Psychology of rapists


Frequent incidents of rape often make us wonder about the psychology of a rapist. Sexual arousal and violence are two opposite things for most of the normal men. How could one maintain sexual arousal in the state of profuse violence and resistance is a point of research for most of the studies undertaken in this field.

Studies have shown than most men get turned-off on sexual violence under normal conditions. But a normal man who has been drinking or who has become angry at a woman or who believes that she was “asking for it” can often be capable of getting aroused by violence. It doesn’t mean he’s necessarily going to rape, but it means he can get aroused by the idea, which is a necessary precondition for rape.

Some men are always occupied with a fixed sexual fantasy, which they try to act out in the rape, such as a fantasy in which they force a woman to have sex, and she then falls in love with them. This is a unique fancy-hood lived by the rapist. These are the least aggressive of rapists and are the most likely to flee if a woman puts up a strong resistance.

Acts of sex and violence share the hormone testosterone, and so the two are biologically linked. Primeval men were “rewarded” for aggression by gaining access to women and protecting them from other males. This may have caused sexual aggressive impulses in men to be passed down through generations. This does not excuse sexual assault, however, as men have control over these urges.

Social pressure and culture tend to have greater influence over people’s behavior than genetics or biology.

It is when a woman says, “No,” or “Stop,” these men become angry with the woman rather than questioning their own behavior. Men who rape sometimes have antisocial tendencies. Those who are antisocial care less about society’s rules and judgments. Therefore, men who rape could possibly not care about punishment.

Men who perceived their peers approved of sexual aggression reported they engaged in verbally coercive behavior, this might be because sexually aggressive men seek out other sexually aggressive men to be part of their peer group. 

There was less connection between social acceptance and acts of rape than between social acceptance and sexual coercion. 

Ohio University sociologist Martin D. Schwartz and West Virginia University sociology professor Walter Dekeseredy explored the relationship between social support and sexual aggression in their book titled “Sexual Assault On the College Campus: The Role of Male Peer Support.”

In the book, they said several studies have found that men who have friends or peers who express acceptance of aggression towards women are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior themselves. Some of these men saw violence and danger as part of masculinity. They also said there was no evidence that mentally ill men are more likely to rape compared to non-mentally ill men.


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