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A Natural History of Rape : Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion - Craig T. Palmer

A Natural History of Rape

Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion

Paperback Published: 23rd February 2001
ISBN: 9780262700832
Number Of Pages: 272
For Ages: 18+ years old

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In this sure-to-be-controversial book, Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer use evolutionary biology to explain the causes of rape and to recommend new approaches to its prevention. According to Thornhill and Palmer, evolved adaptation of some sort gives rise to rape; the main evolutionary question is whether rape is an adaptation itself or a by-product of other adaptations. Regardless of the answer, Thornhill and Palmer note, rape circumvents a central feature of women's reproductive strategy: mate choice. This is a primary reason why rape is devastating to its victims, especially young women. Thornhill and Palmer address, and claim to demolish scientifically, many myths about rape bred by social science theory over the past twenty-five years. The popular contention that rapists are not motivated by sexual desire is, they argue, scientifically inaccurate.Although they argue that rape is biological, Thornhill and Palmer do not view it as inevitable. Their recommendations for rape prevention include teaching young males not to rape, punishing rape more severely, and studying the effectiveness of "chemical castration." They also recommend that young women consider the biological causes of rape when making decisions about dress, appearance, and social activities. Rape could cease to exist, they argue, only in a society knowledgeable about its evolutionary causes.The book includes a useful summary of evolutionary theory and a comparison of evolutionary biology's and social science's explanations of human behavior. The authors argue for the greater explanatory power and practical usefulness of evolutionary biology. The book is sure to stir up discussion both on the specific topic of rape and on the larger issues of how we understand and influence human behavior.

Industry Reviews

"This is a courageous, intelligent, and eye-opening book with a noble goal - to understand and eliminate a loathsome crime. Armed with logic and copious data, Thornhill and Palmer will force many intellectuals to decide which they value more: established dogma and ideology, or the welfare of real women in the real world." - Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of How the Mind Works and Words and Rules"

Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Rape and Evolutionary Theoryp. 1
The Evolution of Sex Differencesp. 31
Why Do Men Rape?p. 53
The Pain and Anguish of Rapep. 85
Why Have Social Scientists Failed to Darwinize?p. 105
The Social Science Explanation of Rapep. 123
Law and Punishmentp. 153
Social Influences on Male Sexualityp. 169
Educational Programsp. 179
Barriersp. 185
Treatment and Recoveryp. 187
Conclusionp. 189
Notesp. 201
Glossaryp. 209
Referencesp. 213
Indexp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262700832
ISBN-10: 0262700832
Series: A Natural History of Rape
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 23rd February 2001
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 14.3  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.41