The human species is based on ubiquitous procreation. Procreation in the animal kingdom is based on a range of procreation strategies, and even in the animal kingdom many of these are generated based on non-volition. In most species males are bigger than the females and consequently more physically powerful. I witnessed that last summer with ducks, with a clutter of male ducks taking turns involuntarily establishing their procreation strategies on a single female duck. In other words, back where I live male ducks gang bang female ducks, and I have heard that during this practice the females occasionally drown.
Rape is a strategy for procreation, and no, the body does not shut that whole thing down at all. On the contrary. Nature does not in any way seem to reflect parochial, small-minded monotheistic morals, and rape is a fact of existence.
The alternative is monogamy, and several animal species have only the monogamy part, where a male links of with a female and enters in to a long term or indefinite relationship of mutual support. Maybe it is our human instinct for after-the-fact sentimentality but the animal kingdom alien of non-promiscuous volitional relations (and sex) seems to resonate with the romantic side of the homo sapiens. There seems to be a cultural preference for monogamous life, and for what we perceive to me “relational loyalty”.
Humans have had throughout history a patchwork of unstable societies and stable societies. Mostly, stable human society comes with some level of peace, prosperity and growth. During those periods humans tend to be more gregarious, innocent and dependable. On the other hand (and maybe I am projecting here) there is some evidence that during relatively more unstable periods, males of the human animal less resort to forming lasting relationships and the stronger ones tend to ‘score’ with females, whereas the females tend to “want a baby, even if the daddy won’t care for me”. In our current society they can, and even females and males that would not ordinarily have a chance to successfully procreate can leave behind a clutter of young (and quite costly!) human infants, for largely the mother to take care off for at least a decade.
Having babies is a very demanding investment for any animal, but males of most species seem to have at least an alternative to not bother with the whole investment part, and that is represented by the act of rape.
I won’t speculate on what rape does for the average non-human animal. Fact remains is that for human animals rape (of any kind, even the male-male kind) is a traumatizing and very violent experience, and it arguably damages the female ability to function as an adapted member of society. Females who are raped often “get sick” and are affected by a range of neurological problems. Some even commit suicide, and there seems to be a consistent response to abort rape fetuses.
At least now they can. Abortion is a relatively novel medical development and clearly the mechanism of Rape itself evolved as an adaptation based on a world where females do in fact get pregnant as a result, and can’t do much about it. Consequently, I would go as far as regard societies that resent (and prefer to outlaw) abortion as societies that at least in part leverage legal tools as a mechanism to allow for rape to generate offspring. Societies that outlaw abortion are societies that mechanically outlaw women to allow post-coital screening on the categories of offspring they reproduce.
There is a certain kind of perverse and morally objectionable sense to this mechanism.
Lately I have been running in to subjectively measured more articles and publications describing rape. There was a massive moral outrage on the gang rape in a bus of a young nurse in India. There was an incident of drunken boys in the US publicly chanting about “rape murder”. There is even talk that some aspects of western society comprise a deeply women-hostile “rape culture”. Among some male subcultures and communities females are decidedly not something to permanently bond with (which should be OK, I guess) but also are something to violently use and discard.
At some level these statements are just posturing as “a dominant male” and it is shocking that this posturing does in fact attract females “who seem to be in to that”. Then again, people in prisons also get their share of admirers. Why would women seek out convicted serial killers (et.al.) and purposefully go out of their way to be impregnated by them? Don’t these women realize that such strategical procreation choices generate a higher incidence chance on their (male) offspring being more prone to violence, rape and crime?
Unless that’s what these women want of course – “I want a strong father for my child, even if he’s in prison” might indicate a purposeful strategy on the females to generate offspring that is somehow capable of dealing with the world.
In the progressive civil, peaceful, abundant societal stage I alluded to earlier, procreation strategies may be inclined towards family life and gregarious, peaceful production of children. In relatively more unstable stages of history, men and women respectively take what they can get, and aim for survivor genes, if if these genes turn out to be statistically more inclined to yield unsociable humans. By whatever reliable metric one cares to measure this.
I would sound a warning. Humans can be a fiercely competitive species. One could argue that this is precisely the reason humanity conquered the planet over any others species, and now wage a reign of blood over the planet. This is surely not a state of existence I’d prefer, but maybe that’s just me making an analysis from my perspective.
My concern is that we are in for a rough patch, world wide. It probably won’t end in a total global collapse (modern society is remarkably resilient) but it may mean that the world we live in for the foreseeable future fits the description of Dystopian.
If there is a corrolation between “rape” and “feminine freedom hostile” procreation strategies and dystopian societal conditions we should be bloody careful in the next few decades. I have often expressed my conviction that we are in the most fundamental transitional stage of history (so far) and we could end up fostering a deeply pathological society. If we embed rape and rape strategies (of the procreative or non-procreative kind) in the societal infrastructure we exist in, we end up potentially ascending a technological curve where these infrastructures become part of the world in a manner we may not be able to deconstruct down the road.
We have seen this before. I can argue that the various forms of rape culture entrench themselves deeply in society, and are very difficult to get rid of. We see societal entities (and religions!) all around us that actively procreate very flawed choices (on procreation and otherwise) that once embedded in the bedrock of societal rules, are impossible to get rid off, except by revolutions and crisis.
And revolutions and crisis is just the thing we can’t afford to do any more.
Then again it might also be lead.