Why do people rape?

  • Common misconceptions,
  • Does temptation lead to rape?
  • The dehumanizing factor,
  • An example of someone who lost control of certain aspects of his mind

So some people usually have a lot of misconceptions regarding what could have possibly caused a rape incident: was the victim in a high risk area? Was the victim wearing revealing clothing? Why would a normal person rape another normal person, there must something wrong in the environment or external factors?

To dig deep into these misconceptions and deconstruct them we need to understand what these people are saying. They’re saying that there was a certain factor that turned on someone which led to rape. That something tempted the perpetrator and they couldn’t control their urge that is why they did it.

One of the many problems in this type of thinking is that you have blurred or maybe erased the line, the thick, bold line, between the forceful physical act of violating someone, and the subtle mental alarm that rings when you find someone or something that attracts you.

So let’s talk about attractiveness first:

We know that everyone has a different preference with respect to who they find attractive. Lets say you find someone attractive who has a certain type of physique. Now imagine if you are walking down the street, a person walks by you, they are wearing baggy clothes and you are not sure whether they do or don’t have the physique you like so you don’t have enough information to decide whether you find them attractive or not. So clothes may sometimes play a part in determining attractiveness. But it is still important to note that attractiveness doesn’t have to lead to sexual thoughts. You can find someone attractive without wanting to force yourself on them. Maybe you get butterflies in your stomach when you see an attractive stranger on the road but that still doesn’t mean that you are picturing them in your bed. Not all interactions are at that level.

Now that we have talked about attractiveness that has to do with nonsexual thoughts, let’s talk about attractiveness that does lead to sexual thoughts. This is what we are calling temptation.

If you are tempted by someone means you get a strong feeling or urge to be with that person, you can’t stop thinking about them. You may pursue them romantically or try to engage them in a conversation or simply fantasize about them. But ultimately your gameplay would be to make them like you enough to give you some space in their life and in their heart so that you have their permission to fulfill your desires related to them. If you have no means of interaction, you will just fantasize but still not take any step that jeopardizes their full autonomy over themselves, their mind and body.

The above two in no way instigate someone to commit a crime. These are normal human feelings that alot of people go through without commiting rape. So it is definitely possible to feel all those things but still not commit a crime at the end. The thought of forcing yourself on to someone to scratch that itch of yours has to do more with who you are rather than who the victim is. Temptation or attractiveness arises because of your opinion about someone else, you will know whether you find someone attractive or not. The stimulation is coming from the other person. But if you are planning to rape someone you are doing it to please yourself only. In this case the stimulation is coming from your own brain.

Rape is a forceful act, it can involve a stranger or someone you know, there is no certain victim age, victims don’t even have to be alive, infact they don’t even have to be humans.

Forcing yourself on someone and violating them so brutally would require that you dehumanize them first, that you don’t sympathize or empathize with them at all, that you forget that they have the ability to feel. This is psychotic behavior. This is in no way normal and therefore can not be linked to attraction or temptation.

There was a case of a person who had suffered a physical trauma. After regaining his health he noticed a difference in his behavior. He could not get enough of all sorts of disturbing porn, so much so that he even got into child material. He was arrested for it. He tried to convince the judge that he was infact sick and it was out of his control. The doctors found out from MRIs that a part of his brain was indeed affected due to the physical trauma he had suffered before. This was a first of its kind case and they sent him to prison for his actions.

The conclusion being that everything on which the decision, to commit the crime of rape, depends on is inside the mind of the perpetrator.

Kids Learn More By Fun And Games Than By Studies

Has it ever happened to you that when you think of a place or a meal your brain tells you, ‘you hate it’ even though when you actually think about it the place or food itself was good but the experiences you had while you were there were not pleasant. Maybe you had a heated argument with a dear friend in some restaurant and from that moment onwards you avoid that restaurant because it makes you feel uneasy and brings back the memories of the argument and the hurt.

Similarly, if you had a great teacher for a certain subject in school, you might have enjoyed learning but if you had someone grumpy you might have lost interest in that subject.

Sometimes instead of the name of the place your brain labels it with the name of the feeling you had when you were there.  

These days’ kids are taught with a focus on the syllabus that needs to be covered. Sure, teachers use slides, movies and other media to convey the information in hopes of making the experience slightly more diverse but the focus is solely on covering the course content in terms of information and not in terms of the quality of experience being offered. But it is much more beneficial to offer even one high quality, exhilarating experience related to that subject than to have multiple average lectures.  

This is because you want to aim at attaching positive connotations with the subject. Kids may forget the subject matter after the lesson but their mind will remember the feelings attached to it. This will make them go back and learn the subject on their own.

One way to increase the excitation content of a lecture is to offer the information or the subject matter as chunks that are unlocked on specific milestones as part of a game. The game could be a team sport or an individual effort.

One example of a quiz formatted as a game is you can have a simple relay race over a distance of 10-15 feet inside the classroom where the students are supposed to solve a question and hand over the answer to their team mate as the baton. This will encourage team building, problem solving, and give a little bit of adrenaline rush to engrave the memory of feeling good when they were in so and so class. This little memory will keep them interested in the subject. And when you have their interest built up, you will see that they will come back wanting more challenges and thirsty for knowledge.

Sure they won’t be able to learn a lot of the course subject if lectures are formatted as games. But their brain will tag that subject with the feelings of excitation, invigoration, feeling accomplished (if they win a game), feeling challenged (if they lose and want to redeem themselves). Therefore even after that year the pleasant feelings will stay with them and they will remember that subject as something they enjoyed and could see themselves pursuing even later in life.

It is better to teach someone that the subject is excited and interesting more so than actually teaching the subject. Why? Because if you do go ahead and just teach the lesson plainly while giving them a quiz so they may revise what they have learnt and remember it. You have taught them a specific part of the subject. But if you ignite feelings of happiness, an adrenaline rush, sparks in the mind, then that person will go back and find 3 more sources of knowledge for himself on that subject so that he learns not only the part he was taught in class but also other parts that catch his attention and this will increase his knowledge much more than what a single teach could have taught him. He or she will not only improve on the subject matter but will now be actively pursuing it.

It is always more attractive to do something you are passionate about rather than to do something because you have to because you need to earn good grades and pass.

This concept is easier to understand in this scenario: imagine you are at a job you hate. Going to work every day is a daunting tasking for you. You lose motivation to improve and will just be continuing it to earn cash to sustain yourself. So if you really want to excel at your job, make sure it is something you are passionate about. Because then it will give you pleasure the more effort you put in. The more effort you put in the better you will get at it. Over time you will see yourself rise above the competition and be great at what you are doing but you will still want to do more not because you want recognition but because it is what makes you happy.

Passion is what drives us to success and developing passion among kids should be of utmost priority. Having engaging class activities in the form of an actual physical game or a team sport is just one way to do it.

Featured Image Credits: http://www.humanutopia.com

The Unexpected Speed Breaker

Imagine going on the highway at night when suddenly your car hits a major bump. You might have hurt your head by hitting the roof of the car, and you definitely feel bad for your car’s well being, hoping it did not break. When something like this happens we tend to stop the car and analyze the damage. We also remind ourselves to drive a bit slow and maybe turn up the lights so we don’t miss seeing any bump on the road again.

You might have observed that sometimes if you are angry at one thing or person, you might take it out on someone else who was not related to it at all. Have you ever seen a mother so tired and annoyed by her kids’ constant questions that she snapped them for an innocent question only to feel guilty later on for doing so? Or maybe you might have seen a person behaving rudely with a shopkeeper over something which could have been resolved politely? Now there is a way to firmly put your point across while keeping your cool but sometimes when things get too overwhelming in one part of our life, we tend to leak out in other parts of our life emotionally.

One section of our community that is a bit too familiar with this phenomenon are Mothers. Mothers are usually working round the clock (whether they have a professional career or not), engaging with their husband and kids, looking after the house, planning the week’s activities for their kids, and catering to all of their needs. News alert: children are a lot of work!

A mother’s brain is like a car going at more than a hundred miles per hours at night time. It could be so full of things that are going on in her fast paced life that even a little mishap or something not going according to plan can trigger some form of unhealthy aggression and make them not just angry but proactively hostile. Even an act of aggression that lasts for a few seconds can have lasting impacts on the people facing it; kids if they were around to witness it and even on the mother herself. These uncalled for outbursts due to hectic routines can act as speed breakers that you did not see coming on your road of life.

Understanding your emotions and finding out the best possible outlet for your overwhelming emotions is not only healthy for your mind and body, it also becomes a necessity for a person if they are under constant pressure, or have immense anxiety or stress. Here are some of the things you can do to avoid those occasional outbursts.

  1. Set aside some “me time”. This can be used to do anything you like. Remember a hobby is something that you enjoy doing, it doesn’t have to be a source of income or wisdom for you. It is only a source of relaxation and pure happiness. You could spend this time on one of the things below or it can be used to just lie down and do nothing.
  2. Dedicate a few hours to some sort of physical activity without your husband or kids. It could be going to the gym, going for a walk, or playing a physical sport. This is a great way redirect your thoughts and energies.
  3. Do yoga, meditate, do breathing exercises, write in a gratitude journal, write your thoughts in a diary. These are all mind calming activities and help you organize your thoughts and emotions.
  4. Talk to friends, spend some time with them. It helps if they come from different backgrounds. Maybe they have a unique profession, they have kids that are in different age bracket than yours, maybe they don’t have kids, or they live in a different country. Talking to someone who have different experiences than you can make you more open minded, it can increase your exposure, and give you a new perspective on your own life.
  5. Lastly, if you do snap at someone make sure to make a mental note of it. Go back to that moment later on and analyze it; what were the active and passive reasons for it? Was there a better way you could have reacted? how do you feel about the situation now? How can you improve your stance if you get those boiling emotions again?

Apart from all of the above points, remember to always keep the option of visiting a psychiatrist open for yourself. In these times we all carry certain emotions that we are confused with. Visiting a professional should not be viewed as a taboo, instead consider it a maintenance service for your mind.

Featured Image Credits: Natalie Nelson for Vox

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