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I always thought that men who feel the urge to rape women or other men suffer from severe mental disorder; it’s a form of retardation that leads to someone’s to assault sexually. It’s no less than that. Rape is an assault and the rapist encroaches upon a victim who is not willing to participate. And at that point, it becomes a serious crime that deserves a serious punishment.
At the same time, it is also true that men’s brain is programmed to seek sex much more than the women’s brain does. Men think about sex more than the women do. This fact has been established by science. That doesn’t mean men would want to have sex whenever they want and whoever they want with and that too in the face of resistance from women. The brain-full of libidinal thoughts doesn’t give the men license to rape.
The reason I mention this is because I’m trying to find the answer to why men rape and women don’t. The desire to have sex and attacking someone to have sex are two different state of mind. Men and women alike may desire to have sex with their partners or someone who respond positively to their invitation.
The psychology of rape involves various kinds of retardation. There are some rapists who lack the physical ability to have sex and that may lead them to attack a victim. There are some who enjoy hurting the victim while having sexual intercourse. We have seen reports of killing and torture after completing the obnoxious act of rape. I believe this is the most dangerous form of affliction a victim can suffer.
To many, rape may be just a form of pleasure. This group of rapists don’t have the slightest idea about consensual sex or love-making. I certainly believe that there’s a difference between having just sex and making love. Men, most of the time that I have observed, would want to have just sex. He, the man, would hardly consider the sexual satisfaction of his female partner. Having just sex is to respond to our biological clock. That’s why they have discovered sex dolls in many countries. But on the other hand, love-making entails to involve our heart and mind deeply with whom we’re having sex.
In a country like ours, where sex, love-making and discussing about sex and love-making are taboos, we are bound to lack in our awareness regarding sex and love-making, sexual assaults, crimes and consensual sex. The absence of sexuality education is also very poignant factor in our society.
We don’t educate our children on sexuality at the family as well as at the school levels. Kindly note that sexuality education is not sex education. We in this country make this mistake all the time. Sexuality education is one’s comprehensive understanding about one’s health, well-being as well as dignity as a human. The education develops the awareness on how to stay away from sexual retardations.
We don’t even know how to behave with a rape victim in this country. If you consider the process of police investigation into a rape case that involves interrogating and examining a victim, we see a sorry picture. I believe the law enforcing authorities are also driven by a male-driven psychology when they deal with a rape victim here. I believe this is also a lack of our social maturity. How the media handles a rape victim in our country is also questionable.
If men consider themselves as physically stronger than women and that’s why they take the opportunity to inflict the women sexually, they may be wrong. Allow me to explain. Answer a question: How many times a man can make love or have an orgasm in an hour? Once; twice at best. But if you compare this to women, they can have orgasm several times in an hour. This shows how strong the women are. I believe the real strength lies here where men fair very poorly.
Men also find it convenient to rape because, in this country, about fifty per cent rape incidents go unreported and the reported cases don’t, most of the time, see the light of justice. At the same time, we don’t have a nice holistic knowledge on how to de-traumatize the victims after they experience assaults. It is also significant to notice that the authorities try to settle the rape cases informally – out of the court of law. The rape criminals, if they are socially or politically influential, go scot-free.
If we consider how we deal with the entire process, we clearly see that the society has created an environment for the rape crimes to reoccur. This situation provides men the retarded arrogance that is applied during rape incidents. The men grow up, since their childhood, in this society that they can assault women or girls and get away with it.
I have also been talking to a few women about this act of rape. I asked them what they think of rape; why do they think men rape. They, among others, thought the entertainment media has a big role to play in moulding men’s psyche about women. The entertainment media projects women as objects of sex, not humans, they opined.
This is an important aspect to think about.
Now of course, we hope for a society where men will not be sexual hawks. In a recent case of rape, our society erupted in protests. Everybody demanded punishment to the rapist. Some demanded rapists to hang till death, some demanded they should be flogged and lynched. I also issued a statement, saying that they should be publicly punished and disgraced.
But that is not going to solve anything. We may not be able to reduce sex crimes by only enforcing the law. We may strike at the root and should be able to find out what actually driving men to think of raping women. Our present approach for preventing sex crimes is not at all going in the right direction. I believe, we require a change in paradigm in our societal values.
First published in Dhaka Tribune.

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