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Hello! I am doing a project on how male stereotypes of women affect the probability of them to rape, and was wondering if you had any information or knew of any helpful web sites. If you do have any information, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Jennifer

Thanks for your note. I don't think that it is so much "male stereotypes of women that affect the probability of men to rape"--but rather stereotypes of men that affect their probability to rape. For instance, most people who study rape conclusively say that the biggest motivating factor is power--and it is about proving your power, using your power or more appropriately abusing your power. Therefore, I think that rape is more about men feeling like they have to prove their masculinity and, therefore, doing whatever it takes to enforce that.

It's also about male privilege. For instance, in the case of Mike Tyson--his entire life he was told by everyone around him that he could do whatever he wanted and it didn't matter--he was the best and, therefore, there were no limitations on his life. Therefore, when he raped that teenager what he was doing was living up to that prescription for him. I am not letting him off of the hook--because at a certain point you have to have your own sense of judgement and your own ability to say no, but he was basically doing what he thought he could because he had been told that he could do anything.

Anyway, I say that all as a way of saying that I hope you reconsider the angle of your paper. Of course, the opposite of male power is female weakness and that certainly is a part of it, but it's a matter of where you put the perogative--and it should be on men.

Good luck.


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