Erotic Preference, Gender Identity, and Aggression in Men: New Research Studies

Erotic Preference, Gender Identity, and Aggression in Men: New Research Studies

Erotic Preference, Gender Identity, and Aggression in Men: New Research Studies

Erotic Preference, Gender Identity, and Aggression in Men: New Research Studies

Synopsis

A fresh and challenging re-evaluation of the interrelationship between sexual and gender behavior and aggression. Drawing on a series of previously unpublished controlled research studies on rapists, pedophiles, incest offenders, voyeurs, transsexuals, and homosexuals (among others), the book offers startling new findings- e.g., crossdressing and feminine gender identity in rapists believed to be ultra-masculine, aggressiveness in pedophiles believed to be shy and passive. This book brings a new perspective to understanding sexual anomalies and to the conceptual foundations on which clinical research and treatment of these behaviors rests.

Excerpt

Ron Langevin, Daniel Paitich, Anne E. Russon Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto

An important fundamental question has yet to be addressed empirically before we can understand and satisfactorily design treatment programs for sexually aggressive men. Is rape an anomalous sexual act, the forceful taking of normal sexual pleasure by an antisocial individual or a blend of both? Stoller (1975) considered rape, among other "perversions," to be "erotic forms of hatred" in which the core desire is to hurt people. Some contemporary exponents of women's rights also express the strong opinion that rape is fundamentally an aggressive act. Brownmiller (1975), for example, stated categorically that from prehistoric times to the present, rape has been a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear. One might expect from this point of view that rapists would not be different from the average person. Nevertheless she concurred that the typical American rapists is an aggressive hostile youth who chooses to do violence to women. She also noted that the rapists "borrows" the characteristics of assaultive and property offenders; he damages another person like assaultive men do, and like the robber, he acquires property; he wants "to have" her body. So a female is seen as both a hated person and desired property.

Holmstrom and Burgess (1980), among others, also described rape as "an act of violence expressing power, aggression, conquest, degradation, anger, hatred, and contempt". They examined 115 rape victims and reported on the sexual acts performed by the assailants. Although the majority performed vaginal intercourse (96%) and fellatio (22%), up to 5% urinated on the victim or their underwear, placed a knife handle in the vagina or placed semen on the victim's body. Thus, a minority of cases seem sadistic, but the majority could be satisfying strictly conventional albeit "stolen" sexual needs.

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