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IMPACT OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT ON THE VICTIM'S SEXUAL LIFE

NCJ Number
64084
Journal
Victimology Volume: 4 Issue: 2 Dated: (1979) Pages: 229-235
Author(s)
J V BECKER; G G ABEL; L J SKINNER
Date Published
1979
Length
7 pages
Annotation
FINDINGS FROM SEVERAL STUDIES CONFIRM THAT THE GOAL OF RAPE IS SEXUAL SATISFACTION AND THAT THERE IS A HIGH FREQUENCY OF SEX DYSFUNCTION AMONG RAPE VICTIMS.
Abstract
AVAILABLE DATA INDICATE THAT THE RAPIST IS MOTIVATED NOT ONLY BY ANGER AND AGGRESSION, BUT ALSO BY SEX. A STUDY MEASURED THE AROUSAL PATTERNS OF RAPISTS WHILE PRESENTING VARIOUS TYPES OF EXPLICIT SEXUAL AND NONSEXUAL ACTIVITIES TO THEM. RAPISTS AND CHILD MOLESTERS DEVELOPED ERECTIONS WHILE LISTENING TO DESCRIPTIONS OF RAPE IN THE LABORATORY SETTING BUT NONRAPISTS DO NOT. DURING CLINICAL INTERVIEWS, MORE THAN 85 PERCENT OF THE RAPISTS IDENTIFIED SEXUAL GRATIFICATION AS THE GOAL OF THEIR RAPING. IF THE OFFENDER'S GOAL IS SEXUAL, ONE SHOULD EXPECT THE VICTIM TO SUFFER SEXUAL TRAUMA FROM SUCH ASSAULTS. THE ARTICLE CITES NUMEROUS STUDIES THAT CONFIRM THIS ASSUMPTION. FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAUMA INCLUDE THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE VICTIM TO THE ASSAILANT, THE VICTIM'S AGE, AND WHETHER THE RAPIST WAS CONVICTED. THE VICTIM WHOSE ASSAILANT IS NOT CONVICTED, WHO IS YOUNGER OR WITHOUT A FIRST SEXUAL ENCOUNTER OTHER THAN RAPE, AND WHO IS CLOSELY RELATED TO THE ASSAILANT WILL DEVELOP THE MOST SEXUAL PROBLEMS AS A RESULT OF THE RAPE. CLINICAL RESEARCHERS IN PRELIMINARY FINDINGS SHOW THAT 61 PERCENT OF THE VICTIMS HAD A DECREASED INTEREST IN SEX OR DISCONTINUED ALL SEXUAL ACTIVITY, 23 PERCENT DEVELOPED ORGASMIC DYSFUNCTION, 15 PERCENT DEVELOPED PAIN WITH INTERCOURSE, AND 10 PERCENT GENITOURINARY TRACT INFECTIONS. VICTIMS OF ATTEMPTED RAPE ALSO SUFFER. A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE AND EXPERIENCE IN TREATING RAPE VICTIMS POINT TO THE NEED FOR CAREFULLY CONTROLLED STUDIES ON ASPECTS OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION. THERE IS ALSO LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AS TO HOW TO TREAT THESE SEXUAL PROBLEMS. TABLES FROM VARIOUS STUDIES THAT REVIEW THE PERCENT OF PERSONS SUFFERING DYSFUNCTION, THE KINDS OF SEXUUAL PROBLEMS THAT DEVELOPED, AND THE REACTION OF VICTIMS 1 YEAR AFTER ASSAULT ARE INCLUDED. REFERENCES AND NOTES ON THE AUTHORS ARE PROVIDED. (RFC)