Evolutionary Psychological Perspectives on Rape
This chapter reviews the topic of rape from a modern evolutionary psychological perspective. Topics discussed include misconceptions about evolutionary psychology, comparative psychology of sexual coercion and rape, evidence of human adaptations for sexual coercion and rape, and women's defenses against rape. It is argued that evolutionary psychology is a powerful heuristic tool that allows researchers to consider rape in a new light. Researchers have argued that men possess evolved psychological mechanisms that motivate them to rape in specific contexts. Although some accumulating evidence is consistent with this hypothesis, more research must be conducted before we can conclude that men possess specific adaptations for rape. Furthermore, a more nuanced view of rapists is needed, in which rapists may be characterized as belonging to one of several types distinguished by the contexts in which they are predicted to commit a rape.
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