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Law and the Biology of Rape: Reflections on Transitions


Owen D. Jones


Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences


Hastings Women's Law Journal, Vol. 11, p. 151, 2000

Abstract:     
This Article serves is a sequel to a previous Article: Sex, Culture, and the Biology of Rape: Toward Explanation and Prevention, 87 Cal. L. Rev. 827 (1999). Part I briefly considers the threshold question: why consider the behavioral biology of sexual aggression at all? Part II proposes that the first step in transitioning to a more accurate and more useful model of rape behavior is to avoid a number of common definitional ambiguities that plague most rape discussions. Because those ambiguities are particularly likely to foster misunderstandings about biobehavioral perspectives, Part II also clarifies the scope of what biobehavioral theories address. Part III proposes that the commonly tangled realm of rape theory be divided into two distinct (though in some contexts overlapping) realms: one of theories about the meanings of rape, and the other of theories about the causes of rape. Part IV proposes that causes of rape, in turn, be sorted into two kinds, the precise and necessary inter-relationship of which can be understood in a way that provides important and continuing utility for the ongoing research in both social science and life science perspectives on sexual aggression. Part V offers thoughts on two complexities arising from the transition to an integrated model of rape behavior.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: Rape, Biology, Evolutionary Analysis in Law, Behavioral Biology, Sexual Aggression

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Date posted: November 2, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Jones, Owen D., Law and the Biology of Rape: Reflections on Transitions. Hastings Women's Law Journal, Vol. 11, p. 151, 2000. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=611943

Contact Information

Owen D. Jones (Contact Author)
Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences ( email )
131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
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