Rape, Culture, and Evolutionary Psychology

This is an excerpt from my PhD thesis, which develops a feminist analysis of rape as a product of the interaction between human sexual desire and the the norms of patriarchal masculinity, understood as being based on an ideal of invulnerability and self-sufficiency. My basic claim is that an ideal of patriarchal masculinity-qua-invulnerability makes it hard for males who identify with it to get their sexual (and other) needs met in an ethical way, and promotes patterns of entitlement and dominance. This is because dependence on others is, de facto, a form of vulnerability, and sexual desire for other humans is a particularly heightened from of vulnerability, given how intense our desires can be, and the extent to which their satisfaction is tied up with our self-esteem and sense of acceptance or rejection. Appropriative relations, entitlement, and efforts to ‘take what you want’ can be understood then as an unethical and harmful strategy for ameliorating the tension between ones fundamental vulnerability and dependence on others, and ones ideals of invulnerability. This model was developed initially in response to the accounts given by incel and MRA young males inhabiting the manosphere, and listening to the fairly transparently expressed anger they feel about desiring women they may not be able to ‘have.’ This type of anger has been explained by Michael Kimmel as a product of ‘aggrieved entitlement’ (2008) and the social psychology literature on sexual aggression has found that entitlement is indeed, a predictor of rape supportive attitudes and behaviours in males. This led me to an exploration of how entitlement and narcissistic sexual aggression can be understood as a product of the tension between the vulnerability of desire and ideals of patriarchal invulnerability. The complete thesis is available to download here: https://ir.stonybrook.edu/xmlui/handle/11401/76602

In order to develop this argument it was necessary for me to engage with the evolutionary psychology literature which posits that rape in humans is in some sense straightforwardly a product of evolution, and in particular Thornhill and Palmer’s A Natural History of Rape (2001). There are two claims made by this literature, and the argument conforms to the type often described as ‘motte and bailey’. That is, it switches between a strong contentious claim that is hard to defend, and much weaker general claims that are easily defensible because they are evident or trivially true. The strong claim is that rape is a specific behavioural adaptation which constitutes a successful reproductive strategy and has, therefore, been genetically passed down. There are a number of disputations of this claim by evolutionary biologists such are Jerry Coyne, and philosophers of biology such as Elisabeth Lloyd. The summary these disputations as laid out in the collection Evolution, Gender and Rape (2003) are presented in the table below. One of the most significant of these, as also discussed recently by Marina Strinkovsky, is that there is no scientifically demonstrated mechanism by which specific social behaviours could be directly genetically inheritable (such an idea depends on the thought that the human psyche is modular, and specific social behaviours could be genetically encoded in the way material organs or processes are….a slightly more crass way of expressing this is that there is no ‘rape gene’ anymore than there is a ‘writing poetry’ gene). The weaker defensible claims are that rape is a byproduct of other more general evolutionary adaptations, such as males being more aggressive or stronger than females. The feminist account I give in my thesis, and which I think most feminists would agree with, is that such features are definitely implicated in the commission of male sexual violence, but they are by no means sufficient explanations. All human social behaviour is an interaction of nature and culture, biology and history, and pointing out that such behaviour has something to do with nature or biology only invalidates feminist analysis if you caricature feminist analysis as being dependent on denying any role to nature or biology. It is the centrality of this move to evopsych dismissals of feminism that I discuss in the excerpt below.

Rape Culture: A ‘Natural’ History of Rape

At the turn of the millennium, evolutionary psychologists Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer’s A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion was published to considerable fanfare. In order to promote their purportedly heretical notion that rape is “a natural biological phenomenon that is a product of the human evolutionary heritage,” (Thornhill and Palmer 2000a:30) Thornhill and Palmer toured the media circuit – appearing on Dateline, The Today Show, CNN, and debating Susan Brownmiller on National Public Radio. (NPR 2000) The book also received widespread, and often sympathetic, global newspaper coverage, generating a degree of excitement that Cheryl Brown Travis, in her edited volume Evolution, Gender and Rape (2003), has attributed to a wider “cultural predilection” for stories which claim to demonstrate the biological bases of stereotypical gender differences. (Travis 2003a:4)[1]

The crux of Thornhill and Palmer’s theory consists of the suggestion that rape is either “a result of rape-specific adaptation or a by-product of other adaptations.” (2000a:12) Thornhill’s expertise is in the study of scorpion flies, and it was, apparently, their possession of an organ specialized for forced copulation that provided the impetus for the pair’s proposal of the existence of a psychological rape adaptation in human males. The scientific community’s response to this proposal – and the evidence Thornhill and Palmer claimed in its support – was merciless. Jerry Coyne, writing in The New Republic (republished in Travis’ volume), noted that the pair’s tendency to style themselves as latter-day Galileos – “dispassionate scientists” beset by repressive ideological detractors – was a “grotesque misrepresentation of the book’s science.” The “scientific errors in this book,” he dryly noted, “are far more inflammatory than its ideological implications.” (Coyne 2003:173)

The scientific disputations of Thornhill and Palmer’s thesis are summarized in Appendix II, but my concern here is precisely with the ideological implications, or rather, impetus, of the way the book frames that thesis. Thornhill and Palmer’s media performance may have been dedicated to hammering home that when “addressing the question of rape, the choice between the politically constructed answers of social science and the evidentiary answers of evolutionary biology is essentially a choice between ideology and knowledge.” (Thornhill and Palmer 2000c:36) Nonetheless, the work they presented contains little substantive science, and is, instead, largely devoted to an attempt to elide the role of culture in the production of human behavior in general, and the role of cultural systems of male dominance in the production of rape in particular. The fact that this effort involves not only misrepresenting empirical data but also a great deal of syllogistic sleight-of-hand,[2] belies their claim to be nothing but evangelists for scientific objectivity.

Thornhill and Palmer’s ‘Galileo defense’ depends, in the first instance, on an untenable positing of science as an activity purified of all cultural influence – a claim we will have reason to question when examining the history of sociobiology. In the role of oppressive inquisitors it casts a social science establishment dominated by a feminist political agenda and riddled with superstitious beliefs about an “almost metaphysical” cultural process called ‘learning.’ (2000a:124) According to Thornhill and Palmer, social science – they do not specify which social science – is founded on an unsupportable conviction that culture exists entirely outside the real or the natural. Social scientists, they argue “treat learning as a distinctive – indeed, even a non-biological phenomenon,” (22) and are committed to the view that “an individual’s culturally influenced behavior is due entirely to environmental causes and hence is not biological.” (25) Social science has, they comically claim, “many similarities to a religion” insofar as it considers ‘culture’ to be the “supernatural (or at least a ‘superorganic’)…creator of all human behaviour.” (124)

Having produced a preposterous caricature of ‘social science’ as necessarily grounded in the binary opposition of nature and culture, Thornhill and Palmer consider an adequate refutation to consist in pointing out that “we know that we are dealing with culture only when we observe certain kinds of behavior or their consequences,” and that because “culture is behavior” it therefore falls “clearly within the realm of biology, and hence within the explanatory realm of natural selection.” (25)[3] This argument depends on an appeal to the priority of fundamental levels of explanation, presented in their distinction between proximate and ultimate causes. Proximate causes, with which “most social scientists are exclusively concerned,” are short term or immediate, whereas “ultimate explanations have to do with why particular proximate mechanisms exist,” (4) and thus require us to “understand how natural selection leads to adaptations. (5)

While Thornhill and Palmer are careful not to make the evidently ridiculous claim that culture has no influence on human behavior, what is articulated by this distinction is the reductive view that adaptation by natural selection is the ‘ultimate explanation’ of why proximate – i.e. cultural – causes exist. The “ultimate explanation of a biological phenomenon can,” therefore, they assert, “account for all proximate causes influencing the phenomenon, whether the phenomenon is an adaptation or an incidental effect of an adaptation.” (12; my emphasis) The absurdity of this argument is demonstrated by their discussion of language, which is “clearly,” they concede, “a cultural behavior” in that “environmental influences leading to its occurrence include social learning.” (25) On the basis, however, that culture is not a ‘sufficient’ condition of language acquisition they then proceed to argue that “although language is cultural, it is still just as biological and just as subject to evolutionary influences, as the human eye.” (25; my emphasis)

Notwithstanding exactly what ‘just as biological’ might mean when comparing a material organ with a cultural-inflected behavior, we could admit this as trivially true, insofar as all human activity is undertaken by beings with bodies. What is patently not true, however, is that adaptation by natural selection – explanatory of the development of human articulatory organs, or neural centers of language processing – can account for ‘all proximate causes influencing the phenomenon’ of any given language. This is an issue of salient levels of explanation. And when it comes to accounting for the difference between, say, Mandarin and Magyar, biological natural selection isn’t it. This passion for reductively prioritizing fundamental levels of knowledge is not entirely uncommon in scientific communities – and is at least partly responsible for the persistent animosity of some physicists towards philosophy. What is, however, especially egregious about Thornhill and Palmer’s particular gambit is that, if one were to follow their logic, it could easily be argued that natural selection – particularly in its tendentious psychological form – is far from fundamental enough. Indeed, if such reductiveness were a wise approach to human knowledge, no academic discipline beside particle physics would exist, and the most explanatory account of the events of the French Revolution could be given in terms of the behaviour of quarks. 

Thornhill and Palmer’s real intent, however, is not simply to elide culture in general. This is a book about the ‘biological bases’ of rape, and their target is the alleged ‘ideological’ conviction of feminists that rape is informed by cultures of male dominance. The “dominant explanation of rape in the social sciences in the past 25 years” – something they call “feminist psychosocial analysis” – is a theory that developed “after certain feminist assertions were added to the ‘learning theory’ that has been the bedrock of social science for much of the last 100 years.” (123) Following the same strategy used in their discussion of learning, Thornhill and Palmer then dedicate several pages of their text to establishing that the feminist view of rape consists of – and implicitly depends on – the denial that rape has any biological basis, which they term the “‘not-sex’ explanation.” (126) “The most fundamental premise of the social science theory of rape,” they argue, is the “false assumption that aspects of living organisms can be divided into biological and non-biological categories” and “implies something close to the classic tabula rasa view of human nature.” (129) Steven Pinker, discussing Thornhill and Palmer in The Blank Slate, repeats the same refrain; “the modern catechism: rape is not about sex…comes right out of the gender-feminist theory of human nature: people are blank slates.” (Pinker 2002:361) Rather than being vilified by the scientific community, he suggested, Thornhill and Palmer were to be commended for challenging “a consensus that had held firm in intellectual life for a quarter of a century,” (359) namely, that “the overriding moral imperative in analyzing rape is to proclaim that rape has nothing to do with sex.” (360)

Susan Brownmiller’s reasonable response to being portrayed as the poster-child of a ‘not-sex’ feminist establishment, was to point out she had never denied that rape was sex, and underline her aim had been to establish – against the romanticization of ravishment as a “Robin Hood act of machismo” – that rape was, for women, “not sexy” but “pure humiliation and degradation.” (Cited Ochert 2000)  The justness of Thornhill and Palmer’s characterization of the ‘not-sex’ school of feminist thought is open to question – it is certainly true that the second wave placed great emphasis on situating rape as an act of domination rather than eroticism. Nonetheless, Thornhill and Palmer’s reduction of swathes of work on cultural masculinity and sexual aggression to the proposition that feminists think “rape occurs only when men learn to rape” (2000a:123) is facile in the extreme. Moreover, irrespective of whether some – or even many – feminists have subscribed to the not-sex ‘catechism,’ the fact remains that analyzing rape as an act of domination does not logically depend on denying any role to sexual desire, and conversely, suggesting that sexual desire plays some part in rape does not imply that the exercise of power, control, or narcissistic rage, do not. Indeed, the account I will propose turns precisely on the interaction between desire and the cultural imperative of masculine invulnerability.

To justify their sweeping dismissal of feminist accounts of rape as “indifferent to scientific standards” and “clearly political,” (148) Thornhill and Palmer would need something far more substantial than the claim that feminism’s “assertion that rape is not sexually motivated” cannot “withstand skeptical analysis,” or that its “assumptions …about human nature are not compatible with…evolution.” (128) They would, in fact, have to demonstrate that culture doesn’t play a role in the expression of sexual violence. The means to do this is cross-cultural analysis, and it is to this that Thornhill and Palmer turn to support their claim that rape “occurs in all the environments in which human societies have been known to exist.” The “real lesson to be drawn from cross-cultural studies” they continue, “is not that rape will vanish with the end of patriarchy.” (171) The problem with their recourse to this method is, however, that human societies exhibit wide variability in how ‘rape-prone’ they are. Peggy Reeves Sanday, in her study of 95 band and tribal societies, concluded that in 47% of cultures rape was rare or absent, and that in only 18% of cases was it an accepted practice, or of moderately high frequency. (Sanday 2003:340) Moreover, the two variables most strongly correlated with high incidence of rape were the degree of generalized interpersonal violence, and an ideology of male toughness, findings that led Sunday to conclude that “violence against women is an expression of a social ideology of male dominance.” (Cited Sanday 2000:341)

Faced with such variation, Thornhill and Palmer elision of the explanatory power of culture comes to focus on the fact that the “social science model” allegedly “holds that experiencing other individuals’ explicit or implicit encouragement of raping behavior is a necessary precursor to rape.” (2000:142) They support this characterization with reference to one article, by Susan Griffin, who in 1971 argued that cross-cultural comparison leads “one to suspect, that in our society, it is rape itself that is learned.” (Cited:140) Thornhill and Palmer would only, however, have to turn to Sanday’s ethnography to be disabused of this reductive caricature. Her extensive work among the Minangkabu of Western Sumatra links their extremely low incidence of rape to a variety of social customs that derive, she suggests, from their prioritization of the mother-child bond. Not unlike Thornhill and Palmer, the Minangkabu also have a reading of nature, and – as with the mirroring of sociobiology and capitalist economy – it informs their social organization. The Minangkabu consider that “[g]rowth in nature is our teacher,” and that “all that is born into the world is born from the mother, not the father.” Their social customs are therefore designed, in the words of one Minangkabu leader, “in accordance with…nature in which it can be seen that it is the mother who bears the next generation and…who sucks the young and raises the child.” (Sanday 2003:153)

In order to afford the highest protection to mothers and children, the Minangkabu practice matrilineal inheritance. They understand biological paternity, but because it may raise “extraneous social issues inimical to the child’s welfare” (354), choose not to make it a principal of social organization. Women are not exchanged between men, and it is a mother’s role to choose a husband for her daughter, who then comes to live in the wife’s household. Social relations place emphasis on harmony and consensus, men who beat their wives are sent back to their families, and the one known incident of rape was dealt with by immediately turning the perpetrators over to the authorities. Social discourse among women about sex is common, and involves the public singing of songs, many of which, Sanday notes, concern bawdy stories about both men and women in various stages of desire – a fact which notably challenges Thornhill and Palmer’s claim that “people everywhere understand sex to be something that women have and that men want.” (160) Most importantly, with regard to Thornhill and Palmer’s caricature of feminist analysis, the Minangkabu, Sanday argues, believe that “whatever the natural basis of rape might be, culture exists to override these tendencies.” (343) The force of nature as a principal of growth is conceived as having worked through the will of the ancestors, the body of custom gradually developing by “choosing the good and rejecting the bad of nature for the benefit and reproductive success of each generation.” (352) The Minangkabu, Sanday concludes, are an example of “how social assumptions regarding human nature inhibits violence against women.” (351)

The Investor Gene: Sociobiology, Capitalist Economy and Reification of Dominance

Determined to head-off the charge that their work is flagrant rape apologism, Thornhill and Palmer make a frequent, and somewhat unconventional, appeal to the naturalistic fallacy. There is, they note, “no connection between what is biological or naturally selected and what is morally right or wrong,” (2000: 5-6) and it is, therefore, logically indefensible to “assume that the statements made by evolutionists about how the world is are intended to imply a position about how the world ought to be.” (109) While this is strictly correct from the perspective of logic, it betrays a willful misunderstanding of the critique of reification – a cultural, rather than logical, process, which functions, in part, because the naturalistic fallacy is, as Thornhill and Palmer note, widespread, and hence, it is relatively easy to convince people that the way things are is the way they should be by invoking their naturalness. Pointing out that cultural domination has secured itself by appeal to the immovable forces of God or Nature is not an instance of the naturalistic fallacy. It is, rather, a simple descriptive fact – an observation about cultural process that has been documented innumerable times by literary, historical, and empirical analysis.

Observations about the tendency of rape-prone cultures to excuse sexual violence under the rubric of ‘boys will be boys,’ or by appealing to the peremptory nature of male sexual desire, are not then, as Thornhill and Palmer claim, testament to the “truly impressive role” played in “the social science study of rape” by the “naturalistic fallacy.” (124) Thornhill and Palmer may claim their motivation is to inform more effective Darwinist rape prevention strategies – apparently, telling young men their rapacious urges are mandated by natural selection would make them “better able to avoid behaving in an ‘adaptive’ fashion that is damaging to others.” (154) But this is laughable, and flies in the face of everything experts know about the power of reifying rape myths, and men’s hostility to being told they are all potential assailants. (Koss 2003:197) Their caricature of their detractors’ position, Galileo-esque posturing, sloppy science, and statistical and conceptual jiggery-pokery, all tell a different story. If the essence of ideology resides in the attempt to pass the cultural off as the natural, it is their work, and not that of feminist social scientists, that merits the label. No amount of pseudo-technical pointing at the ‘naturalistic fallacy’ could conceal their positing of rape as manifest biological destiny.

It should not be forgotten, moreover, that ‘evolutionary psychology’ is an exercise in rebranding sociobiology. As Elisabeth Lloyd notes, both of Thornhill and Palmer’s theses – that rape is a by-product of adaptation, or was specifically selected as an alternative mating strategy for sexually disenfranchised males – depend on a particular account of the difference in reproductive strategy between males and females. (E. A. Lloyd 2003:236) This account, known as ‘parental investment theory’ – developed by the sociobiologist Robert Trivers – extrapolates from “the initial difference in parental investment…the difference in size between the sperm and the egg” (Thornhill and Palmer 2000:35) to infer an evolutionary basis for male promiscuity and sexual competition, and female monogamy accompanied by rigorous mate selection. This positing of female bodies as a resource over which males compete then, in turn, leads to the supposition that male dominance hierarchies are an evolved feature of the natural world.

The striking resemblances between sociobiological accounts of reproductive strategy, and the social Darwinist imaginings of free-market capitalism have not gone unnoticed. Peter Koslowski, in his Ethics of Capitalism and Critique of Sociobiology (1996), observed that the “sociobiological program works out an evolutionary, materialistic monism,” a “theoretical synthesis based on Darwinian principles” (Koslowski 1996:78) in which “ecology is understood as an economy of nature.’ (85) Similarly, in her classic Simians, Cyborgs and Women (1991), Donna Haraway characterized sociobiology’s core concept of nature as a “genetic market place” in which “[b]odies and societies are only the replicators’ strategies for maximizing their own reproductive profit.” In this marketplace, genes are the only legal tender, and “reproduction or replication” the singular “natural imperative.” (Haraway 1991:60) Or, to imbue them with something approaching intentionality, genes should rather, as Richard Dawkins argued, be viewed as “portfolio investors on the stockmarket whose stocks or enterprises are the survival machines in which they invest.” (Cited Koslowski 1996: 89-90) Sociobiology is thus, Haraway suggests, best understood as “the science of capitalist reproduction,” (44) and, according to the natural economy it proposes, prospective sexual mates must, at the behest of their selfish genes, regard each other as nothing more than “means of capital accumulation not reliably under control.” (61)

Whether we are here encountering nature read through neoliberal political economy, or political economy read through a reductive Darwinian rendering of nature[4] is, however, a moot question. Sociobiology and neoliberal economics are locked in a specular embrace, and have been since their joint rise to intellectual prominence in the nineteen-seventies. What is clear, however, is that an account of natural mechanism with such an eminently political pedigree has little business styling itself as a paradigm of pure scientific disinterest. As the essays that comprise the early chapters of Simians, Cyborgs and Women testify, sociobiology descends from a tradition of animal sociology which has an even longer history of deploying animal studies “in the rationalization and naturalization of the oppressive orders of domination in the human body politic,” (Haraway 1991:11) especially with respect to “the origin and role of human forms of sex and the family.” (12) “We polish an animal mirror to look for ourselves,” (21) notes Haraway, and indeed, one of Thornhill and Palmer’s indictments of cultural analyses of rape is that they cannot  “account for the occurrence of rape in other species,” (2000:128) a claim that depends, again, on construing cultural explanations as reliant on the absolute exclusion of a natural component of desire. 

As with cross-cultural studies, however, what is most revealing about data from animal observation is its variability. Scorpion flies may exhibit a specialized rape adaptation, and rape has also been found, as Thornhill and Palmer are at pains to emphasize, in some species of “insects, birds, fishes, reptiles and amphibians, marine mammals and non-human primates.” (144) But while Thornhill and Palmer are keen to defend the importance of comparative analysis of “the behavior of non-human animals as a potential source of information about the causes of human rape,” (120) when it comes to our closest relatives, the chimps and bonobos, they suddenly decide that the “notion that the behaviors of non-human primates necessarily provide salient information about human psychological and behavioral adaptations” is “erroneous.” (56) For Michael Kimmel, this approach to the “use of evidence is so selective it may as well constitute scholarly fraud,” (Kimmel 2003:225) and it has, to his mind, everything to do with the fact that the sexual behaviour – or ‘reproductive strategies’ – of chimps and bonobos bear little resemblance to that predicted by parental investment theory. Female chimps (and baboons) are extremely promiscuous while it is the males who are choosy, and bonobo society, which is legendarily sexual, includes lots of masturbation, genital touching, and sex for social-bonding, most of which is initiated by the females. Perhaps most importantly, despite being highly sexual, the rates of rape in chimp society are very low. Among the much more egalitarian bonobos, it is non-existent. (226)

The only two substantive claims that Thornhill and Palmer level at ‘feminist psychosocial analysis’ – that its predictions are contradicted by cross-species and cross-cultural studies (2000: 128) – do not, therefore, stack up. This is less than surprising. Human beings – not entirely unlike our nearest primate relatives – are both biological and cultural creatures, and it is bordering on absurdity to think that all proximate cultural causes of any human behaviour can be reduced to an ultimate explanation grounded in natural selection. In reference to Maslow’s famous hierarchy, Koslowski notes that “upon increasing satisfaction of physiological needs the urge toward higher, spiritual and social needs grows” and human behavior becomes “increasingly distant from gene maximization,” a fact which “confirms,” he asserts, “that culture and its experience of meaning belong to the original needs of the human condition.” (Koslowski 1996:110-111) Indeed, it seems unfathomable that anyone who claimed empirical interest in ‘human nature’ would deny that being human is, in considerable part, about meaning-making, and that this necessarily entails the possibility of making meaning otherwise. Unless, of course, that somebody – or those somebodies – had reason to be concerned with “legitimating beliefs in the natural necessity of aggression, competition, and hierarchy.” (Haraway 1991:21)

[1] “In particular, significant media attention is paid to science stories that lend themselves to a discussion of brain differences between women and men.” (Travis 2003a: 12)

[2] The form of Thornhill and Palmer’s argument runs as follows: a) Social science claims rape is only a cultural phenomenon; b) All cultural phenomenon are ‘just as’ biological as natural phenomenon; c) Therefore, rape is a natural phenomenon and, hence d) Claims that rape is cultural are empirically false and e) Ideological. The fact that this argument is entirely fallacious conveniently escapes their disinterested analysis. The claim that rape is cultural in no way depends on the claim that it is only cultural. And if rape is both cultural and biological, it does not follow from the apparently stunning revelation that it is in some way biological that claims about its cultural determination are empirically false, and hence, ideological.

[3] “[S]ocial science theory posits that rape is caused primarily or only by “culture”, or social learning, which is presented as a quasi-metaphysical force that determines human behaviour. But, in fact, culture is totally biological – learning from members of one’s own species, like all learning, occurs within the living brains of living beings and is guided by learning adaptations. (Thornhill and Palmer 2000b; my emphasis)

[4] To be clear, I am not claiming that all Darwinian accounts are reductive, merely that sociobiology is.


Coyne, Jerry A.

            2003    ‘Of Vice and Men: A Case Study in Evolutionary Psychology’. In Evolution, Gender and Rape, edited by C. B. Travis, pp. 171-189. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Haraway, Donna

            1991    Simians, Cyborgs and Women. 2nd ed. Free Association Books, London.

Kimmel, Michael

            2003    ‘An Unnatural History of Rape’. In Evolution, Gender and Rape, edited by C. B. Travis, pp. 221-233. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

            2008    Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. Harper Collins, New York.

Koslowski, Peter

            1996    Ethics of Capitalism and Critique of Sociobiology. Translated by D. Ambuel. Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Koss, Mary P.

            2003    ‘Evolutionary Models of Why Men Rape: Acknowledging the Complexities’. In Evolution, Gender and Rape, edited by C. B. Travis, pp. 191-205. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Lloyd, Elisabeth A.

            2003    ‘Violence Against Science: Rape and Evolution’. In Evolution, Gender and Rape, edited by C. B. Travis, pp. 235-261. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Pinker, Steven

            2002    The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. Penguin, New York and London.

Thornhill, Randy and Craig T. Palmer

            2000a  A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and London, England.

            2000b  ‘The Evolutionary Basis of Rape’. In Times Higher Education. Available at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/why-men-want-to-rape/150003.article. Accessed on 09/11/15.

            2000c  ‘Why Men Rape’. The Sciences Jan/Feb:30-36.

Travis, Cheryl Brown

            2003a  ‘Talking Evolution and Selling Difference’. In Evolution, Gender and Rape, edited by C. B. Travis, pp. 3-27. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

            2003b  ‘Theory and Data on Rape and Evolution’. In Evolution, Gender and Rape, edited by C. B. Travis, pp. 207-220. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.


One comment

  1. all very interesting to me…so much so that I attempted to access your complete thesis…but the link failed… fyi


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