U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

RAPE - POWER, ANGER, AND SEXUALITY

NCJ Number
43688
Journal
American Journal of Psychiatry Volume: 134 Issue: 11, Dated: (NOVEMBER 1977) Pages: 1239-1243
Author(s)
A N GROTH; A W BURGESS; L L HOLMSTROM
Date Published
1977
Length
5 pages
Annotation
A CLINICAL TYPOLOGY OF RAPE IS DEVELOPED ON THE BASIS OF ACCOUNTS BY 133 RAPISTS AND 92 VICTIMS.
Abstract
DESCRIPTIONS OF RAPE ASSAULTS GIVEN BY OFFENDERS AND VICTIMS IN MASSACHUSETTS WERE ANALYZED, AND THE FOLLOWING CLASSIFICATIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT WERE IDENTIFIED: (1) POWER-ASSERTIVE RAPE, IN WHICH THE RAPIST REGARDS HIS ACT AS AN EXPRESSION OF HIS VIRILITY, MASTERY AND DOMINANCE; (2) POWER-REASSURANCE RAPE, IN WHICH THE RAPIST IS TRYING TO RESOLVE DOUBTS ABOUT HIS SEXUAL ADEQUACY AND MASCULINITY; (3) ANGER-RETALIATION RAPE, COMMITTED AS AN EXPRESSION OF HOSTILITY AND RAGE TOWARD WOMEN; AND (4) ANGER-EXCITATION RAPE, IN WHICH THE RAPIST FINDS PLEASURE IN THE SUFFERING OF HIS VICTIM. CLINICAL WORK WITH OFFENDERS AND VICTIMS INDICATES THAT THE INITIAL IMPACT OF RAPE IS NOT SEXUAL FOR EITHER PARTY. ALTHOUGH THE ACT ITSELF IS SEXUAL, THE VICTIM IS TRAUMATIZED PRIMARILY BY THE LIFE-THREATENING NATURE OF THE ASSAULT, HER HELPLESSNESS, AND HER EXPERIENCE AS THE OBJECT OF THE RAPIST'S RAGE. IT IS NOTED THAT RAPE IS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IN SERVICE OF NONSEXUAL NEEDS AND, AS SUCH, SHOULD BE DEFINED AS SEXUAL DEVIATION. THE POTENTIAL OF THE PROPOSED TYPOLOGY FOR DIFFERENTIATING OFFENDERS WITH REGARD TO IDENTIFICATION, DISPOSITION, TREATMENT PLANNING, AND PROGNOSIS IS POINTED OUT. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS INCLUDED.