Rape is the act of forcefully inserting a man’s genital into a woman’s genital without consent from either party or against their will. It is among the most traumatizing and worst occurrences that can ever be experienced by a woman or a man. It is so heinous and degrades human dignity so much such that it is outlawed in most, if not all countries and societies. No one would want to be a victim of such an experience under ordinary circumstances. However, there is a rather controversial aspect of rape that is quite interesting to understand that is, sexual arousal. This essay intends to analyze and discuss the sexual arousal of rape victims during their assault.
A woman who is being sexually assaulted can experience orgasm. It is argued that rape and sexual arousal can be experienced spontaneously. A proper understanding and in-depth knowledge of human sexuality and psychology is a requisite for the understanding of this issue. Sexual advancements and manipulation cause an individual’s body to react in euphoric manner. The body of the victim unconsciously develops a physical desire. Typically, these involuntary desires are manipulated by the conscious part of the brain. This implies that an individual can choose to either accept or reject the course of the desire (Lauer, p.237).
Whoever, during the assault the body of the victim becomes subject to the involuntary sexual desires despite the conscious attempt to resist the desire. It goes without say that human body is responsive to stimuli. Our bodies respond to sex without our permission; therefore, a victim of sexual assault should not be assumed to have enjoyed the experience. Many rapists have often defended themselves in court claiming that they are solely not to blame since their victims seemed to enjoy the assault. However, what we need to understand is that orgasm, or sexual satisfaction during rape is not an expression of pleasure. It is a physical response to the unconscious bodily desires. It occurs whether the mind agrees or not.
Psychologists argue that sexual arousal occurs both as mental and physical state. On a normal occasion, one experiences physical and mental states of arousal spontaneously. However, he or she may be sexually aroused without the physical manifestation of arousal by the genitals. Likewise, one may experience physical, sexual arousal with the genitals manifesting arousal without being mentally aroused sexually. The argument may be used to understand why victims of sexual assault may appear to be physically aroused during the assault while they are filled with contempt and disregard for the same (Lauer, p.208).
There are, of course, some exceptions in as far as human sexuality and health is concerned. A victim who has health complications such as spinal cord injuries, for instance, may is most likely to display extreme pleasure during the assault. It is as a result of the disconnection between their brain and body. Sexual arousal originates from the Autonomous Nervous System that is reflex based as well associated with the heartbeat and many basic automatic actions of the body. As such, human beings can hardly control their arousal as much as they can control their sweating or their homeostasis. Therefore, an arousal during forced sexual intercourse would just be equated to the sweating of the victim or the rapist during the assault.
Human anatomy also helps us to understand the sexual arousal by the victim during the sexual assault. Scientists claim that a woman’s genital is structured in a manner that it lubricates during coitus, regardless of whether it is forced or consented (Lauer, p.221). It is a self-defense mechanism by the virginals from wear and tear. The virginal lubrication during rape should, therefore, be understood as an effort to protect itself by reducing injuries and not as an expression of pleasure by the woman’s body.
Some rapists also have a mastery of how to manipulate their victims to achieve physical repose in the form of sexual arousal. Such individuals have the knowledge of how fear and anxiety have a correspondence with sexual arousal. They exploit the connection and interrelation to achieve their sexual gratification as it makes it easier for them to dominate the situation.
There are individuals who are aroused by violence and can only reach the peak of sexual pleasure if some pain in their bodies is involved. Such people would obviously have sexual arousal during an assault. One who derives pleasure from being inflicted pain on the body would still be sexually aroused when having unconsented sex. It can be argued in the sense that rapists tend to use physical violence on their victims and as such, the victim is aroused.
In conclusion, sexual arousals of a victim are affected by myriad factors and are never in their control. Just so many explanations as discussed in the essay alienate rape victims from their sexual arousal during an assault. Sexual arousal does not mean that a victim is enjoying the experience; rather it is the body’s response to the sexual intercourse.
Lauer, Teresa. The Truth about Rape. Gold River, Calif: RapeRecovery.com, 2002. Print.