And rape is a form of aggression as a part of navigating or even failing within the dominance hierarchy. Which is why there is no rape demographic. It’s not just pretty young women who get raped — it’s children, and old nuns, and straight men, and unimpressive looking people wearing non-provocative clothing.

Dr. Malamuth has noticed that repeat offenders often tell similar stories of rejection in high school and of looking on as “jocks and the football players got all the attractive women.”

As these once-unpopular, often narcissistic men become more successful, he suspects that “getting back at these women, having power over them, seems to have become a source of arousal.”

Research has shown an international link between poverty and sexual violence around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists poverty and lack of jobs as community risk factors for sexual violence. And people with low incomes, who have less access to resources, are more vulnerable to sexual assault; research by advocacy groups suggests that perpetrators are more likely to target victims who are less likely to report what happened.

In other words, people who feel disempowered and giving short shrift by society are more likely to perpetrate sexual violence. This reinforces what the NYT article said. It’s largely about exerting power and control, particularly if you are someone who doesn’t feel that they otherwise have much.

Maybe that’s what you mean by lust and scarcity? That disempowered men feel like they want to take what has been denied to them, but that’s just another form of incel type behavior which is totally about power dynamics.

The not hegemonically masculine guy has failed to climb the rungs of the patriarchally established dominance hierarchy. The men who have achieved in it are worthy of derision but not hate because they have clearly won their spoils of desirable women using hierarchical standards, if not quite fairly and squarely, at least in an expected and tacitly agreed upon way. To blame them or the hierarchy itself is to shamefully admit that you haven’t measured up. So all that anger and frustration gets turned on the women — the one’s you should have been awarded as objects which indicated your prowess and success.

Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store