Author Topic: “Women’s Erotic Rape Fantasies: Evaluation of Theory and Research”  (Read 975 times)

Offline Verbal13

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“Women’s Erotic Rape Fantasies: Evaluation of Theory and Research”
same link: might at first seem consistent with males self interest to rape because it ‘fits’ goals for sex.  Maybe, if he be a 10000 BC cave man then perhaps.

For women these fantasies seem more counterintuitive but nonetheless are common enough.
For women sex seems often more complex and subtle, relative to males. Erotic fantasy around force sex seems potential turn on for both genders. 
It happens, has been studied, and I offer this insightful article for anyone interested.

“Women’s Erotic Rape Fantasies: An Evaluation of Theory and Research.   
2008. article blends contemporary Canadian, UK and American perspectives, in connection with Journal of Sex Research. ~12 pages.
Complete source details included. If link problems, PM please.

For those of you reluctant to dive into this academic stuff, I offer summary to spare you:
Reviews over 30 years academic literature on surveys snd studiesof  womens’ fantasy re: rape. 
It emphasizes:  Fantasy (pretend-play) is absolutely distinct from actual (real) rape.   
Rape defined as: a) Forced b) Sex c) NonConsent.
Article explores various explanations/theories to answer: “Why women hold such fantasy?”  Eight Theories are detailed.

Potential explanations:
I’ve reordered to list newer ‘better’ compatible theories first. Older (weaker) theories follow after.

Sympathetic Activation - only theory not psychology based.  Like ‘fight or flight’ response, female adaptation to reality of forced sex with appropriate physiological reactions to mitigate suffering and injury. Body nervous system responds to the situation, prior to, psychology. Sympathetic activation does not involve mental/frontal cortex thought process.
Idea integrates well with ‘adversary transformation’ below. Also, this attributes power to female sexuality as potent, adaptable, accommodating, resilient, ultimately beneficial. (as opposed to traditional views as corrupting, sinful, tainted, dangerous) 

Adversary Transformation - theory actually drawn from modern romance fiction content. Idea is the dangerous/warrior male is subdued by, changed from, encounter with female sexual power. No less masculine, evil may be converted to good.
    Synergy exists with Sympathetic Activation by avoiding judgmental views on female sexuality (shame/rape culture.) Rather these ideas give voice and agency to womens’ sexual experience and perspective. 

Those Older weak theories:
Masochism - lol
Biology - surrender by nature
Sex Blame Avoidance - presumes shame/guilt/blame with womens’ sexuality
Openness to Sexual Experience -healthy open & accepting attitude by women,  realistic about the actual sexual experiences they identify with pleasure
Desirability - attractiveness, seductive, sexual power, feeling wanted, needed
Male Rape Culture - a pathological manifestation of masculine dominated culture- women finding desirability within male paradigm. Male culture doesn’t provoke female adaptation... bah silly methinks.
What theory makes best sense? 
The article is rich with information. I hope it’s helpful to shed some light.  Comments encouraged.


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Offline Grumpy

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I wonder why they are treating rape fantasies differently from other forms of sexual fantasies. I mean, sure, it is different in the sense that it involves force/violence, but in the sense that it is a fictional fantasy, it's still the same thing - it's a fantasy that turns women on. It's like they think "fantasy" means wish fulfillment, which it absolutely doesn't. This shouldn't be the case, since they literally lay out the case for rape fantasies being connected to a more open/driven sexuality and that an increase in sexual fantasies of all varieties coincides with an increase in rape fantasies. It's just dumb that the rest of the article seems to ignore that.

Also strange that they are only mentioning the fantasy from a female's perspective. Did they not think a male's perspective on rape fantasies could give insight? Were they so sure that they didn't even look?

Masochism in its broad definition could be a reason. I would definitely agree with the article though, that the original thesis put forth by Deustch is just... embarrassing.

Sexual blame avoidance is one of those things that sounds very clever and reasonable, but for which there's literally no evidence for, and will just live on in the minds of researchers and policy makers who think facts shouldn't get in the way of a good story.

Openness to sexual experience - Yeah, no shit? It's in the name...

Desirability is one of the more sound theories to me. The amount of women I've seen on roleplay sites that have this exact narrative in their ads is in the hundreds. It's by no means the only reason, though, but I'm positive it's one for a good chunk of women. The narrative I'm talking about is that the man is overcome by the woman's beauty - he is so blinded by his lust for her that he can't help himself and rapes her.

Male rape culture? This is stupid. There are no cited sources for even the existence of 'male rape culture', nor is there any evidence cited that this theory from 1975 is relevant. This whole section is there to pander to feminists and for no scientific reason.

Biological predisposition: I find it pretty hilarious that they decided to type out the researcher's full name, showing that she is a woman and not a man, when putting forth the citation that females may have a biological predisposition to sexual submissiveness. They don't do that in the other sections. I wouldn't put much stock in this theory though. It might have a tiny impact, but realistically, the human brain is so much more sophisticated than those of other animals, that any such predisposition would likely be subdued by cultural or personal biases pretty quickly.

Sympathetic activation seems flawed to me. I mean yeah, elevated levels in the sympathetic nervous system could lead to sexual arousal just like they present, but they're not explaining why some women would choose this to get turned on, over other sexual fantasies which do not activate it. I.e. if the goal is to be turned on and you can choose between imagining being raped, or imagining having consensual sex, why would the first be more attractive? This theory does not explain that - at least not in this article.

Adversary transformation. This is a quote, without citation:
In a romance novel that includes rape, women
identify with the lead female character and vicariously
experience her rape.
It's that straight-forward, huh? I feel like the authors went ahead of themselves a little there. But whatever, that's not what adversary transformation is about. It's about the age-old adage of a woman changing a bad man into a better man - but still a man. It's a little bit funny to me that "turning an evil man good" is a theory, as is desirability - which is essentially "turning a good man evil". That, if anything, should show you how far away from a conclusion this research is. As for my own thoughts, this is also definitely one of the many reasons for rape fantasies.

The only real thing you can take away from this assessment would be this:
Current research indicates that from 31% to 57% of
women have had rape fantasies, with from 9% to 17%
reporting that rape fantasies are either a frequent occur-
rence or a favorite fantasy. Because rape fantasies are
perceived as socially unacceptable or potentially embar-
rassing, these are most likely underestimates.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 08:55:06 AM by Grumpy »

Offline Verbal13

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Glad you read it, Grumpy, and I agree with some of your critique.  It is limited as a journal article, not book.  I also note no other sex fantasy discussion nor men’s potential fantasy. I Believe the article is grappling with the traditionally counter intuitive nature for a woman to imagine ravishment.
I posted it more for sake of females on ravishu. I agree it could go further but it dives into a topic generally shunned by researchers. Taboo sex more broadly could be discussed in relation but again it’s just an article. One could research further but  I thought this reading is useful for those that are curious.
Please: taking a moment to comment with some response often makes hours of writing and editing feel worthwhile! 
So Lurk if ye must, but participate when possible, ya?

(Yes, I paraphrased Brokenwing's genius)


Offline dawnamber

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