More angry at women, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes


A study by David Lisak of U Mass Boston, Understanding the Predatory Nature of Sexual Violence [pdf]. A significant point:

There is also a set of newer myths about rape, myths that have been
spawned by the new generation of victimization studies that have emerged since
the 1980’s. These studies documented that rape was both far more prevalent than
traditional crime surveys indicated, and that most rape victims did not report
their victimization. These studies also clearly revealed that most rapes are not
committed by strangers in ski masks, but rather by “acquaintances” or “nonstrangers.”

These realizations led to the general adoption of new language and new
categories of rape. Terms such as “acquaintance rape” and “date rape” emerged
and took hold. Unfortunately, these new terms have created a new mythology
about rape. The term “date rape,” which has become woven into the fabric of
public discourse about sexual violence, carries with it the connotation of “rape
lite.” Victims of date rape are typically viewed as less harmed than victims of stranger rape; and “date rapists” are typically viewed as less serious offenders, and frankly less culpable than stranger rapists. Date rape is often viewed more in
traditionally civil than in traditionally criminal terms: as an unfortunate
encounter in which the two parties share culpability because of too much alcohol
and too little clear communication.

One of the consequences of this new mythology of date rape is that there
has been very little, if any, cross-communication between the study of date rape –
a literature typically based in, and focused on college campuses – and the longestablished literature on sex offenders and sexual predators. In fact, in the author’s personal experience, there is typically considerable resistance within
civilian universities to the use of the term “sex offender” when referring to the
students who perpetrate acts of sexual violence on campuses. This resistance is
one of the legacies of the term, “date rape,” and it has served to obscure one of the
unpleasant facts about sexual violence in the college environment: that just as in the larger community, the majority of this violence is committed by predatory individuals who tend to be serial and multi-faceted offenders.

That’s a disturbing fact. I think I’d thought of it in just the mistaken way Lisak points out: as different from stranger rape, and thus more opportunistic than something done by predatory individuals. The latter version is an unpleasant thought.

And then there’s the motivation…’

Many of the motivational factors that were identified in incarcerated
rapists have been shown to apply equally to undetected rapists. When compared
to men who do not rape, these undetected rapists are measurably more angry at
women, more motivated by the need to dominate and control women, more impulsive and disinhibited in their behavior, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes, less empathic and more antisocial.

I recognize the type.

Comments

  1. jenBPhillips says

    If other readers are wondering, as I did, what the hell an ‘undetected rapist’ is, it is explained earlier in the document:

    As this new generation of victimization research was disseminated, it revealed with increasing clarity an enormous gap in the research on sex offenders. There were studies of incarcerated rapists, but there was almost no research on the men who were actually committing the vast majority of rape – non-stranger rapists whose victims rarely report, and who were almost never subject to prosecution. 23-24
    This gap began to close with research that began in the mid-1980’s, and that focused on non-incarcerated rapists. Researchers discovered that it was possible to gather accurate data from these men because they did not view themselves as rapists. They shared the very widespread belief that rapists were knife-wielding men in ski masks who attacked strangers; since they did not fit that description, they were not rapists and their behavior was not rape. This has allowed researchers to study the motivations, behaviors and background characteristics of these so-called “undetected rapists.”

    Chilling stats throughout that whole report. Brrrr.

  2. says

    I have problems with terms like “hyper-masculine.” I understand what is intended by it but I have all the normal equipment and all the normal feelings and I’ve probably had my share of romantic encounters, but what would be added to this by my treating women like shit and going around raping them? In what sense are these people more masculine than me? I don’t really care how people rate my masculinity, but I find the vocabulary surrounding these issues somewhat puzzling.

  3. says

    Bernard – I think it means “hyper” in the sense of defining it as NotWoman; the opposite of woman. It’s the mentality in which men insult other men by calling them girls or bitches.

  4. scenario says

    Isn’t an opportunist rapist just a different type of predator? Some predators aggressively look to set up a situation in order to rape. A few are less aggressive sexual predators and only rape if the situation happens to be right. I don’t think it means very much to the victim that the rapist just took advantage of the situation rather than deliberately setting it up in advance.

    I also thinks that opportunistic only works for the first rape. If someone rapes more than once, its not opportunistic, they are serial rapist. Serial rapists may be opportunistic but they didn’t become serial rapist by accident.

  5. Dave Ricks says

    A superlative can mean a negation: ultrasonic means acoustics in high frequencies beyond sonic (human hearing), so ultrasonics are not sonic.

  6. leftwingfox says

    In what sense are these people more masculine than me?

    He means gendered signifiers. By “hyper-masculine” he means guys who are unusually invested in clothing, activities, foods, etc which the culture equates with “manliness”, and shun or disparage clothing, activities, foods which are coded feminine.

    For example, beer and whisky are not gendered in and of itself. Through marketing and pop culture, we consider them more of masculine drinks than, say, wine coolers. The “Hyper-masculine” guys are the kind who will drink only beer or whisky, and actively mock any man who doesn’t as gay or a woman.

  7. Bill M says

    So, if I enjoy hunting, fishing, motorsports, drink whiskey and beer, engage in intense athletic activities I’m not “hyper-masculine” because I don’t disparage anyone not engaged in the same activities? So I can say a hyper feminist hates men, wears only designer fashions, drinks wine and Cosmos, would NEVER have a child and disparages women who are stay at home moms, wear clothes from Sears or JCP and appreciate their husbands. Right, got it. Hyper is a negative connotation, especially when attached to masculinity.

  8. says

    Bill M – in answer to your first question – yes.

    I don’t understand how that got you to your second question, or your conclusion. I don’t understand what you’re annoyed about. Do you actually want to be hyper-masculine? You want to be anxious and defensive and hostile about it?

    Also, the parallel for hyper-masculine would be hyper-feminine, not hyper-feminist.

  9. says

    these undetected rapists are measurably more angry at
    women, more motivated by the need to dominate and control women, more impulsive and disinhibited in their behavior, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes, less empathic and more antisocial.

    Thank goodness that doesn’t describe any famous skeptics.

  10. Shatterface says

    This resistance is one of the legacies of the term, “date rape,” and it has served to obscure one of the
    unpleasant facts about sexual violence in the college environment: that just as in the larger community, the majority of this violence is committed by predatory individuals who tend to be serial and multi-faceted offenders.

    They’ve probably got an extra Y chromosome too.

    Honestly, I thought we’d got beyond the idea that there were types of men who commit rape and types who don’t.

  11. says

    “Beyond” it? Meaning that the idea is regressive in some way?

    But why would it be? We don’t want to get “beyond” the idea that psychopathy is not universal, do we? If predatory behavior is in fact not universal, it’s not regressive to say it’s not, is it? And would we want it to be universal?

  12. says

    leftwingfox said:

    For example, beer and whisky are not gendered in and of itself. Through marketing and pop culture, we[1] consider them more of masculine drinks than, say, wine coolers. The “Hyper-masculine” guys are the kind who will drink only beer or whisky, and actively mock any man who doesn’t as gay or a woman.

    Then they are just idiots; I know plenty of women and gay men who drink beer and/or whisky. I also have a Zambian friend who fought in the war against the Smith’s government;[2] he presumably would be “too feminine” for them because he only ever drinks red wine, not that he would care.

    I don’t seem to know any of these “hyper-masculine” types, probably because I don’t suffer fools gladly. I don’t think I know anyone who goes hunting; there are plenty of deer in the forest in Ashridge, near where I live, but why should I want to go and shoot them?[3] I might if I were starving, but otherwise it’s a stupid thing to do. I do have some acquaintances, not really friends, who go fishing for fun, but that strikes me as pretty stupid too. I can’t understand the mindset of one who sees a fish swimming around minding its own business and feels he has to pull it out with a hook.

    I’m not much of a whisky drinker myself, but I am partial to a good quality Islay, and it has to be in an environment where I can enjoy it at my leisure – i.e. not in a noisy pub. I guess that’s not the sort of whisky drinking the “hyper-masculine” go in for.

    Footnotes:
    [1] Speak for yourself!

    [2] I’m not sure if it should be called a war of independence because Ian Smith had already declared independence form the UK.

    [3] Even if it were legal.

  13. says

    Honestly, I thought we’d got beyond the idea that there were types of men who commit rape and types who don’t.

    Why would you think that? There is a type. It’s just that there’s little to nothing in the way of visible markers for the type.

  14. says

    Also, Bernard – congrats on bucking the trend but that doesn’t negate the existence of the trend. Nor is your personal status as outlier particularly relevant to the discussion of the trend.

  15. says

    Honestly, I thought we’d got beyond the idea that there were types of men who commit rape and types who don’t.

    Wait what? Am I understanding you right?

    Within the group “men who commit rape” there is likely to be variation. In fact that very difference between the violent-in-the-park-at-midnight and the date rapist serves to define a spectrum at least. Something like rape simply can not be solved without looking at the behavior patterns of terrible people and noting styles and patterns that include the criminals among PUAs.

    In fact I find it highly likely that the material Ms. Benson posted here is in fact descriptions of cultural evolution around a subject that includes many people consciously or unconsciously desperate to keep that R-word off of their behavior. I would equally fine assuming variation among the strategies and behaviors employed by these rapists familiar with their victims.

  16. leftwingfox says

    I don’t understand this at all. It looks like you (Bill and Bernard) read:

    When compared to men who do not rape, these undetected rapists are measurably more angry at
    women, more motivated by the need to dominate and control women, more impulsive and disinhibited in their behavior, more hyper-masculine in their beliefs and attitudes, less empathic and more antisocial.

    And despite multiple people noting that hyper-masculine is “stakes their manhood on liking ‘guy’ stuff and hating ‘girl’ stuff” you seem committed to the notion that “masculine is evil”. It’s not. Liking stuff isn’t the problem. Enforcing who is supposed to like what based on their gender is.

    Oh and btw:

    [1] Speak for yourself!

    I meant “we” as in “our culture in general” not “everyone specifically, NO EXCEPTIONS.” Dial it back.

  17. freemage says

    scenario@4: That’s what jumped out at me, too. I would go further, though. All rapes, really, are ‘opportunist’–the rapist goes out, seeking to create the conditions which will permit them to commit rape. When they succeed, the attempt is made. That they have different approaches, and thus different conditions they seek to create, doesn’t change the fact that their methodology is quite similar. Find suitable environment; optimize conditions; commit act. It’s methodical and deliberate and utterly vile, in all cases.

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