“Debunking the “Caveman” Excuse: Why Rape is NOT Natural”

For efficient subordination, what’s wanted is that the structure not only not appear to be a cultural artifact kept in place by human decision or custom, but that it appear natural – that it appear to be a quite direct consequence of the facts about the beast which are beyond the scope of human manipulation or revision. It must seem natural that individuals of the one category are dominated by individuals of the other and that as groups, the one dominates the other.

Marilyn Frye

Why did Sean Hannity incredulously stare at Zerlina Maxwell when she suggested that men be taught not to rape? Why is the Steubenville rape trial verdict considered a tragedy? Why do people think that the normal behavior of boys is aggression and rape?

Our society thinks that rape is not epidemic but rather endemic, meaning “natural to or characteristic of a specific people or place.” The general public believes that aggression and rape are “natural” behaviors of men. Our patriarchal and pop-Darwin culture believes the mythology that rape is an advantageous reproductive strategy selected because it is said to have increased the male’s individual fitness early in our evolutionary history. I will show this to be inconsistent with evolutionary theory. Western religion, with its belief in the inherent evilness of man and his inevitable acting out of horrific sins, hasn’t really helped dissipate contemporary society’s bloodthirsty sex-crazed caveman image of man either.


In other words, there is no such thing as a “low-cost” rape in the human world, only injurious rape. Whether you are a prehistoric or modern woman, if a man tries to have sex with you against your will, you will violently resist, unless unable to do so or you reason it is in your best interest not to. And in the case of a violent struggle, it is possible for either the rapist and/or victim to receive fatal and/or debilitating injuries during the process of the attempted rape. In the case that the victim is murdered there is no child to reproduce “rapist genes,” and the claim that these genes survive in contemporary society becomes very weak indeed. In the case that the rapist is killed in defense, we at least know he will not be fathering any further children and therefore the probability of his genes flowing into posterity decreases. His chances of “successful rape” decrease even further when we contemplate whether a disgusted and intelligent being would decide to clean herself of all signs of the rapist, thereby destroying his chance at successfully perpetuating his genes. On top of all of this, I wonder if the rapist’s buddies acted as onlookers and learned very quickly that the risk of injury while trying to execute a “successful rape” was entirely too large in comparison to the risk incurred by gathering some berries and building a home. Did these sociobiologists even stop to think that maybe early humans were social and affectionate and that both sexes happened to evolve pleasure apparatuses (i.e. clitoris and penis) to perhaps encourage cooperative and extended sexual encounters? If many biologists believe that various courtship displays were selected for to synchronize the physiological state of the sexes, why do these scientists propose a theory of antagonism? Evolution does not work to maximize conflict across and within species for this would certainly lead to multiple extinctions. Rather evolution works to maximize cooperation.

Lots of questions remain. Wouldn’t one assume that among our ancestors, who lived in small communities, rape was punished and so may have reduced rather than enhanced a male’s future reproduction? If rape is about reproduction, why are about one-third of its victims young children and the elderly, too young or old to reproduce? Why do men rape lovers and wives, with whom they also have consensual sex?

Frans B. M. De Waal

Sarah Sydney Lane, full article here

26 responses

  1. We must live on different planets. Rape has nothing to do with procreation or reproduction. It has everything to do with power

  2. Umm, that’s the whole point of the post?

    Anyway you can eff off, I have zero tolerance for people who run away from arguments they are losing, then come back to waste my time on another post.

  3. Again proving that evopsych has nothing to do with science or “solving social issues.” It’s all about supporting the structures of power in place.

  4. Never ran away from a thing. Saw no point continuing a conversation in regards to a topic you are so closed minded about. I also took the hint when not all of my comments made it past moderation. Would not be surprised if this one made the trash aa well

  5. Liar liar pants on fire, I haven’t deleted any of your comments yet (unless you were using more than one id to comment here of course).

    And you so did run away.

  6. Well in that case I am more than happy to keep coming back just so you can keep showing people the level of your maturity when discussing differences in opinions. Wonder how long it will be for you to give. A sec change again ans call me Mathew

  7. You whine enough to be a dude, that’s for sure.

    Why did you even come here to leave such a banal, pointless comment anyway? Do you need my attention? That’s very dude-ish too.

    I am perfectly capable of mature discussion, but you ran away from that, so why should I waste any more time on you? Acting entitled to my time and effort is also very dude-ish.

  8. This coming from the person who will come up with any reason to not read a blog of a differing opinion.

    I came back because I am over hearing about how boys should be taught to rape. Over women acting as if they are not responsible for their actions and the consequences of said actions.

    I am a survivor not a victim so stop portraying rape as some societal ingrained issue and treating men as if they are inferior.

    You want equality then stop treating other people like trash

  9. correction….boys should be taught NOT to rape

  10. Wow, that’s some nice victim blaming you’ve got going on there.

  11. And get a clue, radical feminism is about liberating women from patriarchy, I do not want to be equal to men under the current status quo.

  12. And how the hell is rape not a “societal ingrained issue”?!?

  13. Who is this awful, awful person?

  14. If they are not one of my recurring male trolls, then the sad fact is, she is a woman who was hurt by men, but decided that the best way to protect herself was to side with male power, not just with the blaming of other women, but with the whole BDSM thing too.

  15. Yea but see, they’re not blaming other women for their choices, they’re respecting their agency. It’s entirely different.

    (just kidding, it’s the same BS)

  16. I am a female who is tired of pages such as this placing feminism in a bad light. You act as if men are the only issue and women should never be held accountable for their actions. Oh yes we should be able to wear whatever we wherever we go…bullshit. Having tits does not give one the right to act irresponsible and then blame others for the consequences.

    The focus on just the make side of rape is overlooking the big picture and will in no way shape or form have a positive impact.

    You lack any ability to have a true conversation or look at other people’s perspective without becoming insulting or instantly assuming they must have a dick.

    You now have a new friend thanks to the assumption I ran away. I have no issue pointing sex positive feminists in your direction

  17. You are a victim-blaming, rape-culture-upholding misogynist, plain and simple, and even if you are a woman, that doesn’t stop you being a misogynist as well.

    Go right ahead with the direction pointing, I think you’ll find that even sex possers recognise the existence of rape culture.

  18. bwahahahaha I am the one culture blaming? Far from it. Women are also not the only victims of rape or sexual assault but you like to ignore those little nuances as the world revolves solely around your view of any issue.

    I also am just loving the fact you believe I hate myself. That is what your entire histrionics above boils down to. You also so nicely choose to ignore the fact I have stated I am a survivor but go ahead and say whatever you want in regards to someone who has survived being molested as a child, raped at 13 , and raped at 18. Just goes to show you care nothing about people who have gone through such things and only about spewing your perception of the world.

    I will just sit back and await your typical response that will no doubt question my statements then tie them into that is why I am into BD/SM

  19. You are a deeply damaged and disturbed individual, please go away and get some professional help.

  20. Thank you for the comment I expected. I am perfectly fine and ok with being sex positive unlike you who seems to get off on belittling people for their sexuality.

    Just a FYI for you that I am sure you will disagree with, rape and rape culture are 2 different things.

  21. Denying the existence of rape culture makes you a plain old misogynist, not ‘sex positive’.

    ‘Sex positive’ ‘feminism’ is a load of shit, but even sex possers recognise the existence of rape culture.

    You were, by your own admission, raped, but instead of looking at the circumstances that allowed you to be abused, you claim that there is nothing culturally wrong (should the child and 13-year-old you “be held accountable for their actions”?), and call this denial of male supremacism ‘sex positive’.

    I was serious about you needing help.

  22. I love how you put words in people’s mouth. I said rape n rape culture are two different things.

  23. Yes, but you are denying the existence of rape culture, and that makes you a misogynist.

  24. Looks like Alice doesn’t actually have any friends, as the dogpile from ‘sex positive’ ‘feminists’ who think rape culture doesn’t exist, and that women should be held accountable for being raped, has, unsurprisingly, failed to materialise.

  25. Is this article still available anywhere?

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