why nature smiles on
ROBERT J. LEWIS
MEN IN GENES
AND RAPE CULTURE
the Latin rapere (seize by force) are the words rape,
rapt and rapture.
are very correctly but not universally despised by both women
and men. The laws of most lands are written to reflect the gravity,
disgust and abhorrence the act of rape invokes. In cultures
where rapists enjoy more favourable ratings, the judicial system
shifts the weight of responsibility from the perpetrator to
find their highest approval ratings among themselves. They play
by a different set of rules, making their accomplishment a function
of defiance of the law and brute conquest.
genes the rapist wears never go out of style because -- compared
to authors, athletes and electricians -- rapists are disproportionately
prolific breeders. To be noted without flinching is what they
admire in themselves is what natural selection sees fit to admire
the Bosnian war (1992-95), an estimated 50,000 women were raped,
many in special rape camps. In South Africa one in every four
women is raped. In South Africa a woman has a greater chance
of getting raped than learning how to read, which means an unconscionably
high percentage of men are undeterred by the brutality, violence
and dehumanization of women rape invariably occasions. Based
on the ubiquity of the act and the appalling numbers, more and
more human rights groups are signing on to the notion that rape
is a global epidemic.
psychology, spear headed by publications such as Psychology
Today, contends that some women entertain rape fantasies.
Well before Freud published his revolutionary theories on the
relationship between the unconscious mind and sexuality, the
philosopher Schopenhauer understood that nature has one goal:
reproduction “the most marvelous of all instincts, and
its work the most astonishing . . . the sexual passion is the
kernel of the will to live.” So while the sexually aroused
individual selfishly chases his pleasures, the beyond purpose
is procreation (propagation of the species). It is likewise
for the sake of her offspring and the health and vigour of the
species that women desire what is best for their eggs, and the
rape fantasy, if only subconsciously, not only identifies the
instinct that predicts a female's attraction to the alpha male
but makes the case that rapists, as a group, are alphas. Which
make our laws that punish rapists inconsistent with nature’s
first purpose: reproduction.
there the male equivalent of the female rape fantasy? Do males
secretly admire, envy rapists for their exceptional ability
(virility) to conquer and breed under the most trying circumstances?
Is there an unacknowledged fraternity of closet rapists, and
if yes, how big is the closet?
life forms are characterized by the blind will to live and not
die, and reproduce. Genes that survive from one generation to
the next are deemed the fittest. Hostile environments, that
limit the winner’s circle to the exceptional, best guarantee
quite recently in man’s history, natural selection favoured
physically dominant males who could provide for as many women
as they could feed and defend. Environments hostile to arousal
and reproduction (war, scarcity) isolated those exceptional
males who could successfully reproduce under stress. It’s
one thing to consummate with a consenting, loving partner in
the midst of plenty, but altogether another story to mate with
a woman whose village you have razed, whose husband and children
you have killed, who hates you, is revolted by you and wants
you dead. If the mixing -- diluting -- of the enemy’s
blood is the definitive biological conquest, men who are not
capable of consummating in negatively charged sexual environments
run the risk of seeing their genes eliminated from the gene
pool. Males who are physically and emotionally equipped for
rape, especially multiple rapes with multiple partners, are
rewarded by nature: their copious seed is transmitted to the
next generation. Evolutionary biology’s toughest truth
is that natural selection rewards sexual coercion; it is not
interested in sensitive, caring, compassionate males –
the wimp contingent.
to their own devices and fantasies, most men, the majority of
whom discreetly suffer from Don Juan envy, would seduce and
procreate with as many women as possible. There isn’t
a man alive who at some primordial level doesn’t wish
to scatter his seed. If the ultimate prize of war -- the heavyweight
event that separates the breeders from the non-breeders -- is
unrestricted access to conquered women, the rapist is the first
in line. His seed will get a future hearing, while the omegas
on the sidelines console themselves with booty and plunder.
the rapist to his essential place and purpose, he represents
those exceptional men who are capable of procreating under the
most trying conditions. He is able to consummate in the presence
of judgmental males, in times of war, in environments with the
smell of death in the air, and with women who want to see him
dead. He will prevail when least expected, and it matters not
a whit to natural selection whether he is admired or detested
for his breeding prowess. His DNA lives on.
Dawkin, in River Out of Eden, explains that we don’t
have to go far back in time to find a common ancestor. If in
the Middle Ages it was not uncommon for an alpha male -- with
the backing of jus primae noctis (law of the first
night) or droit du seigneur (the lord's right) -- to
sire a hundred offspring, whose subsequent offspring sires only
ten for five generations (a century), his dominant genes will
be present in more than a million children, grandchildren and
great great grandchildren etc, all of whom might be recognizable
by an outstanding physical feature (shape of nose, chin, mouth)
which is why we are often able to identify someone as German,
or Scandinavian or Greek. The science of genetics, the branch
of biology that deals with heredity, combined with the laws
of exponential distribution force the conclusion that many of
us, and perhaps most of us, are the sons and daughters of nature’s
favourite brute – the rapist.
in the modern era rape is more or less universally outlawed,
and abortions are safer and more readily available than ever
before, resulting in fewer births from coercive sex, there has
been a major shift in
consequences away from procreation to using rape as a weapon
against institutionalized social iniquity. In 1968 Eldridge
Cleaver (Soul on Ice) infamously described rape as
an “act of insurrection,” the great leveler, the
orgasmic means to the end of blurring the distinction between
society’s winners and losers. Rape is the quick and efficient
answer to a frustrated alpha male’s ambitions, or minority
status or negative self-esteem. When an unemployed, uneducated
rapist forces himself on a society woman who would otherwise
have nothing to do with his kind, he is addressing an imbalance
his nature cannot abide by. He doesn’t regard rape as
a crime but a correction against an exclusionary social order
that has robbed him of his dignity and self-esteem. Rape is
the temporary means by which he takes his rightful place in
society. He rationalizes it as justified affirmative action
without consent. In the unacknowledged but ongoing war among
males for access to the most prized females, he proves to himself
and ‘the boss’ whose woman lies beneath him carrying
his seed that he is an equal. He feels no regret or remorse
but is hooked on an endorphin high that will bid him to rape
again and again until he is caught. Sixty per cent of rapists
become serial rapists.
we pass our genes on to the next generation, we are passing
along knowledge: a set of survival instructions, the most important
of which is the ability to reproduce under stress, which is
why the rapists’ genes are very present in the overall
human gene pool. Estimates vary widely but worldwide, among
reported incidences, a woman is raped every second, which speaks
to the DNA that predicts the act and the ineffectiveness of
the laws against it. Sometimes it doesn’t take more than
a drink or two, or a couple of hours spent in boisterous male
company, to feed the notion that it is OK to force a woman to
have sex against her will. Men, soldiers in particular, often
bond around the act of rape. Among certain men, rape is confused
for a right, which in turn confers bragging rights, which is
why it is not unusual for rape to be carried out in the public
I urge readers to check out the book by evolutionary psychologists,
The natural history of rape.
some of the same claims as Robert Lewis but does so in a more
even-handed manner, with citations.
OK. There are a lot of deranged sickos out there being devilish
beyond comprehension . . . but a rather small percentage nonetheless.
And so to speak of the individual against the "race"
as though all of humanity were plagued with the seed of EVIL
and doomed to perdition is taking it a bit too far.
No, it's not the individual against the race, but the individual
Some rapists reading your article will blame it on their genes.
Is this what you intended?
Rape "as justified affirmative action without consent"
? ? ? ? I always thought raping is a crime.
Cowards rape. Worst cowards are gangs who rape, They don't
have the guts to do it alone. They are not MEN in real sense.
Rape is not about passing genes either.
This was the most disturbing article I have ever read in Arts
& Opinion. I will screen in future before I read
Dear Sir: A very thoughtful and original article. I hadn't
considered the implications of rape in terms of number of
offspring these rapists leave behind them; they will of course
make very fine daddies and their children will be very level
Rapists are ousted from a group because of their defects.
The woman wouldn't be able to relax and have a relationship
conducive with the man and raising children for future reproductive
Rapists are psychopaths; with parts of their brain that aren't
normal. This is a man trying to pass on his defective genes.
Africa is one of the most rape occuring countries but it doesn't
seem to be evolutionary advanced. Stronger and wilder males
are supposed to create superior offsprings but that does not
work in modern world. All the top ten rape country are top
ten proverty country. I think Dawkins missed one point that
human superiority is intellectual one, not physical one. Contribution
of intellectual traits to inheritance is very less also. I
do not agree that rape and rapist shape the genetic make up.
Only creates sad lifes on streets. Dawkins is not a geneticist
and has no solid and applied expertiese in evolutionary genetics.
All men are products of their culture and and upbring, all
cultures produce rapists, therefore rape, which is an attitude,
is learned; it is not genetic as your piece suggests. Men
are physically stronger than women, when they can, men dominate
and bully weaker men and of course women. If woman was stronger
than man, men wouldn't be raping women. Rape is not genetic.