Added: August 15, 2009 – Last updated: November 4, 2017


Author: Suzanne Zeedyk

Title: the science of rape

Subtitle: (mis)construction of women's trauma in evolutionary theory

Journal: feminist review

Volume: -

Issue: 86

Year: July 2007

Pages: 67-88

ISSN: 0141-7789 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1466-4380 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Research: Theories / Evolutionary Theory



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Author: Suzanne Zeedyk, School of Psychology, University of DundeeAuthor's Personal Website

Abstract: »The social sciences are witnessing renewed enthusiasm for sociobiological accounts of human behaviour. Feminist theory has, understandably, tended to engage cautiously with biological reasoning, because women have often been poorly served by the politics of such research. It is important, though, that feminists continue to contribute to this literature, in order to challenge problematic discourses that may emerge. The present paper seeks to analyse a domain of sociobiology that has been the focus of recent controversy: an evolutionary explanation of rape. Particular attention is given to the way in which women's traumatic experience of rape is constructed within this framework. It is argued that women's psychological pain is contorted, via the strategies of (a) diminishing women's pain and (b) ignoring their experience altogether. The operation of these two strategies is illuminated, and their practical consequences in the domains of legal reform and the depoliticization of science are evaluated.« (Source: Feminist Review)


  abstract (p. 67)
  introduction (p. 68)
  overview: an evolutionary account of rape (p. 69)
  strategy 1: dimishing women's experience of rape (p. 71)
  strategy 2: ignoring women's experience of rape (p. 76)
  practical consequences and political scrutiny (p. 79)
  acknowledgements (p. 84)
  author biography (p. 84)
  references (p. 84)

Note: Thornhill, Randy, et al. A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion. Cambridge 2000. – Bibliographic Entry: Info

Wikipedia: Sociobiological theories of rape: A Natural History of Rape