Involuntary intoxication will definitely negate consent.

Even if you and the alleged victim have had sex before, consent may still be at issue.

Unfortunately, it is not at all uncommon for a woman to make false accusations of date rape against her boyfriend or romantic partner. She may be angry at him because she feels he is cheating on her, neglecting her, rejecting her, or about to break up with her. She retaliates by going to the police and accusing him of date raping her.

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Drug-facilitated sexual assault:

A drug-facilitated sexual assault is one involving the victim consuming alcohol or taking drugs. The alcohol or drugs may be knowingly or unknowingly consumed by the victim. That is, sometimes perpetrators intentionally drug a victim and other times perpetrators take advantage of someone who is already drunk or high. The drugs can be any substances that affect the central nervous system (CNS). This includes street drugs (e.g. cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, GHB), prescription drugs (e.g. anti-depressants, tranquilizers), and over-the-counter medications (e.g. cough syrup). When these drugs are mixed with alcohol, their effects are enhanced, which makes people particularly vulnerable.

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Though flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) is often cited as a date rape drug because of its high potency, strong effects and the ability to cause strong amnesia during its duration of action, investigations into its actual use as a date rape drug have contradicted popular belief. Research has shown that flunitrazepam is used in fewer than 1% of sexual assaults where intentional drugging was suspected. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the UK put out a report on drug-facilitated sexual assault in 2007, which stated: “There is no reason to believe that flunitrazepam has unique properties as a weapon in drug facilitated sexual assault.” Ketamine and GHB are also commonly represented in the media as date-rape drugs. This is because they have central nervous system activity and are hard to detect.  However, there is little evidence to support that they are widely used to facilitate sexual assault.

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Factors associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault:

In a recent study of sexual assault victims who believed they were intentionally drugged in Ontario, Canada, most victims reported that they were socializing in a public place prior to the sexual assault. Over half of victims said they were last at a club, bar, lounge, restaurant, house party or social event. Half of drug-facilitated sexual assault victims are assaulted by a friend or acquaintance; however, this may be an under-representation because many victims are unsure about who assaulted them.

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Influence of alcohol on rape:

Alcohol consumption is known to have effects on sexual behavior and aggression. During social interactions, alcohol consumption also encourages biased appraisal of a partner’s sexual motives, impairs communication about sexual intentions, and enhances misperception of sexual intent, effects which are exacerbated by peer influence about how to act when drinking. The effects of alcohol at point of forced sex are likely to impair ability to rectify misperceptions, diminish ability to resist sexual advancements, and justify aggressive behavior.  Alcohol provides justification for engaging in behaviors that are usually considered inappropriate. Studies have shown consistent alcohol use in reported cases of sexual and non-sexual violence. The increase of assaults on college campuses can be attributed to the social expectation that students participate in alcohol consumption. The peer norms on American college campuses are to drink heavily, to act in an uninhibited manner and to engage in casual sex.

Various studies have concluded the following results:

On average, at least 50% of college students’ sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use.

74% of perpetrators and 55% of victims of rape of a nationally representative sample of college students had been drinking alcohol.

Women whose partners abuse alcohol are 3.6 times more likely than other women to be assaulted by their partners.

In 2002, more than 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 were victims of alcohol-related sexual assault in the U.S.

In those violent incidents recorded by the police in which alcohol was a factor, about 9% of the offenders and nearly 14% of the victims were under the age of 21 years.  

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Alcohol has been shown to play a disinhibiting role in certain types of sexual assault, as have some other drugs, notably cocaine.  Alcohol has a psychopharmacological effect of reducing inhibitions, clouding judgments and impairing the ability to interpret cues. The biological links between alcohol and violence are, however, complex. Research on the social anthropology of alcohol consumption suggests that connections between violence, drinking and drunkenness are socially learnt rather than universal.  Some researchers have noted that alcohol may act as a cultural break time, providing the opportunity for antisocial behavior. Thus people are more likely to act violently when drunk because they do not consider that they will be held accountable for their behavior. Some forms of group sexual violence are also associated with drinking. In these settings, consuming alcohol is an act of group bonding, where inhibitions are collectively reduced and individual judgment ceded in favor of the group.

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Alcohol related acquaintance sexual assault:

The model as seen in the figure above focuses on the most common type of sexual assault that occurs between men and women who know each other and are engaged in social interaction prior to the assault, the prototypic college sexual assault situation. As seen in the figure, a combination of preexisting beliefs and situational factors contribute to acquaintance sexual assault. Alcohol also has independent and synergistic effects.     

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Explanations for the Relationship between Alcohol Consumption and Sexual Assault:

The fact that alcohol consumption and sexual assault frequently co-occur does not demonstrate that alcohol causes sexual assault. The causal direction could be the opposite; men may consciously or unconsciously drink alcohol prior to committing sexual assault to have an excuse for their behavior. Alternatively, other variables may simultaneously cause both alcohol consumption and sexual assault. For example, personality traits, such as impulsivity, or peer group norms may lead some men both to drink heavily and to commit sexual assault.   

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Statutory Rape:

Statutory rape refers to sexual relations involving someone below the “age of consent.” People below the age of consent cannot legally consent to having sex. This means that sex with them, by definition, violates the law. Although it usually refers to adults engaging in sex with minors under the age of consent, it is a generic term, and very few jurisdictions use the actual term “statutory rape” in the language of statutes. Statutory rape laws vary by state, with states setting the age of consent differently, as well as using different names to refer to this crime. Many states punish statutory rape under laws addressing sexual assault, rape, unlawful sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge of a child. Statutory rape is a sex crime that may be punishable by incarceration, fine, probation, and/or registry as a sex offender, depending on the state and circumstances of the incident.  

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Some individuals, such as minors and the incapacitated are considered unable to give consent, and therefore to have sex with them is always rape. The age at which individuals are considered competent to give consent is the age of consent, set differently by each state but usually between 13 and 18. Rape that violates age-of-consent law but is neither violent nor physically coerced is described as statutory rape, usually a legally-recognized category.  Statutory rape therefore refers to the crime of sexual intercourse with someone under the age of consent but older than the maximum age for the act to be considered child molestation. It is so named because it is considered to be rape under a specific statute rather than under the principles of criminal common law. Because the state has an interest in protecting minors, it declares that children under a certain age are not able to give informed consent. Thus even if a minor agrees to sexual activity, it is still considered legally to be rape. Laws vary widely in their definitions of statutory rape; some states make exceptions when the perpetrator is also young or of a similar age, or if he or she marries the minor before the act of sexual intercourse or before being convicted of the crime. Due to a wide variety of opinions on what the proper age of consent should be, and conflicts between child sex protection laws and the natural exploration of teenage sexuality, statutory rape charges can sometimes be controversial. In the past, sex involving an adult female and an underage male were often ignored by the law, as many believed that this was not a bad experience for teenage boys. However, in recent years, the situation has changed, and there have now been a number of high profile cases where adult women have been prosecuted for establishing sexual relationships with younger boys.

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Viewing statutory rape laws as salutary in this way does raise a serious problem, however. The U.S. Supreme Court required that prosecutors prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be constitutionally valid. Removing the “force” element of rape and leaving only intercourse and age might seem to amount, from some perspectives, to a presumption that the force element of rape is established, without the prosecutor’s having to prove it and without the defense even having the option of affirmatively disproving it.  Such a presumption allows for the possibility that a fully consensual sexual encounter will be prosecuted and punished as rape. Some might understandably believe that this unfairly subjects essentially innocent men to unduly harsh treatment, simply in the name of deterring other, unrelated men from engaging in very different and far more culpable sorts of conduct.

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Though a statutory rape charge would not require proof of force or coercion, feminists observed, young girls were (and may continue to be) especially vulnerable to being raped by the adults in their lives. In one study, for example, seventy-four percent of women who had intercourse before age fourteen and sixty percent of those who had sex before age fifteen report having had a forced sexual experience.

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Romeo and Juliet laws:

Often, teenage couples engage in sexual conduct as part of an intimate relationship. This may start to occur before either participant has reached the age of consent, or after one has but the other has not. In most jurisdictions, the person who has reached the age of consent would be guilty of the statutory rape provision. In some jurisdictions (such as California), if two minors have sex with each other, they are both guilty of engaging in unlawful sex with the other person. Most jurisdictions, as previously stated, consider the act itself to be prima facie evidence of guilt, as any consent between partners, even if freely given, does not meet the standard of law, as it is given by a person the law has defined as being incapable of giving consent. Thus the accused individual often has no defense. These aspects have often been considered unjust, leading to the passage of so-called Romeo and Juliet laws, which serve to reduce or eliminate the penalty of the crime in cases where the couple’s age difference is minor and the sexual contact is only considered rape because of the lack of legally recognized consent.  

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What is the ideal age of consent?

Age of consent means age at which a person can give consent for sex which is legally accepted. In my view, 16 years is an ideal age of consent. Lower age of consent below 16 years may be harmful. Wide variations in the age of consent are too often accepted as the result of cultural and religious differences. There’s a danger in being too respectful of cultural arguments. These are arguments made by men who want to have sexual access to children. The age of consent was designed to protect children from sexual exploitation by more powerful adults.  Child sex and marriage tended to occur in cultures where women and children are very much second class citizens and are very much controlled by men. Also, child prostitution and child sex trafficking is common when age of consent is too low.  

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Marital rape:

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Marital rape, also known as spousal rape, is non-consensual sex in which the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. As such, it is a form of partner rape, of domestic violence, and of sexual abuse. Once widely condoned or ignored by law, spousal rape is now repudiated by international conventions and increasingly criminalized. Still, in many countries, spousal rape either remains legal, or is illegal but widely tolerated and accepted as a husband’s prerogative. In 2006, it was estimated that marital rape could be prosecuted in at least 104 countries (in four of these countries, marital rape could be prosecuted only when the spouses were judicially separated), and since 2006 several other countries have outlawed marital rape. In the US, spousal rape is illegal in all 50 states. In many countries it is not clear if marital rape may or may not be prosecuted under ordinary rape laws. In some countries, the lack of criminalization of marital rape, coupled with the legal or social acceptance of child marriage, leads to severe forms of child sexual abuse. Throughout much of the history, in most cultures, sex in marriage was considered a ‘right’ that could be taken by force, if ‘denied’. As the concept of human rights started to develop in the 20th century, and with the arrival of second wave feminism, such views have become less widely held. The legal and social concept of marital rape has developed in most industrialized countries in the mid to late 20th century; and in many parts of the world it is still not recognized, socially and legally, as a form of abuse. Historically, most religions were interpreted as tolerating or ignoring forced sexual relations in marriage; however Judaism has been considered an exception to this way of thinking; in fact, in Israel, in 1980, when the Israeli Supreme Court affirmed that marital rape is a crime, it was mostly religious arguments based on the Talmud that were given by the judges.

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A Brief Legal History of Marital Rape:

Much of the scholarly attention that has been given to marital rape has emerged from the legal community. This has occurred because throughout the history of most societies, it has been acceptable for men to force their wives to have sex against their will. The traditional definition of rape in the United States most commonly was, “sexual intercourse by a man with a female not his wife without her consent” (quoted in Barshis, 1983, p. 383). As Finkelhor and Yllo (1985) have argued, this provided husbands with an exemption from prosecution for raping their wives—a “license to rape” (Drucker, 1979; Eskow, 1996; Sitton, 1993, for a discussion of the marital exemption). The foundation of this exemption can be traced back to statements made by Sir Matthew Hale, Chief Justice in 17th century England. Hale wrote, “But the husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto the husband which she cannot retract” (quoted in Russell, 1990, p. 17). This established the notion that once married; a woman does not have the right to refuse sex with her husband. This rationale remained largely unchallenged until the 1970’s when some members of the anti-rape movement argued for the elimination of the spousal exemption because it failed to provide equal protection from rape to all women (Bidwell & White, 1986; Finkelhor & Yllo, 1985). On July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in all 50 states in the U.S., under at least one section of the sexual offense codes.

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Prevalence of criminalization of marital rape:

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Prevalence of marital rape:

Diana Russell’s (1990) landmark study of sexual assault that involved interviews with 930 women in a randomly selected representative community sample in San Francisco established the pervasiveness of marital rape. Researchers estimate that between 10 and 14% of married women experience rape in marriage (Finkelhor & Yllo, 1985; Russell, 1990). When researchers have examined the prevalence of different types of rape, they have found that rape by intimates is common. In their study of Canadian women, Randall and Haskell (1995) found that 30% of women who were sexually assaulted as adults were assaulted by their intimate partners. Based on the findings of the largest U.S. study of violence against women to date, it is estimated that over 7 million women have been raped by their intimate partners in the United States (Mahoney, Williams & West, 2001; Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998). If we consider the number of women who felt emotionally coerced to have “unwanted sex” with their intimate partner, the prevalence is much higher. In a national study, Basile (2002) found that 34% of women indicated that they had unwanted sex with their partner—most frequently as a result of marital obligation. Rape in marriage may occur more frequently than previously estimated particularly when we consider that women who are involved in physically abusive relationships may be especially vulnerable to rape by their partners (Campbell, 1989; Pence & Paymar, 1993).  

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Implied consent is consent which is not expressly granted by a person, but rather inferred from a person’s actions and the facts and circumstances of a particular situation (or in some cases, by a person’s silence or inaction). In many common law jurisdictions, a couple who married was deemed to have given “implied consent” to have sex with each other, a doctrine which barred prosecution of a spouse for rape. This doctrine is now considered obsolete in most countries.

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The other side of marital rape:

In many civilized societies, non-consummation in marriage is good and sufficient grounds for annulment of the union.  A straightforward annulment. One does not even have to go through the trouble and complexities of applying for a divorce. If this is the legal position, where does the presumption stand that sex is not a conjugal right or obligation in marriage?  Politeness and prudishness in civil society do not permit the crude declaration of each partner’s right to engage in sex with the other in marriage vows. However, this should not be mistakenly construed that sex is not required as part and parcel of marriage. This conjugal right to sex covers both partners in the union and the wife is as entitled to apply for an annulment for the husband’s refusal to consummate the marriage as the other way around. If sex is legally a conjugal right then the notion of marital rape is clearly inconsistent with such a right and the imprudent result of overly aggressive feminists in Western societies and the desire of vote hungry lawmakers to accommodate them.  If indeed force is used by the husband to obtain non-consensual sex with his wife, then the use of such force is adequately covered by the Domestic Violence Act, without the need to introduce a dubious piece of legislation with deep detrimental implications to the institution of marriage.  The issue here is not about sex per se, but about mistreatment, abuse and violence perpetrated by one party on the other, which may occur not only in the matter of sex but also in any other activity in marriage.

So why the need to single out sex? 

For when we legalize the concept of marital rape, we open a can of worms, with implications extending far beyond the protection of women from domestic violence. If wives can cry rape just because they are not in the mood, then it implies that they have the legal right to withhold sex at their whims and fancies. As sex is a basic biological need, should we then allow the unfortunate husband, from whom sex has been unreasonably denied to legally fulfill his need elsewhere? If such is the case then we must re-examine the whole institution of marriage from the legal, moral and cultural standpoint and indeed the very purpose of marriage itself. Is not the purpose of marriage to provide a stable union for the production and bringing up of offspring? The essence of human marriage is sexual intercourse within legal, social and cultural framework between man and woman to procreate and make family. Marriage can be annulled immediately if found that no sexual intercourse occurred between man and woman. In other word, sexual intercourse is the basis of consummation of marriage. In other words, both parties have given implied consent for sex at the time of marriage. Now if one party withdraws consent unilaterally, it should amount to annulment of marriage first rather than occurrence of the crime of rape. If marital rape is same as non-marital rape, then, the concept of marriage should change. If a woman marries an impotent man, she cannot ask for divorce on that ground if the husband fulfills all his duties to her except sex. Lack of sexual pleasure to her would not amount to annulment of marriage as her husband loves her and looks after her very well.  So the society is caught in the web of consummation of marriage concept and marital rape concept. In my view, a middle ground has to be found. If a woman thinks that she is sexually abused by her husband, she must report it to police and after due investigation, police report the matter to court; the court then annuls the marriage immediately if the complaint is bona fide and the man is declared non-husband. If the same person rapes the woman again, then it should be considered as a crime.  First reported non-consensual sex by husband over his wife must not be considered as a crime but instead annulment of marriage.   

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The sex industry and rape:

The relation between the sex industry (pornography, striptease, live sex shows, prostitution, etc.) and rape has been discussed worldwide. Some theorists charge that the acceptance of these sexual practices increases sexual violence against women, by reinforcing stereotypical views about women, who are seen as sex objects which can be used and abused by men, and by desensitizing men; this being one of the reasons why some theorists oppose the sex industry. They argue that pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation, and coercion of women, and reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment. The gang rapists of photojournalist in Mumbai were showing video-clip of porn film from their cell phone to victim during rape and forcing her to do what a porn-star does in a film. American sex offender Ariel Castro who kidnapped and raped three women for 11years passed the buck to the pornography industry for sexual exploitation of the captives. In my article on ‘Sex trafficking’ I have shown that pornography is linked with sex trafficking and rape of women.

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Rape culture:

Rape culture is a culture in which dominant cultural ideologies, media images, social practices, and societal institutions support and condone sexual abuse by normalizing, trivializing, and eroticizing male violence against women and blaming victims for their own abuse. Rape culture is a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape. Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape. Rape culture has been used to model behavior within social groups, including prison systems and conflict areas where war rape is used as psychological warfare. Entire countries have also been alleged to be rape cultures. Rape culture is a term used within women’s studies and feminism, describing a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexualized violence. Within the paradigm, acts of sexism are commonly employed to validate and rationalize normative misogynistic practices; for instance, sexist jokes may be told to foster disrespect for women and an accompanying disregard for their well-being, which ultimately make their rape and abuse seem “acceptable”. Examples of behaviors said to typify rape culture include victim blaming, trivializing prison rape, and sexual objectification. Although the concept of rape culture is used in feminist academia, there is disagreement over what defines a rape culture and to what degree a given society meets the criteria to be considered a rape culture. Rape culture has been observed to correlate with other social factors and behaviors. Research identifies correlation between rape myths, victim blaming and trivialization of rape with increased incidence of racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, religious intolerance and other forms of discrimination.

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Rape culture of India:

Certainly, political leaders of all hues, in their personal lives, have commodified women, both inside and outside the home. Outside the home, BJP MLAs are caught watching pornography on their I-pads in the Legislative Assembly, Janata Dal Leaders have paid women to perform ‘item’ numbers in mass functions and Late Prime Minister P. V Narsimha Rao wrote in his biography, The Insider, how Congress leaders bought women for sex while attending Congress Working Committee sessions. Business leaders are seen with paid escorts, hosting rave parties, consuming porn, and saving their sons from the consequences of molesting girls. In the culture of “success” that lay man witnesses on the media every day, he sees classified advertisement in newspapers selling female escorts, businessmen zipping around in fast cars with girls draped on their arms staring out with vacant eyes and at least one private airline owner using the ‘casting couch’ to hire 60 airhostesses for four planes.  While lay man cannot afford fast cars and the accompanying female escorts, he can certainly buy porn CDs. India has become the third largest user of pornography in the world. Blue movies and CDs are available at any video parlour. In the course of their work, social workers have seen the steady creeping in of a rape culture into the fabric of India. They have been campaigning to change the anti-trafficking law to punish customers and pimps and the biggest challenge they face is the normalization of the rape of poor women in Indian culture. The prostitution of poor women is considered inevitable and the men who buy them are considered natural. Politicians, senior police officials, heads of foundations and even policy makers have told: “Men will be men,” or “Girls from good families will be raped, if prostitutes don’t exist”.  These comments perpetuate a notion of masculinity in which men have unbridled sexual desire, will rape women if they are not obtainable otherwise, and that poor women should be sexually available to protect middle-class women! This is how rape cultures are created. Those in positions of power who serve as role models for the rest of society do not challenge prevalent norms, attitudes and practices that trivialize, normalize, tolerate, or even condone rape. In fact many actually, perpetuate the inevitability of male female inequality. In India, many law-makers are involved in crimes against women. There are 369 MPs and MLAs who face charges of crimes against women including rape, molestation and assault. Can such legislatures give justice to women?  Incidents of rape have gone up by 873 per cent since India gained Independence.    

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Do twitter and facebook promote rape culture?  

Thanks to the masking power of anonymity-aiding pixels, it’s easy for trolls to proceed relatively unchecked. As a result, we’ve become gradually desensitized to the uglier side of human behavior, and have paid the price for it. Recent studies suggest the internet is making us meaner. And lonelier. And angrier. It’s also raising our collective tolerance for what’s acceptable to say in a public forum (at least when we’re hidden behind a keyboard) in horrifying new ways. Let’s consider Twitter, which is often hailed as a free and fair global townhall for the digital age.  Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist who campaigned to have Jane Austen’s face stamped on British currency, became just the latest woman to receive a nonstop flood of death and rape threats from an unflinching army of online aggressors. According to BBC News, Criado-Perez suffered some 50 abusive tweets an hour for 12 hours straight, before Scotland Yard — not Twitter — traced the online lashing to a 21-year-old man who had coordinated the rhetorical attacks. (Twitter says it is looking into the abuse reports, but that it does not comment on individual accounts specifically.) Anita Sarkeesian, who writes about women’s issues in pop culture (especially video games) under the handle Feminist Frequency, tweeted that despite notifying Twitter multiple times, the rape threats she regularly receives are still deemed fit for publication by the service’s moderators: To be clear: Twitter is a private company that can do what it pleases. But Facebook, the service’s chief rival, tackled a similarly dicey issue earlier, when graphic images and depictions glorifying “rape culture” began sprouting up on the social network. Initially, Facebook refused to pull the images — even though its community standards at the time explicitly barred “graphic content for sadistic pleasure,” mind you — and only did so when companies were pressured into removing their advertising. Facebook later issued a half-hearted mea culpa promising to do “better.” Online society remains a society, with analogous rights and responsibilities, and needs to engage actively with such issues. If we want to be part of the not-so-new media, then we must take responsibility for confronting its more aberrant members.

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Child sex abuse:

Child sexual abuse or child molestation is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation.  Forms of child sexual abuse include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure (of the genitals, female nipples, etc.) to a child with intent to gratify their own sexual desires, or to intimidate or groom the child, physical sexual contact with a child, or using a child to produce child pornography. The global prevalence of child sexual abuse has been estimated at 19.7% for females and 7.9% for males, according to a 2009 study published in Clinical Psychology Review that examined 65 studies from 22 countries. Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approximately 30% are relatives of the child, most often brothers, fathers, uncles or cousins; around 60% are other acquaintances such as ‘friends’ of the family, babysitters, or neighbors; strangers are the offenders in approximately 10% of child sexual abuse cases. Most child sexual abuse is committed by men; studies show that women commit 14% to 40% of offenses reported against boys and 6% of offenses reported against girls. Some sources report that most offenders who sexually abuse prepubescent children are pedophiles, but some offenders do not meet the clinical diagnosis standards for pedophilia.

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The sexual abuse of children is more than just physical sexual contact and includes:

  • sexual touching of any part of the body, clothed or unclothed, including using an object
  • all penetrative sex, including penetration of the mouth with an object or part of the body
  • encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity, including
      • sexual acts with someone else
      • making a child strip or masturbate
  • intentionally engaging in sexual activity in front of a child
  • not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activity by others
  • meeting a child following sexual ‘grooming’, or preparation, with the intention of abusing them
  • taking, making, permitting to take, distributing, showing or advertising indecent images of children
  • paying for the sexual services of a child or encouraging them into prostitution or pornography
  • showing a child images of sexual activity including photographs, videos or via webcams.

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Pedophilia:

The term pedophilia refers to persistent feelings of attraction in an adult or older adolescent toward prepubescent children, whether the attraction is acted upon or not. A person with this attraction is called a pedophile. In law enforcement, the term pedophile is generally used to describe those accused or convicted of child sexual abuse under sociolegal definitions of child (including both prepubescent children and adolescents younger than the local age of consent); however, not all child sexual offenders are pedophiles and not all pedophiles engage in sexual abuse of children.  Law enforcement and legal professionals have begun to use the term predatory pedophile, a phrase coined by children’s attorney Andrew Vachss, to refer specifically to pedophiles who engage in sexual activity with minors. The term emphasizes that child sexual abuse consists of conduct chosen by the perpetrator.

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The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) defines pedophilia as a “disorder of adult personality and behaviour” in which there is a sexual preference for children of prepubertal or early pubertal age. It is termed pedophilic disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and the manual defines it as a paraphilia in which adults or adolescents 16 years of age or older have intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children that they have either acted on or which cause them distress or interpersonal difficulty. The term has a range of definitions, as found in psychiatry, psychology, the vernacular, and law enforcement. In popular usage, the word “pedophilia” is often incorrectly used to mean any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse. Researchers recommend that these imprecise uses be avoided because although people who commit child sexual abuse commonly exhibit the disorder, some offenders do not meet the clinical diagnosis standards for pedophilia and these standards pertain to prepubescents. The prevalence of pedophilia in the general population is not known, but is estimated to be lower than 5% among adult men. “Most sexual offenders against children are male, although female offenders may account for 0.4% to 4% of convicted sexual offenders. Child pornography is commonly collected by pedophiles who use the images for a variety of purposes, ranging from private sexual uses, trading with other pedophiles, preparing children for sexual abuse as part of the child grooming process, or enticement leading to entrapment for sexual exploitation such as production of new child pornography or child prostitution.

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The term pedophile is commonly used to describe all child sexual abuse offenders, including those who do not meet the clinical diagnosis standards, which is seen as problematic by researchers, as most of them distinguish between child molesters and pedophiles. There can be motives for child sexual abuse that are unrelated to pedophilia (such as stress, marital problems, or the unavailability of an adult partner).  As child sexual abuse might not be an indicator that its perpetrator is a pedophile, offenders might be separated into two types: Exclusive (i.e., “true pedophiles”) and non-exclusive (or, in some cases, “non-pedophilic”). According to a U.S. study on 2429 adult male sex offenders who were categorized as “pedophiles”, only 7% identified themselves as exclusive; indicating that many or most child sexual abusers may fall into the non-exclusive category.  However, the Mayo Clinic reports perpetrators who meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia offend more often than non-pedophile perpetrators, and with a greater number of victims. They state that approximately 95% of child sexual abuse incidents are committed by the 88% of child molestation offenders who meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia. A behavioral analysis report by the FBI states that a “high percentage of acquaintance child molesters are preferential sex offenders who have a true sexual preference for [prepubescent] children (i.e., true pedophiles)”.

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Paraphilia:

According to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), 6 the primary diagnostic tool within the mental health field, a paraphilia is defined as a sexual disorder in which the patient experiences “recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors…that occur over a period of at least 6 months” [American Psychiatric Association (APA), 2010, p. 566]. Paraphilias can take on many forms and develop toward a multitude of sexual behaviors, objects, or partners. The DSM acknowledges nine categories of paraphilia, including exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, pedophilia, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, transvestic fetishism, voyeurism, and “paraphilia not otherwise specified,” which allows for the diagnosis of paraphilias other than those specifically listed (Ibid., p. 569-576). Historically, pedophilia and exhibitionism have been the two primary forms of paraphilia treated via castration (Walker, Meyer, Emory, & Rubin, 1984). When a person with a paraphilia commits a sex crime, the motivation for his or her behavior is to act out unrelenting sexual fantasies. Unfortunately, many individuals with paraphilias cannot or do not realize these fantasies with consenting parties. While it is not illegal to suffer from paraphilia, it is when such a paraphilia is realized against a nonconsenting person (Ibid.). This can pose a particular problem for paraphiliacs, who often report that the only effective means of temporarily silencing these troubling fantasies is to act on them (Berlin & Meinecke, 1981). These offenders are no strangers to the emotional distress that is known to accompany paraphilias—they often report feeling remorse and guilt over their crimes and may even verbalize their desire to escape the sexual fantasies that drive them (Bund, 1997). For this reason, paraphiliacs are excellent candidates for chemical castration (vide infra): they tend to be keenly aware of the damaging effects of their paraphilia, and often are eager to silence their unrelenting fantasies. Furthermore, because these offenders are primarily motivated by sexual fantasies, they are notoriously unresponsive to traditional methods of deterrence, e.g. the threat of reincarceration, because the existence of deterrent measures does nothing to silence the paraphiliac’s troubling thought patterns (Money & Bennett, 1981). For this class of offenders, chemical castration presents an effective and often welcomed treatment.  

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Custodial and prison rape:

Research carried out by Cindy Struckman-Johnson and David Struckman-Johnson of the University of South Dakota has found that 22% – 25% of male prisoners in the United States have been the victim of sexual assault, 10% have been the victim of rape, and 6% have been the victim of gang rape. Women prisoners are especially vulnerable to assault by guards and other staff members, and the incidence in the United States has been denounced by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

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Prison rape refers to rape occurring in prison. It has come into common usage to refer to rape of inmates by other inmates, and less commonly to the rape of inmates by staff, and even less commonly rape of staff by inmates. Rape incidents in prison are so much taken for granted by prisoners and the general public alike that few have considered the historical or sociological aspects of the practice. It has often been said that prison staff tacitly tolerate prison rapes as a form of control. Whether they are consciously aware of it or not, they are simply following a long historical tradition of rape as punishment.  In the Arab countries, for centuries, an intruding man caught in the harem was turned over to the slaves to be used for their sexual pleasure. Rape of captive soldiers in war was common amongst Arabs, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. The tradition apparently continues, with a recent report of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva documenting the rape of numerous teenage Palestinian boys in Israeli military detention centers, as part of both punishment and interrogation routines. In England, as well as in the early American years, prisoners left in the stocks or pillory overnight were often raped. The punishment was virtually an invitation to rape, with the prisoner firmly anchored and unable to turn his head to see who was behind him. The general knowledge of such assaults occurring would suggest that judges were just as aware that they were imposing rape as punishment as were Arab harem keepers who more directly imposed rape as punishment. In the modern era, prison administrators have often been accused of tolerating, and sometimes deliberately creating, rape situations. In addition to the punishment aspect, prison staffs have better control of the population by tacitly consenting to rapes. On the one hand, there is the threat of being placed in a rape vulnerable position, and on the other hand it is a way of keeping the more aggressive prisoners calm and happy, since if they weren’t raping they might be rioting. Even in prisons where rapes are rare or nonexistent, there is the constant threat of being transferred to a prison where rape is common–a threat which is sometimes made outright by staff. The practice is international. One Middle Eastern country having large numbers of Americans arrested on drug charges officially punishes disciplinary infractions within the prison by chaining one ankle to the bed for 24 hours. The official explanation is that for that day he is being punished by being restricted to bed and is not able to wander around using the various recreational facilities and television. The true situation is that by being chained to the bed, the real punishment is that the prisoner is unable to defend himself and is available all day to any of his 150 dormitory mates who might want to rape him, and that almost all would want to. That is why the punishment is only for one day.

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Confinement to a single sex institution necessitates the need for sexually adaptive behavior. Although prisons are the focus here, most institutions segregating the sexes share similar problems. Men and women react somewhat differently to confinement in a prison, most probably due to differences in their socialization. Therefore their experiences will be discussed separately. Brownmiller suggests that rape in a male prison is an acting out of power roles, rather than expressing a sexual need. In this situation the weaker man is overpowered and assumes the feminine, typically passive role. Homosexual rapes in this situation are somewhat analogous to heterosexual rape in that the rapist tends to be a younger inmate who chooses a smaller man as his victim. Fear, brutality and humiliation often accompany the rape, and victims are frequently encouraged by guards not to report it to spare their family and friends the humiliation. The men who rape in prisons are often incarcerated for crimes of violence. In 1968 Alan J. Davis of the district attorney’s office in Philadelphia conducted a study of prisons in Philadelphia.  He too found that homosexual rape was not primarily motivated by the need for sexual release since masturbation was easier. Conquest and degradation did appear to be a primary goal. Gagnon and Simon argue that while masturbation may be easier it may be less acceptable to men who have been socialized to the taboos of such an act. They view the rape as an expression of the individual’s power and masculinity. The rapist, although involved in a homosexual act, is still viewed by others as heterosexual as long as there is no reciprocity from the victim. Davis would agree as he found that prison rape was a product of the violent subculture’s definition of masculinity through physical triumph. Brownmiller states that providing women will not alleviate the rape problem in prisons. She reinforces the view that it is not a sexual release these men are seeking as much as it is a need to establish a hierarchy of the strong over the weak. Women respond to imprisonment somewhat differently. Although there is some lesbian activity and sexual assault among the inmates, women tend to establish family systems. Women respond to the depersonalization of prisons by forming pseudo-families with a husband, wife, children, and often aunts, uncles and cousins. These are usually not violent clusters, yet do establish a hierarchal system and pattern of behavior based on role definitions. Homosexual activity then may be expressed in the context of the roles of husband/wife relationships. Gagnon and Simon summarize well when they state that “what is occurring in the prison situation for both men and women is not a problem of sexual release but rather the use of sexual relationships in the service of creating a community of relationships for satisfying needs for which the prison fails to provide in any other form. In other words, if a male feels his masculinity is being questioned or challenged, he may use rape as a vehicle to reaffirm his position. Similarly women who need to reorganize their lives to provide the emotional as well as physical releases may form families and act out their respective roles.

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Rape as a Crime against Humanity:

Systematic rapes are often employed as a form of ethnic cleansing. During the aggression by Serb ethnonationalists on Bosnia, thousands Muslim women and girls were raped. Many of them were taken into the rape camps, and held there for weeks, even months. There many of them suffered tortures, multiple rapes and other severe traumas. When the survivor survived one such camp, she has a story to tell about it. War rapes are rapes committed by soldiers, other combatants or civilians during armed conflict or war, or during military occupation. It also covers the situation where girls and women are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery by an occupying power. During war, rape is often used as a means of psychological warfare in order to humiliate the enemy and undermine their morale. Rapes in war are often systematic and thorough, and military leaders may actually encourage their soldiers to rape civilians.

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Sexual slavery:

Sexual slavery is the slavery of unwilling people for sexual exploitation. Sexual slavery is particular form of enslavement which includes limitations on one’s autonomy, freedom of movement and power to decide matters relating to one’s sexual activity. Thus, the crime also includes forced marriages, domestic servitude or other forced labor that ultimately involves forced sexual activity. In contrast to the crime of rape, which is a completed offence, sexual slavery constitutes a continuing offence. … Forms of sexual slavery can, for example, be practices such as the detention of women in “rape camps” or “comfort stations”, forced temporary “marriages” to soldiers and other practices involving the treatment of women as chattel, and as such, violations of the peremptory norm prohibiting slavery. The broad umbrella term of sexual slavery include forced marriage, sex trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution, child pornography, child sex tourism, forced prostitution and sexual slavery during armed conflict, war and ethnic cleansing.

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Statistics of rape:

More than 250,000 cases of rape or attempted rape are recorded by police annually in 65 countries.

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Rape in America:

Several Epidemiological studies indicate an alarming prevalence of rape. In North American samples of college students (e.g., Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987) and in community samples (e.g., Russell, 1984), about one in four women report to have been the victim of a rape or an attempted rape. About 15% of male college students report to have attempted at least once to have intercourse with an unwilling female (Koss et al., 1987).  Rape is probably the most underreported crime in the United States. In a Department of Justice report on forcible rape published in 1978, it was estimated that only one-fifth of all rapes are ever reported to the police. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1999) estimated that 91% of U.S. rape victims are female and 9% are male, with 99% of the offenders being male.  Rape by strangers is usually less common than rape by persons the victim knows, and several studies argue that male-male and female-female prison rape are quite common and may be the least reported forms of rape.  A study found that about 20 million out of 112 million women (18.0%) in the U.S. have ever been raped during their lifetime.  One of the more striking findings of this study was that only 16% of all rapes were reported to law enforcement. In 2011, the US Centers for Disease Control found that “nearly 20% of all women” suffered rape or attempted rape sometime in their life. More than a third of the victims were raped before the age of 18.  In a 1992 survey of American women aged eighteen and older, 13 percent of the respondents reported having been the victim of at least one rape, where rape was defined as unwelcome oral, anal or vaginal penetration achieved through the use or threat of force. Between 3 and 6 percent of boys and 12 and 28 percent of girls in the United States are sexually victimized before the age of 18. Surely, eradicating sexual violence is an issue that modern society should make a top priority.  

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Quarter of men in South Africa admits rape, survey finds:

One in four men in South Africa have admitted to rape and many confess to attacking more than one victim, according to a study that exposes the country’s endemic culture of sexual violence. Three out of four rapists first attacked while still in their teens, the study found. One in 20 men said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year. Of those surveyed, 28% said they had raped a woman or girl, and 3% said they had raped a man or boy. Almost half who said they had carried out a rape admitted they had done so more than once, with 73% saying they had carried out their first assault before the age of 20. The study also found that men who are physically violent towards women are twice as likely to be HIV positive. They are also more likely to pay for sex and to not use condoms. Any woman raped by a man over the age of 25 has a one in four chance of her attacker being HIV-positive.

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Rape statistics in India:

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, a woman is raped every 20 minutes in India. What is more shameful is that according to the statistics, the possibility of someone being convicted for the crime has declined by a third. In the year 2011, 24,206 rape cases were reported — up 10 percent from 2010. This shows an increase of 873 percent since 1971 from when the Crime Bureau began recording these statistics. What is scarier?  Every third victim was a child. And that many cases go unreported. According to reports, for every case reported, 50 go unreported. Stranger rapes are a miniscule percentage of the rapes committed but get reported more often, according to the Delhi police. “In 2011, only 2.46 percent stranger-related rape cases were reported, in comparison to 3.94 percent in 2010.” They also said that around 97 percent of the perpetrators were known to the victims. There was a 336 % increase in the child rape in 2001-2011 and a large number of crimes committed to be said in Juvenile homes aided by government. As per the records in Citing National Crime Records bureau the number of child sexual records is said is 48,338 in India is the last decade. And most of the times we don’t even come to know about the incidence or the victim. It doesn’t come into light; People hesitate to report it to the police. How far are we aware of this?

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Rape in UK:

In a 2000 research article from the Home Office, in England and Wales, around 1 in 20 women (5%) said that they had been raped at some point in their life from the age of 16 beyond. 

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Rape in Asia-Pacific countries: a study:

In the first of its kind, a multi-country survey looked at how widespread rape and sexual violence is in six Asia-Pacific countries. And it also asked why. A quarter of the men interviewed, said they had raped a woman or girl. The report published in the medical journal The Lancet also brought insight into the socio-economic circumstances of the men who rape. The study by the Partners for Prevention, comprised of several U.N. agencies, asked 10,178 men about their lives. They gathered information from the following countries: Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.

How widespread is rape?

The questionnaire did not contain the word “rape,” because of the researcher’s belief that most men do not think they have raped when they force women to have sex. Instead, participants were asked questions like whether they ever “forced a woman who was not your wife or girlfriend at the time to have sex,”– if they ever “had sex with a woman who was too drunk or drugged to indicate whether she wanted it” –or forced a partner, when she did not want to. Here is the percentage of respondents who said they had raped a partner or non-partner.   

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Rape statistics in six Asia-Pacific countries:

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Age of victim:

84 % of all women victims were less than 25 years of age.

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Age of the offender:

93 % of all rapists were aged less than 30 years at the time of their first rape. This reinforces the need for early rape prevention if one is to intervene before the first rape is committed.

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Juvenile age of sex offender:

As seen in the figure above, 14 % sex offender were less than 15 years of age. We saw how people were pressing for the juvenile offender to be hanged in the Delhi gang-rape case. This cry did not die down, even after its rejection by both Justice J S Verma commission and the Supreme Court. They declined any change in Juvenile Justice Act. The pronouncement of verdict in the Delhi gang-rape case revived the demand afresh as the Mumbai gang-rape and a few other cases involving juveniles simply reinforced it. The legal battle is also on. A petition of Subramanian Swamy is pending with the Indian Supreme Court. Swamy wants that age should not be the criteria for deciding juvenility; instead “the mental and intellectual maturity” of the offender should be taken into account. Others are challenging the rationale of keeping 18 years as the maximum limit for juvenility. They argue that it should be reduced to 16, at least for those who are involved in heinous crimes. Looking at the issue from the perspective of internationally accepted child-rights, it is in contravention to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC). India is a signatory to it. It clearly says that all children below the age of 18 should be considered juvenile. The UN has been pursuing nations to change their laws and make 18 as the age of juvenility. To comply with the UN Convention, Justice Juvenile Act was revised in 2000 and the maximum age of juvenility was raised from 16 to 18 in India. [More discussion vide infra on juvenile sex offender]

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Sex offender:

Sex offender is a generic term for all persons convicted of crimes involving sex, including rape, molestation, sexual harassment and pornography production or distribution. Serous sex offenders are criminals who force people into sex. Such criminals can be found in every society. Male sex offenders are also referred to as rapists. In most states convicted sex offenders are supposed to report to local police authorities, but many do not. What constitutes a sex crime differs by culture and legal jurisdiction. Most jurisdictions compile their laws into sections, such as traffic, assault and sexual. The majority of convicted sex offenders have convictions for crimes of a sexual nature; however, some sex offenders have simply violated a law contained in a sexual category. Some of the crimes which usually result in a mandatory sex-offender classification are: a second prostitution conviction, sending or receiving obscene content in the form of SMS text messages (sexting), relationship between young adults and teenagers resulting in corruption of a minor (if the age between them is greater than 1,060 days; if any sexual contact was made by the adult to the minor, child molestation has occurred).  Other serious offences are sexual assault, statutory rape, bestiality, child sexual abuse, incest, rape, and sexual imposition. 

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A sexual predator is defined as a person who is an adult or juvenile who has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, committing a sexually oriented offense and who is likely in the future to commit additional sexually oriented offenses.

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Sex Offender Population:

The registered sex offending population within the United States is over 627,000 according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 2007. These figures are low because a majority of sex offences go unreported. Greenfeld (1997) states the statistics do not include sex offenders who are under correctional supervision for non-sex related offenses. An example is when an offender’s most recent conviction was not a sex-related offense. Another distinction is important to note that ‘sex offender’ refers to an individual who has been convicted of a sex related offense. Most, but not all, sex offenders suffer some underlying sex-related personality disorder and are said to suffer from some form of paraphilia (Burdon & Gallagher, 2002). Although a sex-related disorder often manifests itself in the performance of an illegal sex act, the term paraphiliac is not limited to individuals who have been convicted of a sex crime. Thus, these two terms, legal and clinical sex offender, describe two different although not mutually exclusive types of individuals: Legal sex offenders are individuals convicted of committing illegal sex acts, and clinical sex offenders are individuals who are clinically diagnosable as having a paraphilic disorder and who may not be under some form of criminal justice supervision for committing an illegal sex act. First two distinctions are important. Not all individuals who are convicted of a sex-related offense (i.e., legal sex offenders) are diagnosable as having a paraphilic disorder (e.g., most rapists). Conversely, not all paraphiliacs (i.e., clinical sex offenders) who are incarcerated have been convicted of a sex-related offense.

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Recidivism:

Recidivism is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior. It is also used to refer to the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested for a similar offense. The term is most frequently used in conjunction with criminal behavior and substance abuse. (Recidivism is a synonym for “relapse”, which is more commonly used in medicine and in the disease model of addiction.) For example, scientific literature may refer to the recidivism of sexual offenders, meaning the frequency with which they are detected or apprehended committing additional sexual crimes after being released from prison for similar crimes. To be counted as recidivism, the re-offending requires voluntary disclosure of arrest and conviction, so the real recidivism rate may differ substantially from reported rates. Recidivism can be defined as a re-arrest, a reconviction, or a return to prison. Some studies report only sex re-offenses, whereas others identify any re-offenses. Sex offenders may reoffend, even after they have been convicted and imprisoned. This conduct is known as recidivism.  In order to understand recidivism rates, it is essential to know the length of follow-up time used in a study.   

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Recidivism Statistics:

The percentages rearrested (but not necessarily guilty) for the “same category of offense” for which they were most recently in prison for were:
13.4% of released robbers
22.0% of released assaulters
23.4% of released burglars
33.9% of released larcenists
19.0% of released defrauders
41.2% of released drug offenders
2.5% of released rapists

Contrary to popular belief, as a group, sex offenders have the lowest rate of recidivism of all the crime categories. These statistics completely fly in the face of conventional wisdom about sex offenders being the most likely group of criminals to re-offend for their initial crime. However, rape is the most under-reported crime in the world and therefore recidivism rate for rapists would be grossly underestimated.

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The U.S. Department of Justice has conducted a study based on convicted sex offenders who were released from prison in 1994. Here are some of the findings from the study:

– Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime. If all crimes are included, 43 percent of sex offenders were rearrested for various offenses.

– Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders. But sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.

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Underestimating Recidivism for sex crime:

Reliance on measures of recidivism as reflected through official criminal justice system data obviously omit offenses that are not cleared through an arrest or those that are never reported to the police. This distinction is critical in the measurement of recidivism of sex offenders. Several studies support the hypothesis that sexual offense recidivism rates are underreported. Marshall and Barbaree (1990) compared official records of a sample of sex offenders with “unofficial” sources of data. They found that the number of subsequent sex offenses revealed through unofficial sources was 2.4 times higher than the number that was recorded in official reports. In addition, research using information generated through polygraph examinations on a sample of imprisoned sex offenders with fewer than two known victims (on average), found that these offenders actually had an average of 110 victims and 318 offenses (Ahlmeyer, Heil, McKee, and English, 2000). Another polygraph study found a sample of imprisoned sex offenders to have extensive criminal histories, committing sex crimes for an average of 16 years before being caught (Ahlmeyer, English, and Simons, 1999).

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The definition of recidivism is also variable. Some studies have focused on defining recidivism as an arrest for a crime; others have used successful conviction, while some have targeted sentencing. Studies are variable in length, most being based on duration of twelve months or less. The results vary wildly. One longitudinal study of twenty-two years revealed an overall reconviction rate of 48 per cent. This can be compared with an estimate of only 38.5 per cent using the conventional procedure for calculating recidivism failure per year.  A more recent study attempted to address these problems using a methodological analysis of the recidivism rates of sex offenders.  A sample of 265 male sex offenders was divided into two groups – rapists and child molesters. Those charged with offences on victims sixteen years of age or older were classified as rapists, whilst those whose victims were under the age of sixteen were classified as child molesters. A list of fifty-nine offender dispositions was used. The sample study covered a period of twenty-five years. The results are dramatic. For rapists there was a stable 2 to 3 per cent recidivism rate for new sexual charges per year, and by the end of the study period the conviction and incarceration rates were 24 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively, compared to the charge rate of 38 per cent. Among the child molesters the cumulative recidivism rate for new sexual charges was 4 per cent per year, dropping to 3 per cent in the fourth year and peaking at increments of 11 per cent between year five and year ten. At the end of the study period the conviction and incarceration rates were 41 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively, with an overall charge rate of 51 per cent.  Among child molesters there was a steady rise in charges for new offences, with the rate beginning at 14 per cent, increasing to 37 per cent at year five, and to 75 per cent at the end of the study. The rate of new sexual offences by the end of the study period was 39 per cent for rapists compared with 52 per cent for child molesters.  The alarming conclusion from this study is that recidivism for sexual offences was generally underestimated by 30 to 40 per cent when rates were estimated using the simple proportion of new offences, as in similar studies.  Although the research on sex-offenders does not warrant the conclusion that as a group they are untreatable, results do not confer consistent confidence in outcomes.

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Those promoting tough sex offender laws rely as well on a 1997 study led by Robert Prentky. His group looked at 136 rapists and 115 child molesters released from the Bridgewater sex offender civil commitment center in Massachusetts between 1959 and 1986. The sexual recidivism rates based on new sexual charges were 32 percent for molesters and 25 percent for rapists. But the length of time the men were free in the community varied widely. If all had been at large the full 25 years covered in the study, the authors estimated the sexual recidivism rates would have been 52 percent for molesters and 39 percent for rapists.

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Karl Hanson and Andrew Harris published a 2004 report on 4,724 sex offenders in 10 Canadian and American samples ranging from 191 to 1,138 subjects. The average follow-up period was seven years after release. The overall sexual recidivism rates were 14 percent after five years, 20 percent after 10 years and 24 percent after 15 years. Incest offenders had corresponding rates of 6, 9 and 13 percent. Recidivism was defined as a new sex crime arrest or a new conviction. Counting only new convictions, the recidivism rates were generally half as high.

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Rapist’s recidivism:

There has been considerable research on the recidivism of rapists across various institutional and community-based settings and with varying periods of follow-up. A follow-up study of sex offenders released from a maximum-security psychiatric institution in California found that 10 of the 57 rapists (19 percent) studied were reconvicted of a rape within five years, most of which occurred during the first year of the follow-up period (Sturgeon and Taylor, 1980). These same authors reported that among 68 sex offenders not found to be mentally disordered who were paroled in 1973, 19 (28 percent) were reconvicted for a sex offense within five years. In a study of 231 sex offenders placed on probation in Philadelphia between 1966 and 1969, 11 percent were rearrested for a sex offense and 57 percent were rearrested for any offense (Romero and Williams, 1985). Rice, Harris, and Quinsey (1990) conducted a more recent study of 54 rapists who were released from prison before 1983. After four years, 28 percent had a reconviction for a sex offense and 43 percent had a conviction for a violent offense.

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Child Molester’s recidivism:

Studies of the recidivism of child molesters reveal specific patterns of reoffending across victim types and offender characteristics. A study involving mentally disordered sex offenders compared same-sex and opposite-sex child molesters and incest offenders. Results of this five-year follow-up study found that same-sex child molesters had the highest rate of previous sex offenses (53 percent), as well as the highest reconviction rate for sex crimes (30 percent). In comparison, 43 percent of opposite-sex child molesters had prior sex offenses and a reconviction rate for sex crimes of 25 percent, and incest offenders had prior convictions at a rate of 11 percent and a reconviction rate of 6 percent (Sturgeon and Taylor, 1980). Interestingly, the recidivism rate for same-sex child molesters for other crimes against persons was also quite high, with 26 percent having reconvictions for these offenses. Similarly, a number of other studies have found that child molesters have relatively high rates of nonsexual offenses (Quinsey, 1984). 

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Classification of Sex Offenders and their recidivism:

The most common classification is to separate offenders by their victim age preference, thus the two principle categories are rapists and pedophiles (Prentky, Knight, and Quinsey 1990). According to this classification, offenders who commit the offense of rape of a child are classified as pedophiles. In most studies, the term child molester is used for pedophile. Incest offenders are often distinguished from other child molesters. This category includes offenders who are biological parents and stepparents, as well as siblings. Another type of sex offender is the hands off sex offender. This includes exhibitionists, voyeurs, and obscene phone callers.

How often do sex offenders re-offend?

A useful summary of the research is provided by Marshall and Barbaree (1990) in their literature review as seen in the figure below. The researchers concluded that:

• Exhibitionists have the highest sex offense recidivism rates (41 to 71 percent).

• The next highest recidivism rates are found among child molesters who offend against boys (13 to 40 percent).

• The recidivism rates of rapists (7 to 35 percent) are similar to the rates of child molesters who offend against girls (10 to 29 percent).

• Incest offenders generally have the lowest recidivism rates (4 to 10 percent).

*Sex offenders with a criminal history have higher recidivism rates than sex offenders convicted for the first time.

• Some sex offenders, such as child molesters, may reoffend many years after an initial sex offense. For these sex offenders, deviant sexual behavior may be a life-long pattern.

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Meta-Analysis Studies:

In Hanson and Bussiere’s meta-analysis, 61 research studies met the criteria for inclusion, with all utilizing a longitudinal design and a comparison group. Across all studies, the average sex offense recidivism rate (as evidenced by rearrest or reconviction) was 18.9 percent for rapists and 12.7 percent for child molesters over a four to five year period. The rate of recidivism for nonsexual violent offenses was 22.1 percent for rapists and 9.9 percent for child molesters, while the recidivism rate for any reoffense for rapists was 46.2 percent and 36.9 percent for child molesters over a four to five year period. However, as has been noted previously and as these authors warn, one should be cautious in the interpretation of the data as these studies involved a range of methods and follow-up periods.  

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Another study on repeat sex offenders:

The likelihood of repeat offenses is high. Nearly half of the respondents, who said they had committed rape, perpetrated the crime on different women. They were asked how many different women they had raped:

  • 55.4% said they have raped 1 woman
  • 28.3% said they have raped 2-3 women
  • 12% said they have raped 4-10 women
  • 4.2% said they have raped 10 or more women

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Note:

Inadvertently confusion is created about recidivism rates by authors in various studies. For example, recidivism rate of 5 % would mean 5% convicted sex offender would re-rape again but when? Within one year, five year or life-time…  I request all authors and researchers to be specific about time limit for recidivism rates. If no time limit is mentioned, it would mean life time rate. For example, recidivism rate is 40% means 40% sex offenders will re-rape again in their life time. Different studies have shown different recidivism rates for sexual offences from 5% to 50%. However, rape is the most under-reported crime in the world and hence a rape committed by a convicted sex offender is also likely to be unreported. Therefore it would be wise and prudent to give more significance to studies showing high recidivism rates.  

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What’s the background of a repeat rape offender?

Men with a history of victimization, such as experiencing childhood physical or sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect in childhood, were more likely to commit sexual violence than those without such a past, according to the study. 

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The figure below shows characteristics of recidivists:

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Consent:

When a matter is before the courts regarding the criminal offence of rape, a central element in regards to the offence is that of consent. All legal matters before the courts are complex, however, cases involving sexual penetration without consent can be of particularly difficulty due to the nature of the offence, the effects on a complainant, as well as the evidence to be adduced. Both the common law and legislation deals with the offence of rape extensively and because the question surrounding consent can go to the heart of such matters, the law has had to define what constitutes consent.

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In any allegation of rape, the absence of consent to sexual intercourse on the part of the victim is critical.  Consent need not be expressed, and may be implied from the context and from the relationship of the parties, but the absence of objection does not of itself constitute consent. Lack of consent may result from either forcible compulsion by the perpetrator or an incapacity to consent on the part of the victim (such as persons who are asleep, intoxicated or otherwise mentally helpless). The law can also invalidate consent in the case of sexual intercourse with a person below the age at which they can legally consent to such relations with older persons. (See age of consent.) Such cases are sometimes called statutory rape or “unlawful sexual intercourse”, regardless of whether it was consensual or not, as people who are under a certain age in relation to the perpetrator are deemed legally incapable of consenting to sex. Consent can always be withdrawn at any time, so that any further sexual activity after the withdrawal of consent constitutes rape. Duress, in which the victim may be subject to or threatened by overwhelming force or violence, and which may result in absence of objection to intercourse, leads to the presumption of lack of consent.  Duress may be actual or threatened force or violence against the victim or somebody else close to the victim. Even blackmail may constitute duress. Abuse of power may constitute duress. For instance, in Philippines, a man commits rape if he engages in sexual intercourse with a woman “By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority”. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in its landmark 1998 judgment used a definition of rape which did not use the word ‘consent’: “a physical invasion of a sexual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive.”

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There is considerable debate as to what constitutes proper and complete consent in a sexual relationship. How explicit consent should be, how frequently it needs to be established, and what constitutes diminished capacity (usually due to drugs or alcohol) are all subjects of some disagreement. These debates take place both on moral and ethical grounds, and as a legal issue, since rape can only be convicted as a crime with intent in many jurisdictions, and the erroneous belief of consent is a common defense.

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Lack of consent may be demonstrated by:

  • The complainant’s assertion of force or threats;
  • Evidence that by reason of drink, drugs, sleep, age or mental disability the complainant was unaware of what was occurring and/ or incapable of giving valid consent; or
  • Evidence that the complainant was deceived as to the identity of the person with whom she had intercourse.

A boy or girl under the age of 16 cannot consent in law if the age of consent is 16 years in that jurisdiction.

Consent should be carefully considered when deciding not only what offence to charge but also whether it is in the public interest to prosecute. Sometimes consent is given, or appears to be given, but the law does not treat it as effective consent.  Where the victim has consented in fact but not in law alternative offences may be appropriate. Examples include incest or unlawful sexual intercourse (in the case of a female victim) or, where consensual intercourse with a male under the age of consent, the offence of buggery.

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Consent is when one person agrees to or gives permission to another person to do something. It means agreeing to an action based on your knowledge of what that action involves; its likely consequences and having the option of saying no. The absence of “no” does not mean “yes”. When it comes to sex in your relationship, consent is really important. You both have a responsibility to make sure you both feel safe and comfortable every step along the way. Remember, your actions towards the person you’re with can greatly affect the way they feel about you, themselves, the relationship and sex in general. Consent is an important part of healthy sexuality and both people should be involved in the decision to have sex.

Consent is…

  • A voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement
  • An active agreement: Consent cannot be coerced
  • A process, which must be asked for every step of the way; if you want to move to the next level of sexual intimacy, just ask
  • Never implied and cannot be assumed, even in the context of a relationship. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you have permission to have sex with your partner

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Sir Igor Judge, sitting with Lady Justice Hallett and Mrs Justice Gloster, had said that sex would amount to rape if the complainant had temporarily lost her capacity to choose as a result of drink.  “However, where the complainant has voluntarily consumed even substantial quantities of alcohol, but nevertheless remains capable of choosing whether or not to have intercourse, and in drink agrees to do so, this would not be rape,” the judges added.

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Person can consent to have sex without experiencing any desire for the sex (for example, in a case of prostitution or where one partner wants to express gratitude to the other and bestows sex as a kind of gift).  Robin West wrote a fascinating article about the problem of unwanted sex, a problem that she notably distinguishes from nonconsensual sex but which she nonetheless sees as worthy of discussion.  It is also the case that a person might feel sexual desire but decide not to consent (perhaps because the sex would betray an existing committed relationship).  Though consent and desire undoubtedly overlap, they are not identical. For this reason, if a woman says “no” or “stop,” to a man, it really should not matter whether she actually wants or actually does not want to have sex with the man.  By the same token, if a woman pushes a man away, it is legally irrelevant that in her mind, she was thinking that she would really like to have sex with the man.  It must be up to the partners in sexual activity whether that activity occurs or not, and a choice to say no (or physically resist) must be honored, no matter what each individual is truly feeling in his or her mind.  Likewise, if a person goes along with a sexual encounter but actually feels no desire and wishes the sex would not take place, the sex is not rape. But why, asks Rubenfeld, can’t a woman simply get up and leave the room if she does not want to have sex?  Assuming that the man is not using force against her, isn’t she amply capable of asserting her choice in the situation?  The problem with these questions is that they assume that there is no implied threat in place.  Rubenfeld acknowledges that if one partner threatens the other, then physical force is no longer necessary to define an act of sex as rape.  He acknowledges further that a threat need not be explicit and thus arrives at an inquiry about whether a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s situation would have feared violence. But if that is the proper question, then it seems quite plausible to say that once a person has said “no” or “stop” and the other person has continued to initiate intercourse with the first person, there is an implicit threat in place:  (1) your objections do not register with me; (2) I will continue doing what I’m doing no matter what you say; and (3) if you try to stop me more forcefully, I will still continue doing what I’m doing, even if violent force is required.  In other words, the notion that “no means no” actually illuminates a power imbalance that commonly accompanies sexual encounters:  one of the parties is physically stronger than the other and can therefore rely on that disparity of strength to deter physical resistance when verbal resistance is ignored.  Rubenfeld acknowledges that this can happen and even that “most of the time, a force requirement will match up unproblematically with the view that sex in the face of a ‘no’ is rape.”  But he then gives as an example of where “no” does not (and should not) make it rape, the case of a woman whose door was unlocked and who was moaning “no” throughout the sex but could have and yet did not get up and leave the room:  “The law does not empower women when it presumes them too weak to stand up and walk away through an unlocked door (in the absence of force or threat) if they don’t want to have sex.”  I disagree with Rubenfeld here as ‘no’ means ‘no’, no matter whether the door was open and whether no force was used by man.

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Does lack of consent means woman ought to have resisted rape? 

Tonic immobility during rape:

One of the most troublesome areas regarding rape continues to be the issue of ‘consent’ on the part of the survivor (Cohn 1975). Struggling, screaming, and other forms of active resistance by the victim become a crucial element in the handling of the crime of rape/sexual assault and in the treatment and recovery of the rape survivor. Police seek visible signs of resistance in determining whether a rape has occurred, and when these signs are absent, it is difficult to convince investigators that a rape has taken place (Rose & Randall 1982). Clearly, active resistance is a critical factor in rape, yet anywhere from 12 per cent (Brickman & Briere 1984) to 50 per cent (Amir 1975) of victims are quiet and motionless during the attack and do not resist the attackers in any way. Burgess and Holmstrom (1976) report 37 per cent of a sample of rape survivors indicated they felt paralyzed and unable to move. What is the nature of this reported immobility and what role might it play in the aftermath of rape? There may be an involuntary, reflexive, physiological basis for this immobility. A long documented physiological, involuntary, reflexive response which occurs in many animal species is ‘tonic immobility’ (Suarez & Gallup 1976). This is an unlearned state of profound motor inhibition typically elicited by a high fear situation that involves threat and/or restraint. After some struggling, a catatonic-like posture ensues. Vocalization stops, tremors occur, and there are periods of eye closure. Heart rate decreases while body temperature and respiration increase (Suarez & Gallup 1976). Tonic immobility has seldom been studied in humans (Crawford 1977), but Suarez and Gallup (1976) proposed that freezing reactions during rape may be an instance of tonic immobility in human beings. This possibility is supported by victim self-reports such as, ‘I felt faint, trembling and cold . . . I went limp’ (Burgess & Holmstrom 1976, p. 416), or feeling ‘. . . unable to do anything . . . even move my legs (Rose 1986, p. 819). The similarities between a rape attack and the methods used to induce tonic immobility are apparent (Suarez & Gallup 1976). Rape can, and frequently does, involve restraint and fear-producing stimuli such as weapons or violent threats. Ratner (1967) has suggested that tonic immobility may be an evolved defense mechanism to predation, and rape has been described as a predatory act (Selkin 1975).  The experience of freezing or immobility during rape has an important consequence to prove that absence of resistance does not mean consent given for sex.  Offering no resistance because of a form of paralysis is a normal reflex action for rape victims, says the Swedish Association for Victim Support (BOJ).  A state of paralysis in which a person can offer no resistance is a normal survival reflex called ‘frozen fright’, BOJ said, citing Monika Hartig, a psychologist and psychotherapist at a Stockholm hospital casualty department where 600-700 raped women seek treatment every year. The condition is characterized by reduced pulse, lower blood pressure, weakened ability of the heart to pump and incontinence. The potential rape victim can neither move nor call for help. “We think that we can remain active in such a situation, but even the best-trained people end up in this passive condition, where the system starts to close down,” says Hartig. “It’s an automatic reaction and you have no choice.” Many of the victims do not understand why they cannot call for help. Hartig says the right side of the brain is the most active in this situation – while the verbal centre is usually in the left side of the brain. “That makes it very difficult to call out, to talk,” she says. “You have the experience that you are caught in your own body.” Åsa Witowski of the Uppsala-based National Centre for Knowledge on Men’s Violence Against Women – which is visited every year by about 1,500 women who have suffered violence and other crimes – says that it has not yet been shown that ‘frozen fright’ is the most normal reaction during rape.

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Should a victim refrain from resistance during rape to avoid injury?

When rapist Ram Singh was asked by police why he brutally assaulted the victim, he said that she was resisting and bit me. Does that mean that if the victim did not fight back, she would be still alive?  What are the consequences when rape victims resist rapists? Analysis of a nationally representative sample of rape incidents reported in the National Crime Surveys for 1979 to 1985 yields the following findings: (1) Victims who resist are much less likely to have the rape completed against them than nonresisting victims, a pattern generally apparent regardless of the specific form of resistance; (2) The form of resistance that appears most effective in preventing rape completion is resistance with a gun, knife, or other weapon; (3) Most forms of resistance are not significantly associated with higher rates of victim injury. The exceptions are unarmed forceful resistance and threatening or arguing with the rapist; (4) Even these two forms of resistance probably do not generally provoke rapists to injure their victims, as ancillary evidence concerning assaults and robberies indicates that resistance rarely precedes injury. Attack against the victim appears to provoke victim resistance, rather than the reverse; (5) Only about three percent of rape incidents involve some additional injury that could be described as serious. Thus it is the rape itself that is nearly always the most serious injury the victim suffers. Consequently, refraining from resistance in order to avoid injury in addition to the rape is a questionable tradeoff.  Ram Singh was lying. He assaulted victim because he had planned to kill her after rape.

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To Resist or Not to Resist?

The Effect of Context and Crime Characteristics on Sex Offenders’ Reaction to Victim Resistance:

Circumstances under which a sexual assault takes place and how these circumstances affect offenders’ reactions to victim resistance are not well understood. Previous studies have not thoroughly examined the interactions that take place between situational factors and resistance. Using a combination of logistic regression and Chi-square Automatic Interaction Detection (CHAID) analyses, researchers examined victim, situational, and crime characteristics of 426 sexual assaults involving victim resistance to determine which of these factors increase the likelihood of offender violence. Findings suggest that violence is affected by both the attack strategy employed by the offender and the type of resistance by the victim, along with several other qualifying factors.  

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Correlation between gun ownership rates and rape:

Since guns are very rarely used to defend against rapists, and only a small fraction of rapes are committed at gun point, and there is no good evidence for any deterrent effect for guns preventing rape, it is doubtful if gun control has a major effect on rape.

 

Common sense suggests that if guns are freely available to defend citizens, rapes would be less but results are conflicting.  As seen in the figure above, the correlation in this (admittedly small) sample of countries would appear to go the other way. In my view, the more guns owned by population, more violent they are and the more violent the population is, more rapes will be committed. America is a classical example, more guns for self-defense; more rapes.  

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Orgasm during rape is neither consent nor pleasure:

I am narrating experience of 51 years of woman raped by 20 year old man in her own words.

“I was raped 5 yrs ago I was 51 just divorced and going through the menopause. I was dragged into a laundry room on my way back to a hotel room at night. The man who raped me was in his 20s only and very threatening. But initially I thought he just wanted my purse. Even after he demanded I strip naked I was confused I couldn’t understand what a boy in his 20s wants with a middle age women. He was very vigorous and although I never stopped resisting I was horrified to find myself having a series of multiple orgasms that I’d never had before, he was far to strong for me to stop him. My orgasms just excited and encouraged him into prolonging the attack even though I never stopped resisting, he ejaculated 3 times. It’s not common for women to orgasm during a rape as I have now learned but it does sometimes happen uncontrollably, even if they don’t during intercourse normally. It doesn’t mean we like it. The vigorous nature of the penetration and the extended amount of time the rapists continue the penetration is often a reason. Women who experience orgasms during a rape are laden with guilt for having them from what the rapist’s penis is doing; our bodies betray our minds during a rape.”

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Of those who report their rapes, around 4–5% also describes experiencing orgasm. But the true numbers are likely much higher. In a 2004 review paper, a clinician reports, “I (have) met quite a lot of victims (males) who had the full sexual response during sexual abuse…I (have) met several female victims of incest and rape who had lubrication and orgasm.” There have been very few studies on orgasm during rape, but the research so far shows numbers from 10% to over 50% having this experience.  Orgasm during rape may occur if the act lasts long enough to cause the females body to exhibit the natural “physiological response to the stimulation of a females erogenous zones”.  Also at least 20% of women have a highly sensitive G-spot and achieve orgasm during intercourse very frequently and fairly easily at times. The Gräfenberg Spot, often called the G-spot, is defined as a bean-shaped area of the vagina. Some women report that it is an erogenous zone which, when stimulated, can lead to strong sexual arousal, powerful orgasms and female ejaculation. That might explain why some women might orgasm even during a short violent rape. In fact in one study even several women who were beaten up during the rape still had orgasms just from intercourse.

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Orgasm during rape isn’t an example of an expression of pleasure. It’s an example of a physical response whether the mind’s on board or not, like breathing, sweating, or an adrenaline rush. Therapists commonly use the analogy of tickling. While tickling can be pleasurable, when it is done against someone’s wishes it can be very unpleasant experience. And during that unpleasant experience, amid calls to stop, the one being tickled will continue laughing. They just can’t help it. The induction of arousal and orgasm does not indicate that the subjects consented to the stimulation. A perpetrator’s defense simply built upon the fact that evidence of genital arousal or orgasm proves consent has no intrinsic validity and should be disregarded…Human sexual arousal occurs as a mental state and a physical state; in normal sexual arousal both occur simultaneously. However, it is possible to be mentally sexually aroused without showing any genital manifestations of arousal…Contrarily, it is possible to exhibit these genital manifestations of arousal but not feel mentally aroused. Indeed, it is even possible to feel disgusted by the genital manifestations of arousal if it is thought to be a highly inappropriate response to the inducing sexual stimuli [such as] getting an erection to the naked body of one’s sister or by a violent scenario.

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Women can become sexually aroused without their knowledge. By measuring changes in blood flow to female genitals, several studies have found that subliminal images, images of copulation in other species, and those that women report as disgusting, boring, or not arousing can cause physical arousal. Adding to the issue is that sexual arousal and orgasm appear to originate from the autonomic nervous system– the same reflex-driven system that underlies heart rate, digestion, and perspiration. Our control over sexual arousal is no better than our control over the dilation of our pupils or how much we sweat. The presence of sexual arousal during rape is about as relevant to consent as any of these other responses. In violent assaults, intense physical arousal from fear can heighten sexual sensations in a process called ‘excitation transfer.’ In one laboratory study, anxiety from threat of electric shock enhanced male erectile responses to erotic images. The men in this study were not looking forward to the shock. They did not enjoy the shock. Their body’s heightened state of physical arousal – anxiety about the threat of pain – heightened sexual arousal as well. Sexual arousal is just one more component of the ‘fight or flight’ state. Some rape victims report ‘going somewhere else’ mentally, and then being pulled back into the moment by orgasm. Clearly these victims have no mental connection to their physical state. One woman who was drugged and then raped, recalls waking up during climax only to pass out again as the sensation abated. Recent experiments suggest that vaginal lubrication in women may be an adaptive response designed to reduce injury from penetration. The body is not enjoying itself – it is trying to protect itself.

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Another worry is that police and courtrooms may confuse orgasm and arousal with evidence that the interaction was consensual. Though the law has progressed much since the days in which pregnancy, which was once believed to be proof of orgasm, could acquit an accused rapist, we have far to go. Still, most courtrooms recognize that legal consent must be freely given and that consent can be withdrawn at any time (even the FBI now recognizes non-forcible rape as of, get this, 2012). If the supreme court of Georgia in 1976 could find that orgasm is “legally irrelevant to the issue of consent,” there may be some hope for a better understanding of the mind–body disconnect when it comes to these autonomic responses during rape.

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Recent study seeks to determine whether women, perhaps from an innate biological reflex to protect their genitals from trauma, will have physical sexual arousal responses even to sexual violence, in order to prepare/protect their genitals. The results support the preparation hypothesis for the low category-specificity of women’s genital arousal. Men’s genital responses were directed toward stimuli that depicted their preferred activity—consensual, nonviolent sex—whereas women showed similar genital arousal to most sexual stimuli….Notably, women did show elevated genital responses to the stimuli depicting nonsexual consensual violence.  Regardless of the social implications of this study, if it is accurate then it does have one forensic consequence: any rape defense using a woman’s physical responsiveness as evidence of consent would be fundamentally flawed. But on another level, the study suggests that the adage, “no means no” be extended to “no means no, even if the body says yes.” Which is what it already means.

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Remember:

 Orgasm during rape is involuntary contraction of pelvic muscles and uterus as a result of forceful and prolonged entry of penis in vagina, a reflex response of human body; while the mind is resisting rape and feeling the pain & agony of rape. Arousal and orgasm during rape happen. Probably much more often than we know. It is not a sign of pleasure. It in no way indicates consent. It is a sign that our bodies react, just as they do with a rapid heartbeat or an adrenaline rush. Biologically, consent is given by neo-cortex while orgasm consumes as many as 30 parts of the brain, most of them sub-cortical structures. These sub-cortical structures are stimulated by forceful and prolonged entry of penis into vagina, no matter whether woman consented or resisted. Orgasm during rape means the biology is betraying the conscience. Orgasm during rape means neo-cortex is disassociated with sub-cortical autonomous biological drive.

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Penetration and ejaculation: forensic aspects of rape:

A study was made of 104 alleged rape cases submitted to the DSIR in Auckland by the police over a period of approximately two years. Data were collected relating to the victims’ perceptions of penetration and ejaculation, and the forensic evidence for these events. Seminal fluid was detected in 69 (66%) of the cases. In 81 (78%) of the cases penetration was reported; seminal fluid was detected in 58 of these. Of the five (5%) cases where it was reported that penetration did not occur, seminal fluid was detected in two. Forty (38%) of the victims reported ejaculation and seminal fluid was detected by 34 of these. Ejaculation was reported not to have occurred in 16 (15%) of the cases; seminal fluid was detected in seven of these. The victims of alleged sexual assault may not remember accurately if penetration or ejaculation took place.

Remember:

Absence of semen from vagina, victim’s body or victim’s cloths or bed sheets or any nearby area; does not mean that rape did not occur. In 40 % of rape cases, ejaculation does not take place.    

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Fallibility of DNA evidence in rape:

DNA evidence in rape case means presence of DNA of accused/suspect on the body/clothes of the victim. The source of accused/suspects DNA could be his semen/blood/ skin cells/ saliva/ sweat or hair. When a sexual assault victim has a forensic medical examination, the evidence collected from the victim’s body and/or clothing, which may include the offender’s DNA, is packaged in a sexual assault evidence kit (sometimes referred to as a “rape kit”). Additional evidence, such as body fluids left at the location of the crime (e.g., on bedding, furniture, or the rim of a drinking glass) may also be collected at the crime scene. The rape kit and the crime scene evidence samples are usually sent to a crime lab for analysis. If biological evidence is found, the crime lab attempts to obtain a DNA profile. If a profile is found, it can then be compared with a suspect’s DNA sample. If accused/suspect is caught immediately after crime, his body/cloths may also contain DNA of victim.  

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However, DNA isn’t the answer. Often it’s the problem. The problem stems from the public’s fascination with DNA and crime. People expect DNA or scientific evidence in every case and the reality is it doesn’t exist in most cases. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that DNA is available in only 10-20 percent of cases. Therefore, DNA isn’t the silver bullet the general public expects and often it’s not even available to be fired. That leap is a misunderstanding of what DNA can and can’t prove. DNA can prove sex occurred. DNA can’t prove that sex didn’t occur. DNA might not be found in sexual assaults for a variety of reasons. Despite what television portrays, DNA and other scientific evidence isn’t waiting patiently to be snatched up and raced away for testing by a lab technician. The majority of victims do not report to the hospital so DNA evidence isn’t collected. And if a victim reports to a hospital, time can alter the findings. DNA is only available when it has been reported after a few hours, not just DNA but any scientific evidence. Even if DNA is available, it can also be compromised throughout the chain of evidence, which often ventures into weeks and months instead of hours. DNA evidence degrades rapidly. It is difficult to contain efficiently and handle effectively. Also, there are simple reasons for the absence of DNA. The rapist may not have ejaculated inside or on the body of the victim. The rapist may not have ejaculated at all. The assailant may have used a condom during the attack. The assailant may have used an object to assault the victim. People don’t understand that. They think rape is always a sexual act when it could be about power and controlling someone else. The greatest benefit of DNA to rape victims comes in stranger rape cases. DNA samples can be used to match with convicted offenders or help string together evidence in a serial rape case. If DNA is found in acquaintance rape, the assailant simply states that the sex was consensual, negating the DNA evidence. And consent still rattles the cage of most juries. If DNA is found, the assailant claims consensual sex. If DNA isn’t found, the assailant claims there wasn’t an assault. It comes out to the assailant’s advantage in most cases.

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“Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing. Specifically, FBI officials report that out of roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases since 1989, about 2,000 tests have been inconclusive, about 2,000 tests have excluded the primary suspect, and about 6,000 have “matched” or included the primary suspect.” The authors continued, “these percentages have remained constant for 7 years, and the National Institute of Justice’s informal survey of private laboratories reveals a strikingly similar 26 percent exclusion rate.” If the foregoing results can be extrapolated, then the rate of false reports is roughly between 20 (if DNA excludes an accused) to 40 percent (if inconclusive DNA is added). The relatively low estimate of 25 to 26 percent is probably accurate, especially since it is supported by other sources. So using DNA evidence would make false rape charge about 20 to 40 % which is unrealistically high.

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In a nutshell, absence of DNA evidence does not rule out rape. No court should exonerate accused merely on the basis of absence of DNA evidence.

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False reporting:

A false accusation of rape is the intentional reporting of a rape by an alleged victim when no rape has occurred. The “mere fact that someone did not pursue a complaint or retracted it; is not of itself evidence that it was false” and that it is a “misplaced belief” that false accusations of rape are commonplace. Men, even good men, believe women lie about rape. There’s this myth that runs amok saying that some enormous proportion of rape accusations are just women lying to get attention, or revenge, or to hide their summer fling from mommy and daddy. And they believe it without question.

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2 % myth:

The first instance we find that figure was in Susan Brownmiller’s book on sexual assault entitled “Against Our Will” (1975). Brownmiller claimed that false accusations in New York City had dropped to 2 percent after police departments began using policewomen to interview alleged victims. Elsewhere, the two percent figure appears without citation or with only a vague attribution to “FBI” sources. Although the figure shows up in legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, legal scholar Michelle Anderson of Villanova University Law School reported in 2004, “no study has ever been published which sets forth an evidentiary basis for the two percent false rape complaint thesis.” In short, there is no reason to credit that figure.

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David Lisak’s study, published in 2010 in Violence Against Women, classified as false 8 out of the 136 (5.9%) reported rapes at an American university over a ten-year period. A 1997 article in the Columbia Journalism Review deals with the debate surrounding false reporting, and notes that wildly different figures, from 2% to 85% of all rape reports, are widely presented. “…One explanation for such a wide range in the statistics might simply be that they come from different studies of different populations…But there’s also a strong political tilt to the debate. A low number would undercut a belief about rape as old as the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife: that some women, out of shame or vengeance…claim that their consensual encounters or rebuffed advances were rapes. If the number is high, on the other hand, advocates for women who have been raped worry it may also taint the credibility of the genuine victims of sexual assault.”  In 1994, Dr. Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University investigated the incidences in one small metropolitan community of false rape allegations made to the police between 1978 and 1987. The falseness of the allegations was not decided by the police, or by Dr. Kanin; they were “… declared false only because the complainant admitted they are false.” The number of false rape allegations in the studied period was 45; this was 41% of the 109 total complaints filed in this period. In Dr. Kanin’s research, the complainants who made false allegations did so (by their own statements during recantation) for three major reasons: providing an alibi, a means of gaining revenge, and/or a platform for seeking attention/sympathy. Dr. Kanin’s small study is widely reported and quoted. Michelle J. Anderson of Villanova University School of Law, in her work “The Legacy of the Prompt Complaint Requirement, Corroboration Requirement, and Cautionary Instructions on Campus Sexual Assault”, states: “As a scientific matter, the frequency of false rape complaints to police or other legal authorities remains unknown.” [8] In the 1996 FBI UCR, it is stated that 8% of reports of forcible rape were determined to be unfounded upon investigation. FBI reports from 1996 consistently put the number of “unfounded” rape accusations around 8%. In contrast, the average rate of unfounded reports for “Index crimes” tracked by the FBI is 2%.

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A 2006 paper by Philip N.S. Rumney in the Cambridge Law Journal offers a review of studies of false reporting in the USA, New Zealand and the UK. Rumney draws two conclusions from his review of literature. First, the police continue to misapply the “no-crime” or “unfounding” criteria. Studies by Kelly et al. (2005), Lea et al. (2003), HMCPSI/HMIC (2002), Harris and Grace (1999), Smith (1989), and others found that police decisions to no-crime were frequently dubious and based entirely on the officer’s personal judgment. Rumney notes that some officers seem to “have fixed views and expectations about how genuine rape victims should react to their victimization.” He adds that “qualitative research also suggests that some officers continue to exhibit an unjustified skepticism of rape complainants, while others interpret such things as lack of evidence or complaint withdrawal as ‘proof’ of a false allegation.” Rumney’s second conclusion is that it is impossible to “discern with any degree of certainty the actual rate of false allegations” due to the fact that many of the studies of false allegations have adopted unreliable or untested research methodologies. He argues, for instance, that in addition to their small sample size the studies by Maclean (1979) and Stewart (1981) used questionable criteria to judge an allegation to be false. MacLean deemed reports “false” if, for instance, the victim did not appear “dishevelled” and Stewart, in one instance, considered a case disproved, stating that “it was totally impossible to have removed her extremely tight undergarments from her extremely large body against her will”.

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A selection of findings on the prevalence of false rape allegations. Data from Rumney (2006).
Number False reporting rate (%)
Theilade and Thomsen (1986) 1 out of 56
4 out of 39
1.5% (minimum)
10% (maximum)
New York Rape Squad (1974) n/a 2%
Hursch and Selkin (1974) 10 out of 545 2%
Kelly et al. (2005) 67 out of 2,643 3% (“possible” and “probable” false allegations)
22% (recorded by police as “no-crime”)
Geis (1978) n/a 3–31% (estimates given by police surgeons)
Smith (1989) 17 out of 447 3.8%
U.S. Department of Justice (1997) n/a 8%
Clark and Lewis (1977) 12 out of 116 10.3%
Harris and Grace (1999) 53 out of 483
123 out of 483
10.9% (“false/malicious” claims)
25% (recorded by police as “no-crime”)
Lea et al. (2003) 42 out of 379 11%
HMCPSI/HMIC (2002) 164 out of 1,379 11.8%
McCahill et al. (1979) 218 out of 1,198 18.2%
Philadelphia police study (1968) 74 out of 370 20%
Chambers and Millar (1983) 44 out of 196 22.4%
Grace et al. (1992) 80 out of 335 24%
Jordan (2004) 68 out of 164
62 out of 164
41% (“false” claims)
38% (viewed by police as “possibly true/possibly false”)
Kanin (1994) 45 out of 109 41%
Gregory and Lees (1996) 49 out of 109 45%
Maclean (1979) 16 out of 34 47%
Stewart (1981) 16 out of 18 90%

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While most of the good studies converge at a rate of about 8 percent to 10 percent for false rape charges, the literature isn’t quite definitive enough to stamp out the far higher estimates. And even if we go by the lower numbers, there’s the question of interpretation. If one in 10 charges of rape is made up, is that a dangerously high rate or an acceptably low one? To put this in perspective, if we use the Bureau of Justice Statistics that show about 200,000 rapes in 2008, we could be looking at as many as 20,000 false accusations. In a recent report published by the United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution Service, it was found that a mere 35 out of 5,651 or .6% women falsely accused men of rape. DiCanio (1993) states that while researchers and prosecutors do not agree on the exact percentage of false allegations, they generally agree on a range of 2% to 8%.

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If it is true that the vast majority of real rapes goes unreported (which is the claim made by most rape ‘researchers’) and if it is also true that the vast majority of rape allegations made to the police are true (which is another claim made by most rape ‘researchers’) then it follows logically that men are raping women many times more often than are women making false allegations about such things.  Imagine 100 allegations of rape are made to the police one evening. 90% of them are assumed by the researchers to be true. So, 90 of these women will have been genuinely raped according to the researchers. But because only 10% of genuine rapes are actually reported to the police, there were, in fact, according to the researchers, 900 genuine rapes altogether in the same evening. Now, if 10% of all the allegations are said by the researchers to be false, this means that 10 of the allegations that were made to the police are deemed to be false. So, according to the researchers, we have 900 genuine rapes and 10 false allegations. In other words, according to the researchers, there are 90 times as many rapes as there are false allegations. In other words, for every woman who makes a false allegation of rape – or even stumbles into making one – it is supposed to be the case that ninety men have actually committed a rape.  

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Women sometime file rape cases as weapon for vengeance: Delhi high court:

Penal provisions for rape are often being misused by women as “weapon for vengeance and vendetta” to harass and blackmail their male friends by filing false cases to extort money and to force them get married, the Delhi High Court has said. The court said that in many cases woman first agree to have consensual sex but she files a rape case against her boyfriend when the relationship breaks up in order to force him to get married, making not only “mockery” of the marriage but also inflate the statistics of rape cases. “Many of the cases are being reported by those women who have consensual physical relationship with a man but when the relationship breaks due to one reason or the other, the women use the law as a weapon for vengeance and personal vendetta to extort money and sometimes even to force the boy to get married to her”  “Out of anger and frustration, they tend to convert such consensual sex as an incident of rape, defeating the very purpose of the provision,” Justice Kailash Ghambhir said. It said the court must cautiously examine the intentions of the girl to find out whether the rape complaint is genuine or has malafide motives. “There is a clear demarcation between rape and consensual sex and in cases where such controversies are involved, the court must very cautiously examine the intentions of both the individuals involved and to check if even the girl on the other hand is genuine or had malafide motives.  

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Prejudice and unfairness against victim of rape:

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Prejudice and unfairness against victim of rape by religions:

As discussed earlier, in early human history, woman was considered a property and rape was forcible acquisition of property and man used to tale possession of woman, rape her and bring her to his tribe as wife. As religions started evolving bringing civility and discipline among uncivilized population, some improvement did occur vis-à-vis women status but not significantly as society was still ruled by patriarchal notion. 

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Christianity:

 Let us examine how Christianity deals with the rapist: “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver.  He must marry the girl, for he has violated her.  He can never divorce her as long as he lives.  (From the NIV Bible, Deuteronomy 22:28) We see in Deuteronomy 22:28 that if a man rapes a single woman then she will be forced to be his wife, while if a man rapes a married woman, in Deuteronomy 22:25, then he shall be put to death. 

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Anti-abortionist following biblical view against abortion says that in legitimate rape, pregnancy is prevented:

In August of 2012 Ted Akin, a Republican representative from Missouri, created quite a stir when he said, “First of all, from what I understand from doctors, pregnancy from rape is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.” To be specific, his making the claim that the female body can “shut down” a pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape” raises the question as to whether or not a person in his position (a member of congress who gets to make decisions about women’s health) is morally obligated to make the effort to know what he is talking about. Anyone who has taken a high school level class in anatomy and physiology or a competent sex education class would be aware that the female body lacks these “shut down” mechanisms. As discussed by me earlier, orgasm does occur albeit infrequently in rape as biology works despite mind is resisting rape. Back in 1996 the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston conducted a large (4008 women) study over three years and found that there is a national average of a 5% rate of pregnancy among rape victims. This results in an estimated 32,101 cases of pregnancy per year in the United States. As such, Akin was wrong about the facts. Akin does allow that the “shut down” mechanism might fail, thus allowing for a presumably slight possibility that a woman could be impregnated by “legitimate” rape. However, he asserts that even in such cases abortion should not be permitted. As he sees it, “there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.” So Christianity is used by politicians to prevent abortion in a rape victim.

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Islam:

Islam allows a man to have intercourse with his slave woman after she is purified of menses or delivery. In case she has a husband, her marriage is abrogated after she becomes captive. What does that means? That means slave woman has no right to say no.

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Sharia Law: Woman Gang-Raped by Muslims then jailed 8 months because they were not her husband:

Australian Alicia Gali took a job in the UAE at Starwood, one of the world’s biggest hotel chains. However, while using her laptop one day in the hotel’s staff bar, her drink was spiked. What took place next was a nightmare. She awoke to being brutally raped by three of her colleagues. Gali was able to take herself to a local hospital. However, because of Sharia laws there in the UAE, she was seen as the criminal, not the men who raped her. Under Sharia, if the perpetrators do not confess and there are not four Muslim male witnesses, there cannot be a conviction of rape. Well that’s one thing, but not only was she victimized by the rapists, but then she was made a criminal under Sharia. She was charged with having illicit sex outside of marriage, and then put in a filthy jail for eight months. According to UAE law, proving rape requires four adult male witnesses to the sex act who will affirm that it occurred. She also confessed to consuming alcohol, which is illegal without a license. Gali signed a confession in Arabic, which she did not understand. She was sentenced to eleven months in prison for illicit sex and one month for alcohol consumption. Two rapists received twelve-month sentences as well, also for illicit sex; the third received thirteen months. After eight months in prison, which she described as “appalling” and a “nightmare,” she was pardoned. Her rapists were released on the same day.

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In Pakistan till recently, the testimony of four pious (I wonder how they define that!) persons, was needed for a rape to be proved! Now where in the world would you find four eyewitnesses for rape? And what kind of men, and pious men at that, would they be, if they let the rape be committed and did nothing to prevent it?

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Sharia law of rape:    

 In case a woman gets raped, she is considered guilty of adultery unless she can provide four adult Muslim male witnesses who had watched the action and who would testify that the sex was actually forced on her and that she was not a willing partner in it.  If she has only female witnesses in case she was raped by an intruder in front of her fellow wives and slave girls or in a women’s dormitory full of women witnesses, then she is out of luck. Her punishment is stoning to death if she is married or hundred (100) lashes if single.

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Muslim Cleric likens women to uncovered meat:

Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the nation’s most senior Muslim cleric, compared unveiled women with meat that is left uncovered in the street and is then eaten by cats. In a Ramadan sermon in a Sydney mosque, Sheik al-Hilali suggested that a group of Muslim men recently jailed for many years for gang rapes are innocent.  Addressing 500 worshippers on the topic of adultery, Sheik al-Hilali added: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it..Whose fault is it – the cats or the uncovered meat?  “The uncovered meat is the problem.”  He went on: “If she was veiled and in her home no problem would have occurred.”  

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What is the punishment for rape in Islam? What happens to the rape victim?

If it is confirmed that a man engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman by threatening to kill her or by using some kind of drug or anesthetic, then his crime will be more serious than that of consensual sex. The punishment thereto is death by execution. He will not be entitled to any pardon or reprieve whatsoever, regardless of whether he was single or married. Saudi Arabia today applies the death penalty for the punishment of rape and other cases as well. However, let me show you double standard of Saudi Arabia vis-à-vis rape.

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Saudi Court ups Gang-Rape Victim sentence to 200 Lashes after Her Lawyer protests original 90-Lash Penalty:

The Saudi justice system is based on the Islamic religious legal code known as Sharia, but if a case that burst onto the international scene is any example, the word “justice” is a misnomer. The incident happened in 2006 in the Eastern Province city of Qatif. The “Qatif Girl,” as she has become known in Saudi Arabia — her identity has not been made public — was then 19 years old. She got into a car with a teenage boy she knew in high school, intending to retrieve a picture of herself from him. She was soon to marry someone else, and she couldn’t have this former high school flame carrying her picture around. That was her offense. What happened next was irrelevant to the court, at least as far as the Qatif’s girl’s punishment was concerned. Seven men kidnapped the pair, assaulting and raping both the woman and her male acquaintance. The male rape victim was also sentenced to 90 lashes. The rapists received varying sentences, the harshest being five years in prison and 1,000 lashes. Whipping is a common sentence in Saudi Arabia for crimes ranging from consuming alcohol to homosexuality. The court cited the fact that the woman’s lawyer went to the media as a reason that her sentence was increased. But there may be other factors. Her attorney, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, is a human rights activist who has defended critics of Saudi Arabia’s ruling royal family. Also, the “Qatif Girl” belongs to the Shiite Muslim minority in a country dominated by Sunni Muslims. Even the original sentence of 90 lashes was considered excessive within Saudi Arabia. The 200-lash sentence has set off international protests.  She was punished despite being rape victim because she went out with strangers. According to Islam, woman can go out of her home only with husband or father or brothers. According to the New York-based Human Rights Watch, this sentence “not only sends victims of sexual violence the message that they should not press charges, but in effect offers protection and impunity to the perpetrators.” The only reason that the victims never received punishment was that the victims took their story to the media, prompting leading US officials to demand her release. King Abdullah complied, but without maligning the justice system or suggesting any reforms.  

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Maldives:

Raped by her stepfather, and then sentenced to 100 lashes as ‘punishment’:

A 15-year-old girl, who has been repeatedly raped by her stepfather, sits in a courtroom during his trial. The evidence is clear, there is no question that this crime took place. That this man, in a position of trust and confidence in her life, violated her sexually again, and again, and again. During the trial, it comes to light that the girl had had consensual sex with another man, prior to the rape. And so she herself is sentenced.  According to the Minivan News, an independent news source in the Maldives, the girl fell pregnant to her stepfather by rape when she was just 14-years-old. She was then pulled out of school. When the baby was born, the stepfather purportedly murdered the infant and buried the body in the backyard. The girl, her stepfather and her mother were all first arrested in June 2012, after police found the body of a baby she had given birth to, buried outside their home. And under Sharia Law, it is a crime to have premarital sex. So the girl, a victim of horrific rape, is sentences to 100 lashes as punishment for her ‘crime’. Now she will be further physically assaulted. She will bear mental and physical scars from her rape, and from her lashing. Perhaps for the rest of her life.

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Why Islam and Christianity tend to be soft to rapists?

Most religions are established by men and hence as a corollary, women are given lower status. It has something to do with gender inequality rather than religiosity. The kidnapping of Sita in Ramayana and molestation of Draupadi in Mahabharata speak volumes of lower status of women at that time.  

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Rape prejudices by patriarchal society:

The roots of violence against women lie in historically unequal power relations between men and women and pervasive discrimination against women in both the public and private spheres. Patriarchal disparities of power, discriminatory cultural norms and economic inequalities serve to deny women’s human rights and perpetuate violence. Violence against women is one of the key means through which male control over women’s agency and sexuality is maintained. The Middle Ages was a male-dominated society guided morally by a patriarchal hierarchy. This may help account for the marginalization of women, leading to sexual violence and rape. Historian Albrecht Classen argues that, “Understanding how this form of violence was viewed and dealt with…” enables contemporary society to better cope with the realities of rape and devise attitudes that afford protection in the future. Although he does not conclude that male-dominated societies will produce more instances of sexual violence, Classen does note that patriarchal societies tend to “sweep…under the carpet” instances of rape and sexual violence. This view corroborates other studies of rape in the Middle Ages that link notions of gender to the non-equality of sexes. In India, Khap Panchayat is manifestation of patriarchal society and their mindset on rape is quite similar to middle age mind set. They say that to prevent rape, girls should be married at the age of 16 years, girls should not wear fashionable revealing clothes, should not have friendship with boys and must return home in the evening. 

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Need for gender courses in schools in India:

Irrespective of social inequality some of the inherent causes for offences against bodily integrity could be successfully addressed through education – a gender sensitive one. It is not enough to raise daughters as sons, it is necessary to raise sons as daughters too. A lack of proper education is evident when the President of India’s son, also a Member of Parliament, belittles the protest against rape by claiming that the women protesters are highly “dented and painted”, and therefore their protest is only an eyewash! Much has been said than done. One Indian Parliamentarian described the Delhi victim as a living dead when she was alive after being raped. Another described a rape victim in Kolkata as an escort who had a problem with her client, and therefore unchaste. One Guru in an ashram advised women to pray and request rapists to save her. Today, ironically the same Guru is in jail on rape charges. Other reasons proffered for the rise in rapes is that women are wearing increasingly provocative clothes, if one has to believe Andhra Pradesh DGP V Dinesh Reddy, who at a press conference in Hyderabad, blamed women for provoking people with fashionable clothing. And how could one forget Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, who explained that one of the main reasons for the increase in rape cases in the country is due to the rise in free interaction between men and women. To quote her, “Earlier if men and women would hold hands, they would get caught by parents and reprimanded but now everything is so open. It’s like an open market with open options.” If these custodians of our morality are to be believed, infants and geriatrics would never be raped, a woman would never be raped in her own house, women wearing salwar kameezes, saris or ethnic wear would never be the victims of rape, no rapes would be committed in the day time and only strangers commit rape. Advises are pouring in as to women should not go out at night, they should not wear skirts.  These attitudes are all in keeping with the mentality that a woman’s chastity and dignity is forever lost once an offence against her body is committed. Such a mentality prohibits a large number of victims to complain against their offenders. And these attitudes are inculcated through family, school, peer and professional education and interaction. The system needs overhaul before it is too late and too many people suffer horrendous violence against body, some are castrated, and rest thrown at gallows. Like compulsory environmental courses one could think of compulsory gender courses in schools and colleges.    

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Can you justify the rape because perpetrator or his mother was sexually abused in past?

When a man raped a woman and if that man comes from weaker section of society and girl belongs to wealthy community then people start demonstrations against government policies and many start hatred feelings against poor and slums colonies in cities.  Have you thought why young slum dwellers do rape??  When that slum boy was little his mother went every day for work and his sister also went for work. He never saw smile on his mother face. When he grew up enough to understand the world, he always  saw his mother and sister were raped by not only wealthy and intellectual people but also his drunken neighbors as his mother and sister were born only for being an instrument of sexual satisfactions of wealthy and intellectual people who are living in decent colonies. He saw first time when his mother went to police station to lodge FIR but police denied to lodge FIR and abused her. Second time they write her complaint but they did nothing. And even she lost her job. He saw his mother`s pain because if she would not go for work her children will die. He saw his sister`s life had been ruined. He learned hatred towards spirituality as it belongs to only intellectual and wealthy people. Then he started doing rape from his colonies and no one there able to punish him and he got courage to find other girls. When he committed rape of a girl who belongs to wealthy sections then people lodged FIR against him and he faced life or death sentence. The story is appalling, a real life story; nonetheless rape can never be justified under any circumstances.  

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Criticisms of the Police:

Many feminists and anti-rape advocates see a systemic problem with the way rape is handled immediately after it is reported to police. Advocates in Rape Crisis Centers report that very often police are the first hurdle many rape victims have to deal with right after a sexual assault occurs. The Ann Arbor Women’s Center, a particularly active advocacy center founded in 1971, sees the societal problems that shape males in American culture as manifesting themselves hideously when rape victims report to often all-male police forces, writing in Freedom from Rape that: Police officers, by and large, are male. Their views, like those of other men, have been shaped by the society in which they live. It is quite possible that a policeman was raised in a typical American home; he developed a value system that typifies women as gentle, quiet, and sweet. He probably believes that women would do best to stay at home in the evening unless accompanied by a husband or proper escort. Few examples of how police punishes the victims of rape:

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Example-1:

13-year-old girl alleged that she had been asked to strip by the Uttam Nagar (India) station house officer (SHO) when she had gone to complain about a case of sexual assault against her: The girl had accused the SHO of forcing her to strip and show how she had been raped. The victim, a resident of Uttam Nagar, was on her way back home after collecting her sister’s children from school when she met a neighbour, her childhood friend. The friend told her that her mother wanted to see her. The friend’s parents were at home. Suddenly her father called someone over phone and within a few minutes, four men in a white car arrived outside the house. The friend told her parents that she was taking the victim to a temple and instead put her in the car that took her to a flat. In her official statement to the police, the victim alleged that she was bleeding and begged the accused to let her go. She said her friend threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone about the sexual assault. The victim claimed she did not know the accused.

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Example -2:

The class ten student from Kushinagar, UP, India said she had gone to the police station to register the rape, but the station in charge instead asked her to take off her clothes to show that she was raped.

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Example-3:

A revealing investigation by Tehelka caught on camera the attitudes of policemen in the National Capital Region, India towards rape victims. “Seventeen senior cops of over a dozen police stations across Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad were caught on spy camera blaming everything from fashionable or revealing clothes to having boyfriends to visiting pubs to consuming alcohol to working alongside men as the main reasons for instances of rape. It’s always the woman who is at fault’ was in essence the argument offered by a majority of the cops. Many of them believe that genuine rape victims never approach the police and those who do are basically extortionists or have loose moral values.

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Example-4:

Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv was in Dubai on business trip when raped. ‘Are you sure you called the police because you just didn’t like it?’  This is what police in Dubai ‘asked rape victim’ when she reported rape.   

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Example-5:

When Tom Tremblay started working for the police department of Burlington, Vt., 30 years ago, he discovered that many of his fellow cops rarely believed a rape victim. This was true time after time, in dozens of cases. Tremblay could see why they were doubtful once he started interviewing the victims himself. The victims, most of them women, often had trouble recalling an attack or couldn’t give a chronological account of it. Some expressed no emotion. Others smiled or laughed as they described being assaulted. “Unlike any other crime I responded to in my career, there was always this thought that a rape report was a false report,” says Tremblay, who was an investigator in Burlington’s sex crimes unit. “I was always bothered by the fact there was this shroud of doubt.” Tremblay felt sex assault victims were telling the truth, and data supports his instincts: Only an estimated 2 to 8 percent of rape accusations are false, according to a survey of the literature published by the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women. Tremblay also knew the victims felt as if they were being treated like suspects, and it affected the choices they made. Surveyed about why they didn’t want to pursue a report, most victims said they worried that no one would believe them.

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Criticism of the Legal System:

There are many problems that feminists and rape crisis center workers have identified regarding the treatment of rape victims once the situation gets past the police and into court. Patricia Yancey Martin, in her book Rape Work: Victims, Gender, and Emotions in Organization and Community Context identifies many of these dilemmas, working to prove the thesis that “Police, prosecutors, and judges collaborate with rapists and their defenders.”  Martin bases her thesis on a book former rape prosecutor Alice Vachss released in 1993, who explains how her experiences led her to believe that, for a multitude of reasons, “prosecutors and judges ‘collaborate’ with defense attorneys and rapists to let rapists off the hook.”  Vachss laments that far too often rape crisis become more of a “chess match” between competing lawyers (or the state) than any attempt to provide justice or healing for the victim. One of the most pervasive problems identified by anti-rape advocates is the tactless, noncommittal, and ginger way that many prosecutors handle rape cases. An assistant prosecutor of rapists relates that many lawyers who become involved with rape cases have little training, sensitivity, and experience in dealing with the issue, and are disturbed by the issue and the details. Reporting anonymously, the thirty-five-year-old man relates that many of his colleagues are “convinced through the years of prosecution folklore that rape cases can’t be won…so they plead ‘em and settle cheap.”  The very nature of rape cases causes attorneys, many of whom are working for profit, to shy away. A thirty-seven-year-old Rape Crisis Center founder and executive director, also speaking anonymously, bemoaned the fact that accused rapists are difficult to convict which causes success-driven lawyers to instead seek out and fight hard for burglary or larceny cases, because there are “no emotional issues, no time-consuming efforts and victims.”  In short, these types of cases are widely regarded in the legal world as “much easier to win.”

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Judges recommend victim to marry rapist:

Moroccans demand change to Islamic penal code after girl, 16, kills herself because judge forced her to marry her rapist.  ‘Amina, 16, was triply violated, by her rapist, by tradition and by Article 475 of the Moroccan law.  Abdelaziz Nouaydi, who runs the Adala Assocation for legal reform, said a judge can recommend marriage only in the case of agreement by the victim and both families. ‘It is not something that happens a great deal – it is very rare,’ he said, but admitted that the family of the victim sometimes agrees out of fear that she won’t be able to find a husband if it is known she was raped. The marriage is then pushed on the victim by the families to avoid scandal, said Fouzia Assouli, president of Democratic League for Women’s Rights. ‘It is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon,’ she said. ‘We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code which allows the rapist to escape justice.’ The victim’s father said in an interview with an online Moroccan newspaper that it was the court officials who suggested from the beginning the marriage option when they reported the rape.

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Afghan woman’s choice: 12 years in jail or marry her rapist:

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The above photo shows afghan woman with the child born out of rape.

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The ordeal of Gulnaz did not simply begin and end with the physical attack of her rape. The rape began a years-long nightmare of further pain, culminating in an awful choice she must now make. Even two years later, Gulnaz remembers the smell and state of her rapist’s clothes when he came into the house when her mother left for a brief visit to the hospital. “He had filthy clothes on as he does metal and construction work. When my mother went out, he came into my house and he closed doors and windows. I started screaming, but he shut me up by putting his hands on my mouth,” she said. The rapist was her cousin’s husband. After the attack, she hid what happened as long as she could. But soon she began vomiting in the mornings and showing signs of pregnancy. It was her attacker’s child. In Afghanistan, this brought her not sympathy, but prosecution. Aged just 19, she was found guilty by the courts of sex outside of marriage — adultery — and sentenced to twelve years in jail. Now inside Kabul’s Badam Bagh jail, she and her child are serving her sentence together. Sitting with the baby in her lap, she explains the only choice she has that would end her incarceration. The only way around the dishonor of rape, or adultery in the eyes of Afghans, is to marry her attacker.

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How Indian judiciary failed to give justice to rape victim:

In the Mathura rape case, wherein Mathura- a sixteen year old tribal girl was raped by two policemen in the compound of Desai Ganj Police station in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. Her relatives, who had come to register a complaint, were patiently waiting outside even as the heinous act was being committed in the police station. When her relatives and the assembled crowd threatened to burn down the police chowky, the two guilty policemen, Ganpat and Tukaram, reluctantly agreed to file a panchnama. The case came for hearing on 1st June, 1974 in the session’s court. The judgment however turned out to be in favour of the accused. Mathura was accused of being a liar. It was stated that since she was ‘habituated to sexual intercourse’ her consent was voluntary; under the circumstances only sexual intercourse could be proved and not rape. On appeal the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court set aside the judgment of the Sessions Court, and sentenced the accused namely Tukaram and Ganpat to one and five years of rigorous imprisonment respectively. The Court held that passive submission due to fear induced by serious threats could not be construed as consent or willing sexual intercourse. When the appeal was made to the Supreme Court, the Senior Counsel “Ram Jethmalani” while defending the accused Policemen divided the concept of consent into two i.e. Express and Implied consent. He said that there was not express consent but it was implied because Mathura raised no alarm, there was no tearing of clothes, no semen on clothes, no cry for help etc, he again said if there had not been any consent, there would have been at least a cry for help. These circumstances are enough to show that there was implied consent. The Supreme Court acquitted both the accused and held that Mathura had raised no alarm; and also that there were no visible marks of injury on her person thereby negating the struggle by her. The Court in this case failed to comprehend that a helpless resignation in the face of inevitable compulsion or the passive giving in is no consent. However, the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1983 has made a statutory provision in the face of Section.114 (A) of the Evidence Act , which states that if the victim girl says that she did no consent to the sexual intercourse, the Court shall presume that she did not consent.

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In Mohd.Habib Vs State , the Delhi High Court allowed a rapist to go scot-free merely because there were no marks of injury on his penis- which the High Court presumed was a indication of no resistance. The most important facts such as the age of the victim (being seven years) and that she had suffered a ruptured hymen and the bite marks on her body were not considered by the High Court. Even the eye- witnesses, who witnessed this ghastly act, could not sway the High Court’s judgment.

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Three Dalit women are raped daily in some part of India. When Bhanwari Devi was raped in a Rajasthan village, the judge asked, “How can a Dalit woman be raped?” Most women say they wouldn’t even think of telling the police about an attack for fear the cops would ignore them or worse blame them and abuse them.

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Montana judge has blamed 14-year-old rape victim who later killed herself:

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Montana teacher Stacey Rambold, 48, was sentenced to 30 days in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl in august 2013. Rambold admitted to raping the vulnerable teenager on several occasions in 2007 in his marital home, car and office. Judge Baugh gave Rambold just 30 days in jail instead of maximum of life because Rambold had ‘suffered enough’ and young Cherry was ‘in control’. Teacher Rambold, 54, lost his house, his job, his teaching license and his wife as a result of the charges. His lawyer suggested, and the judge seemed to agree, that he had been ‘punished enough’   Protests held and nationwide petition calling for judge’s removal has 10,000 signatures. District Judge G. Todd Baugh, in sentencing Stacey Rambold said victim Cherice Moralez was “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher, referring to Cherice as a troubled youth “older than her chronological age.”  Cherice was 16 when she killed herself in 2010 after the case was sent to criminal court.

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Finally Indian supreme court to the rescue of rape victim:

Indian Supreme Court: Marriage deal no alibi to let off rapists:

In a landmark judgment laying down guidelines for courts in awarding punishment for rape, the Indian Supreme Court on ruled that a rapist’s offer to marry the rape survivor could never be a ground for letting off the guilty lightly. The court said no kind of compromise between rapists and rape survivors could lessen the gravity of the offence, in a clear disapproval of the tendency among some courts to impose lighter sentences on rape convicts after they offer to marry the survivor. A bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana P Desai and Ranjan Gogoi said, “The law on the issue can be summarized to the effect that punishment should always be proportionate and commensurate to the gravity of offence.” The court cited two major reasons for not taking into account a compromise reached between a rape survivor and the rapist for award of lighter sentence — one, it would encourage the convicts to pressurize rape survivors to reach a compromise and two, rape was a crime against society.

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Victim blaming:

The term victim blaming refers to holding the victim of a crime to be responsible for that crime, either in whole or in part. In the context of rape, it refers to the attitude that certain victim behaviors (such as flirting or wearing sexually provocative clothing) may have encouraged the assault. Rapists are known to use victim blaming as their primary psychological disconnect from their crime(s) and in some cases it has led to their inevitable conviction. It has been proposed that one cause of victim blaming is the just world hypothesis. People who believe that the world is intrinsically fair may find it difficult or impossible to accept a situation in which a person is badly hurt for no reason. This leads to a sense that victims must have done something to deserve their fate. Another theory entails the psychological need to protect one’s own sense of invulnerability, which can inspire people to believe that rape only happens to those who provoke the assault. Believers use this as a way to feel safer: If one avoids the behaviours of the past victims, one will be less vulnerable. A global survey of attitudes toward sexual violence by the Global Forum for Health Research shows that victim-blaming concepts are at least partially accepted in many countries. It has also been proposed by Dr Roxanne Agnew- Davies, a clinical psychologist and an expert on the effects of sexual violence, that victim-blaming correlates with fear. “It is not surprising when so many rape victims blame themselves. Female jurors can look at the woman in the witness stand and decide she has done something ‘wrong’ such as flirting or having a drink with the defendant. She can therefore reassure herself that rape won’t happen to her as long as she does nothing similar.”  Many of the countries in which victim blaming is more common are those in which there is a significant social divide between the freedoms and status afforded to men and women. In terms of responsibility, a more mainstream view is that everybody has the theoretical right to feel safe at all times, but that prevention and minimizing the risk of being in a dangerous situation are largely up to the individual. The question of a victim on this basis would never be whether or not they ‘deserved’ to be raped, because nobody “deserves” to be the victim of crime. But certain common and safe practices can be established which reduce risk to a lower level, and this is as true for rape as for any other crime.  

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Honor killings, violence against victims and forced marriages to the rapist:

In many cultures, victims of rape are at very high risk of suffering additional violence or threats of violence after the rape. These acts may be perpetrated by the rapist or by friends and relatives of the rapist, as a way of preventing the victims from reporting the rape, of punishing them for reporting it, or of forcing them to withdraw the complaint; or they may be perpetrated by the relatives of the victim as a punishment for “bringing shame” to the family. This is especially the case in cultures where female virginity is highly valued and considered mandatory before marriage; in extreme cases, rape victims are killed in honor killings. In some places, girls and women who are raped are often forced by their families to marry their rapist. Because being the victim of rape and losing virginity carry extreme social stigma, and the victims are deemed to have their “reputation” tarnished, a marriage with the rapist is arranged. This is claimed to be in the advantage of both the victim – who does not remain unmarried and doesn’t lose social status – and of the rapist, who avoids punishment.  

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Why men rape women:

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Causes of sexual violence are debated and explanations of the cause include socioeconomics, anger, power, sadism, sexual pleasure, psychopathy, ethical standards, laws, attitudes toward the victims and evolutionary pressures.

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An understanding of the etiology of rape is essential to reduce its incidence. Etiologic research has focused on deviant sexual arousal attributable to force and violence (Barbaree & Marshall, 1991), on affective factors such as hostility and lack of empathy for the victim (Darke, 1990; Rice, Chaplin, Grant, & Coutts, 1994), on endocrinological and neurological anomalies (Hucker & Bain, 1990; Langevin, 1990), on exposure to pornography (Murrin & Laws, 1990), and on poor social skills (Segal & Marshall, 1985). However, the available evidence suggests that these factors contribute to rape but that they do not sufficiently account for its etiology. For instance, deviant sexual arousal has long been the dominant concept in rape research, with the underlying assumption that sexual attraction to rape is a form of paraphilia. In a recent meta-analysis, however, G. C. N. Hall, Shondrick, and Hirschman (1993) came to the conclusion that deviant arousal may motivate some rapists but that it is not specific to rapists. Many non-rapists are similarly sexually aroused by depictions of forced sex.  

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Is rape about power, domination and control of women or lust for women?

Many social theorists view rape not only as an ugly crime but as a symptom of an unhealthy society, in which men fear and disrespect women. In 1975 the feminist writer Susan Brownmiller asserted that rape is motivated not by lust but by the urge to control and dominate. In the twenty-five years since, Brownmiller’s view has become mainstream. All men feel sexual desire, the theory goes, but not all men rape. Rape is viewed as an unnatural behavior that has nothing to do with sex, and one that has no corollary in the animal world. Undoubtedly, individual rapists may have a variety of motivations. A man may rape because, for instance, he wants to impress his friends by losing his virginity, or because he wants to avenge himself against a woman who has spurned him. But social scientists have not convincingly demonstrated that rapists are not at least partly motivated by sexual desire as well. Indeed, how could a rape take place at all without sexual motivation on the part of the rapist? Isn’t sexual arousal of the rapist the one common factor in all rapes, including date rapes, rapes of children, rapes of women under anesthetic and even gang rapes committed by soldiers during war?

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The sheer toxicity and venom that was expressed by the six men in gang-raping the 23-year-old in Delhi came out strongly in the way they brutalized her body after raping her. It is a pity that while the “gang rape” portion of the attack is highlighted in our discourse and in the protests, the brutish attack on her body — her intestines being damaged so badly that they had to be surgically removed, has only become the sub-text. If you have a strong stomach, please read this quote of a doctor at the Safdarjung Hospital where the woman was being treated. “It appears to be that a rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines. That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines.”  Surely, this is much more than lust or sexual satiation. It is an expression of ultimate hatred and frustration. Reminds you of the Gujarat riots of 2002, when a full-term pregnant woman was not only gang-raped by the marauders, but her stomach was slit open with a sword and the fetus pulled out. This is not lust; it is an expression of power, a statement to the men of her community that ‘‘we are superior and all powerful and this is what we can do to your women’’. In most of such cases, rape is only a weapon, it is not the crime. The crime is the assaulter crowning himself as the most powerful and taunting the nearest male relative of the woman of his failure to protect his woman. Rape becomes a mechanism for establishing power and domination. Punishment for rape should not therefore be just a deterrent against crimes of opportunity. The search for appropriate remedies should also scrutinize the sociological order which invests men with embedded power over women. It will be discovered such power is exercised wherever men interact with women, such as in families, work places, educational institutions and on the streets. The phenomenon receives support from religious doctrines, social customs and traditions and biological reality of men being of a stronger built than women. 

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A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion is a book about rape by biologist Randy Thornhill and anthropologist Craig T. Palmer. Thornhill and Palmer propose that rape should be understood through evolutionary psychology, and criticize the argument, popularized by Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will, that rape is not sexually motivated. They argue that the capacity for rape is either an adaptation or a byproduct of adaptative traits such as sexual desire and aggressiveness.

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Consider the following arguments put forward by Thornhill & Palmer:

Most rape victims are women of childbearing age.

In many cultures rape is treated as a crime against the victim’s husband.

Rape victims suffer less emotional distress when they are subjected to more violence.

Rape takes place not only among human beings but also in a variety of other animal species.

Married women and women of childbearing age experience more psychological distress after a rape than do girls, single women or women who are past menopause.

As bizarre as some of those facts may seem, they all make sense when rape is viewed as a natural, biological phenomenon that is a product of the human evolutionary heritage. Here authors hasten to emphasize that by categorizing a behavior as “natural” and “biological”  they do not in any way mean to imply that the behavior is justified or even inevitable. Biological means “of or pertaining to life,” so the word applies to every human feature and behavior. But to infer from that as many of their critics assert that what is biological is somehow right or good, would be to fall into the so-called naturalistic fallacy. The fact that rape is an ancient part of human nature in no way excuses the rapist, assert Thornhill and Palmer.

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Is rape an evolutionary adaptation?

Most people don’t know much about why humans have the desires, emotions, and values that they have, including those that cause rape. This is because most people lack any understanding of the ultimate (that is, evolutionary) causes of why humans are the way they are. This lack of understanding has severely limited people’s knowledge of the exact proximate (immediate) causes of rape, thus limiting the ability of concerned people to change the behavior. In both the vernacular sense and the scientific sense, cause is defined as that without which an effect or a phenomenon would not exist. Biologists study two levels of causation: proximate and ultimate. Proximate causes of behavior are those that operate over the short term—the immediate causes of behavior. These are the types of causes with which most people, including most social scientists, are exclusively concerned. For example, why that man raped a woman, you said to yourself it was because he hated women, felt the need to dominate someone, had been abused as a child, had drunk too much, had too much testosterone circulating in his body, was compensating for feelings of inadequacy, had been raised in a patriarchal culture, had watched too much violence on television, was addicted to violent pornography, was sexually aroused, hated his mother, hated his father, and/or had a rare violence-inducing gene; you proposed a proximate cause of his behavior. You probably didn’t ask why your proposed proximate cause existed in the first place. That is, you probably didn’t concern yourself with the ultimate cause of the behavior. Because they refer to the immediate events that produce a behavior or some other phenotypic (i.e., bodily) trait, proximate causes include genes, hormones, physiological structures (including brain mechanisms), and environmental stimuli (including environmental experiences that affect learning). Proximate explanations have to do with how such developmental or physiological mechanisms cause something to happen; ultimate explanations have to do with why particular proximate mechanisms exist.  Proximate and ultimate explanations are complements, not alternatives. No aspect of life can be completely understood until both its proximate and its ultimate causation are fully known. According to Thornhill and Palmer, the ultimate cause of rape is that rape is an evolutionary adaption to procreate; unbridled sexual predation is an evolutionary justification of using any means necessary including fraud, force, drug and alcohol- to sexually conquer an unwilling female. Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer argue that rape is an adaptation — that it has evolved to increase the reproductive success of men who would otherwise have little sexual access to women. An adaptation, a trait encoded by genes that confers an advantage on anyone who possesses them. Back in the late Pleistocene epoch 100,000 years ago, their book contended, men who carried rape genes had a reproductive and evolutionary edge over men who did not: they sired children not only with willing mates, but also with unwilling ones, allowing them to leave more offspring (also carrying rape genes) who were similarly more likely to survive and reproduce, unto the nth generation. That would be us. And that is why we carry rape genes today. The family trees of prehistoric men lacking rape genes petered out.

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In humans, as in most animals, males and females have developed different reproductive strategies. Men are adapted to mate as frequently and with as many women as possible. Women, on the other hand, are designed to be monogamous and to ensure that their mate stays with them as long as possible. Rape, Thornhill and Palmer argue, is a consequence of these differences. Men rape because it helps spread their genes. The good professors are unsure whether men possess specific brain circuits that tell them to rape, or whether such coercion is the unfortunate outcome of a relentless male desire for casual sex. Either way, they insist that men rape because nature has designed them that way. If men rape to increase their chance of fatherhood, women are traumatized by rape because it ‘lowers their reproductive success’. Rape is painful, apparently, because it ‘reduces a woman’s ability to choose the timing and circumstances for reproduction, as well as her ability to choose the man who fathers her offspring’.

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Rape as reproductive strategy:

Since women are choosy, men have been selected for finding a way to be chosen. One way to do that is to possess traits that women prefer: men with symmetrical body features are attractive to women, presumably because such features are a sign of health. A second way that men can gain access to women is by defeating other men in fights or other kinds of competitions — thereby gaining power, resources and social status, other qualities that women find attractive. Rape can be understood as a third kind of sexual strategy: one more way to gain access to females. There are several mechanisms by which such a strategy could function. For example, men might resort to rape when they are socially disenfranchised, and thus unable to gain access to women through looks, wealth or status. Alternatively, men could have evolved to practice rape when the costs seem low — when, for instance, a woman is alone and unprotected (and thus retaliation seems unlikely), or when they have physical control over a woman (and so cannot be injured by her). Over evolutionary time, some men may have succeeded in passing on their genes through rape, thus perpetuating the behavior. It is also possible, however, that rape evolved not as a reproductive strategy in itself but merely as a side effect of other adaptations, such as the strong male sex drive and the male desire to mate with a variety of women. Take, for instance, the fact that men are able to maintain sexual arousal and copulate with unwilling women. That ability invites inquiry, according to the psychologist Margo Wilson of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and her coworkers, because it is not a trait that is common to the males of all animal species. Its existence in human males could signal that they have evolved psychological mechanisms that specifically enable them to engage in forced copulation — in short, it could be a rape adaptation. But that is not the only plausible explanation. The psychologist Neil M. Malamuth of the University of California, Los Angeles, points out that the ability to copulate with unwilling women may be simply a by-product of men’s “greater capacity for impersonal sex.”

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Thornhill and Palmer write that “In short, a man can have many children, with little inconvenience to himself; a woman can have only a few, and with great effort.” Females therefore tend to be choosier with partners. Rape is seen as one potential strategy for males for achieving reproductive success. They point to several other factors indicating that rape may be a reproductive strategy. It is during the potentially childbearing years that women most often are rape victims. Rapists usually do not use more force than necessary to subdue their victims which is argued to be the case since physically injuring the victims would reduce the chance of reproduction. Furthermore, “In many cultures rape is treated as a crime against the victim’s husband.”

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Rape serves an Evolutionary function:

 From an Evolutionary perspective, there are 5 types of rapists:

1. High-ranking male; this type rapes females of lower status because they can get away with it.

2. Brutal male; this type finds violence sexually arousing.

3. Low-ranking male; this type rapes because they can’t get laid consensually.

4. Stalker; this type targets and stalks specific victims.

5. Wife-beater; this type discovers that his wife has cheated on him, and rapes her to re-assert his paternity confidence. In all of these scenarios, power is simply a means to an end – the end being the passing on of the rapist’s genes. It’s not an attempt to enforce a patriarchy – patriarchy was probably created to counter the problem by providing potential rapists with a very real threat of harm.

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Thornhill and Palmer inadvertently suggested that woman is raped because of her own fault:

However, if males rape because women deny them access to sex whenever and with whomever they desire it, then females must be educated about the differences between male and female sexuality. The authors propose that females, separately from males, also be required to take a rape prevention course. The course would focus on learning about males’ natural sexual impulses, which under certain conditions lead to rape, and the females’ responsibility for preventing this. What are their suggestions for females? Avoid dress, behavior and situations that increase the risk of rape.  The authors propose some age-old and modern-day practices. These include separate bathrooms, chaperoned activities, self-defense for women and programs that teach both males and females the dangers of the two sexes being alone in isolated and private areas. The authors quote an evolutionary anthropologist from New Guinea: “Men and women both assume that if a young woman is encountered in an isolated area by a man who is not closely related, that man will rape her”. This type of thinking reinforces the belief that if women are raped it is their fault.

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Criticism of Thornhill and Palmer’s hypothesis:

If rape is about reproduction, why are about one-third of its victims young children and the elderly, too young or old to reproduce? Why do men rape lovers and wives, with whom they also have consensual sex? Perhaps some of these issues could have been resolved if the authors had not lumped all kinds of rape. Are date rapes on university campuses really comparable to the rapes by Serbian soldiers in Kosovo? Isn’t it likely that some rapes are mainly sexually motivated and others mainly act of hostility and misogyny?  The greatest flaw of ”A Natural History of Rape” is that it quotes but then blithely ignores the warning of the evolutionary biologist George Williams that ”adaptation is a special and onerous concept that should be used only when it is really necessary.”

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Psychology professor Frans de Waal argues that rape involves both sex and violence, and that while A Natural History of Rape serves as a corrective to the dogmatic view that rape is primarily about power, its view that rape is primarily sexually motivated is equally dogmatic. In de Waal’s view, Thornhill and Palmer’s theory could only be true if men who rape differ genetically from men who do not rape and father more children than they could without committing rape, and there is no evidence that either of these things is true. He questions why one-third of rape victims are young children and the elderly, too young or too old to reproduce, if rape is about reproduction and why most men do not rape if rape is a smart reproductive strategy. He believes Thornhill and Palmer wrongly describe premature ejaculation and the ability to detect female vulnerability as rape adaptations, when other explanations for them exist.

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Smith et al. (2001) criticized Thornhill and Palmer’s hypothesis that a predisposition to rape in certain circumstances is an evolved psychological adaptation. They developed a fitness cost/benefit mathematical model and populated it with estimates of certain parameters (some parameter estimates were based on studies of the Aché in Paraguay). Their model suggested that generally that only men with a future reproductive value of 1/10th or less of a typical 25-year-old man would have a net positive cost/benefit fitness ratio from committing rape. On the basis of their model and parameter estimates, they suggested that this would make it unlikely that rape generally would have net fitness benefits for most men.

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Hamilton (2008) has criticized Thornhill and Palmer’s definition of rape as the coerced vaginal penetration of women of reproductive age. He has suggested that the exclusion of male rape, rape on women outside the reproductive age range, murderous rape, and non-vaginal forms of rape virtually guaranteed the confirmation of their hypothesis that rape is an evolved reproductive strategy and not a crime of violence.

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Anthropologist Edward H. Hagen states in his Evolutionary Psychology FAQ from 2002 that he believes there is no clear evidence for the hypothesis that rape is adaptive. He believes the adaptivity of rape is possible, but claims there is not enough evidence to be certain one way or the other. However, he encourages such evidence to be obtained: “Whether human males possess psychological adaptations for rape will only be answered by careful studies seeking evidence for such cognitive specializations. To not seek such evidence is like failing to search a suspect for a concealed weapon.” He also describes some conditions in the ancestral environment during which the reproductive gains from rape may have outweighed the costs:

“High status males may have been able to coerce mating with little fear of reprisal.”

“Low status women (e.g., orphans) may have been particularly vulnerable to being raped because males need not have feared reprisals from the woman’s family.”

“During war, raping enemy women may have had few negative repercussions.”

“Men who were low status, who were likely to remain low status, and who had few opportunities to invest in kin may have realized reproductive benefits that outweighed the considerable costs (e.g., reprisal by the woman’s family).”

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Ron Sanchez says that during therapy, offenders admit crimes they’ve committed as children, teenagers and adults — sometimes disclosing as many as 50 or 60 other crimes, which escalated in seriousness. “Many of them began voyeuring in homes, then eventually escalated to burglaries, even breaking into houses at night while people were sleeping, then escalating to the point of fantasy, fantasies about rape and eventually planning and committing rape.” According to Sanchez, sex offenders tend to be compulsive and repetitive, the kind of criminals who are hardest to treat. A 1989 study by the American Psychological Association found no evidence that the rate of recidivism for treated offenders was any lower than it was for offenders who received no treatment. Approximately 25-26 percent of the inmate population at the Utah State Prison are sex offenders. Ron Sanchez is the supervising psychologist who works with them. “I think sex is part of it. I think it’s a vehicle for their aggression. There again, it’s not just about sex. Many of these individuals, at least on the surface, have relationships with women and are having sex on a regular basis, but for some reason have chosen to go out victimize people in this fashion.”

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Dr. Michael Ghiglieri, an Arizona biologist who has written extensively about male violence, is more specific. He cites a 10-year study looking at more than a million cases of rape in the United States. “It’s unfortunately a huge sample of victims,” he says. “And it turns out that 88 percent of these women are between the ages of 12 to 28. Three quarters of all victims fell between the ages of 18 to 25. So rapists are seeking the women that men everywhere are seeking.”

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Michael Kimmel is a sociologist at the State University of New York who has received international recognition for his work on men and masculinity. He says violent men often view their actions as revenge or retaliation. “They say, women have power over me because they’re beautiful and sexual and I want them and they elicit that and I feel powerless,” he says. “Just listen for a minute to the way in which we describe women’s beauty and sexuality. We describe it as a violence against us. She is a knock-out, a bomb-shell, dressed to kill, a femme fatale, stunning, ravishing. I mean all of these are words of violence against us. It’s like, wow, she knocked me out. So the violence then, or the aggression or the sexual violence is often a way to retaliate.”  Michael Kimmel, criticizes Thornhill and Palmer’s argument that female rape victims tend to be sexually attractive young women, rather than children or older women, contrary to what would be expected if rapists selected victims based on inability to resist. Kimmel argues that younger women are the least likely to be married and the most likely to be out on dates with men, and therefore are the most likely to be raped because of opportunity arising from social exposure and marital status.  

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Roby sees several kinds of sex offenders. Those, like Philip, for whom sexual assault is an extension of rage; those who have a need to control of have power over their victims; and those who derive sexual pleasure out of inflicting pain on others. Many of the rapists he’s worked with also seem to have been motivated by sex. “Most of the individuals that I’ve worked with saw having sex with a woman as basically their final validation of them being a man. So they would decide prior to the time they went out and actually committed the rape that they were going to be sexually involved with some woman,” he says. “The woman no longer really had a choice to make in that kind of relationship, but I don’t think they started out saying what I want to do is to degrade or humiliate some other individual.”

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While some feminists are adamant that rape is not about sex, Jane Caputi, a professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, claims it’s specious to separate violence and sex. “I would disagree with some of the early feminists who would say rape is a crime of violence, not a crime of sex. Because, unfortunately, in this culture sex is completely interfused with violence, with notions of dominance and subordination. Our gender roles are constructed so we have these two genders, masculine and feminine, that are defined by one being powerful and one being powerless. So, powerlessness and power themselves become eroticized.” She points to popular culture, which reflects and perpetuates this intertwining of sex and violence. “It makes it glamourous, it eroticizes that kind of violence against women and makes it appear consensual, as if women seek this out and want it,” she says. “We all know the notorious General Hospital scene where Luke raped Laura and then later married her and so it made it seem as though rape was a kind of courtship ritual. Gone with the Wind is, of course, classic in that we see a scene of marital rape and the woman is made to smile as if seeming to enjoy it.” The media, biology and culture may be contributing factors, but the majority of men — those who are the product of the same biology, the same culture — don’t rape women. The causes of individual pathology are far more complicated. To understand rape, it’s important to look at the men who rape. According to Ghiglieri, approximately 90 percent of convicted rapists are young men, most of them troubled. Ron Sanchez says sex offenders cut across all racial, economic and social lines. Convicted sex offenders include physicians, truck drivers, utility workers, and teachers, single men and married men with children. Yet Sanchez sees some general patterns. Rapists tend to be antisocial. Many have a mixed criminal history and a pattern of victimizing people. They’re aggressive and have problems controlling their anger. They lack adequate communication skills which contribute to their feelings of rage and frustration. They’re often sensitive to rejection and insecure about their own masculinity. They also have distorted views about women and sex. Most have been sexually deviant since adolescence.

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A study was conducted to find out why did men commit rape?

As you can see from the figure above, majority of rapists raped for sexual entitlement. Sexual entitlement means a man feels he has a right to have sex, despite what the woman wants. Some respondents expressed they were bored, so rape was a pursuit of entertainment. Punishment was also cited as a reason, saying that some wanted to punish a female or was angry with the person.

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Sexual gratification:

Though anger and power are believed, by some academics, to be the primary motivation for most rapes, in 1994, Richard Felson coauthored the controversial book “Aggression and Coercive Actions: A Social-Interactionist Perspective” with James Tedeschi, a book which argues that sexual fulfillment is the motive of rapists, rather than the aggressive desire to dominate the victim.  Felson believes that rape is an aggressive form of sexual coercion and the goal of rape is sexual satisfaction rather than power. Most rapists do not have a preference for rape over consensual sex. In one study, male rapists evaluated with penile plethysmography demonstrated more arousal to forced sex and less discrimination between forced and consensual sex than non-rapist control subjects, though both groups responded more strongly to consensual sex scenarios.

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Research on convicted rapists:

The research on convicted rapists has found several important motivational factors in the sexual aggression of males. Those motivational factors repeatedly implicated are having anger at women and having the need to control or dominate them. Factors increasing men’s risk of committing rape include alcohol and other drug consumption, being more likely to consider victims responsible for their rape, being less knowledgeable about the impact of rape on victims, being impulsive and having antisocial tendencies, having an exaggerated sense of masculinity, having a low opinion on women, being a member of a criminal gang, having sexually aggressive friends, having been abused as a child and having been raised in a strongly patriarchal family. A study by Marshall et al. (2001) found that male rapists had less empathy toward women who had been sexually assaulted by an unknown assailant and more hostility toward women than nonsex offenders and nonoffender males/females.

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Motives of Reward among men who rape:

Perceptual deterrence research attempts to measure the effect of perceived certainty and severity of punishment in preventing criminal behavior, while considering the rewards (from the perception of the offender) of committing the crime. Many studies in the area of perceptual deterrence are lacking any measure of reward, resulting in an incomplete model. A study examined the goals of men who commit rape to better understand what compels the rapist. Respondents for this study were drawn from the population of rapists in the maximum-security state penitentiaries located in two Southern states. All were surveyed concerning the rewards that would lead them to commit rape, while considering two levels of risk of apprehension. The results reveal that those who rape often have a specific motive in mind and have calculated the risks involved in committing the offense.

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Cognitive correlates of rape proclivity:

The studies reviewed provide evidence that men with a high proclivity to rape have more rape supportive attitudes, are more likely to consider victims to be responsible for rape, and are less knowledgeable about the negative impact of rape on the victims. These men tend to misperceive cues emitted by women in heterosocial interactions; fail to generate inhibitory self-verbalizations to suppress association of sex and aggression; and have more coercive, sexual fantasies. Furthermore, a high proclivity to rape is associated with a semantic network in which concepts of sex and power are closely linked in such a way that power cues are necessary precursors of sexual feelings. Multivariate studies suggest that rape-supportive attitudes interact with noncognitive factors in the etiology of rape.

Rape myth acceptance and related attitudes:

Rape myths are specific beliefs surrounding rape. An example of such beliefs is that women enjoy being raped or that they could easily resist rapists if they really wanted to. The Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (RMA; Burt, 1980) assesses such beliefs together with an accepting attitude toward rape as expressed in statements such as, “Women who get raped while hitchhiking get what they deserve.”

Victim blame:

The belief that rape victims are responsible for rape because they wear revealing garments, drink too much alcohol, or venture out in deserted places is related to rape myths. Research into victim blame is discussed separately because it connects the concepts of rape-supportive attitudes and deviant sexual arousal and because it may provide an explanation of how acceptance of rape myths leads to rape proclivity.

Macho attitudes:

Men who have macho attitudes adhere to a notion of masculinity that idealizes power, toughness, competitiveness, and aggression. These attitudes are usually assessed with the Hypermasculinity Inventory (Mosher & Sirkin, 1984), which consists of subscales for Calloused Sexual Attitudes (e.g., “Get a woman drunk, high, or hot, and she’ll let you do whatever you want”), Violence as Manly (e.g., “I still enjoy remembering my first real fight”), and Danger as Exciting (e.g., “I like to drive fast, right at the edge of danger”). Men who have these attitudes might view rape as a way to validate their masculinity. In a study with college students, Mosher and Anderson (1986) found that the three macho attitudes predicted self-reported use of force to get sex, with Calloused Sex Attitudes accounting for most of the variance.

Authoritarian attitudes:

The Right Wing Authoritarianism Scale (Altemeyer, 1988) assesses attitudes toward aggressive treatment of outsiders, such as homosexuals, handicapped people, or refugees; attitudes toward submission to authorities; and attitudes toward conventionalism. In a study with students and nonstudents, Walker et al. (1993) predicted rape proclivity from the Right Wing Authoritarianism Scale and from Burt’s (1980) attitude scales. Right Wing Authoritarianism predicted self-reported sexual aggression as successfully as did the Burt scales, thereby making a unique contribution to the prediction. Ajzen and Fishbein (1980)

Studies with convicted offenders:

If men in the general population with a high level of rape proclivity have specific rape-supportive attitudes and beliefs, this is to be expected to be the case in convicted rapists as well. In an early study, Feild (1978) examined this issue by comparing rapist’s attitudes toward rape with those of citizens, police officers, and rape counselors. To this end, he developed the Attitudes Towards Rape Scale. Notwithstanding the large sample size, no significant differences among rapists, police officers, and citizens were found regarding most attitudes. Although citizens and police were more likely than rapists to argue that women should resist during rape and that rapists should be punished severely, both groups were generally more similar to rapists than to the counselors. Segal and Stermac (1984) found that rapist’s attitudes toward women, as measured with a short version of the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (AWS; Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1973), were similar to those of other offenders and nonoffenders of the same socioeconomic status. Sattem, Savells, and Murray (1984) compared sex offenders, other offenders, and nonoffenders using the AWS and two measures for macho attitudes and attitudes toward subordination of women. They concluded that “rather than being more sex-role stereotypical, sex offenders seem to be less stereotypical about themselves and women” (Sattem et al., 1984, p. 857). Although no distinction was made between adult-oriented and child-oriented sex offenders in the primary analysis, subsequent analyses showed that the groups did not differ on any of the attitude measures. In a British study by Harmon, Owens, and Dewey (1995), rapists were found to have less traditional attitudes toward the role of women in society than other imprisoned offenders. No attitudinal differences were found between rapists and a nonoffender control group. Overholser and Beck (1986) compared rapists, other offenders, volunteers with low socioeconomic status, and students who reported a low frequency of dating. No differences between rapists and any of the other groups were found on Burt’s (1980) RMA and SRS scales. E. R. Hall, Howard, and Boezio (1986) compared rapists, nonsex offenders, and men from the general community with regard to acceptance of rape myths, rationalizations of aggression, and situations perceived as justifying forced sex. Rapists and nonsex offenders did not differ, but both offender groups were characterized by more rape-supportive attitudes than were men from the general community. Scully and Marolla (1984, 1985) conducted detailed interviews with 114 convicted rapists and administered attitude scales to these rapists as well as to 75 other offenders. Some rapist’s responses clearly revealed acceptance of rape myths and sexist attitudes toward women (Scully & Marolla, 1984) as well as macho attitudes and a preference for impersonal sex (Scully & Marolla, 1985). Typical statements of rapists were, “Rape was the ability to have sex without caring about the woman’s response” (Scully & Marolla, 1985, p. 259) or “Women are made to have sex” (p. 261). Although such attitudes can certainly be considered rape supportive, they are not specific to rapists. Marolla and Scully (1986) found no differences between rapists and other offenders on the AWS and on Burt’s (1980) AIV Scale.

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Why punish rapists: 

We all have feelings inside us, we overcome them. If someone feel so much urge or tendency to sexual intercourse and can’t overcome it or control the feelings that means that he/she has got a problem. And that problem is in mind. The way a person is brought up frames the life; our behavior and activities throughout our life depends on our childhood. The family, environment and society with which a person is grown up certainly plays role. It’s like seed of characters sowing in a person. We have to correct a person. We have to make person know the right and the wrong. If we go on punishing the rape culprits, it will take to no way. Certainly they will be punished for their crime, but they will never realize the fault. One thing universally common to rapists is that they don’t think about what their victim goes through. As you can imagine, committing that type of crime against another human being requires a tremendous amount of detachment, of dehumanizing that individual.

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In order to understand why rapist ought to be punished, we must understand the effect of rape on woman/girl by man: For male-on-female rape; the effects and aftermath of rape can include both physical trauma and psychological trauma. However, physical force is not necessarily used in rape, and physical injuries are not always a consequence. Deaths associated with rape are known to occur, though the prevalence of fatalities varies considerably across the world. For rape victims the more common consequences of sexual violence are those related to reproductive health, mental health, and social wellbeing. 

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Physical impact:

Gynecological:

Common consequences experienced by rape victims include:

Vaginal or anal bleeding or infection

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Vaginitis or vaginal inflammation

Dyspareunia — painful sexual intercourse

Vaginismus — a condition affecting a woman’s ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration

Chronic pelvic pain

Urinary tract infections

Pregnancy

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Rape and pregnancy:

Pregnancy is a potential result of rape. It has been studied in the context of war, particularly as a tool for genocide, as well as other unrelated contexts, such as rape by a stranger, statutory rape, incest, and underage pregnancy. Although claims have been made to the contrary, the current scientific consensus is that rape is as likely to lead to pregnancy as consensual sexual intercourse. The false belief that pregnancy can almost never result from rape was widespread for centuries. In Europe, from medieval times well into the 1700s a man could use a woman’s pregnancy as a legal defense to “prove” that he could not have raped her, since her pregnancy was thought to mean that she had enjoyed the sex and therefore consented to it. Biologically, any female capable of ovulation may become pregnant after rape by a fertile male. The rate varies between settings and depends particularly on the extent to which non-barrier contraceptives are being used. A study of adolescents in Ethiopia found that among those who reported being raped, 17% became pregnant after the rape, a figure which is similar to the 15–18% reported by rape crisis centers in Mexico.  A longitudinal study in the United States of over 4000 women followed for 3 years found that the national rape related pregnancy rate was 5.0% per rape among victims aged 12–45 years, producing over 32,000 pregnancies nationally among women from rape each year.  In 1982, Fertility and Sterility, the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, reported that the risk of pregnancy from a rape is the same as the risk of pregnancy from a consensual sexual encounter, 2–4%. In 1991, a study in a maternity hospital in Lima found that 90% of new mothers aged 12–16 had become pregnant from being raped, the majority by their father, stepfather or other close relative. An organization for teenage mothers in Costa Rica reported that 95% of its clients under the age of 15 had been victims of incest. Experience of coerced sex at an early age reduces a woman’s ability to see her sexuality as something over which she has control. As a result, it is less likely that an adolescent girl who has been forced into sex will use condoms or other forms of contraception, decreasing the likelihood of her not becoming pregnant. A study of factors associated with teenage pregnancy in Cape Town, South Africa, found that forced sexual initiation was the third most strongly related factor, after frequency of intercourse and use of modern contraceptives.  Forced sex can also result in unintended pregnancy among adult women. Any pregnancy resulting from an encounter with a stranger carries a higher risk of pre-eclampsia, the condition in which hypertension arises in pregnancy in association with significant amounts of protein in the urine. Conversely, repeated exposure to the same partner’s semen reduces the risk, through induction of paternal tolerance.

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Sexually transmitted disease:

Violent or forced sex can increase the risk of transmitting HIV.  In forced vaginal penetration, abrasions and cuts commonly occur, thus facilitating the entry of the virus through the vaginal mucosa. Adolescent girls are particularly susceptible to HIV infection through forced sex, and even through casual sex, because their vaginal mucous membranes have not yet acquired cellular density sufficient to provide an effective barrier that develops in the later teenage years. Being a victim of sexual violence and being susceptible to HIV share a number of risk behaviors. Forced sex in childhood or adolescence, for instance, increases the likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex, having multiple partners, participating in sex work, and substance abuse. People who experience forced sex in intimate relationships often find it difficult to negotiate condom use either because using a condom could be interpreted as mistrust of their partners or as an admission of promiscuity, or else because they fear experiencing violence from their partners. Sexual coercion among adolescents and adults is also associated with low self-esteem and depression factors that are associated with many of the risk behaviors for HIV infection. Research on women in shelters has shown that women who experience both sexual and physical abuse from intimate partners are significantly more likely to have had sexually transmitted diseases.

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Prophylaxis for HIV infection:

The possibility of transmission of HIV during rape is a major cause for concern, especially in countries with a high prevalence of HIV infection. The use of antiretroviral drugs following exposure to HIV is known in certain contexts to be reasonably effective. For instance, the administration of the antiretroviral drug zidovudine (AZT) to health workers following an occupational needle-stick exposure (puncturing the skin with a contaminated needle) has been shown to reduce the subsequent risk of developing HIV infection by 81%. The average risk of HIV infection from a single act of unprotected vaginal sex with an infected partner is relatively low (approximately 1.2 per 1000, from male to female, and around 0.5 – 1 per 1000 from female to male). This risk, in fact, is of a similar order to that from a needle-stick injury (around 3 per 1000), for which post exposure prophylaxis is now routine treatment. The average risk of HIV infection from unprotected anal sex is considerably higher, though, at around 5.30 per 1000. However, during rape, because of the force used, it is very much more likely that there will be macroscopic or microscopic tears to the vaginal mucosa, something that will greatly increase the probability of HIV transmission. There is no information about the feasibility or cost-effectiveness in resource-poor settings of routinely offering rape victims prophylaxis for HIV. Testing for HIV infection after rape is difficult in any case. In the immediate aftermath of an incident, many victims are not in a position fully to comprehend complicated information about HIV testing and risks. Ensuring proper follow-up is also difficult as many victims will not attend further scheduled visits for reasons that probably relate to their psychological coping following the assault. The side-effects of antiretroviral treatment may also be significant, causing people to drop out from a course, though those who perceive themselves as being at high risk are much more likely to be compliant. Despite the lack of knowledge about the effectiveness of HIV prophylaxis following rape, many organizations have recommended its use. For instance, medical aid schemes in high-income countries are increasingly including it in their care packages. Research is urgently needed in middle-income and low-income countries on the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment after rape and how it could be included in patient care.  

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Psychological impact:

Rape trauma syndrome:

Rape trauma syndrome (RTS) is the psychological trauma experienced by a rape victim that includes disruptions to normal physical, emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal behavior. The theory was first described by psychiatrist Ann Wolbert Burgess and sociologist Lynda Lytle Holmstrom in 1974. RTS is a cluster of psychological and physical signs, symptoms and reactions common to most rape victims immediately following and for months or years after a rape. While most research into RTS has focused on female victims, sexually abused males (whether by male or female perpetrators) also exhibit RTS symptoms.  RTS paved the way for consideration of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which can more accurately describe the consequences of serious, protracted trauma than Posttraumatic Stress Disorder alone. The symptoms of RTS and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome overlap; however, individually each syndrome can have long devastating effects on rape victims. RTS identifies three stages of psychological trauma a rape survivor goes through: the acute stage, the outer adjustment stage, and the renormalization stage. The acute stage occurs in the days or weeks after a rape. Durations vary as to the amount of time the victim may remain in the acute stage. The immediate symptoms may last a few days to a few weeks and may overlap with the outward adjustment stage.

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Self-blame:

Self-blame is among the most common of both short- and long-term effects and functions as an avoidance coping skill that inhibits the healing process and can often be remedied by a cognitive therapy technique known as cognitive restructuring. There are two main types of self-blame: behavioral self-blame (undeserved blame based on actions) and characterological self-blame (undeserved blame based on character). Victims who experience behavioral self-blame feel that they should have done something differently and therefore feel at fault. Victims who experience characterological self-blame feel there is something inherently wrong with them which has caused them to deserve to be assaulted. Unfortunately, the victim’s support system is not always the best place for the victim to seek consolation. Sometimes in an effort to shield oneself from believing such a thing could happen to their loved one, a supporter will make excuses for why the event occurred. Some support will decide that the victim put themselves in a bad situation, even though they didn’t deserve to be raped- which does not help the victim in his or her recovery to hear. The victim will often already internally blame themselves, especially because the violation of boundaries, broken trust, and the feeling of personal danger occurs with rape. If the support system they look to for support is a partner or spouse, some may be unwilling to accept reality and leave or blame the victim. In that situation, it is even more important to be able to find support in others. Most victims cannot be reassured enough that what happened to them is “not their fault.” This helps them fight through shame and feel safe, secure, and grieve in a healthy way. In most cases, a length of time, and often therapy, are necessary to allow the victim and people close to the victim to process and heal.

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It’s not only the victim who blames herself. Society is quick to blame her as well. Even the innocence of children is questioned. Victim blaming is already discussed earlier. 

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Rape and shame:

A leading researcher on the psychological causes and effects of shame, June Tangney, lists five ways shame can be destructive:

Lack of motivation to seek care;

Lack of empathy;

Cutting themselves off from other people;

Anger;

Aggression.

Tangney says shame has a special link to anger. In day-to-day life, when people are shamed and angry they tend to be motivated to get back at a person and get revenge. In addition, shame is connected to psychological problems – such as eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders as well as problematic moral behavior. In one study over several years shame-prone kids were prone to substance abuse, earlier sexual activity, less safe sexual activity, and involvement with the criminal justice system.  Behavioral self-blame is associated with feelings of guilt within the victim. While the belief that one had control during the assault (past control) is associated with greater psychological distress, the belief that one has more control during the recovery process (present control) is associated with less distress, less withdrawal, and more cognitive reprocessing.  Counseling responses found helpful in reducing self-blame are supportive responses, psychoeducational responses (learning about rape trauma syndrome) and those responses addressing the issue of blame. A helpful type of therapy for self-blame is cognitive restructuring or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive reprocessing is the process of taking the facts and forming a logical conclusion from them that is less influenced by shame or guilt.

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Suicide after rape:

Childhood and adulthood victims of rape are more likely to attempt or commit suicide.  The association remains, even after controlling for sex, age, education, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and the presence of psychiatric disorders. The experience of being raped can lead to suicidal behavior as early as adolescence. In Ethiopia, 6% of raped schoolgirls reported having attempted suicide. They also feel embarrassed to talk about what had happened to them. A study of adolescents in Brazil found prior sexual abuse to be a leading factor predicting several health risk behaviours, including suicidal thoughts and attempts.

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Sociological impact:

Secondary victimization:

Rape is especially stigmatizing in cultures with strong customs and taboos regarding sex and sexuality. For example, a rape victim (especially one who was previously a virgin) may be viewed by society as being “damaged.” Victims in these cultures may suffer isolation, be disowned by friends and family, be prohibited from marrying, be divorced if already married, or even killed. This phenomenon is known as secondary victimization.  Secondary victimization is the re-traumatization of the sexual assault, abuse, or rape victim through the responses of individuals and institutions. Types of secondary victimization include victim blaming and inappropriate post-assault behavior or language by medical personnel or other organizations with which the victim has contact.  Secondary victimization is especially common in cases of drug-facilitated, acquaintance, and statutory rape.

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Effects of child sex abuse:

Rape and other forms of sexual assault on a child can result in both short-term and long-term harm, including psychopathology in later life.  Psychological, emotional, physical, and social effects include depression,  post-traumatic stress disorder,  anxiety, eating disorders, poor self-esteem, dissociative and anxiety disorders; general psychological distress and disorders such as somatization, neurosis, chronic pain, sexualized behavior, school/learning problems; and behavior problems including substance abuse, destructive behavior, criminality in adulthood and suicide. The risk of lasting psychological harm is greater if the perpetrator of the sexual assault on the child is a relative (i.e., incest), or if threats or force are used. Incestual rape has been shown to be one of the most extreme forms of childhood trauma, a trauma that often does serious and long-term psychological damage, especially in the case of parental incest.

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Sexual harassment is the most painful offense committed to a person. The reason for this is that it does not only affect the individual for a short time, but cause a life-time trauma. Rape reduces the victim’s self–esteem to a considerable degree. Thus, the victim is traumatized for the rest of her life. The act humiliates the individual to an extent that life cannot be the same again for this person. Additionally, the victim’s emotional, physical and mental health is affected. Serious sex offenders have no sound reason for committing the crime. Sometimes they claim that they were seduced by the dressing mode, walking style of a victim. However, this breaks the laws of logic, since they even offend babies who are still under breast feeding. This proves that, their actions are not driven by seduction or love as they sometimes claim. This is why castration can serve as a good punishment to such illogical claims (McGrath, 1995). Sexual harassment is the only offense which affects all sectors of human health. To some extent, the victim cannot even enjoy her marriage as she has a negative attitude towards men. This makes her live uncomfortably and never to enjoy her conjugal rights. In addition, it is possible to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease during rape. The victim can also contract HIV and live with the virus the rest of her life. Rape also causes unwanted pregnancies. The act is too humiliating and makes the victim uncomfortable to report to the doctor. If impregnated, she gives birth to a child who is unacceptable in the society neither by the mother nor by the entire society. Sex offenders force victims to do all they want to justify their selfish sexual desires. There is physical struggle as the victim tries to free herself from the hands of the malicious person (McGrath, 1995).This fight leaves the victim with physical injuries and scars which might be permanent. In extreme cases, rape victims, especially children, die as a result of excess bleeding, trauma or physical injury. Serious sex offenders also murder victims in case they fear being reported. Considering all these unlimited consequences of rape, one is justifiable to agree that serious sex offenders should be severely punished.

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Punishment of sex offender:

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The figure above shows that in the U.K. out of average of 78,000 rapes per year, only 1070 perpetrators are convicted. If this is the state of rape as a crime in a developed nation, what about rape in developing nations? 

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The world had adopted many legal reforms so that justice is done to rape survivor:

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In the past ten to twelve years, several countries in East, Central and Southern Africa have responded to the problem of violence against women and children by amending outdated criminal laws relating to rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Legislative reforms have ranged from minor changes to existing penal code provisions, to major overhauls of sexual offences law. Changes have included redefining and/or adding new offences; making sexual offences gender neutral; putting in place evidentiary and procedural protections for victims1; and increasing penalties for sexual crimes. As part of the reform process, several countries in the region have enacted mandatory minimum sentences for sexual offences such as rape and “defilement.” These have generally emerged in response to public outcry over high rates of sexual violence – particularly against children, and the widespread perception among the public and some lawmakers that perpetrators were not being adequately punished for these crimes. Proponents argued that high mandatory sentences would have a deterrent effect on sexual violence, and that victims would be more likely to report if they believed that perpetrators would be sent to jail. Others argued that statutory minimums would ensure appropriate retribution and lead to greater consistency in sentencing. A further rationale was found in the HIV epidemic – high sentences were viewed by many as necessary to curb the spread of HIV to women and children from sexual assault.

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Sexual offending is a kind of crime about which the general public is particularly concerned. Discussions in the media and in the political arena are emotionally laden and even legislation often seems to be driven by serious single cases of sexual offending. Accordingly, in the last decade many Western countries have revised their criminal justice reactions to sexual offending towards harsher punishment and incarceration. Because most sexual offenses are not so serious to justify lifetime sentences there are also increased attempts to prevent reoffending through correctional treatment. In Germany, for example, a penal law reform in 1998 introduced mandatory treatment for sexual offenders who received a prison sentence of more than two years. However, the changes in policy have been primarily based on good intentions and not on sound knowledge of the effectiveness of sexual offender treatment (Losel, 2002). As Garrido, Farringto & Walsh (2006) pointed out in the previous Psicothema section devoted to crime prevention, policy and evaluation are not always walking the same path. Accordingly, in many countries there is an ongoing discussion of the question: What works in the treatment of sexual offenders?  

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Does the punishment of minor sexual offences deter rapes?

Using original French panel data, the analysis of a study showed that the enforcement activity of rapes is the most deterrent factor both of rapes and other sexual offences, compared with the rapes- and minor sexual offences-reducing impact of an increase in the enforcement activity for minor sexual offences. This result invalidates the predictions of the broken windows theory in the case of an offence category featured by the absence of monetary benefits. In a normative way, it could be more efficient to deter the perpetrators of a rape, because such a policy should generate positive externalities, by provoking a more important decrease in the rate of other sexual offences, as the marginal deterrence theory suggests it. The study shows that the deterrence effect of punishment of rape is more efficient than the deterrence effect of punishment of minor sex offences in preventing future rapes.

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Rape Shield Laws: Can they be fair?

Introduced in the 1970s, Shield Laws sought to revolutionize rape trials. By prohibiting the introduction of a rape victim’s reputation or sexual history at trial, lawmakers removed one of the age-old stigmas that had prevented the successful prosecution of rapists and had kept women from bringing cases to court. Originally, the laws met with widespread acceptance. Two decades after their adoption by most states and the federal government, however, they have given rise to a debate in which neither side is satisfied with them. Advocates say they have not worked as well as desired. Opponents argue that their effect has been to deny defendants a fair trial. The legal future of these revolutionary laws hinges on a difficult question: how can courts protect victims without curtailing the rights of defendants?

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Punishment of rapists:

Most societies consider rape a grave offense, and punish it accordingly. The United States punishes it with imprisonment, but until the 20th century would apply the death penalty for the crime, as is still done in many societies. Castration is sometimes a punishment for rape and, controversially, some U.S. jurisdictions allow shorter sentences for sex criminals who agree to voluntary “chemical castration”. Prison sentences for rape are not uniformly long or severe. A study by a statistician from the U.S. Department of Justice, involving about 80% of the prison population, found that based on prison releases in 1992, the average sentence for convicted rapists was 9.8 years, while the actual time served was 5.4 years. This follows the typical pattern for violent crimes in the US, where those convicted typically serve no more than half of their sentence.  In Australia in 2002-2003, more than 1 in 10 convicted rapists served a wholly suspended sentence and the average total effective sentence for rape was seven years.  According to RAINN statistics, only about 6% of rapists – roughly 1 out of 16 – will ever be convicted and spend time in jail. This is because rape is a very under-reported crime.

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The average sentence for rape is eight years in the US.

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The figure above is derived from Criminal statistics annual report 2009 (National Statistics US).  The breakdown shows that more than one third are in the 5–10 year category, which suggests the eight year average may be representative. Another source found that sex offenders serve an average of six to seven years in prison, with between 10,000 and 20,000 of them being released from custody annually (“Criminal penalties,” 2012; CSOM, 2008).

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Sensible sentencing for deterrence:

There is a great deal of debate both here and overseas about the effectiveness of tougher sentences in both deterring criminals from repeat offences and deterring others from joining the criminal fraternity. There is increasing evidence now that the vast majority of criminals are in fact “rational agents” that is they make more or less rational (if not moral) decisions based on the information available to them. It is true that they are often not particularly clever, but this is not necessarily the same as being rational. If it becomes widely known that a particular offence carries a far heavier penalty than previously, criminals will often modify their behaviour accordingly. Criminals react to well publicized judicial decisions and to law change. The key here is well publicized – it is important to make sure that the message gets through, another aspect of deterrence. The economic theory of criminal behaviour posits that the decision on the part of the potential criminal whether to participate in illegitimate activities represents the outcome of a rational consideration of the benefits and costs of alternative forms of action…… The evidence shows that most offenders can be deterred to one degree or another. It would be foolish to claim that any sentencing strategy will have a 100% deterrent effect on 100% of offenders all of the time, but then it would be equally foolish to claim that no offender is ever deterred by any sentence however tough. The truth lies somewhere between, and will vary from offender to offender.  

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It is true that there are some people who we cannot deter, as they are irrational – “loose units” in the vernacular…. These however are the very people that it is most important to protect the public from. With those whom we can deter, we should endeavor to do so, and those we cannot we need to lock up for the protection of the rest of us. It is also true that murderers may actually somewhat less likely to be deterred by heavy sentences than other types of offenders, but then again deterrence is not the primary reason for tougher sentencing anyway. Prevention is, by means of incapacitation, and if there is any crime we want to minimize the chance of recurrence for its murder… There are three components of deterrence within a justice system, and sentencing is only one of these. The other two are detection, i.e. the likelihood of being caught, and conviction, i.e. the likelihood the having been caught, that the case will then lead to a successful conviction. We are not doing all that well on any of these components at present, particularly for violent crimes other than murder, although our rate of detection tends to improve markedly for more serious crimes. The implications of this are that for deterrence to work, all three components must be present, and so saying that tougher sentences do not deter is meaningless if there is a low probability that offenders will even be caught and convicted in the first place, as in many third world and a few Western countries or states. If any three of these components are absent or at low levels, then the levels of either of the other two components will have little deterrent effect.

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The failure of the death sentence in Texas to reduce violent crime there is often cited, although oddly enough it is with the most extreme offences and offenders that deterrence may actually be somewhat less effective due to the irrationality of such offenders. The death sentence may also be seen as an easy option by comparison with a life sentence in a harsh jail, thereby mitigating the deterrent effect of a death sentence. However, even with the death sentence, it appears the critics may actually have got it wrong, according to the evidence that emerges from the following study. In 1985, a study was published by economist Stephen K. Layson at the University of North Carolina that showed that every execution of a murderer deters, on average, 18 murders. The study also showed that raising the number of death sentences by one percent would prevent 105 murders. However, only 38 percent of all murder cases result in a death sentence, and of those, only 0.1 percent are actually executed.

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If we are really serious about curbing this kind of violence against women, most experts say the punishment for such crimes must be harsh. “If a rapist gets away scot free or gets away with minor punishment, that means rape is a viable sexual strategy for a large number of men. Rape is inevitable if we don’t punish it,” says Ghiglieri. “Everything we know tells us that they only begin to take it seriously when there are very serious consequences,” insists Steinem. Michael Kimmel calls it a matter of carrots and sticks. “I think the stick is we need very strong laws with uncompromising enforcement all the way through the legal system so that we make it clear as culture that we won’t stand for this. As a culture we can say the way we try to say around murder for example, or auto theft for example, ‘this is beyond the pale, you cannot do this. We will come down so hard on you, you won’t want to do this.’ O.K. that’s the stick. What’s the carrot? If we as men make it very clear to the women in our lives that we don’t support men’s violence against women, that we are actively opposed to it, that we are willing to confront other men who we see doing aggressive things, then our relationships with women will actually improve.”

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Let’s have a look at punishments for rapes in different countries.

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India:
Until 2013, the maximum punishment for rape in India was rigorous imprisonment of seven years. After the Anti-Rape Bill was passed by the Parliament in April 2013, an act of rape is now liable to life imprisonment and even death sentence for rarest of rare cases, by permitting capital punishment in rape cases in which the victim is murdered or left in a “persistent vegetative state” and allowing harsher punishment for crimes like acid attacks, sexual harassment and stalking. The bill was no doubt envisioned as a quick, high-level response to the Dec. 16 gang rape that shocked this country and sent thousands of protesters to the streets to call for greater safety and justice for women.

Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country. All the laws and regulations are listed as per the teachings of Islam. In Saudi Arabia, the punishment for rape is death penalty under its strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law. There is also a provision for ‘execution through stones’ which means if a person rapes, stones are thrown upon him till the moment he dies. However, as discussed earlier, the same country also punished rape victim under Sharia laws.
USA:  
There is no nationally accepted definition of rape in the United States; instead each state has its own laws. Though these definitions can vary considerably and most of them do not use the term rape any more, it is always referred to as “sexual assault”, “criminal sexual conduct”, “sexual abuse”, “sexual battery”, etc. Under federal law, the punishment for rape can range from a fine to life imprisonment. If the accused is a repeat offender, the law automatically doubles the maximum sentence.
France:
In France, the punishment for rape is imprisonment. If a person is found to be guilty of rape, he is sentenced to an imprisonment of 15 years. It extends to 20 years if the victim is under 15 years of age or other aggravating factors. If the sexual assault becomes the cause of the victim’s death, the convict will be imprisoned for a maximum period of 30 years. If the rape is followed by torture or any other physical harm, the felon is sent to the prison for the life time.
Netherlands:
In Netherlands, the definition of rape includes any kind of sexual harassment or forced sex, even French kissing without other person’s consent is listed as rape. The punishment for rape in Netherlands varies from 4 to 15 years imprisonment depending on the age factor of the victim. In many countries, the rape of a prostitute is not given much priority but in Netherlands any kind of harassment done to a prostitute without her approval can lead to an imprisonment of 4 years. If the victim dies after the rape, the accused is locked up for 15 years.
Afghanistan:
Afghanistan has provision for capital punishment for rape. Since Afghanistan is a Muslim country and its laws are based on Islam, convict is shot with a bullet in the head within the four days. However, as discussed earlier, an Afghan rape victim was convicted of adultery and coerced to marry rapist. 
China:
China awards capital punishment to the convict for committing rape. The execution rate in china is very high.

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The table below shows different perceptions of rapes in different Western nations:

Sweden England and Wales Scotland United States Germany
What is the legal definition of rape?
Forced vaginal intercourse or a comparable sexual act, which is carried out by assault or threat of violence. Sexual Offences Act 2003 says defendant is guilty if he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of the complainant with his penis, the complainant does not consent and the defendant does not reasonably believe consent has been given. The separate offence of sexual assault by penetration, which carries the same maximum sentence, covers attacks involving other objects. Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 says rape occurs when person A penetrates person B’s mouth, vagina or anus with A’s penis, either intentionally or recklessly, without B’s consent or a reasonable belief it exists. An attack involving an object falls under the offence of sexual assault by penetration. Every state has its own statutes. In about half, the term rape has been replaced with the wider term sexual assault, says Prof Paul Robinson at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Where rape is still used, it is reserved for forcible sexual intercourse, he says. Forced sexual intercourse or any invasive sexual penetration. Penetration need not be carried out with a body part – it may be with an object.
How is consent understood?
Determined by whether force or threat of force was used. Unlike Germany, helplessness of the victim – where there is no force used – means it can still be rape. Consent exists where someone “agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice”. However, criminal barrister Felicity Gerry, author of the Sexual Offences Handbook, says: “If someone has a reasonable and genuine belief their partner gave consent they shouldn’t be convicted.” “It’s defined as free agreement,” says law professor James Chalmers, of the University of Glasgow. Circumstances in which free agreement is absent include where violence is threatened or impersonation is being used. Scottish law has been criticised by anti-rape campaigners because it currently requires corroboration – meaning no-one can be convicted without two independent sources of evidence to support crucial facts – although Scottish ministers want to abolish this. Main difference between states is whether “forcible compulsion” is required to show rape has taken place, says law lecturer Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, of London’s Brunel University. Eight states require evidence of victim resistance, six others use similar terminology, and resistance is relevant to definitions of force and consent in another 16, say US legal experts John F Decker and Peter G Baroni. Some states do not distinguish between submission and genuine consent, Giannoulopoulos argues. The question for courts is whether the defendant could reasonably assume the victim has consented, says Robinson. Determined by whether victim was threatened. It is necessary to prove force was used, or sex carried out under threat of imminent danger to life or limb, or the accused exploited a situation in which victim was unprotected and at their mercy.
What is meant by incapacity?
Having sex with someone by improperly exploiting them while they are unconscious is rape, under Swedish law. This may be due to unconsciousness, sleep, intoxication or other drug influence, illness, injury or mental disturbance – or otherwise in a helpless state. “Practically speaking, if someone is so drunk that they are incapable of making a choice then that is rape,” says Gerry. “Evidential presumptions” of what renders someone incapable of consent include the complainant being asleep, under threat of violence or having a disability which prevents them from communicating. Mentally disordered persons are considered incapable of consent if they are unable to understand what the conduct is, make a decision about it or communicate their decision. A person is “incapable, while asleep or unconscious, of consenting to any conduct”. Nor can they be considered to have given free agreement if the jury decides they were incapable due to the effect of drink or drugs. Across the country, conditions such as inebriation, illness or being asleep are deemed to prevent genuine consent, says Robinson. Sleeping and unconscious people are not covered by the term rape, says Durham University law professor Michael Bohlander. This is covered by another offence – abuse of persons unable to resist – under Section 179 of the German criminal code. It says people who are physically incapable, have a mental disability or a “profound consciousness disorder” can be viewed as having been assaulted without evidence of force. The latter category of charge may cover people who are asleep, Bohlander says.
Can a woman be charged with rape?
Perpetrator can be male or female. Act uses “he” and defines rape as involving penetration by a penis. But women who facilitate gang rapes can be – and have been – prosecuted for rape, says Gerry. A woman could also be charged with an offence carrying an equivalent penalty such as sexual assault by penetration. Gender-specific pronouns are not used – although Scottish law specifies that penetration involves a penis. Chalmers says a woman who was an accessory to rape would be charged with the full crime. Otherwise she could be charged with sexual assault, which carries the same maximum sentence. Perpetrator can be male or female. Perpetrator can be male or female.
Spousal rape
Outlawed in 1965 Exemption abolished after R v R case appealed to House of Lords in 1991. Exemption abolished by Scottish courts in 1988 – law eroded during series of cases in the early 1980s. North Carolina last state to outlaw it in 1993. Outlawed in 1997
What is the maximum penalty?
Two to six years in prison, or four to 10 years for “gross rape” – depending on level of violence and whether more than one person assaulted the victim. Life imprisonment. Life imprisonment. Death penalty doesn’t apply. Life imprisonment for the most violent rapes, which could be equivalent to 30 years in jail, says Robinson. Two to 15 years in prison.

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While there is no evidence to conclude that a death penalty acts as a deterrent, the rape laws do need to be amended to include capital punishment for acutely gruesome episodes and gang rapes. Rapists are a class of criminals who believe that they can successfully evade punishment. With the churning taking place in the society and poor state of governance, all kinds of crime are likely to soar upwards, particularly those against women. This creates a crying need for tightening laws on rape and sexual offences. Human right activists are forever seeking to extend the frontiers of such rights irrespective of the consideration how they impact on the citizens’ expectations on their security and stability. They also oppose capital punishment. But the stark truth is that experienced police officers all over the world do not favour abolition of death penalties just as they stand against the concept of diminished responsibility or against sentimental leniency of the judges. Their attitude is not an indication of either cruelty or vindictiveness: they are just being partisans for decency and order.   

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Can we have Deterrence without Punishment?

 The main issue considered is if collective efforts at symbolic redefinition of crime can be mobilized through the political process and thereby prevent some crimes from occurring that would otherwise take place. The deterrence of rape illustrates this idea. At present, the intended deterrent to forcible rape is heavy legal penalties for conviction, despite widespread doubts about the likelihood of the rapist’s arrest or conviction. However, this role of the rapist is attractive to some men because (1) they feel intense hostility toward women, (2) they perceive the rapist as a daring male loaded with machismo, and (3) the likelihood of experiencing the heavy statutory penalties is small. But if men attracted to the rapist role because of personal psychic needs nonetheless believed that rapists were psychiatrically ill, they might be deterred by a self-administered sanction: the desire to avoid a self-definition as crazy. Ways to symbolize society’s conviction that the rapist is sick rather than wickedly ‘oversexed’ include reducing the statutory penalty for rape and substituting the word ‘rape’ and other acts of sexual violence by ‘sexual assaults’  and treating rapists with chemical castration and behavioral therapy rather than incarcerating them in prison.

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Caning is the better deterrent for sexual harassment: Singapore model:

Women in Singapore not only wear the skimpiest of outfits in public, but also go to restaurants, nightclubs, bars and movies alone and return home late at night without fear of being attacked. This is not just because of stringent laws but greatly because of mindset. The average Chinese and Malay man does not leer at women or pass dirty remarks and, most important, does not undress them with his eyes. This is exactly what Indians do in India.

Listen to the story of an Indian woman visiting Singapore in her own words:

“My attention was drawn towards a bunch of girls dressed in their Sunday best. I did not know then that these smartly-turned-out women were Filipina maids, out having fun on their weekly day off. Suddenly I heard one of them scream, “He touched my breast.” I turned around to see a swaggering man — obviously Indian — leering at them. The next thing I knew, the girl had caught him by the collar and was shaking him angrily, shouting, “Why did you do that?” Even as he gave some reply full of bravado, another dusky man in what seemed like a deep blue safari suit stepped in. “What’s happening?” he asked gruffly. Seeing him, the stuffing went out of the first man as he collapsed like a heap of rubbish at the girl’s feet. “Forgive me, sister. I’m sorry. I won’t do it again,” he whimpered. This was when I realized the second man was a police officer. “He touched your breast, eh?” he asked, as he expertly handcuffed the quivering man. There was ample reason for the man to shiver in fright. In Singapore, forget rape, even a case of molestation draws justice that is swift and merciless. A few strokes of the cane on the rump. This may seem rather mild as far as punishment goes. But it is meant to put the fear of god in the culprit for life. As one recipient described the unbearable pain he felt, “If there’s a word stronger than excruciating, this is it!” Caning — introduced during the British era and continued to this day — is a legally accepted form of discipline in Singapore. The whole process is gone through meticulously with cold-blooded efficiency. Only a male aged between 18 and 50 is eligible, after he’s been certified fit by a medical officer. Although the maximum number of strokes to be administered at a time cannot exceed 24, I have seldom read of a judge handing down more than six to a molester. A rattan cane four feet long and half an inch thick is soaked in water beforehand to make it more flexible and effective. The guilty party is made to strip and secured to a caning trestle. Protective padding is placed on his lower back to shield the spine and kidneys. The caning is always on the posterior because this area has the most fat deposits in the body and will not damage vital organs. The cane is then brought down with full force on the bare buttocks at 15-second intervals. They say the torment is so intense that many faint. It takes between one week and a month for the wounds to heal, leaving behind indelible white marks that will remind the reprobate to forever look at a woman only as a mother, a sister or a daughter! Sad to say, most of the sexual transgressors in Singapore seem to be of Indian origin. The only effective deterrent is something that will make such people swear to themselves they’ll never do it again. Let’s organize fast-track courts in every city of India. Then introduce Singapore-style caning for molesters and those who indulge in domestic violence. Amnesty International has condemned judicial caning as cruel, inhuman and degrading. But do these evildoers deserve to be classified as humans? ”

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Juvenile sex offender:

Punishment or Reward? Delhi Gang Rape Juvenile: 

So the ‘juvenile’ Mohammad Afroz, accused in Delhi Gang Rape of 2012, will play games and watch TV in Delhi’s Juvenile Shelter Home (that has been called as jail to fool people) for next 3 years…sorry 2.4 years as he has already spent 8 months in jail after his devil deed. And he will be kept in a separate cabin with Z class security. This is the punishment (?) Indian courts could offer to an animal who raped and killed a woman in most brutal manner. So the recipe to enjoy TV, games, food etc in a separate room for 3 years absolutely free in India is to rape a woman first and use rod or any other tool to make sure that she dies the most painful death. Then prove in court using school certificate that you were a kid of 17 years and 11 months who did not know what he was doing. And once the courts agree that you are a kid based on that certificate, you are done. It is worth mentioning that worldwide juvenile age is around 15-17 and that too changes with the nature and gravity of crime. From case to case and situations to situations, the juvenile age is decided in other civilized countries. In fact, for crimes like rape and murder, even 13 year olds in USA are tried in adult courts. According to the charge-sheet, the juvenile had subjected the 23-year-old physiotherapist to sexual abuse twice, including once when she was unconscious. He extracted her intestine with his bare hands and suggested she be thrown off the moving vehicle devoid of her clothes, it says. “Of all the persons in the bus, two had engaged in the most barbarism – Ram Singh, the main accused in the case, and the juvenile,” said an officer. “Both of them had subjected her to sexual abuse twice. Singh was the first to rape her followed by the juvenile and then Akshay. Later, when she lost consciousness, Singh and the juvenile raped her a second time.” The juvenile used his ‘sing-song’ whistle to lure the couple aboard the bus. That juvenile will play games and watch TV in Delhi’s Juvenile Shelter Home. India has shown to the world that in the land of Mahatma Gandhi, such a devil enjoys life under pretext of being juvenile and therefore prone to reform.   

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During the trial of the rape of Mumbai photojournalist, an editor at the photographer’s publication, who was present when a witness identified the first of the five suspects, a juvenile, said the teenager dissolved in tears as soon as he was accused. “It was exactly like watching a kid in school who has been caught doing something,” said the editor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect the identity of the victim, who cannot be identified according to Indian law. “It’s like a bunch of kids who found a dog and tied a bunch of firecrackers to its tail, just to see what would happen. Only in this case it was far more egregious. It was malevolent, what happened.” These are the evil juveniles of the 21’st century and they deserve punishment just like adults. 

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Longo and Prescott indicate that juveniles commit approximately 30-60% of all child sexual abuse. The Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports indicate that in 2008 youth under the age of 18 accounted for 16.7% of forcible rapes and 20.61% of other sexual offenses. Center for Sex Offender Management indicates that approximately one-fifth of all rapes and one-half of all sexual child molestation can be accounted for by juveniles. Barbaree and Marshall indicate that juvenile males contribute to the majority of sex crimes, with 2–4% of adolescent males having reported committing sexually assaultive behavior, and 20% of all rapes and 30–50% of all child molestation are perpetrated by adolescent males.

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Several other countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., which are both signatories to the U.N. Convention, have also faced an increase in violent crimes by juveniles but, unlike India, they have taken action to amend their laws. In most U.S. States, the jurisdiction of juvenile courts is automatically waived when a juvenile above a certain age, usually 13 or 15, commits a violent or other serious crime, and the case is automatically transferred to adult court.

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Developmental pediatricians say that it’s simply not possible that a juvenile is incapable of understanding what he is doing. ‘A normal child’s thoughts usually become more organized in the 11-16 years phase. By the time he/she reaches the age of 16, the person is perfectly capable of understanding the ramifications of their actions and what they’re doing. So from a medical and psychological point of view, 16 is an age where a person has reached a level of maturity. Considering the current social climate and the things children are being exposed to, more and more children are behaving and talking like adults and there is a need to re-think the juvenile age.  

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Does treating kids like adults make a difference?

Two assumptions are behind recent legislation passed in many U.S. states which make it easier to try juvenile offenders as adults.

•Young offenders will receive sentences in the adult criminal system which is harsher and more proportional to their crimes.

•The threat of this harsher punishment will result in lowered juvenile crime rates.

Multiple studies have demonstrated extremely low rates for sexual reoffending for juveniles convicted of sex offenses. A 2000 study by the Texas Youth Commission of 72 young offenders who were released from state correctional facilities for sexual offenses (their incarceration suggests that judges considered these youth as posing a greater risk) found a re-arrest rate of 4.2% for a sexual offense. A 1996 study found similarly low sex offense recidivism rates in Baltimore (3.3-4.2%), San Francisco (5.5%) and Lucas County, Ohio (3.2%). A 2000 study of 96 juvenile sexual offenders in Philadelphia showed a 3% sexual re-offense rate.

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Juvenile Treatment Research:

Research on juvenile sex offender recidivism is particularly lacking. Some studies have examined the effectiveness of treatment in reducing subsequent sexual offending behavior in youth. Key findings from these studies include the following:

  • Program evaluation data suggest that the sexual recidivism rate for juveniles treated in specialized programs ranges from approximately 7 to 13 percent over follow-up periods of two to five years (Becker, 1990).
  • Juveniles appear to respond well to cognitive-behavioral and/or relapse prevention treatment, with rearrest rates of approximately 7 percent through follow-up periods of more than five years (Alexander, 1999).
  • Studies suggest that rates of nonsexual recidivism are generally higher than sexual recidivism rates, ranging from 25 to 50 percent (Becker, 1990, Kahn and Chambers, 1991, Schram, Milloy, and Rowe, 1991).

In a recently conducted study, Hunter and Figueredo (1999) found that as many as 50 percent of youths entering a community-based treatment program were expelled during the first year of their participation. Those who failed the program had higher overall levels of sexual maladjustment, as measured on assessment instruments, and were at greater long-term risk for sexual recidivism. 

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My view:

Juveniles of 21’st century are different from juveniles of 20’th century. When I was 16 years old, I had no cell phone, no internet connection, no girl friend and could hardly see TV in the evening. Today, juveniles have access to porn films, have girl friends and watch adult movies. Today juvenile is not as innocent as the juvenile of older generations and Delhi gang rape juvenile proved it by luring victim in bus, by raping her twice, by inserting iron rod in her vagina and by throwing her out of bus to be killed by other traffic. Such mindset can never be juvenile mind set. India must enact laws to punish such juveniles. People who talk about reforming such juveniles are out of touch with reality.    

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Castration as punishment and/or treatment of sex offenders: 

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Castration:

Castration (also referred to as gelding, neutering, fixing, orchiectomy, oophorectomy) is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which a male loses the functions of the testicles or a female loses the functions of the ovaries. Castration means removal of the testicles (testes). It is not the removal of the penis (penectomy) or scrotum (scrotal removal or scrotal reduction).  Sperm (spermatozoa) are made within the seminiferous tubules, which account for most of the volume of the testes. The male hormone, testosterone, is made by the ‘Leydig cells’ which lie between the seminiferous tubules. Because the testicles make spermatozoa and testosterone, their removal results not only in sterility but also in loss of testosterone-dependent characteristics, including sex drive and the more typically male aggressive competitive drive in life. The procedure stops most production of the hormone testosterone. If done before puberty, it prevents the development of functioning adult sex organs. Castration after sexual maturity makes the sex organs shrink and stop functioning, ending sperm formation and sexual interest and behaviour. Livestock and pets are castrated to keep them from reproducing ( sterilization) or to create a more docile animal. In humans, castration has been used for cultural (eunuch, castrato) and in medical practice for the treatment of prostate cancer or testicular cancer. This is because prostate cancer grows in response to testosterone and most of the cancer cells die when deprived of it. The main benefit of castration for an elderly man with prostate cancer is that he does not have to remember to take any medication. Occasionally castration is necessary to treat testicular cancer when it involves both testicles; in this situation male hormone can be replaced by implants or patches and the typical eunuchoid characteristics can be avoided. The term ‘castration’ is traditionally applied only to the male, but it is sometimes used also to refer to the removal of the ovaries in the female. The term ‘chemical castration’ is used to describe the hormonal suppression of the function of the testes, which mimics their removal.

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Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are the hormones responsible for maintenance of sexual behavior. The production of testosterone in males occurs primarily through the secretions of the Leydig cells of the testes. The Leydig cells are stimulated by the release of luteinizing hormones from the anterior pituitary gland and related to the release of gonadotropin‐releasing hormones from the hypothalamus. Androgen receptors are found in several regions including the midbrain limbic structures (as well as the hypothalamus), the spinal cord, and the penis. Bilateral orchiectomy (i.e., the surgical resection of the testes) results in a dramatic reduction of the production of testosterone. Animal studies demonstrate that castration results in a loss of sex drive and an abolishment of mating behavior and that such drive could be restored by testosterone replacement. While hormonal therapy is more widely accepted as a method to reduce testosterone among sex offenders, surgical castration (i.e., bilateral orchiectomy) is also presently used, albeit to a very limited extent.

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Androgens – testosterone and dihydrotestosterone- are critical in the regulation of male sexuality (Rubinow & Schmidt, 1996). Erection and ejaculation are both influenced by testosterone levels (Bradford. 2001). Conversely, testosterone levels increase with sexual activity (Jannini et al, 1999). Testosterone is also linked to aggression. Testosterone levels have been correlated with violent crime (Ehrenkranz, Bliss, & Sheard, 1974; Kreuz & Rose, 1972; Virkkunen, Rawlings, et al., 1994), but the precise relationship between aggression and testosterone is unclear (Volavka, 1995). Steroid antiandrogen drugs reduce sex drive by blocking androgen receptors.

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Emasculation is the removal of the penis and the testicles, the external male sex organs. Removal of the testicles alone is termed castration. Emasculation was a form of punishment in Medieval Europe and sometimes formed part of the process of being hanged, drawn and quartered. Eunuch is castrated human male. A eunuch is a man who (by the common definition of the term) may have been castrated, typically early enough in his life for this change to have major hormonal consequences.  

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Castration in veterinary practice:

Castration is commonly performed on domestic animals not intended for breeding. Commonly castrated animals include horses, cattle, dogs, cats, ferrets, sheep, goats and pigs.  Domestic animals are usually castrated to avoid unwanted or uncontrolled reproduction; to reduce or prevent other manifestations of sexual behaviour such as territorial behaviour or aggression (e.g. fighting between groups of entire (uncastrated) males of a species); or to reduce other consequences of sexual behaviour that may make animal husbandry more difficult, such as boundary/fence/enclosure destruction when attempting to get to nearby females of the species. In the case of pets, castration is usually called neutering, and is encouraged to prevent overpopulation of the community by unwanted animals, and to reduce certain diseases such as prostate disease and testicular cancer in male dogs (oophorectomy in female pets is often called spaying). 

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History of castration:

Historically in some societies, these effects were deliberately achieved in the creation of eunuchs, who would pose no sexual threat when employed to serve, for example, the women in a Turkish harem or a Chinese palace. Beginning in 1550-60 the practice of castration for musical purposes appears in Ferrara and Rome. In the musical tradition of the early modern period in Europe, the castration of young male singers provided a higher-pitched voice to sing soprano roles. The prohibition against women’s voices in the Church had led to the attempt to create male parallels to women’s voices. In the secular sphere, these voices became equally central to Italian opera in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, indeed the term ‘musico’ came to be an eighteenth-century euphemism for castrato. From the late seventeenth century the central male operatic role (primo uomo) in opera seria was sung by a castrato. The quality of the castrato’s voice was unique. Castrati were considered to have ‘natural’ voices, as opposed to males who sang falsetto (whose studied voices were considered to be artificial). Many, such as the eighteenth-century castrati, Nicolo Grimaldi (‘Nicolini’) and Carlo Brosche (‘Farinelli’), became extraordinarily famous in their own times. Beginning in the eighteenth century (at the height of their fame) there was a concerted attack on the practice and under the rule of the Jacobins in Italy (1796) the practice was banned, albeit temporarily. The last such castrato, Alessandro Moreschi, died in the early twentieth century and an acoustic recording exists of his voice (made in 1902-3).

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In puberty, male vocal cords typically increase by 65% in length, from between 35 and 92 millimeters at most. By removing the testes, the vocal cord growth in the castrato is greatly diminished. The other factors that create the distinguishing features of the adult voice – a larger pharynx and oral cavity and an ability to draw a deeper breath – still do grow, however, and the resulting effect is a man with a high-pitched, resonant voice with the ability to produce and hold notes for long periods of time. Each year thousands of boys became castrato in the hopes that they would achieve some success as singers. The simple fact that they no longer had their genitalia was not the only determining factor, however. The field of competition was intense and only a very few castrati made it all the way to the great operas of Europe. By the end of the 19th century, public opinion toward castrato turned toward disgust and the trend of castrating boys before they reached puberty to introduce them to the competitive singing class in the hopes they would make their parents wealthy died out.

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History of surgical castration as punitive method:

Surgical castration as either a punishment or treatment for sex offenders has been used throughout history and persists to the present day. The practice of surgically removing the testes, however, has been used for a number of other purposes as well. The nonpunitive reasons for performing castration can be of religious, musical, medical, sexual, and preventive nature. It was a punishment for adultery in ancient Egypt, for rape in twelfth century Western Europe, and for homosexuality in thirteenth-century France.  Both castration and a lost of one’s eye was the punishment for treason in twelfth-century England. In the USA, it was forced on prisoners of war and slaves. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the eugenics movement used castration as means of protecting the “welfare of society” by castrating persons with mental deficiencies. In Nazi Germany, sex offenders, homosexuals, persons with mental deficiencies and members of certain ethnic groups were all forcefully castrated. In ancient Greece slaves were castrated for commercial purposes. In the past, castration has been carried out as a religious practice. Nowadays, it occurs only in a small number of closely defined cultures. Men were castrated in China and the Middle East in order to prevent them from self-indulgence while they serve as harem guards. Castration used as a treatment for testicular or prostate cancer, as well as for a number of testicular injury cases, can be a life-saving operation. The sexual reason behind sexual castration is the desire to achieve freedom from sexual urges. Some transsexuals undergo the procedure as a part of their sex reassignment surgery. The most recent example of the practice performed in the most brutal ways was witnessed in the Darfur region in Sudan. Many villages were attacked by antigovernment rebel forces castrating men and leaving them to bleed to death. Although surgical castration as treatment has been abandoned in most of the developed world, in a number of countries the practice continues to the present day if so required by the sex offenders themselves. Finally, chemical castration is used today in a number of countries as a preventive measure or treatment for sex offenders.

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Castration in Europe:

Although castration laws in some countries are still in force (Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Germany), the actual practice of surgical castration has been abandoned. The only exception is the Czech Republic where voluntary surgical castration of sex offenders is practiced to the present day. Voluntary chemical castration, on the other hand, is practiced today in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary and Italy. In 2009 a law on compulsory chemical castration was enacted in Poland making it the only country in Europe to impose such treatment for certain sex offenders. While surgical castration is still only rarely used in the United States to respond to sex offender activity, there have been recent indications that the procedure is becoming more acceptable to society as a way to punish sex offenders.

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Medical procedure and side-effects of surgical castration:

 Castration is an irreversible procedure that involves the removal of the testes, which produce the male hormones. In a relatively simple procedure, a small incision in the scrotum is made and the testes are removed. Prostheses are often put in the scrotum to prevent it from appearing empty following the removal of the testes. It is assumed that surgical removal of the sex glands will cause a diminution of sex hormones in the body, which will result in the ultimate reduction or abolition of the sex drive. Surgical castration may lead to permanent side-effects including “excessive perspiration and blushing, loss of hair both on the body and face, increase in body weight, and softening of the skin”. Further side-effects include “loss of protein, augmentation of pituitary functions, augmentation of keratin found in urine, lowering of the hemoglobin percentage, and diminution of the calcium content of bones after a period of time.” Psychological side-effects may include “depressive reactions, suicidal tendencies, emotional lability, and indifference to life.” After the procedure, the body is permanently changed and the ability for procreation is eliminated. Restoring sexual desire is, however, possible by taking testosterone.  

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A subject of castration who is altered before the onset of puberty will retain a high voice, non-muscular build, and small genitals. He may well be taller than average, as the production of sex hormones in puberty—more specifically, estrogen via aromatization of testosterone—stops long bone growth. The person may not develop pubic hair and will have a small sex drive or none at all. Castrations after the onset of puberty will typically reduce the sex drive considerably or eliminate it altogether. Castrated people are automatically sterile, because the testes (for males) and ovaries (for females) produce sex cells needed for sexual reproduction. Once removed the subject is infertile. The voice does not change. Some castrates report mood changes, such as depression or a more serene outlook on life, although this might not be to chemical changes but instead emotional changes due to the implications of the procedure. Body strength and muscle mass can decrease somewhat. Body hair sometimes may decrease. Castration prevents male pattern baldness if it is done before hair is lost. However, castration will not restore hair growth after hair has already been lost due to male pattern baldness.

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Castration as preventive measure in sex crime:

“Voluntary” chemical or surgical castration has been in practice in many countries—reports are available from American and European countries in particular for over eighty years (chemical for circa thirty)—as an option for treatment for people who have broken laws of a sexual nature, allowing them to return to the community from otherwise lengthy detentions. The effectiveness and ethics of this treatment are heavily debated. A temporary chemical castration has been studied and developed as a preventive measure and punishment for several repeated sex crimes, such as rape or other sexually related violence. One doctor has stated that the idea that physicians would be used by the criminal justice system to perform mutilation on prisoners in order to effect punishment would be against a doctor’s ethics as well as the Hippocratic Oath. Doctors should avoid becoming agents of social control.  

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Tests to be done after castration to know whether it would work:

1. Testosterone level in blood

2. A penile post‐surgical plethysmograph is performed to determine sexual arousal in response to scenes depicting sexual aggression, to other sexual deviant stimuli, or to normal stimuli. 

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Chemical castration:

Using hormonal drugs to reduce sexual violence recidivism is known as chemical castration. The first reported attempt of hormonal manipulation to reduce pathological sexual behavior occurred in 1944, when diethylstilbestrol was prescribed to lower testosterone levels. Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and cyproterone acetate (CPA) have been used throughout the United States, Canada, and some European countries to diminish sexual fantasies and sexual impulses in sexual offenders. A more recent and promising development in the treatment of paraphilias is using luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists such as leuprolide acetate and goserelin. In 1996, California became the first state in the United States to authorize the use of either chemical or surgical castration for certain sexual offenders who were being released from prison into the community. For the first time in Asia, in July 2011, Korea introduced using chemical castration on sexual offenders. Under the current law, perpetrators of sexual crimes against minors aged less than 16 yr are subject to chemical castration. There have been growing calls for tougher punishment against sexual offenders and stronger preventive measures in the aftermath of a series of violent crimes victimizing women and children.

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In 1966, an American physician named John Mahoney introduced a simple procedure for chemical castration using synthetic female hormone contraceptives. The procedure, simply an injection of female hormones every three months, the same used among women for birth control, was groundbreaking in that it required no surgery. Mahoney first prescribed the procedure for a man who was having fantasies involving children and the procedure was voluntary. It would remain so as an option for anyone who was afraid of their sexual urges or for use as a bargaining chip in criminal cases involving crimes of a sexual nature. Within 30 years, chemical castration first became compulsory in the U.S., when California introduced legislation for the treatment to be used against convicted pedophiles. Other states followed suit, to varying success. The concept of using chemicals to reduce the libido of convicted sex offenders against their will is controversial for two reasons:

1) It is either punishment for previous crimes, which, as Amnesty International asserts, makes it cruel and unusual; or is it being taken as a preventative measure against possible future crimes, which must be unconstitutional, and

2) It doesn’t necessarily work that well.

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Chemical castration is the administration of medication designed to reduce libido and sexual activity. Unlike surgical castration, where the testicles or ovaries are removed through an incision in the body, chemical castration does not actually castrate the person, nor is it a form of sterilization. Testosterone is the major hormone associated with libido and sexual function, and several studies have reported that violent sexual offenders have higher levels of androgens than do nonviolent comparison groups and androgen levels correlate positively with both prior violence and the severity of sexual aggression. However, a clear cause-and-effect relationship between testosterone levels and sexual offending remains uncertain. Nevertheless, various comprehensive theories of sexual offending have incorporated hormonal factors despite surprisingly little evidence, and both surgical and chemical castration undoubtedly reduce sexual interest, sexual performance, and sexual reoffending. Put simply, this kind of pharmacotherapy is the use of medication to lower testosterone levels which leads to a decrease of deviant and non-deviant sexual urges. Rather than using the irreversible and arguably barbaric option of surgical castration; antiandrogenic pharmacotherapy achieves the same results, but through less invasive and permanent means. Antiandrogenic medication  does not require surgical intervention and its effects are capable of being reversed, often through the simple withdrawal of the drugs involved.  

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The main drugs used are CPA (in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Canada); MPA (in the United States); and increasingly the more expensive but possibly more potent gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonists such as leuprolide, goserelin, and tryptorelin. Although these drugs act in different ways, they all reduce serum testosterone concentrations in men to prepubertal values. Castration, however—whether chemical or physical—is associated with serious side effects, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic abnormalities, and gynaecomastia. Physical castration is mutilating and irreversible, and it carries the potential for serious psychological disturbance, although some offenders request it nonetheless.

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MPA and CPA have potent anti-androgenic effects by decreasing the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release by the hypothalamus, which decreases the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) by the anterior pituitary which results in lower testosterone levels. Sertoli and leydig cells, which are responsible for sperm and testosterone production respectively, will not function in the absence of FSH and LH. MPA also accelerates testosterone metabolism in the liver leading to lower circulating levels of testosterone (Southren, Gordon, Vittek, Altman, 1977). MPA is administered as an intramuscular injection of about 400 milligrams weekly. (Blumer & Migeon, 1975; Gagne, Chemical 1981; Money, 1970). In one study, MPA was also delivered orally in 60mg daily doses (Gottesman & Schubert, 1993). CPA is available in pill form given daily and as an intramuscular injection given every two weeks. Laschet & Laschet (1971) used either 100mg oral doses daily or 300mg intramuscularly every two weeks. Currently, oral dosages range from 50-200mg daily and intramuscular dosages range from 200-400mg each week or every other week. Leuprolide acts as an agonist at pituitary GnRH receptors. By interrupting the normal pulsatile stimulation of, and thus desensitizing the GnRH receptors, it indirectly downregulates the secretion of gonadotropins luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The effects of anti-androgens are reversible, by discontinuing the injections.

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Administering anti-androgen drugs to a person will reduce the levels of testosterone in his body. Further, his sexual desire will be reduced followed by decrease of erotic fantasies and often temporal impotency.  Full effects include a reduction of potency, orgasm, sperm production, frequency and pleasure of masturbation and sexual frustration. The use of chemical castration will not only suppress sexual urges and desires but will also aid patient’s concentration on other therapeutic activities, which are also aimed at controlling deviant behavior. A number of studies have shown that recidivism rates in treated sex offenders are as low as 1% while the rates for sex offenders who did not undergo the treatment were as high as 68%.

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Studies of the use of antiandrogenic drugs report similar efficacy and a large meta-analysis of treatment in sex offenders found that “organic” interventions (surgical castration and hormones) reduce recidivism much more than any other treatment approach (although the authors found that nowadays drugs are usually used alongside psychological treatment). Double blind placebo controlled studies of antiandrogens are virtually absent because of the practical difficulties of carrying them out (among other things, it is not easy to convince an ethics committee of the wisdom of giving placebo to dangerous offenders), but the evidence supports the efficacy of these treatments. Given the risk to the individual’s health, is there a clear medical rather than social reason for prescribing powerful drugs, let alone carrying out such a drastic surgical procedure? Part of the problem lies in the poor diagnostic conceptualisation of the sexual deviations, with DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision) and ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision) definitions dominated by notions of the unconventional nature of the drive, rather than its psychological or physical characteristics. When the intensity or ability to control sexual arousal is the presenting feature—whether it manifests as frequent rumination and fantasy or strong and recurrent urges—then treatment directed towards the biological drive makes sense. Treatment protocols can then be based on the medical indication (remembering that drugs other than the antiandrogens, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can also be effective, particularly when sexual rumination is the presenting problem) rather than on risk.

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Cost of chemical castration:

Increasing the population of sexual offenders who undergo chemical castration will create tremendous socioeconomic burdens. It costs US $4,650 per person annually for medication and monitoring when leuprolide acetate injections are administered every 3 months in Korea.  

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Chemical castration: Voluntary or mandatory:

Perhaps the most controversial matter relating to the use of pharmacotherapy with sex offenders is whether it should be given on a voluntary or mandatory basis and indeed around the globe practices differ on this basis. The US states of California, Florida and Montana, for example, use Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (MPA) on a mandatory basis; often tying it in with prison/parole release. If offenders refuse to take the medication, or if for health reasons they are unable to be placed on such a program, they have the option of being surgically castrated (Carpenter, 1998). Their only other option is life imprisonment. Whilst there may be some positive aspects of mandatory treatment, with the obvious being the fact, that if such treatment works, then it is better to have offenders treated and deviant behaviour controlled through medication than not; there are still problems with maintaining compliance, especially when the treatment is in pill form and administered by the offender. Even where the drugs are administered through injections given by health care professionals; it is still possible to obtain testosterone on the black market, so it cannot be presumed that even where the giving of medication is controlled that its effects will not be compromised. Conversely, most European Countries, which use pharmacotherapy with sex offenders, do so on a voluntary basis. England and Wales, for example, has had official protocols in place to allow for the treatment of sex offenders with medication since December 2007 (Home Office, 2007). Medication is offered on a voluntary basis, through referral from either prison or probation personnel. This means that it is currently only available to those who have been convicted of sexual offences and are within the criminal justice system.  Offenders are deemed to be appropriate for referral where either “specific mental health issues are identified that relate directly to assessment or treatment (for instance, where mental illness is thought to contribute to the risk of reoffending…)”, or where there is evidence of hyper-arousal, intrusive sexual fantasies or urges, sexual urges which are difficult to control and/or sexual sadism (NOMS, 2007: 3). Depending on the needs of the offender Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) (which do not decrease androgen levels), Cyproterone Acetate (CPA) or Luteinizing-Hormone Releasing Hormone (LHRH) agonists will be used. France also offers antiandrogenic pharmacotherapy on a consensual basis; although the French Justice Minister, Dominic Perben, has said that if the treatment works then it might be something which sex offenders will be forced to undergo in the future. Voluntary use of pharmacotherapy is also used in Canada, Germany and Austria (Koller, 2008, Birklbauer & Eher, 2008).

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There is also the problem of ensuring that the offender is not just simply consenting to the lesser evil, in the sense that prison is considered to be worse than undertaking a course of medication; even if that medication can cause serious side effects. Whilst some may say that, such a choice is for the offender to make; is it ethically acceptable that we are placing people in this position? Even when treatment is offered on a voluntary basis, as it is in England and Wales, and where it is not supposedly linked to prison/parole release; there is still the fear that an offender will consent because he thinks, or he is encouraged to think, that participation in such a program will be viewed positively by the parole board and/or other release/supervisory authorities. So rather than being motivated to participate because he wants to rid himself of his deviant thoughts, fantasies and resulting behaviour, he is agreeing to involvement because of the effect which it may have on his eventual release from custody.

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When deciding whether such treatment should be voluntary or mandatory, perhaps one guiding principle is evidence concerning compliance rates with voluntary versus involuntary groups of offenders. One study (Maletzky, 1980), compared court-referred and self-referred paedophiles and exhibitionists, evaluating which group were more likely to succeed in terms of recidivism. Treatment compliance rates were thus measured through a combination of penile plethysmography, self-reported behaviours and observers’ reports. Perhaps surprisingly, little difference was found between the two groups, even though logic may tell us that those who wanted to be there were more likely to engage in the program than those who had to be there. Whilst there was marginally better compliance from self-referred offenders, this was not significantly different and whilst those who had been court-referred had better attendance, again this was not considerably so. This might suggest then that it does not really matter whether we allow offenders to choose to attend or whether we compel it; although there may be ethical differences when talking about a course of medical treatment rather than a psychotherapeutic treatment program.

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Is chemical castration a treatment and surgical castration a punishment of sex offender?

Although referring to the more invasive option of castration through surgical means, Baker (1984) argues the importance of distinguishing between prevention of criminal offending and prevention from all sexual activity, including that which is legally permissible. He states, therefore, that the key question for practitioners to ask is whether the treatment exceeds the cure. As surgical castration prevents all sexual activity he claims that it can only be classified as punishment and never treatment. Pharmacotherapy, however, is slightly different. Whilst there are case studies where men have been unable to achieve erections or ejaculate; this is not the situation for all. Many offenders undertaking medication have still been able to perform sexually and thus able to engage in age appropriate sexual relationships. Applying Baker’s question of whether the treatment exceeds the cure then; for these latter group of men it can be argued that the treatment does not exceed the cure and thus that the use of medication here could be presented as a treatment option. The same, however could not be said for the former group and here it might have to be accepted that pharmacotherapy in these circumstances can only be viewed as punishment. 

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Advantages of chemical castration over surgical castration:

Chemical castration has some advantages over surgical castration. First, although chemical castration is potentially life-long for some offenders, it might allow sexual offenders to have normal sexual activity in context with psychotherapy. Second, some sexual offenders may voluntarily receive chemical castration. Third, chemical castration may be a more realistic restriction than electronic ankle bracelets or surgical castration. Fourth, unlike surgical castration, the effects of anti-libido medication are reversible after discontinuation. Finally, the general public may feel relieved knowing that sexual offenders are undergoing chemical castration.  

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Chemical Castration and Alan Turing:

He was one of the greatest minds of modern time, a founding father of computer science, and his legendary breaking of the Enigma Code may have been a tipping point in the struggle against Nazism. Few men have contributed so much to human learning or to his country’s survival. But Turing was persecuted into suicide by the homophobia of his time and barred from entering the US because he was a homosexual (now America reserves that distinction to homosexuals with HIV). In January 1952 Turing picked up the 19-year-old Arnold Murray outside a cinema in Manchester. After a lunch date, Turing invited Murray to spend the weekend with him at his house, an invitation which Murray accepted although he did not show up. The pair met again in Manchester the following Monday, when Murray agreed to accompany Turing to the latter’s house. A few weeks later Murray visited Turing’s house again, and apparently spent the night there. After Murray helped an accomplice to break into his house, Turing reported the crime to the police. During the investigation Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray. Homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time, and so both were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, the same crime that Oscar Wilde had been convicted of more than fifty years earlier. Turing was given a choice between imprisonment or probation conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. He accepted chemical castration via oestrogen hormone injections which lasted for a year. One of the known side effects of these hormone injections was the development of breasts, known as gynecomastia, something which plagued Turing. He suffered from depression and committed suicide. In 2009, the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a public apology to the late Alan Turing, the father of computing, who was convicted of consensual adult homosexual acts at a time when they were still illegal, and was forced to undergo chemical castration.

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Side effects of anti-androgenic therapy (chemical castration):

Drugs such as medroxyprogesterone acetate, cyproterone acetate, and LHRH agonists, when administered for chemical castration, can induce a significant decline not only in serum testosterone but also in estradiol. Estrogens play an important physiological role even in men because they have beneficial effects on skeletal growth and bone maturation, brain function, and cardiovascular biology. Therefore, chemical castration is associated with various side effects, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and impaired glucose and lipid metabolism.

The potential side effects which have been equated with MPA, for example, include: weight gain, hot and cold flushes, headaches, nausea, lethargy, nightmares, leg cramps, gallstones, depression including suicidal thoughts, insomnia, difficulties in breathing and fluid retention (Harrison, 2007). More serious effects include thrombophlebitis (blood clots in superficial veins), pulmonary embolism (blockages in the pulmonary arteries) (Bradford, 1983), hyperglycemia, hypertension, shrinkage of the prostate vessels, diabetes (Spalding, 1998) and gynaecomastia (Craissati, 2004), or osteoporosis (Grasswick, 2003). In reality the long term effects are simply unknown.

Side effects associated with CPA include: fatigue, hypersomnia (sleepiness), lethargy, depression, a decrease in body hair, an increase in scalp hair and weight gain (Bradford and Pawlak, 1993). Other effects include liver damage, bone mineral loss, nausea, indigestion, skin rashes, galactorrhoea (abnormal production of breast milk), shortness of breath and decreased production of oil from sebaceous glands in the skin.

Whilst for LHRH agonists, there are concerns about its potential to cause weight gain, depression, pain at the injection site (Briken et al., 2001), mild to moderate bone demineralisation, nausea, depression, mild gynaecomastia (Krueger and Kaplan, 2001) and osteoporosis (Grasswick and Bradford, 2002). With such numerous concerns, it is difficult to see how exposure to such risks can be seen as anything else apart from punishment.

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Eunuchs may hold Key to Longevity:

While animal studies have suggested that castration (which removes the testes, the source of male hormones) results in longer lives, studies in humans have been spotty. In one study of castrati singers, there was no difference in lifespan between them and non-castrated singers; in another study of institutionalized, mentally ill men, however, those who were castrated lived some 14 years longer than those who weren’t.  Eunuchs — castrated men — live nearly 20 years longer than other men, a new study has found. The study of over 80 eunuchs from the Chosun Dynasty, which ruled in Korea from 1392 to 1897, looked at the world’s only known record of eunuchs’ lives and compared them to genealogical records of other men of similar social rank. The researchers cross-checked their results with other royal records. They found that the average lifespan of a Korean eunuch was about 70 years, 14 to 19 years higher than non-castrated men of similar social standing. Three of the 81 eunuchs lived to be over 100 years old. The researchers calculated that the rate of centenarians among this group of eunuchs was at least 130 times higher than the current rate in developed countries. “Our study supports the idea that male sex hormones decrease the lifespan of men,” wrote Kyung-Jin Min, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Inha University in Inchon, South Korea, and lead author of the study published in the journal Current Biology. This study does not prove that castration directly increases human longevity, said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois in Chicago, who studies longevity but was not involved with the study. “It may not have anything to do with being eunuchs,” he said, adding that this study did not adjust for lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and stress. There may be several reasons for a sex difference in lifespan, experts said. Females may have an advantage in longevity because they have a back-up X chromosome, Coles said. A women’s body is a mixture of cells, half containing an active X chromosome from her mother and the other half from her father, he said. If there is a defect on one X chromosome, half of her cells will be unaffected.  Male sex hormones may have a negative effect on the immune system, wrote study author Min in the paper. “Male sex hormones also predispose men to adverse cardiovascular attacks.”  While research seems to link male sex hormones to shorter life spans, experts remind us that quality of life matters more than quantity.  “I would not recommend becoming a eunuch,” Coles said, “Or taking drugs to reduce your sex hormones.” Reducing testosterone levels in men or women would severely affect one’s sex drive, he said. The findings that the absence of male sex hormones may improve longevity runs counter to a growing trend in the anti-aging industry, Olshansky said. And there are other reasons that women may outlive men, including for example the presence of estrogen, which may help enhance longevity.

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Germany urged to end sex offender castration:

Europe’s top human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, has urged Germany to end the practice of surgically castrating sex offenders. The council’s anti-torture committee said such voluntary treatment, albeit rare in Germany, was “degrading”.  In Germany no more than five sex offenders a year have been opting for castration, hoping it will lower their sex drives and reduce their jail term. The committee’s recommendations are not binding but have great influence. The committee’s official title is the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). The German authorities argue that castration is not a punishment but a treatment which enables, as a government statement put it, “suffering tied to an abnormal sex drive… to be cured, or at least alleviated”.  Research for the report revealed that of the 104 people operated on between 1970 and 1980, only 3% reoffended, compared with nearly half of those who refused castration or were denied it by the authorities.

The CPT objected to the practice, saying:

  • The physical effects are irreversible and may have serious physical and mental consequences;
  • Surgical castration does not conform to recognized international standards and is not mentioned in guidelines drawn up by the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders (IATSO)
  • There is no guarantee of a lasting reduction in the sex offender’s testosterone level
  • It is “questionable” whether consent to surgical castration “will always be truly free and informed”.

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Castration in Czech Republic:

Whether castration can help to rehabilitate violent sex offenders has come under close scrutiny after the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee which called it “invasive, irreversible and mutilating” and demanded that the Czech Republic outlaw the practice immediately. Other critics said castration threatened to lead society down a dangerous road toward eugenics. The Czech Republic has castrated 94 prisoners over the past decade. It is the only country in Europe that uses the procedure, known technically as a testicular pulpectomy – a one-hour surgery that involves removal of the tissue that produces testosterone from the patient’s testicle. It is the same surgery performed on men who suffer from prostate cancer. Czech psychiatrists supervising the treatment insist it is the most foolproof way to tame sexual urges in dangerous predators. In the Czech Republic, the issue was brought home recently when Antonin Novak, 43, was sentenced to life in prison after brutally raping and murdering Jakub Simanek, 9, who disappeared last May. Novak, who had served four and a half years in prison for sexual offences in Slovakia, had been undergoing treatment, but had stopped taking his testosterone-lowering drugs two months earlier. Advocates of surgical castration argue that had he been castrated, the tragedy could have been prevented. Hynek Blasko, Jakub’s father, expressed indignation that human rights groups were putting the rights of criminals ahead of those of victims. “My personal tragedy is that my son is in the sky and he is never coming back, and all I have left of him is 1.5 kilograms of ashes,” he said in an interview. “No one wants to touch the rights of the pedophiles, but what about the rights of a 9-year-old boy with his life ahead of him?” Martin Holly, a leading sexologist and psychiatrist who is director of the Bohunice psychiatric hospital in Prague, said none of the nearly 100 sex offenders who had been physically castrated had committed another such crime. A Danish study of 900 castrated sex offenders in the 1960s suggested that the rate of repeat offenses dropped to 2.3 percent from 80 percent after surgical castration. Holly, who has counseled convicted sex offenders for four decades, stressed that the procedure was only being applied to repeat violent offenders who suffered from severe disorders like those afflicting pedophiles. Moreover, he said, the procedure was only undertaken with the informed consent of the patient and with the approval of an independent committee of psychiatric and legal experts. Jaroslav Novak, chief of urology at Na Bulovce hospital in Prague, insisted: “This is not a very common procedure. We carry it out maybe once every one to two years at most.”

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Chemical Castration to Sex Offenders in Korea:

After the recent enactment of the chemical castration legislation for sex offenders in Korea, researchers sought to report primary treatment outcomes for 38 patients at the National Forensic Hospital since 2011. After chemical castration, these patients experienced reductions in frequency and intensity of sexual drive, frequency of masturbation and sexual fantasies. The incidence of adverse effects was similar to that of previous reports. Serial hormonal evaluations showed an association between testosterone level and degree of paraphilic and non-paraphilic sexual thoughts. A notable finding was an unexpected upsurge of testosterone levels with intense sexual drive and fantasy observed during the first 2 months after cessation of treatment. This suggested the need for a temporary anti-androgen therapy or close surveillance during this period. When proper precautions are taken, chemical castration may be an effective treatment strategy for paraphilic and non-paraphilic sex offenders.

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Danger of calling treatment of sex offender:

There is an obvious danger, however, with labeling pharmacotherapy as treatment, as it might suggest that paedophilia is something which can be treated and cured. As Meyer and Cole (1997) argue, whilst the use of medication with sex offenders can arguably help in treatment, it could also be used to give offenders a ‘medical problem’ excuse. Whilst they acknowledge that the endocrine system, which the testes are a part of, does affect the quality and intensity of sexual arousal, they also contend that it is the brain which is the offending organ and not the penis. Conversely, Bradford and Pawlak (1993), argue that sex drive is a basic biological factor and is controlled by our biological regulatory systems rather than our sense of right or wrong or willpower. Taking this argument further, if paedophilia and paedophilic behaviour is a medical issue then, some might argue, that we as a society, should not punish those people who offend in this way; as they simply cannot help themselves. This is a view held by Fitzgerald (1990), “Individuals, whose actions are the result of persistent physiological or psychological conditions which makes them incapable of controlling their behaviour, should receive treatment, not punishment for their conditions” (Fitzgerald, 1990: 55). Despite the fact that some cultures legally practice paedophilic activities (Green, 2002); this is not an argument which is ever going to carry much weight in the western world. So in this sense, unless pharmacotherapy was used in adjunct with other sentencing options; it is unlikely to be accepted as a censure for sex offending on its own if it was labeled and seen merely as a form of treatment.

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Criticism of castration:

Article 23 of the ICCPR reads:

The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized. This right is also part of the ECHR, Article 12 stipulates: Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.

Article 9 from the CFREU:

The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed in accordance with the national laws governing the exercise of these rights.

Finally, Article 32 of the CFRBF states:

Parenthood and the family are under the protection of the law (…).

Surgical castration prevents an individual to engage in a normal marital sexual relationship or any other sexual behavior permissible by law.  Even if a person achieves sexual desire by taking hormonal drugs, he might have to suffer from possible unwanted side-effects. This would have not been the case if his testes were not removed. A man with removed testes can never procreate and thus his right to marry and found a family might be denied. This is a situation in which the treatment exceeds the cure. It is more Middle Ages and Middle Eastern than it is modern or American. … It is comparable to cutting off the hands of thieves or drunk drivers, both of whom are more likely to reoffend.

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Opponents of chemical castration say that sex is not necessarily a motivating factor in rape as much as camaraderie, misogyny, diffusion of responsibility, deindividuation and modeling. Will chemicals  treat these major contributing factors?

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Criticism of castration by feminists in India:

The logic of castration as legal punishment locates the threat of rape squarely in the male body (specifically male genitalia), reinforcing the heteronormative paradigm of peno-vaginal penetration that feminists have been trying for decades to dislodge from Indian rape laws. Such a punishment obscures the role of institutions in enabling and preserving rape. It also delinks sexual assault from structures of caste, class, sexuality and disability, which shape sexual violence. The popular demand for castration relies on a logic of emasculation  that actually re-centers “good,” protectionist masculinity as the way to creating a safer environment in our communities. To begin with, the demand for castration locates rape as a crime of sex. In this view, rape is something men do to women, with their penises, because of an excess of testosterone in their bodies. It is ironic that this impetus towards castration has gained momentum in the aftermath of a brutal rape conducted not only with penises, but with iron rods. Are we really persuaded that a more controlled libido would have prevented those six men from committing their brutal act of disciplinary violence against the young woman who died in Delhi? Do we believe that it would have prevented the rape of the minor Dalit girl who committed suicide after she was lured—by a woman—to her rape by two upper-caste Hindus in Punjab? Would it have prevented the infamous rape of some Kashmiri women in Kunan Poshpora by the Indian army in 1991—and if so, are we willing to convict and impose castration on the army personnel involved in those rapes? When Thangjam Manorama was picked up by security forces in Manipur, sexually tortured and shot in the genitals after being charged with being a militant, was it the raging testosterone of the soldiers that led to her rape? Or are we willing to consider that in all these instances, the derision and apathy of the police; the impunity granted to soldiers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Manipur and Kashmir; and the abysmally low conviction rate around rape across India may have played a greater part in these scenarios?  The enormously reductive understanding of rape as a penis-driven crime fixes responsibility on individuals and prioritizes biological motivations, while obscuring the social, cultural and political structures that enable rape. Additionally, it completely overrides the work of activists across different constituencies (women’s rights, queer rights, child rights, dalit rights, disability rights) to expand the definition of rape beyond the peno-vaginal paradigm in the law. The peno-vaginal understanding of rape also overlooks the frequent role of women in enabling rape, as well as the vulnerability of men or transgender people: for instance in Khairlanji, where women dragged out Priyanka and Surekha Bhotmange by their hair, beat and stripped them before leaving them to be raped by men; or in Kashmir, where scores of men have been sexually tortured in custody by security forces; or indeed all over India, where gay men and transgender people are routinely subject to rape. What use would the castration fix be in such scenarios, animated by power and hate rather than lust?  Flavia Agnes warns that “around one-third of all rape cases are filed by parents against boys when their daughter exercises her sexual choice and elopes …With the clamour for death penalty [and, we would add, castration], how will we deal with such cases?” Given the notoriously paternalist mentality prevailing among the Indian police force, in such instances the law becomes a mechanism for the caste-bound sexual regulation of young women and men by their families.

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The strongest argument in favour of chemical castration is that it is a non-invasive, reversible method of nullifying the production of testosterone and thereby controlling extreme sexual urge. The use of MPA in many American States subsequent to chemical castration legislation does indicate that it reduces the risk of recidivism. However, such an approach limits the understanding of rape to the framework of sex. Irrespective of the differences in their positions on rape, influential feminists like Susan Brownmiller, Catharine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, Ann Cahill, etc., agree that rape is not about the manifestation of extreme sexual urge. Violence, power, aggression and humiliation are central to understanding rape, and sex is only a mechanism used to achieve those aims and addressing the sexual element of rape does not address the violence and humiliation that rape is intended to inflict. Responding to a question on whether chemical castration for child molesters works, Catharine MacKinnon in an interview with Diane Rosenfeld (March 2000) captured the issue at hand by saying that “they just use bottles”. Castration as a response to rape furthers the myth that rape is about the uncontrollable sexual urge of men. The limited role that sex has to play in understanding rape is further borne out by the fact that not all sex offenders are the same. In essence, an understanding that requires us to look at rapists merely as individuals engaging in deviant sexual behaviour is inaccurate. Rapists fall into different categories including those who deny the commission of the crime or the criminal nature of the act; blame the crime on factors like stress, alcohol, drugs or other non-sexual factors; rape for reasons related to anger, shaming, violence, etc; rape for reasons connected to sexual arousal and specific sexual fantasies, etc. Administering anti-androgens to rapists outside the last category will not be an effective response to check the incidence of rape. Mapping the long standing demand in India to reform the definition of rape (beyond penile-vaginal penetration) to include object/finger-vaginal/anal penetration on to the different categories of sexual offenders shows that a sexual intercourse-based understanding of rape is extremely narrow.

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Effects of castration on recidivism among sex offenders:

Two different populations of men who have undergone surgical castration can demonstrate the impact of bilateral orchiectomy on sex drive, capacity to sustain erection, and sexual interest: sex offenders and patients with testicular/metastatic prostate cancer. More recent oncology studies have the benefit of better designs and sample controls than the older surgical castration trials among sex offenders and can offer some empirical markers as to sexual function.

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Orchiectomy and Sexual Behavior in Testicular and Prostate Cancer Studies:

Testicular and prostate cancer studies that examined sexual functioning among normal males after surgery offer one body of empirical data by which to examine the relationship between serum testosterone levels and behavior. These studies, in contrast to those of surgical castration of sex offenders, have the advantage of controlled designs that offer demonstrated markers of sex hormone level, drive, and function. Overall, the testicular and prostate cancer studies did not support a complete lack of sexual capacity and erectile dysfunction following bilateral orchiectomy. The major findings are summarized as follows:

  • Testicular cancer patients who underwent bilateral orchiectomy and who received intramuscular testosterone injections reported loss of libido, decreased arousal, and erectile dysfunction. While sexual desire is uniformly reduced or eliminated by bilateral orchiectomy, the capacity to have an erection to sexually stimulating material is not eliminated.
  • Self‐reports of lack of erectile capacity in the testicular cancer studies were not confirmed by laboratory tumescence readings associated with visual erotic stimulation.
  • Among bilaterally castrated men with metastatic prostate cancer who were in their 60s, erectile function measured in the laboratory demonstrated that 50 percent could achieve a functional erection after orchiectomy.
  • Highly variable overall testosterone levels were found in a large sample of noncastrated, older male non‐sex offenders. Erectile dysfunction was associated with aging, but not with total serum testosterone. Almost 42 percent of those in the 60 to 69 years age group reported no erectile dysfunction.
  • The study by Greenstein et al. of castrated elderly normal men demonstrated that all eight who were only surgically castrated reported reduction in libido and loss of spontaneous erection. These data coupled with the findings of Wille and Beier on sex offender castrated persons aged 60 years and over, in which only 1 of 13 experienced sexual capacity, suggest that orchiectomy may be an effective method of reducing both libido and sexual recidivism among elderly sex offenders.

While orchiectomy can decrease the intensity of sexual motivation, it does not always eliminate sexual capacity. That is, castrated individuals can achieve erections after surgery. The data from normal males suggest that erectile capacity occurred in response to stimuli they found to be erotic. It could be argued that erectile capacity in castrated sex offenders does not mean they will sexually recidivate, only that they are capable of sexual intercourse. However, when the arousing stimuli for the castrated sex offender remain deviant, then the prudent evaluator would need to consider erectile capacity as a variable in sexual recidivism risk.  

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Studies on sex offenders to evaluate the effectiveness of surgical castration:   

In the previous century in Europe, four significant studies have been undertaken in order to evaluate the efficiency of surgical castration regarding its impact on recidivism among sex offenders. Bremer in Norway (1959), Langelüddecke in Germany (1963), Stürup in Denmark, and Cornu (1973) in Switzerland, have all examined criminal records of sex offenders and compared the recidivism rate before and after castration. An extensive review of these studies has been undertaken by Nikolaus Heim and Carolyn J. Hursch in order to independently asses the results obtained in the mentioned studies. Their findings were published in 1979.  Criminal records of 1036 sex offenders castrated in Germany in the period between 1934 and 1944 were examined by Langelüddecke. He compared those offenders with the criminal records of 685 sex offenders released without undergoing castration. His study pointed out that only 2.3% of the castrated offenders recidivated. Prior to the surgery, the same group had a recidivism rate of 84%. The rate of recidivism of the group of sex offenders that did not undergo castration was 39.1%. Langelüddecke’s study aimed at determining the effect of castration on sexual desire. In a follow up study on 90 offenders he came to a conclusion that 65% of them have lost their potency “instantly or soon after castration”, 17% reported disappearance of libido after a period of considerable fading, while 18% reported that they were still able to engage in sexual intercourse. Cornu extended his study on mentally ill offenders. He examined a group of 127 “pathological” sex offenders. In the group that underwent castration, the recidivism rate was 7.44%. Prior to the surgery the recidivism rate was 78.86%. Regarding sexual potency, 63% reported losing their sex drive immediately after castration, 26% have lost it gradually, while 10% were still potent. Bremer’s study found that only 2.9% of the castrated sex offenders recidivated, while prior the castration the rate of recidivism in the same group was 50%. Stürup’s study examined 900 cases of sex offenders in Denmark. Only 2.2% of the offenders who underwent castration recidivated while asexualization occurred in 97% of the cases. The results obtained in the above mentioned studies indicate that surgical castration is a very effective method that significantly reduces recidivism in sex offenders.

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In modern times, the Czech Republic practices surgically castrating convicted sex offenders. According to the reports compiled by Council of Europe, a human-rights forum, the central European country physically castrated at least 94 prisoners in the 10 years up to April 2008. The Czech Republic defends this procedure as voluntary and effective. According to Dr. Martin Hollý, director of the Psychiatric Hospital Bohnice in Prague, none of the nearly 100 sex offenders who had been physically castrated had committed further offenses. One serial offender stated that being castrated was the “best decision” he ever made: “On the one hand you have to protect the potential victims and on the other hand I wanted to be protected from myself, I wanted to live like a normal person.” Don Grubin, a professor at Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience who also runs a chemical castration program backed by the U.K.’s Ministry of Justice, was initially opposed to physical castration. After visiting the Czech Republic, however, he agreed that some form of castration might be of benefit to some sex offenders.

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Vermont study:

A study was conducted in the state of Vermont, regarding whether chemical and physical castration of sex offender would work in that state. The researchers conducted a survey in various traditional clans which used this method. In the three tribes, a man who was found guilty of sexual offense was castrated in public. This has been the trend from times immemorial. However, as the civilization evolved, this practice was gradually diminishing. The government was also against this tradition. However, this did not completely hinder the tribes from continuing with what they beloved; sexual harassment was still prevailing in the society, though they did it secretly. Every person who was found or suspected to have done that was castrated at night. However, the research revealed that twenty five percent of the offenders who were castrated remained in the society and did not commit the offense anymore in life. Seven percent of the castrated looked for the victims and punished them severely. They used their hands and other objects to sexually offend the victims for reporting them. Two percent committed suicide as they could not face the world without their genitals. Three percent apologized to the victims, family members and the society at large. They also promised never to commit such a crime and gave reasons as to why they did it. These victims claimed they were under the influence of evil spirits or drugs. The largest percentage moved away from that society and had never been seen again (McGrath, 1995). Vermont case study reveals that castrating serious sex offenders can help solve this social evil to a reasonable rate as twenty five percent remained in the society and did not repeat the crime again. This shows that castrating makes the offenders reflect on their behavior and, consequently, change. The largest percentage in the case study disappeared from the community and did not come back again. This is because they were ashamed of living with people who knew they lacked their manhood. Thus, castrating makes the offenders humiliated, and they choose to run away from the society; consequently, they no longer constitute threats to the members of society. However, it is also significant to consider the seven percent who are willing to pay back to the victims. These seven percent should not be negligible. In this case, it is crucial to guarantee security for the victim. It is worse to have the same victim harassed again by the same offender (McGrath, 1995).

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A summary of the sexual recidivism rates for the European and U.S studies is depicted in the table above. The overall rate of sexual recidivism following castration is very low, ranging between 0 and 10 percent. Parenthetically, the 10 percent rate occurred in a small sample (n  21) after both of the reoffending castrated persons were given testosterone injections. The low sexual recidivism findings remained consistent across the studies, even though they varied in methodology and had a variety of limitations. Many of the studies were hampered by the following: no pre-surgery base-rate risk for sexual recidivism, lack of a true comparison group, no baseline data regarding pre-intervention offending and offense types, or small sample sizes. Further, there was a lack of post-surgery corroboration of deviant sexual interest via use of penile plethysmography, a method useful for assessing sexual deviant interest among those seeking community release. The theory underpinning these studies was that the elimination of testosterone via orchiectomy would lead to a significant reduction of sexual deviancy, thereby assuring safe release of sex offenders into the community.

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Studies on chemical castration: anti-androgenic treatment:

Chemical castration using LHRH agonists reduces circulating testosterone to very low levels, and also results in very low levels of recidivism despite the strong psychological factors that contribute to sexual offending. It is true that recidivism rates of sex offenders drop from 80 percent to just 5 percent or less among untreated convicts and those chemically castrated, respectively. But, as the world learned in the 1990s, there is still much room for relapse with chemical castration. 

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The Oregon MPA Program: A Five-Year Follow-Up:

In 1999, the Oregon State Legislature, concerned about the risk certain sexual offenders might pose to their communities upon release from prison, enacted House Bill 2500. This bill required selected offenders to be evaluated prior to their release to determine whether medical treatment with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) was indicated to reduce their risk. The study reviewed the first 275 men to be evaluated under this program from the years 2000 through 2004. Data were collected on diagnoses and outcome on three groups: men judged to need MPA who eventually went on to actually receive it; men recommended to receive MPA who, for a variety of reasons, did not receive the medication; and men deemed not to need MPA. Outcome measures included recidivism data, including reoffenses, parole violations, and reincarcerations, and whether these were sexual in nature. Data were also collected on employment and whether supervising officers believed the men in each group were doing well. Significant differences emerged among these three groups, with men actually receiving MPA committing no new sexual offenses and also committing fewer overall offenses and violations compared to the other two groups. In addition, almost one third of men judged to need medication but who did not receive it committed a new offense and almost 60% of these were sexual in nature. While generalizations from these types of retrospective and partially subjective findings are inherently limited, the present study lends credence to the belief that, in selected offenders, anti-androgenic medication can be a valuable, if time-limited, addition to a cognitive and behavioral treatment program. Suggestions for more practical and far-reaching implementation of this adjunctive approach are offered.

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Texas has reported repeat offender rates of just 2.2% as compared to a national average of over 20% (the 20% is a low figure but was deduced from a short term study – longitudinal studies show much higher recidivism rates). A report in The New England Journal of Medicine provides further support for the efficacy of chemical castration to reduce recidivism rates, especially that of paedophiles. MPA has had widespread use and has proved its efficacy in retarding reoffending although the new drug Triptorelin shows signs of fewer side-effects. The main conclusions are:

•All multiple offending Violent sex-offenders should be remanded in custody under monitoring regimes in prison or in a mental health facility for life.

•Appropriate programs to be provided to all sex-offenders who volunteer for treatment such as chemical or surgical castration

•Parole provisions for sex offenders to include monitoring, curfews, residential assessments and voluntary chemical castrations where considered to be beneficial as a pre-condition for parole.

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In 1981, in an experiment by P. Gagne, 48 males with long standing histories of sexually deviant behaviour were given medroxyprogesterone acetate for as long as 12 months. Forty of those subjects were recorded as to have diminished desires for deviant sexual behaviour, less frequent sexual fantasies, and greater control over sexual urges. The research recorded a continuation of this more positive behaviour after the administration of the drug had ended with no evidence of adverse side effects and recommended medroxyprogesterone acetate along with counseling as a successful method of treatment for serial sex offenders.

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In a nutshell, surgical castration reportedly produces definitive results, even in repeat pedophilic offenders, by reducing recidivism rates to 0% to 2% compared with expected rates of 50%. Different sex offenders have different recidivism rates with 50% in pedophiles and around 20 to 30% among common rapists and all these recidivism rates fall after castration.  Physical castration appears to be effective.  Although considered cruel and unusual punishment by many, physical castration does not otherwise affect the lifespan of men (compared with uncastrated men). Chemical castration produces recidivism rates to 5%, lesser than surgical castration.

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Is castration a solution to rape?

On one side, castration is the best solution which can decrease the number of sex offenders in the society. This is because the crime is heinous and should therefore be punished with an adequate punishment such as castration. Castrating serious sex offenders can serves in terms of a lesson to others who would think of committing this awful crime. The last thing a man could imagine hearing is having his genitals cut as a result of harassing someone sexually. In this case, those with ideas of raping will look for a better solution to their sexual desires. It will act as a threat; anyone who attempts to commit this crime should face the cruel knife. In most cases, criminals who are reported of having offended others sexually are taken to court, judged and jailed. They serve their imprisonment and come back to the society. Unfortunately, the first step they take is looking for the victims who reported them and repeat the same offense as a way of punishment. Imprisonment hardly changes sex offenders. They remain dangerous to the society irrespective of the time they spend in jail. Therefore, castration can be the only action which will remind them that raping is wrong and unacceptable. They will carry the scar and the pin for the rest of their lives, even when they sleep, take a bath, dress or socialize with friends of the opposite sex. Additionally, castration will definitely make them sexually inactive. It will be hard for them to be aroused (McGrath, 1995).

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Does castration stop Rapists?

Castration — physical or chemical — however, does not guarantee that a man will forever be sexually dysfunctional or that he won’t again commit rape.  “You can be castrated and still have an intact penis,” said Dr. Andrew Kramer, urologist at the University of Maryland. “If he was castrated, his testosterone levels would drop significantly but not all the way to zero. Most testosterone is produced by the testes, but some is made in the adrenal glands above the kidneys.” Moreover, men who take testosterone, through pills or injections, could easily restore natural levels of the hormone allowing them to have sex despite their lack of testicles.  Some 65 percent of castrated sex offenders reported a drop in sex drive, according to a German study conducted in the 1960s (vide supra), but 18 percent reported being able to function regularly 20 years after the procedure. A 2005 study printed in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychology and the Law, found that between zero and 10 percent of sexual offenders who are surgically castrated repeat their crime.

How can someone who’s been castrated still commit rape?
He can still have an erection. In general, castrated men experience a much-diminished sex drive, because their bodies have very low levels of the male hormone testosterone. This lowers the frequency, strength, and duration of erections, and can cause hot flashes, vertigo, loss of body hair, and breast growth. But depending on the individual, it may be possible for him to become aroused and even to ejaculate, although his erection may be modest and there won’t be any sperm in his semen. Even if a castrated man can’t maintain an erection, he can temporarily reverse the effect by taking testosterone. Also, rapists aren’t necessarily driven by sexual desire; a lower sex drive won’t prevent attacks that are motivated by a desire for power. Castrated rapists can still rape with fingers, bottle neck, iron rod etc.

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Sexual behavior of castrated sex offenders:

Data are reported on the sexual behavior of 39 released sex offenders who agreed voluntarily to surgical castration while imprisoned in West Germany. Findings indicated that frequency of coitus, masturbation, and sexual thoughts are seen as strongly reduced after castration. Sexual desire and sexual arousability are perceived by the subjects as having been considerably impaired by castration. In comparison with other studies, however, it was shown that male sexual capacity was not extinguished soon after castration. Particularly noteworthy is that 11 of 35 castrates (31%) stated they were still able to engage in sexual intercourse. Rapists proved to be sexually more active after castration than homosexuals or pedophiliacs.

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Why castration is not a solution to rape?

This punishment is unethical because it deprives the offender of his right to have all his body parts. It is unacceptable and unfair to mutilate offenders. In fact, justice cannot be achieved through mutilation. In case a man is unable to control his sexual desires, he should be locked up instead of castrating him. They are human beings and should be respected regardless of the crime they committed. Additionally, it is not only men who are sexual offenders. Females have also been reported to harass boys, men and men living with disabilities. These offenders cannot be castrated. Thus the notion arises that castrating serious offenders is one sided, meanwhile, it is wrong to generalize that serious sex offenders are only men. Furthermore, there is a possibility of castrating innocent people. Therefore, castration can be an outrageous punishment for a man who was accused falsely of committing such a crime. Since there is injustice in this world, an individual may accuse a person falsely just to see the man castrated. The evidence provided in sex offenses is mostly unjustifiable. Moreover, a person may be confused with the offender and face such a terrible punishment (Morganfield, 1995). Castration does not stop serious sex offenders from repeating the crime. The reason is that they mostly commit the crime because of their psychological and mental disorders. Meanwhile, castrating only affects the physical body which has little to do in sexual action. A castrated man is more likely to be extremely violent than a normal man. The castrated individual has internal bitterness and wants to prove that he can still commit the crime. This can make the offender do dreadful actions to a victim. Additionally, sex offenses should be investigated first. The offenders should be helped to get out of this deviance behavior. This is usually a psychological or mental problem which cannot be treated using castration. The offenders should be taken to psychiatric, psychologists and doctors who will examine their mental, psychological and emotional health. Castrating them will only increase the problem they suffer from and make them substantially more violent (Morganfield, 1995). The Justice JS Verma committee on sexual offences against women rejected the suggestion of chemical castration of rapists, as it considered handing down such a punishment would violate human rights and that mutilation of the body is not permitted under the Constitution. “We note that it would be unconstitutional and inconsistent with basic human rights treaties for the state to expose any citizen without their consent to potentially dangerous medical side effects”.

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Final arguments on castration:

In conclusion, serious sex offenders should be castrated as they kill the dignity of the individual and make her suffer for the rest of her life. Castration is the only punishment which can justify the pain inflicted on the victim by the offender. It makes a serious sex offender suffer humiliation and pain just as the victim suffers. Additionally, it acts as a warning for other potential criminals who might think of committing such crimes. Sexual harassment is too painful and affects the victim throughout the lifetime. It causes not only physical injuries, but also psychic scars and even death in some cases. Therefore, serious sexual offenders deserve a severe humiliating punishment since their crime evidently inhumane. However, there is a need for careful investigations before passing such judgment to an individual. Sometimes, an individual may be accused falsely or can represent a case of mistaken identity. Additionally, it is significant to investigate the reason why the individual committed the crime. If the person is mentally ill or there is another reason of committing the offense, then an alternative should be opted.  
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Sex offenders, such as rapists, pedophiles, and exhibitionists, are among the highest reoccurring offense populations in the United States probation system. These offenders commit crimes that put fear into the general public and pose a threat to people that live in their neighborhoods. These offenders should be punished and not let off or forgiven of their crime(s) just because they have gone through a treatment program, most of which cannot show a significant success rate. Chemical castration is an ideal punishment for sex offenders. When MPA is administered, recidivism rates fall to 5%. Their sexual fantasies are lessened as a result of the reduction of testosterone levels. Although men administered this drug are capable of having sexual intercourse, many people argue that chemical castration is cruel and unusual punishment. This argument is countered by the fact that sex offenders are required to get injections only once a month. What is “cruel and unusual” is allowing sex offenders to attack innocent women and children. This effective therapy will protect future victims. It is an “offender friendly” way of reducing sexual violence.  

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Castration has been documented throughout history as occurring for a variety of social, punishment, and medical reasons. Both physical and chemical castrations are currently being debated with respect to sex offenders, because both the public and legislators are calling for actions to reduce sex offenses. Chemical castration has been proposed as a reversible alternative. Its effectiveness, side effects, risks, and recidivism rates have been studied extensively over the last 25 years. In contrast, physical castration has been used mainly in Europe, has not been rigorously studied, and remains a highly controversial and irreversible procedure. However, reported recidivism rates are substantially better than those for chemical castration. Treatment that lowers testosterone offers a way to reduce and control and deviant sexual fantasies and urges of hard-core offenders, although such biological interventions are only part of the treatment plan and do not solve the problem of sexual violence. In addition, several legal and ethical issues need to be resolved.

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A utilitarian argument which sought to obtain the most good for the greatest amount of people favors chemical castration for repeat sex offenders. As previously stated, sex offenders pose a severe threat to public well-being. Most offenders have many victims and the cost to the victim is quite high. Curbing the deviant behaviors of sex offenders would be beneficial in ensuring the security of many individuals. Sexual assault can have serious physical and mental health outcomes for victims. In addition to the pain and suffering of victims and family members, treating survivors of sexual assault can be expensive. Stopping sexual assaults results in significant financial benefits as well. Resources that would have gone to treating victims of sexual assault could be used for numerous other beneficial programs.

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Pedophiles and chemical castration:

If we take the European and United States approach then we could impose chemical castration as a condition of parole. A number of countries already use surgical and chemical castration to good effect with stunning cuts in recidivism rates in Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany Iceland and many states in USA. MPA for example, has been used quite successfully. Also, a new drug Triptorelin would be a good place to start. While MPA has reduced paedophile recidivism from 50% to below 5%, Triptorelin has been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine to have a success rate of 100% when used in conjunction with psychotherapy. What’s more, the side effects are minimal and can be administered easily by monthly injection. Chemical castration cuts reoffending as it cuts unacceptable urges. It works.

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Convicted paedophile Keith Robinson believes he is safe to go back on the streets. Sent to jail for 20 years in Oklahoma for abusing his five-year-old niece, Robinson has been physically castrated, an extreme treatment which is now expected to become more widely available in the US, and which a growing number of campaigners want made available here. Some anti-paedophile campaigners favour non reversible physical castration, but doctors opposed to it point out that if chemical castration does not work, neither will surgery, because they are both designed to have the same effect. “If the [hormonal] treatment produces sufficient behaviour change then surgery is clearly unnecessary. If it does not, then castration will not either,” writes Professor John Gunn of the Institute of Psychiatry in the British Medical Journal. I disagree. All castration studies show that recidivism rates of surgical castration is much less than chemical castration and therefore if drugs fail, surgical castration is still a viable option.

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Regardless, MPA has been proven to inhibit the abilities of pedophilias to assault children. The progesterone in MPA counteracts the biological tendencies that lead men to rape children. By lowering testosterone,  MPA reduces sex drive. Males can have sexual intercourse but do not want to. MPA also decreases aggressive tendencies by reducing testosterone.  “The castrated criminal would be more docile and have a better opportunity to be rehabilitated, educated, and to become a worthwhile citizen”. Castration removes the biological and chemical tendencies that are intrinsically linked to the desire to rape in males.  MPA also reduces recidivism rates. When used as a mandatory condition of parole, chemical castration decreases the occurrence of repeat offenses from 75% to 2%. Prison is less desirable because it serves no rehabilitative purpose for sexual offenders. Pedophiles who spend time festering in a prison cell are given extensive downtime to concoct new sordid sexual fantasies involving children. These horrific visions are translated into terrifying realities once the criminal comes back into contact with children following his inevitable release from prison. Prison simply produces sneakier criminals. Pedophiles do not want to be incarcerated again so they think of new ways to rape children that will avoid detection and future detention. Prison increases aggressive tendencies in male pedophiles while chemical castration addresses the root causes of sexual assault and decreases further sexual deviance. Although chemical castration is not the perfect solution to inhibit child molestation, it discourages sexual assault better than incarceration. Injections of MPA decrease the aggressive tendencies that lead to rape in males. Castration also discourages sexual fantasies and eradicates sexual obsessions. Pedophiles are reduced to apathetic pacifists. Regulated chemical castration should be encouraged as an alternative to prison for male child molesters in order to stop recidivism and decrease instances of sexual assault.

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Pedophiles chemically castrated in British jail:

Around one hundred child sex offenders have undergone chemical castration under a government program to reduce the likelihood of them reoffending. The pedophiles volunteered for a course of drugs designed to reduce their testosterone levels to that of a prepubescent boy in order to curb their libido.  The treatment is being piloted by psychiatrists at HMP Whatton, Nottingham, a specialist category C prison which holds male sex offenders. The drug, leuprorelin inhibits the production of testosterone, which is linked to the high sex drives in pedophiles. We know the treatment works to reduce sexual arousal and fantasies.  Evidence from Scandanavia suggests chemical castration can cut the rates of reoffending from 40 per cent to 5 per cent.  Guidance on the medication says it should be used for those with compulsive or impulsive urges to offend, those who have difficulties in controlling sexual arousal, intrusive sexual fantasies or urges, sadism or other “dangerous” tendencies such as necrophilia.  Chemical castration has divided professional opinion.  Psychologist Dr Ludwig Lowenstein told the Daily Mirror: “Apart from lengthy jail sentences, the only other way to deal with most of these people is through chemical castration.  “The idea of giving sexual offenders a pill to destroy their ability to have intercourse always provokes fierce objections on the grounds of civil liberties. But a child’s right to protection is far more morally important than the freedoms of pedophiles.”

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The question is asked about repeat sex offenders. Someone who is a “repeat” offender would not be “innocent.” People who argue about rape being about power and control miss the point that taking the offender’s power and control (i.e. his sex organs) would remove the perverse sexual pleasure the offender gets from his acts. Finally, when children are involved, particularly involving child porn or admissions or guilty pleas, etc, castration should be the first option followed by prison.

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Solution to rape committed by castrated sex offenders:

Studies found that 18% of castrated sex offender can have sexual intercourse. He can still have erections despite lower libido, fewer sexual thoughts, fewer sexual fantasies and smaller size of erection. That is possible due to:

1. He may take exogenous testosterone illegally

2. His adrenals may synthesize some testosterone

3. His penis neuroanatomy is intact

4. Sexual behavior is not exclusively determined by testosterone. Therefore, as with other behavior, past experiences as well as needs and interpersonal skills determine the form and intensity of sexual behavior, both normal and deviant.

5. The reduction or elimination of testosterone might not affect the neurotransmitters (such as dopamine) that play a role in the maintenance of sexual behavior.

 6. Cancer studies of bilaterally castrated patients found that exposure to erotic visual stimuli remains sexually arousing despite the absence of testosterone.  

Even though recidivism rates after castration is very low, it is not zero and hence castrated rapist can still re-rape again.  So to tackle such complex issues, I am putting forward the concept of ‘interventional impotence’ as a punishment and treatment of habitual sex offender to solve the menace of rape committed by sex offender who re-offended after castration. I recommend disruption of terminal branches of both internal pudendal arteries (carrying blood to corpora cavernosa) and both cavernous nerves (carrying S2, S3, S4 parasympathetic supply to corpora cavernosa)  together to make castration-resistant sex offender permanently impotent. I also recommend that habitual sex offenders, pedophiles, paraphiliacs and recurrent rapists must be subjected to surgical castration with interventional impotence to solve the menace of rape and save our children and our women. 

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Death penalty for rape:

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Does Capital Punishment have a Deterrent Effect?  New evidence from Post-moratorium Panel Data: A study:

Evidence on the deterrent effect of capital punishment is important for many states that are currently reconsidering their position on the issue. Researchers examined the deterrent hypothesis using county-level, post-moratorium panel data and a system of simultaneous equations. The procedure they employed overcame common aggregation problems, eliminated the bias arising from unobserved heterogeneity, and provided evidence relevant for current conditions. Their results suggest that capital punishment has a strong deterrent effect; each execution results, on average, in 18 fewer murders—with a margin of error of plus or minus 10. Tests show that results are not driven by tougher sentencing laws, and are also robust to many alternative specifications. 

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One of the most common anti-death penalty arguments I have heard is that “we don’t rape rapists, so why is it ok to kill a killer?” The reason being, of course, that a “rape penalty” would not be as effective at deterring recidivism as the death penalty is. However, what they are implying here is that there is something morally perverse about a punishment like this.

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Another argument frequently made against the demand for the death penalty in a rape case is that such a demand ultimately equates rape with death. A statement by a collective of women’s groups, progressive groups and individuals condemning sexual violence and opposing death penalty on Kafila blog reads: “The logic of awarding death penalty to rapists is based on the belief that rape is a fate worse than death. Patriarchal notions of ‘honor’ lead us to believe that rape is the worst thing that can happen to a woman. There is a need to strongly challenge this stereotype of the ‘destroyed’ woman who loses her honor and who has no place in society after she’s been sexually assaulted. We believe that rape is tool of patriarchy, an act of violence, and has nothing to do with morality, character or behavior”.

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Why death penalty to infamous Delhi gang rape convicts?

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna delivered the 237- page judgement, noting that that the crime was committed in an extremely brutal manner. “The major part of her intestine was pulled out from the body,” the judge said. They, besides causing external bodily injuries, inserted the rods in the abdomen of the victim. They did this act repeatedly and pulled out internal organs even by their hands,” the court noted. The judge also observed: “The important aspect of this trial is the manner in which both rods and hands were used for damaging the alimentary canal and pulling it out from the body (of the girl). This act of complete destruction of the most vital parts of the body can never be termed as intending to cause bodily injuries and rather it will be an act done with intention of causing death.” The court noted that the accused were acting in a premeditated manner and deceived the victims into boarding the bus thinking it is going towards their destination. “After her body became devoid of any resistance, iron rods and hands were inserted into the abdominal cavity, the court noted. They first attempted to throw them out of the moving bus from its back door but since it was jammed, they dragged both the victims in an injured, unconscious and naked condition by pulling their hair to the front door of the bus and presuming them to be dead, threw them out on a chilly night, that too at a very dangerous place, the main Jaipur highway,” the court said.

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The measure of punishment in a given case must depend upon the atrocity of the crime, the conduct of the criminal and the defenseless and unprotected state of the victim. Imposition of appropriate punishment is the manner in which the courts respond to the society’s cry for justice against the criminals. Justice demands that courts should impose punishment befitting the crime so that the courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime.

– Justices A.S. Anand and N.P. Singh, Supreme Court of India, in the case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee (whose mercy petition was rejected by President Kalam during his term. He was awarded the death penalty for the rape and consequent murder of a 14 year-old girl).

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The death penalty by itself does not seem to deter people from committing serious crimes (especially when compared to life imprisonment) – it is the fear of being caught and punished that serves as deterrent (see reference to Amnesty International survey of the relation between capital punishment and homicide rates).  It would seem that what would serve as deterrent is stricter policing and law-enforcement. It is true that rapes are not dealt with adequate severity. However, one must keep in mind here that increasing the severity of the punishment (especially by introducing capital punishment) will naturally lead to a decline in conviction rates. It follows, then, that making rape punishable by death would not necessarily serve as a deterrent, and might even make conviction of the accused more difficult. Death penalty might bring emotional satisfaction to victims and their families but there’s little evidence that they’ll deter future crime. The truth is, there’s no quick fix. Moral outrage after a tragedy such as this recent one in Delhi 2012 has a notoriously short life and rarely leads to better public policy. The real solution will involve better policing, better administration of the existing legal justice system and, crucially, citizens demanding an improvement in the delivery of this vital public good and holding their elected officials accountable for failing to deliver it. In the end, it is up to us.

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It [death penalty] changes nothing but becomes a tool in the hands of the State to further exert its power over its citizens. There is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to rape. Available data shows that there is a low rate of conviction in rape cases and a strong possibility that the death penalty would further lower this conviction rate as it is awarded only under rarest of the rare cases. It is the certainty of punishment rather than the severity of its form could act as a deterrent.  Data from various countries show that men from minority communities make up a disproportionate number of death row inmates. In the Indian context, a review of crime that warrants capital punishment reveals the discriminatory way in which such laws are selectively and arbitrarily applied to disadvantaged communities, religious and ethnic minorities.

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 A death penalty for rapists in India is a truly terrible idea. As the legal process for death penalty cases is significantly longer and more complex than for cases of life imprisonment, lawyers, activists and academic experts fear that applying the death penalty for rape will only result in more acquittals than convictions. India currently has approximately 100,000 cases of rape pending in different courts in the country, while they have only given 46 death penalties so far since 1947. In the last decade India has executed only three of its estimated 477 death row prisoners. Under such circumstances arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement of the death penalty would be a certainty, not least because inefficient, misogynistic, and corrupt police and prosecutors would be put in charge of this lethal lottery. There is also a practical problem: threatening to hang rapists provides incentive for them to kill victims and witnesses in order to avoid identification.

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Points against death penalty put forward by opponents of death penalty:

The case against capital punishment is often made on the basis that society has a moral obligation to protect human life, not take it. The taking of human life is permissible only if it is a necessary condition to achieving the greatest balance of good over evil for everyone involved. Given the value we place on life and our obligation to minimize suffering and pain whenever possible, if a less severe alternative to the death penalty exists which would accomplish the same goal, we are duty-bound to reject the death penalty in favor of the less severe alternative. There is no evidence to support the claim that the death penalty is a more effective deterrent of violent crime than, say, life imprisonment. In fact, statistical studies that have compared the murder rates of jurisdictions with and without the death penalty have shown that the rate of murder is not related to whether the death penalty is in force: There are as many murders committed in jurisdictions with the death penalty as in those without. Unless it can be demonstrated that the death penalty, and the death penalty alone, does in fact deter crimes of murder, we are obligated to refrain from imposing it when other alternatives exist.  Further, the death penalty is not necessary to achieve the benefit of protecting the public from murderers who may strike again. Locking murderers away for life achieves the same goal without requiring us to take yet another life. Nor is the death penalty necessary to ensure that criminals “get what they deserve.” Justice does not require us to punish murder by death. It only requires that the gravest crimes receive the severest punishment that our moral principles would allow us to impose.  While it is clear that the death penalty is by no means necessary to achieve certain social benefits, it does, without a doubt, impose grave costs on society. First, the death penalty wastes lives. Many of those sentenced to death could be rehabilitated to live socially productive lives. Carrying out the death penalty destroys any good such persons might have done for society if they had been allowed to live. Furthermore, juries have been known to make mistakes, inflicting the death penalty on innocent people. Had such innocent parties been allowed to live, the wrong done to them might have been corrected and their lives not wasted. In addition to wasting lives, the death penalty also wastes money. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s much more costly to execute a person than to imprison them for life. The finality of punishment by death rightly requires that great procedural precautions be taken throughout all stages of death penalty cases to ensure that the chance of error is minimized. As a result, executing a single capital case costs about three times as much as it costs to keep a person in prison for their remaining life expectancy, which is about 40 years. Finally, the death penalty harms society by cheapening the value of life. Allowing the state to inflict death on certain of its citizens legitimizes the taking of life. The death of anyone, even a convicted killer, diminishes us all. Society has a duty to end this practice which causes such harm, yet produces little in the way of benefits. Opponents of capital punishment also argue that the death penalty should be abolished because it is unjust. Justice, they claim, requires that all persons be treated equally. And the requirement that justice be served is all the more rigorous when life and death are at stake. Of 19,000 people who committed willful homicides in the U.S. in 1987, only 293 were sentenced to death. Who are these few being selected to die? They are nearly always poor and disproportionately black. It is not the nature of the crime that determines who goes to death row and who doesn’t. People go to death row simply because they have no money to appeal their case, or they have a poor defense, or they lack the funds to being witnesses to courts, or they are members of a political or racial minority. The death penalty is also unjust because it is sometimes inflicted on innocent people. Since 1900, 350 people have been wrongly convicted of homicide or capital rape. The death penalty makes it impossible to remedy any such mistakes. If, on the other hand, the death penalty is not in force, convicted persons later found to be innocent can be released and compensated for the time they wrongly served in prison.

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Historic Coker v. Georgia case:

 Defendant raped a woman and stabbed her to death. Eight months later he kidnapped another woman, raped her twice, and abandoned her to die after severely beating her. While serving multiple life terms for these offenses, he escaped and kidnapped, raped, and robbed a third woman at knifepoint. He was found guilty of rape and sentenced to death. The Supreme Court of Georgia upheld the sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court says that the death penalty is unconstitutional in all cases that do not involve murder or crimes against the State. The plurality opinion denied that rape causes serious injury: “Although it may be accompanied by another crime, rape by definition does not include the death of or even the serious injury to another person.” Rape is without doubt deserving of serious punishment; but in terms of moral depravity and of the injury to the person and to the public, it does not compare with murder, which does involve the unjustified taking of human life.” In light of these facts, the Court concluded that death was an excessive punishment for “the rapist who, as such, does not take human life.” Court concluded that the death penalty was a constitutionally excessive punishment for rape. The United States Supreme Court held that the death penalty is a grossly disproportionate and excessive punishment for the rape of an adult woman and therefore violates the eighth amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. The murderer kills; the rapist, if no more than that, does not. Life is over for the victim of the murderers; for the rape victim, life may not be nearly so happy as it was, but it is not over and normally is not beyond repair. . . . The death penalty . . . is an excessive penalty for the rapist who, as such, does not take human life. Justices Brennan and Marshall concurred in the judgment because the case struck down a death penalty, in keeping with their view that the death penalty is per se cruel and unusual punishment. Justice Powell concurred in the judgment, but emphasized that the death penalty may be appropriate for rape if there are aggravating circumstances.  Dissenting Chief Justice Burger said that rape is a heinous crime. “A rapist not only violates a victim’s privacy and personal integrity, but inevitably causes serious psychological as well as physical harm in the process. The long-range effect upon the victim’s life and health is likely to be irreparable; it is impossible to measure the harm which results.”

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On the death penalty for rape it is worth reading the Justice Verma Committee report, particularly chapter nine, which deals with “Sentencing and Punishment”. The chapter begins with a quote from an American judge, Justice Stewart in Furman v Georgia that sums up the philosophical argument against the death penalty: “The penalty of death differs from all other forms of criminal punishment, not in degree, but in kind. It is unique in its total irrevocability. It is unique in its rejection of rehabilitation of the convict as a basic purpose of criminal justice. And it is unique, finally, in its absolute renunciation of all that is embodied in our concept of humanity.” The Committee has argued that introducing the death penalty for rape could lower the conviction rate rather than enhancing it or acting as a deterrent. It has recommended instead, that the punishment should be from a minimum of 10 years to life, with “life imprisonment” redefined to mean the end of the natural life of the convict. It has also pointed out that across the world; the majority of countries have revoked capital punishment.

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After all, death penalty has not stopped murders. Then, what is the guarantee that it will stop rapes? It seems the call for capital punishment ignores the ground realities and is likely to create more problems than it seeks to address. When the family members of a rape victim get to know about the sad incidence, all efforts are made to hide it, out of fear, shame or mistrust of police. The result is a substantial number of rape cases go unreported. Only a few rape victims dare to approach the police with request to lodge FIRs. Police give every excuse to convince the victims out of it. Yet, if a victim persists or media highlights the crime, the police lodge an FIR. By that time, crucial evidence is either lost or culprits go underground. Investigation in rape crimes do not rely much on scientific gathering of evidence but on witnesses who often turn hostile or are bought over a prolonged trial period. Rape victims are subject to highly degrading finger test without much scientific justification. Defense lawyers use the findings of this archaic test to discredit the victim’s testimony.  Besides, a rape victim has to face humiliating questions like — ‘‘what were you doing there at that late in the night? Why did you go to that lonely place so late in the night (as if going out at a lonely place in the night gives someone the license to rape her)? Who was that person who was accompanying you? Is he your boyfriend?  Are you in a physical relationship with him? Did you tell your parents that you were going out with him, or did you lie about it? Do you remember what the accused was wearing while he was over you?” The defense lawyers keep asking such uncomfortable questions to make the victim nervous and say something that contradicts her earlier statements and let their clients get way with lighter or no sentence. In such an environment, death penalty for mere rape would make conviction very unlikely.

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Sex offender treatment typically consists of three principal approaches:

  • the cognitive-behavioral approach, which emphasizes changing patterns of thinking that are related to sexual offending and changing deviant patterns of arousal;
  • the psycho-educational approach, which stresses increasing the offender’s concern for the victim and recognition of responsibility for their offense; and
  • the pharmacological approach, which is based upon the use of medication to reduce sexual arousal (vide supra).

In practice, these approaches are not mutually exclusive and treatment programs are increasingly utilizing a combination of these techniques.

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Behavioral Therapies for sex offenders:

Behavior modification and Psychotherapy:

Behavior modification as a treatment attempts to eliminate deviant sexual response through various behavior techniques and, at the same time, develop normal responses. One such technique is aversive conditioning. It is performed with the use of electric shocks or noxious odour. Each time a patient becomes sexually aroused when watching or fantasizing about a sexual experience with themes of violence, the patient is subjected to a negative stimulus. A similar technique is covert sensitization. In this technique, offenders verbalize a detailed deviant fantasy. Once aroused, they start verbalizing equally detailed fantasy of highly aversive consequences, such as being arrested. The technique requires them to focus attention on negative consequences that they find upsetting.  Although behavior modification appears to be a viable treatment for sex offenders, little is known about the long-term effect such treatment will have in preventing this type of crime.  Psychotherapy is used as a method to help the offender to control undesirable behavior through introspection. The treatment “views sexual assaultivness as the result of internal emotional conflicts… which aims to relive such problems by helping the offender to become more aware of and to better understand these underlying issues”. The techniques used in psychotherapy are self-help groups, marital and family counseling, group therapy, and individual counseling.

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Behavior modification programs have been shown to reduce recidivism in sex offenders. Often, such programs use principles of applied behavior analysis. Two such approaches from this line of research have promise. The first uses operant conditioning approaches (which use reward and punishment to train new behavior, such as problem-solving) and the second uses respondent conditioning procedures, such as aversion therapy. Many of the behaviorism programs use covert sensitization and/or odor aversion: both are forms of aversion therapy, which have had ethical challenges. Such programs are effective in lowering recidivism by 15–18 percent. The use of aversion therapy remains controversial, and is an ethical issue related to the professional practice of behavior analysis. In 2007, the Texas State Auditor released a report showing that sex offenders who completed the Texas Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) were 61 percent less likely to commit a new crime.

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Several studies have evaluated the outcomes of offenders receiving sex offender treatment, compared to a group of offenders not receiving treatment. The results of these studies are mixed. For example, Barbaree and Marshall (1988) found a substantial difference in the recidivism rates of extra-familial child molesters who participated in a community based cognitive-behavioral treatment program, compared to a group of similar offenders who did not receive treatment. Those who participated in treatment had a recidivism rate of 18 percent over a four-year follow-up period, compared to a 43 percent recidivism rate for the nonparticipating group of offenders. However, no positive effect of treatment was found in several other quasi-experiments involving an institutional behavioral program (Rice, Quinsey, and Harris, 1991) or a milieu therapy approach in an institutional setting (Hanson, Steffy, and Gauthier, 1993). On the other hand, an evaluation of a cognitive-behavioral program that employs an experimental design presented preliminary findings that suggest that participation in this form of treatment may have a modest (though not statistically significant) effect in reducing recidivism. After a follow-up period of 34 months, 8 percent of the offenders in the treatment program had a subsequent sex offense, compared with 13 percent of the control group, who had also volunteered for the program, but were not selected through the random assignment process (Marques, Day, Nelson, and West, 1994).

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Some studies present optimistic conclusions about the effectiveness of programs that are empirically based, offense-specific, and comprehensive. A 1995 meta-analysis study on sex offender treatment outcome studies found a small, yet significant, treatment effect (Hall, 1995). This meta-analysis included 12 studies with some form of control group. Despite the small number of subjects (1,313), the results indicated an 8 percent reduction in the recidivism rate for sex offenders in the treatment group. (For the purposes of this study, recidivism was measured by additional sexually aggressive behavior, including official legal charges as well as, in some studies, unofficial data such as self-report.) Recently, Alexander (1999) conducted an analysis of a large group of treatment outcome studies, encompassing nearly 11,000 sex offenders. In this study, data from 79 sex offender treatment studies were combined and reviewed. Results indicated that sex offenders who participated in relapse prevention treatment programs had a combined rearrest rate of 7.2 percent, compared to 17.6 percent for untreated offenders. The overall rearrest rate for treated sex offenders in this analysis was 13.2 percent. (Length of follow-up in this analysis varied from less than one year to more than five years. Most studies in this analysis indicated a three to five year follow-up period.)  

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for sex offenders: A meta-analysis:

To understand the difficulties with both treatment and its assessment, look at a brand-spanking new study of treatment of sex offenders (including pedophiles). The researchers examined 43 previous studies that compared 5,078 treated sex offenders to 4,376 untreated ones. The average follow up after treatment with cognitive-behavioral therapy was 46 months.  The overall rate of sexual recidivism among treated men was 12.3 percent, compared to 16.8 percent for untreated men. The difference – which the study authors called a “small advantage” – was statistically significant, meaning it probably didn’t happen by chance.

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Why police and media in India hide faces of rapists? 

Two reasons are given:

1. Their faces cannot be shown to public till identification parade is over.

2. They are innocent till proved guilty.

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The criminals are ordered to cover their faces. They don’t cover their faces out of embarrassment or humiliation. This myth is widely propagated in India. For instance, if X is involved in raping Y, and Z has witnessed this, the courts would consider Z to be a credible witness only if X’s face has not been publicly broadcasted. If everybody sees X on national television, what’s the point in having a witness? How would Z’s testimony be unique or valuable? Hence, the police ask the accused to cover their faces in front of the media before they present them for a fair trial in the courts. There were many instances where the criminals were set free because their faces were publicly displayed which in turn lead to a dilution of the witness’s credibility. In most of the cases the police would make sure that the arrested persons cover their faces so that their faces are not shown by print / visual media. Any such publicity may cause a ‘doubt’ in the genuineness of identification parade, if required to be carried out by police for evidence against the accused. The accused may take a defence that the identification was not natural as the witness might have identified him on the basis of his photos on TV/newspaper, etc, and not on the basis of seeing him at scene of crime. In criminal jurisprudence the onus of proving a case beyond all reasonable doubts is on prosecution, and any benefit of doubt goes in favour of defence/accused.

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Earlier it was said that the faces have to be covered till the identification parade but nowadays all the criminals keep their evil faces hidden behind a mask. Why are the police protecting them?  Some places might not want to show those accused of crimes until they’ve actually been convicted in a court of law. If you arrest someone and broadcast their name and image everywhere as a criminal, but then a court says they’re innocent, they have a massive lawsuit back at you. One is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Just because a person has been arrested under a charge, does not mean that they have committed the legal offense. Revealing their face to the media might cause them unnecessary trouble (violent outcry, permanent damage of reputation). Even if they are released later on as innocent, it might permanently damage their image as the public looks for superficial references (they would remember seeing this person on TV doubted under such an offense). Last , but not least…simple protection of life…you never know if their life is under any threat from other groups and organizations and so until the truth is unfolded, their identity is kept a secret.

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I disagree with Indian police, Indian media and Indian lawyers vis-à-vis exposing faces of rapists:

Every human being can be categorized into 4 groups vis-à-vis a crime (rape):

1. Innocent

2. Suspect

3. Accused

4. Convict

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Innocent is a person who did not commit crime. An acquitted person may not be innocent because his acquittal was based on lack of evidence but he might have destroyed evidence or lied in court. A suspect is a person whom the prosecutor has reasonable grounds to believe committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the tribunal. In the law enforcement jargon, a suspect is a known person suspected of committing a crime. Police and reporters in the United States often incorrectly use the word suspect when referring to the perpetrator of the offense. The perpetrator is the robber, assailant, rapist, counterfeiter, etc.—the person who actually committed the crime. The distinction between suspect and perpetrator recognizes that the suspect is not known to have committed the offense, while the perpetrator—who may not yet have been suspected of the crime, and is thus not necessarily a suspect—is the one who actually did. The suspect may be a different person from the perpetrator, or there may have been no actual crime, which would mean there is no perpetrator. Frequently it is stated that police are looking for the suspect when there is no suspect; the police could be looking for a suspect, but they are surely looking for the perpetrator, and very often it is impossible to tell from such a police report whether there is a suspect or not. Possibly because of the misuse of suspect to mean perpetrator, police in the early 21’st century began to use person of interest, possible suspect, and even possible person of interest, to mean suspect. Under the judicial systems of the U.S., once a decision is approved to arrest a suspect, or bind him over for trial, either by a prosecutor issuing an information, a grand jury issuing a true bill or indictment, or a judge issuing an arrest warrant, the suspect can then be properly called a defendant, or the accused. Only after being convicted is the suspect properly called the perpetrator or convict. So an accused is a person who has been formally charged by the prosecutor with a crime within the jurisdiction of the tribunal. A convict or perpetrator or sex offender is a person convicted by court of law of rape charge.

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Historically, eyewitness testimony is described as a powerful impact on juries. There is almost nothing more convincing [to a jury] than a live human being who takes the stand, points a finger at the defendant, and says ‘That’s the one!'”  The eyewitness identification of a person as a perpetrator was persuasive to jurors even when “far outweighed by evidence of innocence.”

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One example is sufficient to prove fallibility of identity by eye witness:

Jennifer Thompson’s case is one example: She was a college student in North Carolina in 1984, when a man broke into her apartment, put a knife to her throat, and raped her. According to her own account, Ms. Thompson studied her rapist throughout the incident with great determination to memorize his face. “I studied every single detail on the rapist’s face. I looked at his hairline; I looked for scars, for tattoos, for anything that would help me identify him. When and if I survived the attack, I was going to make sure that he was put in prison and he was going to rot.”  Ms. Thompson went to the police station later that same day to work up a [composite sketch] of her attacker, relying on what she believed was her detailed memory. Several days later, the police constructed a photographic lineup, and she selected Ronald Junior Cotton from the lineup. She later testified against him at trial. She was positive it was him, without any doubt in her mind. “I was sure. I knew it. I had picked the right guy, and he was going to go to jail. If there was the possibility of a death sentence, I wanted him to die. I wanted to flip the switch.” But she was wrong, as DNA results eventually showed. It turns out she was even presented with her actual attacker during a second trial proceeding a year after the attack, but swore she’d never seen the man before in her life. She remained convinced that Ronald Cotton was her attacker, and it was not until much later, after Mr. Cotton had served 11 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, that she realized that she had made a grave mistake. Jennifer Thompson’s memory had failed her, resulting in a substantial injustice. It took definitive DNA testing to shake her confidence, but she now knows that despite her confidence in her identification, it was wrong. Cases like Ms. Thompson’s prompted the emergence of a field within the social sciences dedicated to the study of eyewitness memory and the causes underlying its frequently recurring failures. 

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Let me give example of Delhi gang-rape case:

When police arrested Ram Singh and his associates after filing FIR, they officially became suspects of the crime. Their faces could be shown on TV as suspects of crime. When police filed charge-sheet against them after gathering evidence, they became accused. Their faces can be shown on TV as accused of crime. When court convicted them, their faces can be shown as convicts or perpetrators of a crime. This is how free and democratic country works. If you feel that identification parade evidence could become fallible with loss of credibility as the faces of suspects are known through media, then make their faces visible after identification parade which occurs within few days of filing of FIR or after accused are identified by eye witness in the court. As far as defamation is concerned, you are showing faces of suspects of rape. That is the truth. How can truth be defamation?  All you have to do is to label images of person with the title ‘rape suspect’ or ‘rape accused’. You should not label rape suspect as rapist. That is all. 

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Let me give example from the U.S. 

Look at the picture below that appeared in American media:

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Ariel Castro was convicted of kidnapping, rape and assault of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus in his Cleveland, Ohio home over the course of a decade. He was sentenced to a life behind bars. The three women were miraculously rescued in early May 2012 from his Cleveland home, which is now demolished. Rusty chains were found secured to walls in Ariel Castro’s house of horrors in Cleveland. Investigators say they were bound with chains, repeatedly raped and deprived of food and bathroom facilities. An Ohio judge sentenced Castro to life plus an additional 1,000 years, which is an appropriate sentence for his heinous crimes. Castro’s brothers, arrested with him after hostage Amanda Berry’s escape, were cleared of any involvement in abducting the women or subjecting them to sexual and psychological abuse. You see, pictures of innocent brothers of Ariel Castro were shown all over world as co-suspects but when police dropped charge against them, their name was cleared and they came on TV to tell people that they are innocent. This is how healthy democracy works. What Indian media was doing in Delhi gang-rape case was hiding the faces of rape accused and thereby giving encouragement to future rapists that their faces will be hidden till their conviction and since conviction in India takes many years and conviction rates are very low, they can lead a dignified life in society despite committing heinous crime of rape. 

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Why rape victim’s identity not reveled?

While proponents of disclosure insist that withholding the victims’ names increases the stigma attached to rape, opponents claim that this very stigma justifies why rape and its victims should be treated differently.  Bachi J. Karkaria is trying to encourage in her recent Times of India column asking rape survivors “with utmost sensitivity” to “reveal your identity and help cast aside the veil of misplaced disgrace.”  “The crime is not hers, so why should she go through a punishment which is psychologically worse than that of the rapist? Why should she be the one whose identity is put away for life?” asks Karkaria. According to her, by revealing the identity of rape victims in India, it can change the equations in the “blame game”, from the victim to the accused. Her views about helping to “cast aside the veil of misplaced disgrace”, is definitely well- intended though we need to understand the implications of this decision- socially and legally.  India is still largely a patriarchal and misogynist society that condones rape and sexual crimes, whether tacitly or explicitly, and because of widespread lawlessness that encourages it. When a woman is raped, along with the social rebuke, she has to forcibly face the cruelty of being blamed equally for the crime. When Suzette Jordan was assaulted and gang raped in a moving car by 5 men in Kolkata, one of the government officials was quick to label her a “prostitute” and cast serious aspersions on the character of the single mother living in the city. Recently, in the gruesome rape of a 5 -year-old child in Delhi, the people of her locality, predictably, blamed the child and called her “greedy”, as she managed to fall into the trap of her rapist who lured her into his room, by offering her a packet of chips. Therefore, when a rape becomes public, the victims have to face intense social boycott and the belief that “she must have done something wrong to provoke” deeply ingrained within us. Also, in India, a person’s identity isn’t restricted to just a name. It reveals a community, a political history, a social lifestyle, beliefs and triggers associated bias. Divulging a rape victim’s identity exposes her to the fury of the very perpetrators who attacked her, and this time, it’ll be her moral status, her social standing, her religious leanings, her sexual preference, the style of her clothing, the colour of her hair and her entire community which will be attacked. Remember, it is hugely the fear of social rebuke that prevents a rape victim from registering a case in the first place. The mere notion of her identity being exposed ensures a victim doesn’t come forward to register the offence. The notions of honour and shame not only of the individual woman but also of the family and community are at stake. Stigma is also linked with the loss of virginity and the high premium in Indian society placed on this tiny membrane.  

Legal position in India:

Currently, there is a well-defined legal position on the question of disclosing the identity of victims of sexual crimes. According to Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, “Whoever prints or publishes the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under section 376, section 376A, section 376B, section 376C or section 376D is alleged or found to have been committed (hereafter in this section referred to as the victim) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.” Thus, the IPC prohibits the disclosure, not only of the victim’s name, but also of facts that could lead to the identification of the victim, such as the place of residence, identifying or naming the victim’s family or friends, university, or work details. This covers dead, minor victims and those with unstable minds. Even if the name is to be disclosed for welfare or legal reasons, this must be done in writing, only to the appropriate government authority, which does not include the media. The only exceptions are when identities are revealed to the police, or by, or with the authorization in writing of, the victim; or where the victim is dead or minor or of unsound mind, by, or with the authorization in writing of, the next- of- kin of the victim.    

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The great majority of news organizations in the U.S. do not publish names of alleged rape victims either at the time the rape is reported or when the victim testifies at trial. This “conspiracy of silence” is based, in part, on the media’s recognition that rape is more personal, traumatic, and stigmatizing than other crimes.  Rape victims are also treated differently than other crime victims by American society and the criminal justice system. Few years ago, NBC Nightly News sparked a nationwide debate when it broadcasted the name of the woman who had accused William

Kennedy Smith of rape after her identity had been disclosed by two tabloids. The accuser had not wanted her name revealed and was said to have been “shocked” by NBC’s decision.’ Although several news organizations, including The New York Times,” subsequently revealed the accuser’s name, the other major television networks and most media did not. To date, the United States Supreme Court has protected a news organization’s decision to disclose a rape victim’s name even though three states-Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia have statutes prohibiting the media from doing so. There is a century-long conflict between an individual’s right to privacy and the freedom of the press in the context of the media’s disclosure of rape victims’ names. The United States Supreme Court has generally protected the freedom of the press under the First Amendment; however, that the Court has left available an opportunity for a contrary interpretation under certain circumstances as in Florida Star v. BJ.F. ruling concerning the disclosure of rape victims’ names.

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My view:

Rape is the most under-reported heinous crime in the world. The more you under-report any crime, the more it becomes prevalent. The more the victim or society tries to hide the identity of victim, the more the potential rapists get encouragement to commit crime.  In my view, under-reporting of rape and withholding the identity of rape victim are two sides of the same coin, the coin of shame and dishonor unnecessarily borne by the victim whereas it should have been the rapist.    
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Gender differences in the perception of rape: The role of ambiguity:

Research indicates that males are more likely than females to perceive that forced intercourse was consensual (Abbey, 1982; Malamuth, Haber, & Feshback, 1980). In this vein, the present study tested the hypothesis that there are gender differences in the perception of rape, when the incident is ambiguous. Competing theories (Abbey’s contention that men misinterpret the cues given by women and the Gilligan / Hall suggestion that women are better at detecting cues than men) were also tested to determine which was better at explaining a gender difference. One hundred and five undergraduate psychology subjects watched a series of eight 5 minute film clips that ranged from mutually consenting sexuality to rape. After each presentation, they assessed the material on a number of variables involving the actors‘ pleasure, aggression, responsibility. willingness and whether or not a rape had occurred. Content coding was performed on open-ended responses to determine if women picked up more cues. Also, questions taken from Abbey’s (1982) research and content coding for interpretation were used to determine if men were making different interpretations than women. lt was hypothesized that both women and men would accurately identify non-ambiguous consenting sex or rape scenes. In contrast, ambiguous clips were expected to produce gender differences, in which women perceived ambiguous situations more as rapes, while men did not. Five dependent measures produced interactions, although not all in the predicted direction. The question central to the main hypothesis, which asked participants to place each clip on a continuum from mutually consenting to rape, produced an overall gender effect, in which men perceived the situations as more consensual than women did. Neither theory provided strong enough support to explain the gender differences in the perception of rape.

Note:

Since research clearly established that there are gender differences in the perception of rape, the biased role of a patriarchal society in perception of rape cannot be overlooked. Therefore, ideally, rape cases should be handles by woman police officers and woman judges.   

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Final comments:

Won’t castration or death penalty let those off the hook who are creating this rape culture? When can we force the government to increase budget allocations for women and girls, have better leaders representing the Women and Child Welfare Ministry and introduce power sharing for women at all levels of policy making?  An essential part of efforts to create a contemporary and democratic society where full gender equality is the norm is to recognize the right to equal participation of women and men, girls and boys, in all areas of society. Any society that claims to defend principles of legal, political, economic, and social equality for women and girls must reject the idea that women and children, mostly girls, are commodities inside or outside the home, upper or lower class or caste.  We need to make efforts to create a society where women and girls can live lives free of all forms of male violence. In combination with public education, awareness-raising campaigns, and victim support, the law and other legislation need to establish a zero tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and violence against women. The law needs to recognize that without men’s demand for and use of women and girls for sexual exploitation, the rape culture would not be able flourish and expand. For example, a good response would be to require every registered business, which requires a license to operate, to subject all employees to a sensitization on zero tolerance of sexual violence in and out of the work place. License renewal could be made dependent on the business submitting certificates to show that their employees have undergone Zero Tolerance of Sexual Violence training.  A combination of laws prescribing tough retribution with training in morals and ethics at every level of education and insistence on parental teaching would seem to be the best stratagem to counter natural animal instincts.

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The courts and the legislature have to make many changes if the laws of rape are to be any deterrence. The sentence of punishment, which normally ranges from one to ten years, where on an average most convicts get away with three to four years of rigorous imprisonment with a very small fine; and in some cases, where the accused is resourceful or influential- may even expiate by paying huge amounts of money and get exculpated. The courts have to comprehend the fact that these conscienceless criminals- who sometimes even beat and torture their victims- who even include small children, are not going to be deterred or ennobled by such a small time of imprisonment. Therefore, in the best interest of justice and the society, these criminals should be sentenced to life imprisonment. Law remains but the number of victims (including minor) continues to increase destroying the very soul of the helpless women.

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 The concept of marital rape does not exist in India. As discussed earlier, based on anonymous interviews with more than 10,000 men in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea, a UN study found that about one in ten men had raped a woman who was not his partner. When their wife or girlfriend was included, that figure increased to nearly a quarter. What are the reasons behind such a high prevalence of rape? One of the interesting aspects of the study is the way the questions were phrased. Instead of asking the participants whether they had ever raped a woman, the researchers asked if they had ever had sex with a woman against her will, which resulted in a positive response in many cases. The men who took part in the survey thought that they had a right to women’s sexual services automatically. There seems to be a culture of entitlement. This is why we need to work to change men’s attitudes towards women, gender relations and long-standing patriarchal structures. But we also need to focus on other aspects such as education, women’s economic empowerment and the justice system.

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 It is okay to blame govt. for its callousness, but it is more about the in-general mindset towards women. We claim to establish civilizations on earth, yet we lack the basic traits of human being. Government obviously needs to come up with stringent laws that send the right message across. More importantly, this generation of parents has to push for the change in mindsets that needs to begin at home. Bringing up our boys to become men who will respect women, who know that a “No” means “No”, and not a “Perhaps”, “Maybe”, or a “Yes”. Above all, we need to be a society mature enough to stop blaming the victim. 

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I quote myself from my article on “The Death”.

“May the punishment fit the crime!”  This is definitely the best definition of justice that has ever existed or ever will exist. A desire for justice is one of the inherent qualities of most humans, and it prevents society from falling into a despotic chaos where the average, peaceful person would be subject to the anger, violence, and madness of criminals. A society’s law, and the justice that is dispensed by its hands, is ultimately what keeps the citizenry of that society safe at night if anything does. For the sake of society’s stability, fair and swift justice must always exist, and the complete removal of people who would destroy that society through crime is absolutely necessary. All punishment by its nature is retributive, not only the death penalty. The basis of punishment is not how successful it will be in rehabilitating the offender but rather whether it is fair with respect to the crime committed. In other words, the basis of punishment is justice. So, whether the punishment meted out will reform the criminal or deter other would-be offenders is not the issue before family members of the victim. The one question they always ask is: “Does this punishment fit the crime that has been committed? The issue is not rehabilitation but whether the punishment fits the crime. This is retribution.

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When someone commits heinous crime like rape, society must take action against it as it violates accepted societal norms. So laws are made. First response to rape is justice. We have to do justice to victim. So punishment has to be given to rapist as retribution. Now whether that punishment deters others from committing similar crime or deters the rapist from committing another rape is another matter but justice to victim must be done. Punishment must be proportional to crime considering the harm done to the victim. Second response is deterrence. Specific deterrence means that rapist must not be allowed to commit similar crime again. General deterrence means other people must be discouraged to commit crime. The problem is, we mix up justice & retribution with deterrence. This is wrong logic. We always say that the punishment given must deter that offender to commit similar offence again and also general population to be afraid to commit similar crime due to severity of punishment.  Better reporting, better policing, better evidence gathering, better prosecution, fast track court, better conviction rates, better judiciary;  all contribute to deterrence but we illogically link severity of punishment with deterrence. Even if the punishment is unable to deter even single rape is future, if the punishment is proportional to crime, it must be given as a token of justice to victim. 

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I quote myself from my article on “The War”.

“The instinct to kill another human for territory (feeding) and rape his woman (breeding) is biological but the aversion to kill another human is the effect of socialization. That is why development of the state and socialization has dramatically reduced the level of warfare and violence compared to the ancestral environment. Many studies suggest that most soldiers resist firing their weapons in combat suggesting that human beings have evolved resistance to killing their fellow human beings. We are less at war in 21st century than previous century because we have become smarter, educated and democratized as compared to history and it is this socialization which has curbed our biological instinct to kill”.

I now add; it is this socialization that prevents biological instinct to rape.  

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Rape results in more Pregnancies than Consensual Sex:

Pregnancy resulting from rape is not rare. In 1982, Fertility and Sterility, the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, reported that the risk of pregnancy from a rape is the same as the risk of pregnancy from a consensual sexual encounter, 2–4%.  In fact, a woman is more than twice as likely to get pregnant during a rape as during consensual sex according to other studies. Recently, in 2003, husband-and-wife team Jonathan and Tiffani Gottschall, then at St. Lawrence University, identified even higher rape-related pregnancy rates. Analyzing survey results from 8,000 women around the country, they determined that 6.4 percent of rapes in women of childbearing age resulted in pregnancy. In cases where no birth control was used, the rate increased to 8 percent. Jonathan Gottschall and Tiffani Gottschall argued in a 2003 Human Nature article that previous studies of rape-pregnancy statistics were not directly comparable to pregnancy rates from consensual intercourse, because the comparisons were largely uncorrected for such factors as the use of contraception. Adjusting for these factors, they estimated that rapes are about twice as likely to result in pregnancies (8%) as “consensual, unprotected penile-vaginal intercourse” (2–4%).  They advanced the hypothesis that male rapists disproportionately target women exhibiting biological indications of fertility. In India, a study of married men revealed that men who admitted forcing sex on their wives were 2.6 times more likely to have caused an unintended pregnancy than those who did not admit to such behavior.  Jonathan Gottschall recognizes that there’s some “squishiness” in all of these numbers because they’re based on self-reported data. Still, he says, “the available data give us no reason to think that conception from rape is rare, or even that it is less rare than conception from consensual intercourse. If anything, the data suggest that things go the other way around.” Indeed, a 2001 study out of Princeton and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found the rate of pregnancy from consensual, unprotected sex to be just 3.1 percent. No one is sure why forced sex is statistically a more successful reproductive strategy than consensual sex. “We think it might be because rapists tend to target young women at peak fertility,” Gottschall says. Holmes confirms that most rapes occur in women under 25, and pre-pubescent girls, post-menopausal women and visibly pregnant women are statistically underrepresented among female rape victims. Rapists clearly target victims based on their likelihood of conception. They tend to preferentially target young, post-pubescent females that are in their reproductive prime. Age alone doesn’t it explain it, though, because per-incident rape-pregnancy rates are higher than consensual pregnancy rates even among young women. Seeking out youth and attractiveness — a fertility cue, according to a growing body of evidence — gives rapists the reproductive edge. Researchers propose that rapists target victims not only on the basis of age but based on a whole complement of physical and behavioral signals indicating the victim’s capacity to become pregnant and successfully carry a child to term. Studies have also found that sensitivity for potential coercive behaviors in males as well as handgrip strength (but only in a simulated coercive situation) increase during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle.

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A theory shows that the nature of a rapist’s ejaculate has something to do with his reproductive success. The semen contains follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which trigger ovulation during the female menstrual cycle. FSH is needed for sperm production, but the presence of LH in high levels is more mysterious because it’s not important for male fertility. It’s possible that seminal fluid released during forced sex contains higher-than-normal levels of these hormones — LH in particular — which may trigger ovulation in the victim.  There’s no direct evidence yet of sex-induced ovulation in humans, although there’s some very new research hinting at the possibility. The LH in semen has been shown to trigger ovulation in camels, alpacas and llamas. Semen also makes female koalas ovulate, although LH hasn’t been identified as the active ingredient in that species’ semen yet. A 1973 study found that 70 percent of conceptions from rape occurred outside a woman’s most fertile time. And a 1949 study cited seven women who reported becoming pregnant due to rape, despite having not had a period for up to two years leading up to the assault.  The idea that semen produced during rape is especially primed to promote pregnancy seems less far-fetched considering the well-established evidence that what a man is doing when he ejaculates affects the chemical makeup of his semen. Studies on artificial insemination show that semen collected from a man who used his imagination to become aroused and ejaculate is much less likely to result in conception than a sample collected from man watching porn. Even more potent is semen collected after coitus interruptus, i.e. pulling out during actual sex. The condition under which a man becomes aroused and ejaculates has been shown to affect factors like sperm count, shape and mobility. If semen changes based on context, it’s plausible, that participating in a rape can affect its chemical makeup. Ovulation-inducing semen would be especially useful during rape, which is usually a one-time encounter. As sinister as it is, the ability to unconsciously adjust semen to make it more potent during rape could be one reproductive strategy that evolved in men to increase their reproductive success.

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In a nutshell, the rate of pregnancy from consensual, unprotected sex is 2 to 4 percent while the rate of pregnancy from rape is 5 to 8 percent. So forced sex is indeed one of the reproductive strategies.  

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All studies on surgical and chemical castration shows that recidivism rates for sexual offences are significantly reduced after castration as compared to imprisonment.   

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So is rape about power and control over women or motivated by lust?

As discussed earlier, pregnancy rates by rape is even higher than consensual sex provided all other factors are same; if rape is about power and dominance then why pregnancy rate is higher in rape?  Even though the raped woman has resisted, fought back and traumatized, still she got pregnant. Obviously rape is more about sex than power. If rape is about power and not sex, why re-rape rate so low after castration?  Castrated sex offender can still rape woman with his fingers, tongue or bottle neck if power and dominance was the root cause of rape.

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Hypothetical experiment:

Let us imagine that there is one lonely attractive woman living in a town. Whenever she moves around at odd hours, some anti-social element keep on looking at her and rape her with their eyes. They are searching an opportunity to physically rape her taking advantage of her loneliness and poverty. One day she falls sick and diagnosed as cancer of vulva. She is operated in government hospital and vulva plus vagina is removed by surgery. The news spreads in a town. All those people who were eyeing her are also aware that she has lost her genitals. But she is still attractive with long hairs, beautiful face and developed breasts. Given an opportunity to rape, would those anti-social element attempt to rape her?

Never.

They know that even though she is attractive, she has lost her genitals and hence not worth raping. They can still rape her through anus or sexually assault her, but still they will ignore her. If power and dominance were the root cause of rape, she would be raped anyway. But since sex is the root cause of rape, she will never be raped in that town.

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The biggest argument of power theory feminists is that all men have sex desires but only few rapes; and therefore rape is not about sex but about showing power and dominance to woman and control her.

I disagree. Factual content is correct but logic is fallible.

I quote myself from my article “Science of Love”:

‘Even though romantic love and sexual desire (lust) are distinct, there is overlap between them neurobiologically which is proved by neuroimaging studies. It is the neo-cortex in humans that can override lust (sub-cortical neurochemical drive) under influence of culture, religion, laws and societal norms. That is why there is a difference between consensual sex and rape. Animals do not have neo-cortex and therefore cannot override neurochemical drive and hence the distinction between consensual sex and rape is blurred in animals. In my view, men who rape women show animal behavior. Consensual sex between man and woman could be a part of passionate (romantic) love while rape is violence’.

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Brownmiller’s dogmatic view that rape is primarily about power, and Thornhill & Palmer’s dogmatic view that rape is primarily sexually motivated are extremist views. All men have sexual desire but most do not rape because their neo-cortex is trained by culture, religion, education, society, fear of laws and good upbringing to override sub-cortical sex drives. Occasionally so called good men do rape under influence of alcohol when alcohol suppresses neo-cortex and they show animal behavior by raping woman. Power to dominate & control women and right to fulfillment of lust get merged in neo-cortex which fails to override sub-cortical neurochemical drive resulting in rape. All rapists know that there are laws against rape and rapists are looked down upon in the society but still go ahead with rape. It is unwise to separate power from lust and therefore the term sexual violence is most appropriate for rape. Remember, power is simply a means to an end – the end being fulfillment of lust.   

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Rape is sexual violence. There is no doubt in my mind that people who try to reduce rape to either sex or violence miss its complexity. By adopting one biased position — that rape is primarily sexual could be seen as providing a necessary antidote to the other dogmatic position, that it’s principally about power. Rape is mechanically impossible in the absence of male genital arousal and therefore to label rape as mere power and control apparatus without sexuality is unwise. As sexually reproducing animals, people have sexual urges. But to say that all men will rape under particular circumstances is like saying that all people will eat human flesh when stranded in the Andes. Even if true, does that make us born cannibals?  So rapes can be classified into two groups: those rapes where sex is the basis of rape and those rapes where power is the basis of rape; even though there is overlap between sex and power in every rape.  

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The anatomy of human rape:

Sex is the basis of rape Power is the basis of rape
Basis Biological reproductive strategy Cultural patriarchal dominance
Motive Sexual gratification To dominate over a female, control her
Violence Less violence More violence
Offending organ Penis motivated by sex drive Brain motivated by faulty conscience
Prevention Female has to change her behavior,looks, clothing, movement, Better policing,  harsh laws, better reporting
Support  Anti-feminist support sex as basis of rape Feminist support power as basis of rape
Set up Opportunistic rape more common Planned rape more common
Rape fantasies in mind Predominant Rare
Habitual offender Frequent Rare
Punishment Castration Imprisonment/ canning  
Religious leniency shown Yes No
Frequency of rape More Less
Involuntary orgasm Possible Improbable
Pregnancy Possible Improbable
PTSD Less severe Very severe
Victim rehabilitation Less difficult Very difficult
Move on Possible Difficult
Life time memory May be Always
Rape reporting Less  common More  common
False charge More common Less common
Acquaintance rape More common Less common
Stranger rape More common Less common

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Tarzan experiment:

If a human child is deserted and grows up with animals (e.g. Tarzan), that human neo-cortex will not be trained by any culture, religion, education and human upbringing; such a man would rape any woman at will whenever his libido is excited. The Tarzan shown in a movie is biologically false representation but it is a movie and not reality. The Tarzan in real life would rape woman at will without any remorse or restraint. We need to teach and train neo-cortex of men to control sub-cortical desires and instincts. Rape is about mind set of men and we need to change that mind set. Mere imprisonment/ death penalty/ castration would not change it.

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The moral of the story:

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1. In early human history, woman was considered as property of man and rape was considered as a passport to marriage. We have come a long way from that society till today where rape is one of the most heinous crimes in the world.

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2. As the focus of this article is rape of female by male; I define rape as a non-consensual sex coerced by man on woman/girl by inserting his penis into the vagina or mouth or anus of the woman/girl against her will and against her consent. Even if penis touches vagina/ mouth/ anus of her without actual penetration, it would still constitute rape. The insertion of non-penile objects [fingers, tongue, bottle neck, iron rod etc] with sexual intent would also constitute rape. The consent would become invalid if that consent is obtained by violence/ threat of violence to her/her kin; by threat of death to her/ her kin; by blackmail; by intoxicating her with alcohol/drugs; by impersonating; by false promise of marriage where the actual intent was to satisfy lust or by virtue of her being below the age of consent or mentally retarded.      

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3. Globally, one in four women experience rape or attempted rape and one in three girls report their first sexual experience being forced. One in three women experience marital rape at the hand of their husband. 

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4. About 80 to 90 % of rapes are not reported in the world. The more you under-report any crime, the more it becomes prevalent. The more the victim or society tries to hide the identity of victim, the more the potential rapists get encouragement to commit crime.  In my view, under-reporting of rape and withholding the identity of rape victim are two sides of the same coin, the coin of shame and dishonor unnecessarily borne by the victim whereas it should have been the rapist.    

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5. Sexual harassment means subtle rape and only 3 percent of women who have been sexually harassed make a formal complaint.  

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6. Rape is not looting the honor of woman; it is an act of dishonorable man against an honorable woman. Rape victim must be respected and rehabilitated by the society. The mentality that a woman’s chastity and dignity is forever lost once she is raped is a mentality that prohibits a large number of victims to complain against their offenders. Marriage to rapist can never be a solution to rape of unmarried victim because rape is a heinous crime against civilized society and marriage would be a reward to the rapist. The other honorable men have to come forward and marry an unmarried rape victim as she is also an honorable woman.     

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7. About 8 to 10 % of all rape charges are false charges. The complainants who made false rape allegations did so for five major reasons: providing an alibi, a means of gaining revenge, a platform for seeking attention/sympathy, to extort money and force boy friend to marry her.     

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8. Age is the most important factor of rape. 84 % of all women victims are less than 25 years of age. 93 % of all rapists are aged less than 30 years at the time of their first rape. This conclusively proves that rape prevention strategies must be initiated at a younger age.  

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9. Alcohol consumption and rape frequently co-exist and often alcohol is blamed for the event; however, it is not uncommon for men to drink alcohol prior to committing rape to have an excuse for their behavior.

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10. The sex industry including pornography makes women/girls sex objects to be abused by men and thereby increases sexual violence against them.  

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11. Research study found that at least one-third of men admit they would rape under specific conditions and other surveys find that many men state having coercive sexual fantasies.

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12. Rape research studies on convicted rapists may be irrelevant as a typical rapist is an acquaintance of the victim, does not have a criminal background, and has not been reported to the police.

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13. Sex without desire for sex is unwanted sex but it is not non-consensual sex. Not giving consent for sex is different from not having desire for sex. Consent and desire are not same although they often overlap. A woman in love with a man may have desire to have sex with him but refused to give consent as she is not married to him. A prostitute has no desire to have sex with man but gives consent for sex to earn livelihood.  

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14. ‘No’ means ‘No’ and when man continues to have sex with woman despite ‘No’, it is rape no matter whether man did not use force or whether woman did not offer resistance or whether they had consensual sex in the past or whether she said ‘Yes’ earlier but changed her mind before sex or whether she said ‘Yes’ for kissing and hugging and ‘No’ for intercourse but man penetrated her or whether she is a sex worker. There is nothing like ‘implied consent’ as far as sex between man and woman is concerned.    

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15. Orgasm during rape means the biology is betraying the mind. Orgasm during rape means neo-cortex is disassociated with sub-cortical autonomous biological drive. ‘No’ means ‘No’, even if the body says ‘Yes’ because that ‘No’ is given by her will while orgasm is an involuntary reflex of contraction of pelvis muscles and uterus due to entry of penis in the vagina stimulating the females erogenous zones. Orgasm during rape does not mean consent or pleasure. If you forcibly put a chocolate in the mouth of a woman, she will feel sweet taste but that does not mean that she consented for it and she enjoyed it.     

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16. If marital rape is same as non-marital rape, then, the concept of marriage should change. First reported non-consensual sex by husband with his wife must not be considered as a crime but instead annulment of marriage.  

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17. There is overwhelming evidence to show that male police officers are insensitive to rape; and believe that woman is lying, that she has loose character and she is herself responsible for rape due to her behavior, clothing and life style. When there is ambiguity between consensual sex and rape, men are more likely to perceive forced intercourse as consensual. Therefore, ideally, rape cases must be handled by women police officers and women judges to avoid gender bias.   

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18. On ‘Attitudes Towards Rape Scale’ developed by a researcher, no significant differences among rapists, police officers, and citizens were found regarding most attitudes towards rape. That means rape-supportive attitudes and beliefs exist in general among men.     

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19. DNA evidence is available in only 10-20 percent of rape cases. If DNA is found, the perpetrator claims consensual sex. If DNA isn’t found, the perpetrator claims there wasn’t an assault. It comes out to the perpetrator’s advantage in most cases. Use of DNA evidence would make false rape charge about 20 to 40 % which is unrealistically high. In 40 % of rape cases, ejaculation does not take place despite penetration. So absence of perpetrator’s DNA in vagina or vulva does not mean that rape did not occur. The public, the media, the prosecution and the judges are fascinated with DNA evidence but it is quite fallible. No court should exonerate accused merely on the basis of absence of DNA evidence.   

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20. Even after reporting rapes, only about one out of four reported rapes leads to an arrest, and only about one out of four arrests leads to a felony conviction and incarceration in the U.S.; and arrest & conviction rates of developing nations like India could be worse. Even more troubling is that the average sex offender may commit hundreds of crimes in his lifetime, which means that the vast majority of rapes go undetected and unpunished.

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21. For convicted rapists there is a stable 2 to 3 per cent recidivism rate for new sexual charges per year. However since the rape is the most under-reported crime in the world, convicted rapists are at the tip of the iceberg. A study found that 55.4% rapists raped only once while rest all have raped several times. 4 % of rapists have raped 10 times. The majority of sex offenders are not within the prison system, but on the street. The accused of the gang-rape of the photojournalist in Mumbai had committed at least five rapes in the same spot. Their casual confidence reinforces the notion that rape has been a largely invisible crime, where convictions are rare and victims keep mum. In my view, most sex offenders are habitual sex offenders and they will keep on raping repeatedly and get away as most rapes are never reported and most reported rapes are never convicted.    

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22.Rape is not only non-consensual sex but leads to physical, social, psychological, emotional, sexual, marital, economic and spiritual harm to rape survivor over lifetime and therefore sex offender must be severely punished no matter whether the punishment is deterrent or not.   

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23. To say that tougher sentences do not deter is meaningless if there is a low probability that sex offenders will even be caught and convicted in the first place, proved by the fact that 3 out of 100 sex offenders will ever spend a day in prison. Better reporting, better policing, better evidence gathering, better prosecution, fast track court, better conviction rates and better judiciary;  all contribute to deterrence but we illogically link severity of punishment with deterrence. Even if the punishment is unable to deter even single rape is future, if the punishment is proportional to the crime, it must be given as a justice to victim. Punishment should always be proportionate and commensurate to the gravity of offence and deterrence is not the primary reason for tougher sentencing.  

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24. It would be foolish to claim that any punishment strategy will have a 100% deterrent effect on 100% of sex offenders all of the time, but then it would be equally foolish to claim that no sex offender is ever deterred by any punishment however tough. The truth lies somewhere in between, and will vary from offender to offender. 

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25.The duty of the society is to ensure that most rapes are reported, most reported rapes are swiftly prosecuted and most prosecution of rapes result in conviction & punishment efficiently; rather than debating deterrence effects of punishment. It is the certainty of punishment rather than the severity of its form that could act as a deterrent, and that certainty can be achieved by improving rape reporting rates and rape conviction rates which are abysmally low.  

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26. Rape by definition does not include death of victim or even severe injury to victim and when severe injury or death occurs, it is an additional another crime well beyond rape. Although the rapists deserve severe punishment, rape per se cannot be equated with murder and therefore death penalty for rape is excessive punishment. Death penalty for rape would reduce the conviction rate further and thereby reduce the deterrence effect.     

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27. Delhi gang rape juvenile who lured the victim in the bus, who raped her twice, who inserted iron rod in her vagina and who recommended to throw her out of bus to be killed by other traffic; is a monster. The monster will play games and watch TV in Juvenile Shelter Home for 2 years and four months. By letting him off the hook, India has done a grave disservice to humanity in general and to women’s right in particular. India has shown to the world that in the land of Mahatma Gandhi, such devils enjoys life. The only way to amend the wrong is to enact laws to punish such juvenile sex offender severely as other nations have done.  Juvenile sex offenders between the age of 15 to 18 years must be punished as adults with rigorous imprisonment and also subjected to behavioral therapy, both reduce recidivism.   

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28. What Indian media was doing in Delhi gang-rape case was hiding the faces of rape accused and thereby giving encouragement to future rapists that their faces will be hidden till their conviction and since conviction in India takes many years and conviction rates are very low, they can lead a dignified life in society despite committing heinous crime of rape. Faces of rape accused can be shown by media after their identification is done by eye witness before police and/or court.  

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29. There is overwhelming evidence to show that rape is sexually motivated rather than power to control & dominate women, and therefore the term sexual violence is most appropriate for rape. Higher pregnancy rates in rape than consensual sex and low recidivism rates after castration proves sexual basis for rape. Rape is mechanically impossible in the absence of male genital arousal and therefore to label rape as mere power and control apparatus without sexuality is unwise and illogical.  

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30.Majority of rapes are committed by men as sexual entitlement as they feel it is their right to have sex with women to fulfill lust no matter she refuses; and force is used to get the entitlement. Minority of rapes are committed by rapists to control and dominate woman. A high proclivity to rape is associated with a semantic network in which concepts of sex and power are closely linked in such a way that power cues are necessary precursors of sexual feelings. Power is simply a means to an end – the end being fulfillment of lust.    

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31. To call castration as cruel and unusual punishment is to turn blind eye to the biological basis of rape. What is cruel and unusual is allowing sex offenders to attack innocent women and children. Those who say that justice cannot be achieved through mutilation forget the mutilation of rape survivor. Prison simply produces devious criminals and recidivism rates of sex offence after prison sentence is as high as 50 % for pedophiles and 20 to 30 % for common rapists. People who argue that rape is about power and control miss the point that castration, by taking the offender’s power and control exercised through penis, would remove the perverse sexual pleasure the offender gets from his acts. People who oppose castration on the basis of human rights of sex offenders undermine the human rights of innocent women and children. 

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32. There is overwhelming evidence to show that castration (surgical/chemical) significantly reduces recidivism rates to 2% to 5% in most sex offenders including pedophiles, paraphiliacs and habitual & serial rapists. Castration must be legalized to punish and/or to treat sex offenders in all nations. In order to increase the acceptability of chemical castration as punishment for sex offender in society, legislature and judiciary; media is requested to use the term “Anti-androgenic treatment” instead of chemical castration.    

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33. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and psycho-educational approach may be combined with castration and/or imprisonment for reducing recidivism rates further. 

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34. The concept of ‘interventional impotence’ is proposed by me as a punishment of habitual sex offenders to solve the menace of rapes committed by sex offenders who re-offended after castration. I recommend surgical disruption of terminal branches of both internal pudendal arteries (carrying blood to corpora cavernosa) and both cavernous nerves (carrying S2, S3, S4 parasympathetic supply to corpora cavernosa)  together to make castration-resistant sex offender permanently impotent. The habitual sex offenders, pedophile sex offenders, paraphiliac sex offenders and recurrent & serial rapists may be subjected to surgical castration with interventional impotence to save our children, and our women.        

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35.  Libido (sex drive) is a strong instinct.  Thoughts about sex are said to be constantly swirling in the minds of most men. Fulfillment of a sexual desire is a natural quest. All men have sexual desire but many do not rape despite getting an opportunity because their neo-cortex is trained by culture, religion, education, society, fear of laws and good upbringing to override sub-cortical sex drives. We ought to teach and train neo-cortex of our teens to control sub-cortical biological sex drive as they reach puberty, and to respect women. Rape is about mind set of men and we need to change that mind set. Mere imprisonment/ death penalty/ castration would not change it. Better upbringing, better education, better neighborhood, better peers and better society can change that mind set.   

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Dr. Rajiv Desai. MD.  

November 1, 2013

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Postscript:

I request police, media, prosecutors, judges, policy makers and women’s organizations to read this article. Their comments/ criticisms/ suggestions may be conveyed to me at my email address [email protected].  

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