Added: October 25, 2008 – Last updated: January 2, 2016


Author: Joanna Bourke

Title: Rape

Subtitle: A History from 1860 to the Present Day

Place: London

Publisher: Virago Press

Year: 2007

Pages: viii + 565pp.

ISBN-10: 1844081540 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

ISBN-13: 9781844081547 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century | American History: U.S. History; European History: English History


Link: -


Author: Joanna Bourke, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London – Wikipedia


  Preface (p. vii)
  Section One: Introduction
  Chapter One: Sexed Bodies (p. 5)
    Defining Rape (p. 8)
    Masculinity (p. 13)
    Prevalence (p. 15)
  Section Two: Lies
  Chapter Two: Rape Myths (p. 21)
    The Vibrating Sword (p. 24)
    Women Lie (p. 28)
    Rape is Not Serious (p. 41)
  Chapter Three: 'No' Means 'Yes' (p. 50)
    The Betraying Body (p. 53)
    The Unconscious (p. 61)
    'No' Means 'Yes' (p. 67)
    Humans Incapable of Consenting (p. 76)
  Section Three: Identities
  Chapter Four: Rapacious Bodies (p. 89)
    The 'Science' of Degeneracy (p. 92)
    Rapacious Instincts (p. 96)
    'Scientific Racism' and Retribution (p. 100)
    Evolutionary Psychology (p. 110)
  Chapter Five: Brutalizing Environments (p. 119)
    Social Explanations (p. 121)
    Subcultures of Violence (p. 130)
    Developmental Failures (p. 134)
    Crisis of Masculinity (p. 138)
    Feminist Model (p. 140)
  Chapter Six: The Knife (and Other Invasive Therapies) (p. 147)
    Sterilization (p. 149)
    Surgical Castration (p. 153)
    Chemical Castration (p. 161)
    Lobotomy (p. 167)
    The Behaviourist Revolution (p. 172)
  Chapter Seven: The Couch (and Other Interior Therapies) (p. 180)
    Moral Insanity (p. 183)
    The Psychoanalytic Contribution (p. 185)
    Treatment (p. 192)
    Impact (p. 193)
    Critique (p. 195)
  Section Four: Case Studies
  Chapter Eight: Female Perpetrators; Male Victims (p. 209)
    Female Abusers (p. 212)
    Non-Aggressive Femininity (p. 218)
    The Pathological Individual and Family (p. 221)
    The Aesthetics of Abuse (p. 229)
    Male Victims (p. 237)
  Chapter Nine: Exhibitionists (p. 249)
    Indecent Exposure v. Exhibitionism (p. 250)
    Who is the Exhibitionist? (p. 252)
    Pathological Exhibitionism (p. 256)
    Compensatory Exhibitionism (p. 260)
    Psychoanalytical Approaches (p. 263)
    The Mystery of the Absent Women Exhibitionists (p. 269)
    Behavioural Modification (p. 272)
  Chapter Ten: Sexual Psychopaths (p. 275)
    Psychopathic Laws (p. 284)
    Psychiatric Reservations (p. 287)
    Social Critiques (p. 291)
    Legal and Constitutional Reservations (p. 294)
    The Modern Laws of Psychopathy (p. 297)
  Section Five: Violence Institutions
  Chapter Eleven: The Home (p. 305)
    The (Contested) Meaning of Conjugal Love (p. 307)
    The Marital Rape Exemption (p. 316)
  Chapter Twelve: The Prison (p. 329)
    The Problem (p. 331)
    Dynamics of Coercion (p. 337)
    Power (p. 339)
    Racial Tensions (p. 343)
    Masculinity (p. 347)
    Prevention (p. 350)
  Chapter Thirteen: The Military (p. 357)
    Prevalence (p. 359)
    Complicity (p. 364)
    Justifications (p. 372)
    Telling Rape Stories (p. 379)
    Contemporary War Crimes (p. 384)
  Section Six: Law
  Chapter Fourteen: Getting Away with Rape (p. 389)
    False Accusations (p. 391)
    Attrition (p. 394)
    New Punitiveness (p. 399)
    Rape Reform: 'Rape as Assault' (p. 403)
  Section Seven: Resistance
  Chapter Fifteen: Violence, Politics, Erotics (p. 413)
    Masculinity and the Rapacious Penis (p. 413)
    Feminism and Female Suffering (p. 421)
    Towards a Male Erotics (p. 436)
  Notes (p. 442)
  Bibliography (p. 511)
    Archival Sources (p. 511)
    Articles and Chapters in Books (p. 512)
    Books (p. 538)
    Websites (p. 548)
    Newspapers and Periodicals (p. 548)
    Films (p. 549)
  Index (p. 550)

Description: »Joanna Bourke, author of the critically-acclaimed Fear, unflinchingly and controversially moves away from looking at victims to look at the rapists. She examines the nature of rape, drawing together the work of criminologists, sociologists and psychiatrists to analyse what drives the perpetrators of sexual violence. Rape - A History looks at the perception of rape, both in the mass media and the wider public, and considers the crucial questions of treatment and punishment. Should sexual offenders be castrated? Will Freud's couch or the behaviourists' laboratory work most effectively? Particular groups of offenders such as female abusers, psychopaths and exhibitionists are given special attention here, as are potentially dangerous environments, including the home, prison, and the military. By demystifying the category of the rapist and revealing the specificities of the past, Joanna Bourke dares to consider a future in which sexual violence has been placed outside the human experience.« (Source: Virago Press)

Editions: Bourke, Joanna. Rape: Sex, Violence, History. Emeryville 2007.


Bowlby, Rachel. »Violent Shades of Grey.« The Independent (October 19, 2007). – Full Text: The Independent (Free Access)

Boyd, Cameron. Aware: ACSSA Newsletter No. 18 (2008): 16-17. – Full Text: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (Free Access)

Duff, Sarah E. South African Historical Journal 60(3) (2008): 524- . – Full Text: Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)

Elvin, Jesse. Current Issues in Criminal Justice 21(2) (November 2009): 337-338. – Full Text: Australasian Legal Information Institute (Free Access)

Ferry, Eithne. »Why aren't we more outraged?« The Guardian (October 5, 2007). – Full Text: The Guardian (Free Access)

Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra. Screening the Past No. 24 (April 2009). – Full Text: Screening the Past (Free Access)

Hoegaerts, Josephine. »De uitvinding van de verkrachter.Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 124(4) (December 2011): 574-575. Full Text: ingentaconnect (Restricted Access)

Salvatici, Silvia. Deportate, Esuli e Profughe: Rivista Telematica di Studi sulla Memoria Femminile No. 10 (March 2009): 268-270. – Full Text: Deportate, Esuli e Profughe (Free Access)

Seaton, Jean. »An endless story of violence.« The Guardian (October 20, 2007). – Full Text: The Guardian (Free Access)

Segal, Lynne. »Men, monsters and the women who 'ask for it'.« Times Higher Education (December 7, 2007). – Full Text: Times Higher Education (Free Access)

Smith, Joan. The Times (October 12, 2007). – Full Text: Times Online (Restricted Access)

Snowman, Daniel. History Today 58(2) (February 2008): 62. –

Tavris, Carol. »Beyond the law.« TLS: The Times Literary Supplement No. 5470 (February 1, 2008): 10. – Full Text: Times Online (Restricted Access)

Thomas, Isabella. The Sunday Times (November 18, 2007). – Full Text: Times Online (Restricted Access)


Bourke, Joanna. Stupro: Storia della Violenza Sessuale dal 1860 a Oggi. Bari 2009.

Bourke, Joanna. Los violadores: Historia del estupro de 1860 a nuestro días. Barcelona 2009.

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