Added: October 25, 2000 – Last updated: January 2, 2016


Editors: Sylvana Tomaselli and Roy Porter

Title: Rape

Subtitle: An Historical and Social Enquiry

Place: Oxford

Publisher: Basil Blackwell

Year: 1986

Pages: xii + 292pp.

ISBN-10: 0631137483 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 0631169067 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: General History


Link: -


Editors: Roy Porter: Wikipedia


  The Contributors (p. vii)
  Acknowledgements (p. x)
  Preface (p. xi)
  1 Introduction
Sylvana Tomaselli (p. 1)
  2 Women, Rape and Law Reform
Jennifer Tremkin (p. 16)
  3 Rape – a Case Study in Political Philosophy
Ross Harrison (p. 41)
  4 Rape, Seduction and Psychoanalysis
John Forrester (p. 57)
  5 Rape and the Silencing of the Feminine
Peggy Reeves Sanday (p. 84)
  6 The Biology of Rape
Randy Thornhill, Nancy Thornhill and Gerard Dizinno (p. 102)
  7 Configurations of Rape in Greek Myth
Froma Zeitlin (p. 122)
  8 Two Narratives of Rape in the Visual Arts: Lucretia and the Sabine Women
Norman Bryson (p. 152)
  9 The House that Jack Built: Some Stereotypes of the Rapist in the History of Popular Culture
Christopher Frayling (p. 174)
  10 Rape – Does it have a Historical Meaning?
Roy Porter (p. 216)
  Notes (p. 237)
  Further Reading (p. 280)
  Index (p. 282)


»Why does rape occur? And waht does it mean? Despite the increasing awareness of rape, we still have little understanding of both its personal and social dimensions; as a consequence, our hopes of diminishing it must be small.
This exciting and controversial collection of essays aims to increase our ourstanding of rape by subjecting it to scrutiny from many different points of view. The editors bring divergent and scattered debates about rape together without trying to fabricate a consensus. Thus the perspective of evolutionary biology, which sees rape as an evolved behaviour employed by men who lack other viable reproductive alternatives, is set alongside the view of an anthropologist who, drawing evidence from non-raping societies, argues that contrary to popular belief men are not human versions of predatory jungle beasts, and that it was heterosexual cooperation that began the 'long path to humanity'. A contribution on the media treatment of male-sexuality-with-violence traces the evolution of popular cultural stereotypes of the rapist: so different from the men who assault women in the real world. Further essays consider the problem posed by rape for any criminal justice system and explore rape in art, myth, history and political philosophy, and the ambiguous legacy of Freud and psychoanalysis in understanding the hidden springs of rape.« (Source: Book Cover)


Chaytor, M. New Society 79(1258) (February 1987): 26-27.

Drysdale, Janet. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 3 (1989-90): 644-647. – Full Text: HeinOnline (Restricted Access)

Kappeler, Susanne. Art History: Journal of the Association of Art Historians 11(1) (March 1988): 118-122.

Showalter, Elaine. »Is this crime inevitable?« The New York Times Book Review (January 4, 1987): 11. – Full Text: The New York Times (Free Access)

Translation: Tomaselli, Sylvana, et al., eds. Estrupo. Rio de Janeiro 1992.