Op-ed recommendation: “Until we treat rapists as ordinary criminals we won’t stop them”

The medical/therapeutic model is pretty thoroughly examined in this article, and conclusively debunked. It’s a convenient way to procrastinate, to kick the can down the block for another generation to deal with, but in terms of helping perps to stop perping, it has no effect at all. Rigorously investigating, trying these cases as crimes of violence, and punishing those found guilty on the other hand, works. It makes rape a less acceptable thing for rapists to think about doing.

Try reading it, it’s a really good article!


Oh, gosh, you’ve got it right! Over time, I’ve mentally registered numerous posts that referenced male privilege, and didn’t realize there was a more complex story there.



p = np

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I have now learned something, so thank you again!


The more I think about it, the more I think rape needs to fall under the eye-for-an-eye school of justice.

so do most cults?

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Thanks for the clarification.

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Because if I tried to read it, I would have agreed with it?

ALL behavior is physiological/medical in nature, without exception. That is no more license for irresponsibility than other health models are. As if being diagnosed with heart disease or cancer were a “convenient excuse” to avoid health and treatment. The article only discusses medical theories of the motivations for rape, and avoids mention of any actual treatment whatsoever. So it is hardly a thorough debunking of a medical model, rather it is a criticism that that model has been applied only superficially, which is a completely different implication they were not interested in addressing.

Meanwhile punishment/reward models of incentive and motivations for behavior are still as crude as they have ever been, and are based upon institutionalized rather than personal violence.

It is not a problem of misplaced sympathy and tolerance, it is a matter of knowing that in the final analysis - all human interactions are biological in nature, and that our institutions need to be as well.



I don’t think that logic holds… gay people can’t procreate but they haven’t died out.

Why would we be able to execute rapists out of existence?

Edit: BTW let’s be clear that I’m in no way shape or form implying gay people are bad, or rapists.


I read a story once where the punishment for rape was to give the victim the status of a divorced spouse. In other words, they got half your stuff. Unfortunately the story didn’t go into detail about how the crime was actually tried…


According to this reddit thread, it’s Storm Warning, by Mercedes Lackey.

… no one in his right mind would ever commit rape. The victim would be granted immediate status as a divorced spouse. Half of the perpetrator’s possessions went to the victim, half of the perpetrator’s wages went to the victim for a period of five years if there was no child, or sixteen years if a child resulted. If the child was a daughter, she received a full daughter’s dowry out of whatever the perpetrator had managed to accumulate, and if the child was a son, the perpetrator paid for his full outfitting when he was conscripted. … if the perpetrator was some shiftless ne’er-do-well, who did not have a position, he would find himself in a labor camp, building the roads and aqueducts, with his pay supplying the needs of the child for which he was responsible. … And if a perpetrator was foolish enough to rape again – then he underwent a series of punishments both physical and magical that would leave him outwardly intact but completely unable to repeat his act."

I’ve never read Lackey. I understand equines are involved?


What comes to mind when you say “medical model” is a deeper understanding of the motivations and ultimately the well being, of the perpetrator. And there’s another political conundrum I see having problems with the medical model, the problem of gun violence.

Whenever there’s a mass shooting, it seems conveniently forgotten that the effects of gun violence are off limits to medical research, the gun lobby has convinced Congress to make such research impossible for government funded agencies to pursue.

So instead of asking ourselves “how we can stop so many children from being gunned down in their schools?” We’re instead asking what makes people turn 'mucker. It makes for great television, but awful public safety.

The problem of rape is being neglected in exactly the same way, according to this.

If you brought up and refuted points made within the article, I’d be more convinced that we’re both having the same conversatiom.


If you mean convicted rapists should be castrated, I agree completely.

I was explicit that I think that is of only abstract interest in itself. The reason for understanding the causes of medical problems is to prevent and/or treat them. That’s how therapy differs from pure research. From a medical model rape is a physiological and a social problem.

MRI scans are also a waste of time if used as television instead of a clinical tool. It’s a luddite tactic to dispense with such tools only because nobody has the courage to actually use them to treat the problem. That lack of action is a bureaucratic problem, not a fault of science or medicine. Politicians don’t understand well-being, they understand control over others, so they promote only sociopathic solutions to sociopathic problems. Governments and police are actually closer psychologically to the rapist, in that they generally do not care if they have anyone’s consent.

That much we agree upon. Although not what to do about it.

I am not sure if we are, although I suspect that there is an overlap. The very social construct of “crime” has always seemed naive to me, in its aims and methods. But show me a virus that patches men to halve their testosterone production, and if isn’t more effective against rape than prison I will eat my beret.

Prison is not mentioned in the article. Punishment isn’t talked about much, except as a deterrent. And the deterrent of having one’s name published in the paper, the way it’s done for convicted johns- would certainly be in keeping with rge spirit of the piece. The only kind of rape that prison discourages, is heterosexual rape, I imagine you and I are in agreement on that one.

Restorative Justice isn’t mentioned either in the article, and that’s too bad, I think while it would be a good approach for most Department of Corrections’ problems, its particularly well suited for this one.

Another subset of this topic I’d love to drag into this discussion, is the history of rape on Pitcairn island, and how they ended up addressing it. (Some followup since the scandal would be interesting, I think)

Actually, there seems to be no good evidence that prison (or the death penalty) are an effective deterrent for crime (for a good, relatively brief overview of attempts to find such evidence see this article ).

I certainly agree with the general thrust of the piece referenced - that rape is treated differently to other crime and that it shouldn’t be. However, given a lack of evidence regarding the efficacy of prison as a deterrent then we have to consider it’s usefulness only as a post-preventative measure in ensuring (if applied well) that an offender will not re-offend within the period of their incarceration.


Indeed, in this model rape is viewed in a similar fashion to civil law’s “attractive nuisance” holding, whereby if a neighbor trespasses onto your property,drunkenly jumps into your swimming pool, and drowns, it’s your fault for maintaining an “attractive nuisance.” I find the notion abhorrent in both usages and would strike it from legal jurisprudence if I could.


Is it really realistic to suppose that the threat of prison sentences has no deterrent effect whatsoever?

Suppose all prison and capital sentences were removed from the justice system tomorrow. You don’t think crime would increase significantly? Or do you think some other factor is at work to prevent crime? Or do you think the threat of vigilante justice would prevent people from trying to take advantage of each other?

We know that the threat of prison sentences have no affect on the crime rate.