May we take a moment to joggle down the lane of one of the most rampant, yet disheartening cases in Nigeria today? An obnoxious act termed Rape. But this time I’m trying to answer the seldom asked question; “why do men rape?” I strongly believe this is something that would benefit the lot.
Many times we hear of men raping women. We also hear that some rapists are being apprehended. But how many times have we read on the reasons these despicable acts occur? We know little to nothing as to why rape actually happens.
For instance, here is a news you and I are familiar with,
“The Nigerian police recorded 717 rape cases between January and May. 799 suspects have so far been arrested while 631 cases have been conclusively investigated and charged to court. 52 cases are still being investigated.”
This statement was made by The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, as reported by Premium Times (Abuja) in June 2020.
But the news we are unfamiliar with is the one that explains why exactly men rape. What are the propelling forces behind this act? I think this is a question you and I deserve to have an answer to.
My first article on rape,titled SAY NO TO RAPE I received a comment asking me to write about the causes of rape. I would like to apologize because this actually took a while longer than it should. I needed to make a thorough research so as to be able to get the fact and accurately put my words together.
This article, I believe will reveal some profound reasons behind raping. I must mention though, that these reasons in no way justify the cases of rape. But if we are to treat an epidemic as in the case of rape, wouldn’t it be only reasonable to at least understand if not all, but some of the causes of this rape?
Before I continue, I want to take you on a train with me regarding my thoughts on rape. I call them my wonders.
I often wonder why a man would prefer to go through the stress of aggressively pinning down a female and forcing himself on her when he has other numerous options. Especially if there is a possibility of him being apprehended or becoming publicly shamed when caught. Is it just me or do you wonder also?
I wonder what goes through his mind in the process of the act. Does he even cringe when she wriggles and groans in pain, when she struggles and cries bitterly? Or could this agony be exactly what he finds pleasurable? Yet again, I wonder.
Does he care that he is snatching a significant part of her life away because of his abominable act? Does it bother him that she may never remain the same again forever after this few minute/seconds of act of callousness from him? I wonder.
Again, I wonder, Can a human being be so desperate that he would deaden his sense of humanity towards another being like himself just for pleasure? Does he for once put himself in the shoes of the female that he is perpetrating? Does he think, “What if the case was reversed?” Or is it that he suddenly becomes numb in the process?
All this and more I thought about, coupled with the request made on my last post about rape, and I decided to make thorough findings on why exactly do men rape?
Protest all we want but without getting to and addressing the source of this inordinate act, we may never see the end of it. And putting these perpetrators behind bars would just be a means of treating a symptoms rather than the cause itself. This is not the way.
Here is another scenario that should warrant finding answers to why men rape.
If as a lady I got raped. The first most likely questions that I’d be addressed with would be, “Why did you dress like that? What were you doing at that hours of the day?”
In one minute or so, I’d take the position of the culprit. Is this fair? Of course not.
But then, maybe I was indeed immodest. Maybe I was walking at the wrong time in the wrong place, just maybe.
Last month I read a story about a three year old girl whose father had raped in the absence of her mother as she was admitted at the hospital due to her recent delivery of a child, who by the way is also the man’s (rapist in question) child.
So tell me, how do you describe a three year old girl being raped by her own father? What kind of indecency crime had she committed? Could a three year old have seduced her own father as well? Could she have been walking in the wrong place at the wrong time? No, I don’t think so.
So, I’m glad that you and I have come to agree that dressing is but a feeble excuse in the cause of rape. Instead, it is just a way to make the perpetrator have an escape route or something to use as a defence and justification of an unjustifiable action in the society or court.
However, I would like to emphasize the fact that I’m in no way disregarding the existence of female rapists. Oh yes, I believe they very much exist as well. But if we are being sincere, we’d all agree that male rapists are more prevalent than female rapists. So, this article focuses more on male to female rapist.
Below are the commonly known reasons men rape.
- Abusive background– Rape can be genetic. It can be passed down from one generation to another. Some men that rape today are merely repeating what has been done to them while they were young. Research shows that, 80.9% of inmates rapist prisoners revealed that they were abused as children implying that they had become sexually active at an early age.
- Substance usage – another research also shows that by 89% of inmates were always under the influence of alcohol while 10.9% were under the influence of hard drugs.
Moreover, some normal walking men you see out there are sex addicts. Just like one can be addicted to drugs, some people also get addicted to sex. Sex addicts are real!
Other factors that influence rape are, exposure to online pornography and nude magazines, especially at a tender age.
However, in addition to these reasons, there are other psychological reasons behind rape.
Thanks to the meticulous research carried out by RESEARCH GATE on Why Do Men Rape? An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective, this article explains in depth some factors leading men to rape.
This research article proposed ﬁve types of rapists,
1. Disadvantaged men who resort to rape,
2. “specialized” rapists who are sexually aroused by violent sex,
3. Opportunist rapists,
4. High-Mating-Effort Rapists
5. Partner rapists
Let’s examine them one after the other.
These are men who are motivated to rape if they have no other means of securing copulations because they believe they are unattractive. Better put, these are men who are sexually deprived. This may also be referred to as the disadvantaged male hypothesis. This hypothesis is supported by data that revealed that rapes are committed by men who have low socioeconomic status.
In general, this hypothesis makes known that men who are unattractive tend to rape more than men who are.
This is another type of rapist. Men in this group are identified by being sexually aroused by violent sexual stimuli. Specialized rapists also might possess mechanisms that cause them to view victims of rape as being more attractive than those of consensual partners.
These type of rapists look for women who are willing to have sex with them, but tend to become sexually aggressive and coercive once these women become less willing.
In addition, opportunistic rapists are men that rape when their chances of being caught are low.
Take for instance, the regular occurrence of rape during war time is an evidence that men tend to take advantage of the vulnerability of the victims especially when they are less likely to get caught or punished.
This can also be attributed to the research which revealed that men hardly assault their female partner who has her family members (especially male family members) living nearby. Why? Because they are more likely to dance to the tune of their music. In other words, they are more likely to be punished.
These type of rapists have been shown to have more sexual experience than the opportunistic rapists, or any other type of rapist. These rapists may be characterized as aggressive, dominant, and having high self-esteem or as psychopaths.
Moreover, a condition where the individual’s sex urge is not met can lead to an act of rape which may also arise to sexual coercion.
This is the ﬁnal proposed rapist type. No doubt, some people are still not able to welcome the notion that husbands do rape their wives. But whether or not they welcome it, it doesn’t erase the fact that husbands do rape their wives. It happens, yes.
Men in this category are more likely to rape their partners when they suspect that their partner has been sexually unfaithful.
This type of rapist is also often found among men who have spent a significant amount of time away from their partner. This results in their partner being more attractive to them.
Surprisingly, some men claim not to know the degree of the consequences for this action. This, I perceive as a mere excuse. Nevertheless, it shows that there is an urgent need to put the word out there. You cannot go about hurting another human and claim not to be aware that there would be consequences.
How can women protect themselves?
After my research, I observed that there is little we can do in addressing the causes of rape. I mean how do we address the case of a man who thinks of himself as unattractive and has issues with getting women (the disadvantaged type of rapist)?
But part of what we can do is to devise ways by which women can protect themselves from these perpetrators. But then, how does a three year old protect herself from being raped by her own father?
Statistics has shown that any female, irrespective of age, gender, creed, ethnicity or religion, is at a risk of being sexually abused.
What can we do to not be victims of these perpetrators? I have so far come across very little or no research regarding this aspect.
Thus, I recommend that more research should be carried out to establish ways by which females, both young and old, can protect themselves from the hands of rapists.
Also, more research should be undertaken to know more about the causes of rape and how to approach them.
I urge our law enforcement not to take the cases of rape with levity. No perpetrator should ever go scot free.
Women Rights must not relent. The fight for justice needs to continue.
In the meantime, mothers check and examine your little daughters as often as possible. Educate them on what kinds of touches are acceptable and which ones aren’t, monitor where they go and how/who they spend time with. These devouring lions are out there desperately seeking whom to devour. May that prey not be your daughter. And may it not be you, nor me.
Ladies, we must be watchful and vigilant. Guys as well should take caution, female rapists are real!
The more we are enlightened on what the causes of rape are, the more we know where to start dealing with them and how to protect ourselves. Please do share to enlighten others as well. We all need to know this.
Tell us in the comment box how you think we can start addressing these causes of rape and how females can protect themselves, to bring the act of rape to a level of vandalism. If there are other causes of rape you’d like to share with us, please feel free to do so.