RAPE

A sexual deviation in which sexual relations are forced upon another person.Forceable rape is distinguished from statutory rape, which consists of sexual relations outside of marriage with a female under the legal age of consent (usually eighteen) even if she participates voluntarily. Over 16,000 cases of forceable rape were reported in 1962, according to the FBI. The offenders are practically always males, most often in their early twenties. Over half of them are married and living with their wives at the time of the offense.Extensive studies indicate that most rapists are antisocial personalities, many of them with police records for aggressive offenses. One investigator, Kopp (1962), has described the rapist in these words: “This antisocial psychopath is a cold, seemingly unfeeling man who has always taken what he wanted from others without apparent concern for the feelings of his victims or for the consequences of his act. For him, rape is just another instance of aggressive taking, except that in this case he steals sexual satisfaction rather than money or property. When questioned about his offense, he often responds with callous sarcasm, completely devoid of guilt or concern. He may well simply respond with the statement, ‘I wanted it so I took it.’ The rape fits so well with his character structure and is so typical of his general behavior pattern that he can see nothing wrong with the act, and often goes on to rationalize that the victim probably enjoyed it. He wants no part of therapy unless he sees it as a means of manipulating his way out of incarceration. Needless to say, he is just as difficult to treat as those psychopaths who commit nonsexual offenses.” Rapists, then, appear to act almost completely on impulse. Many of them suddenly decide to rape the next possible woman, and a seventy- or eighty-year-old is as likely to be the victim as a younger woman.There are other, less common types of rapists. One group appear to be passive-aggressive personalities—sullen,stubborn, spiteful individuals who accumulate feelings of tension and hostility until they commit a hostile act, and afterward feel guilty and concerned about their victims. A few offenders are psychotic individuals who lose control of themselves during manic states or schizophrenic excitement.Rapists frequently inflict serious injuries, and in some cases murder their victims to prevent discovery. The psychological damage to the victims who survive is likely to be severe, and if the woman is married, the experience may be as disturbing to her husband as to herself. This is particularly the case if the husband is forced to watch his wife being raped. Both psychological and physical injury are likely to be severe in cases of group rape—that is, when several men or a juvenile gang attack and rape the same woman consecutively.The psychological explanation of rape is far from complete. With the passive- aggressive offender it seems to be primarily an expression of aggression against society, and the sexual nature of the act is probably secondary. With psychopathic personalities, rape is only another variation of their dominant theme of getting what they want when they want it—but the origin of that motive is in considerable doubt. A study of the wives and mothers of rapists suggests a possible clue to some cases. Frequently they were both found to be sexually seductive but at the same time rejecting. On this theory, the act of rape has the unconscious meaning of forcing both the wife and the mother into submission.Because of the severity of the offense and the danger of repetition, rapists are usually given long prison sentences. As yet there have not been enough attempts at rehabilitation of offenders to draw any conclusions about either treatment procedures or prognosis. See antisocial reaction, passive-aggressive PERSONALITY.RAPPORT. In general, a spirit of harmony, accord, and mutual confidence between two or more people, as in the relationship between the members of a group or between a leader and a group.In psychiatry and clinical psychology the term is frequently used in describing the most effective relationship between therapist and patient. Rapport occurs largely on a conscious level, as contrasted with transference, a close relationship in which the patient focuses unconscious feelings on the therapist. A strong sense of rapport contributes to the patient’s trust in the therapist and his willingness to work co-operatively with him. It is an important factor in the therapeutic procedure, since the patient must feel that the therapist is interested in him, sympathetic toward him, and will be able to understand him. Moreover, good rapport will make him feel comfortable and reassured, and he will therefore not hesitate to express his innermost thoughts and feelings. This is a prerequisite to success in any type of psychotherapy.The therapist does whatever he can to establish rapport during the first meeting with the patient. He shows a warm, friendly, accepting attitude, expresses his interest, encourages the patient to express himself, and helps him to feel as relaxed as possible. He is prepared, however, to find that full rapport cannot always be established immediately, and in some cases not at all. This relationship is of such vital importance that it is probably useless to proceed with a given therapist if it is wholly lacking. In this case the therapist usually suggests a colleague who may be more congenial to the patient.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "RAPE," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/rape/ (accessed May 8, 2021).
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