convicted rapists chapter summary- detailed

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24 Mar 2011
Sociology Reading
Convicted rapists- Justifications and excuses
Excuses included appeals to forces outside their control, compelling
them to rape
Justifications attempted to present their behavior as situationally
appropriate and used many rape stereotypes
Wrong-doers attempt to reinterpret their actions through the use of a
linguistic device by which norm-breaking conduct is socially
They present the act in terms that are culturally appropriate and
Excuses admit the act was bad or wrong but deny full responsibility,
often through appeals to accident, biological drive or scapegoating
Justifications accept responsibility for the act but deny that it was
Accounts are socially approved vocabularies that neutralize the act or
its consequences
Culture is in this context a set of cognitive constraints which people
must relate as the form lines of conduct
83% of 114 convicted rapists did not see themselves as rapists
Admitters acknowledge they have forced sexual acts upon people and
define it as rape
Deniers eschewed sexual contact or all association with the victim
Some deniers excuse their behavior by claiming women enjoy being
raped or by referring to drug and alcohol abuse
By examining the pre-sentencing reports by the offender, researchers
found very little variation in the tale of the crime told by the offender
Some men denied their crimes at trial but admitted them to
There were big differences between the accounts told by the offender
and the police and victim
Deniers interviews varied significantly from victim and police reports
Deniers put more blame on the victims
Tried to justify their actions by presenting the victim in a manner that
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Document Summary

Since women are supposed to be coy about their sexual availability, refusal to comply with a man"s sexual demands lacks meaning and rape appears normal. Many say that the woman lured them, unsuspecting, into sexual action. Some deniers say the woman was willing and made sexual advances: women mean yes when they say no: 34% said the woman said no and was initially unwilling. One said that women liked to be overpowered before sex, but to dominate after it begins. A member of group rape defined it as rape but said she enjoyed it. Those who claimed to be unaware that it was rape viewed sexual aggression as a man"s prerogative at the time. Many claimed that as long as a physical injury didn"t result from the rape, it was not rape: most women eventually relax and enjoy it: several men suggested they had fulfilled their victims" dreams.

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