This section will more closely examine the social and cultural conditions that intensify or
perpetuate rape. The causes and reasons for rape are deeply entrenched in our social structure. Up
to this point, we have explored some of the motivations and circumstances which lead men to
rape. We have learned that men rape out of anger and a need to overpower, dominate, and
humiliate. We have also looked at some of the historical attitudes from which today's beliefs and
stereotypes have evolved. However, we must look beyond both rapists' motivations and history if
we are to truly understand the act of rape.
Why does rape exist? What causes rape? What is it about our society that makes rape one
of the fastest growing violent crimes in this country? Rape prevention techniques are very
important in decreasing the vulnerability of individuals, but in order to eliminate-the occurrence
of rape from our society, we must first examine its causes more deeply so that we can take
collective action. We must understand the sociology of rape in order to effectively work towards
the elimination of it.
Despite the necessity for rape prevention, it is, to some degree, like applying a "band-aid"
on the problem. The underlying reasons and causes for rape must be defined, examined and
resolved or rape will not cease. Rape Prevention must focus on eliminating the conditions in
society which make women easy targets for rape. Victim control or rapist control alone are not
effective. Victim control teaches women to avoid rape, but doesn't reduce the threat of rape.
Furthermore, rape cannot always be avoided, no matter what precautions the woman takes. It also
puts part of the responsibility and blame for rape on the victim. Rapist control confuses
prosecutions with prevention. There is little evidence that punishment serves as a deterrent.
Besides, very few rapist are ever incarcerated.
From very early ages, men and women are conditioned to accept different roles. Women...