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The Evolutionary Theory of Rape: Some Find It Lacking

March 02, 2000

Maybe there is a mischievous spirit at work when pseudo-science makes a splash on the Living section (Feb. 20) with a bold red headline reading "RAPE." Certainly the book itself merits little attention. Why does a journalist cast aside professional judgment for this story? Rape sells, of course, but there is a thornier issue. Like believers waiting for a sign, a vast audience of "civilized" men hunger for a mythology that legitimizes rape. Lynching, that's wrong. Rape, well, it depends on the circumstances. Crushing communism was a breeze compared to bringing down the wall of sexism.

--DANNY SULLIVAN

San Diego

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Finally someone has broken the politically correct but nonsensical idea that rape has nothing to do with sex, and is all about violence and humiliation of women. Certainly, all men are potential rapists by nature, but internalized societal moral codes tame and control that nature.

Men have to be taught to honor and respect women; the law enforces that code by criminal sanctions. Soldiers rape women because war obliterates moral codes and criminal sanctions--anything goes, and sex-starved soldiers will be satisfied. The idea that rape is all about male domination of women, instead of sexual satisfaction, is a feminist myth designed to further the feminist cause, but has little to do with reality.

It is really time for a little common sense. It is also time for a reassertion of self-responsibility for one's actions. It is ludicrous, but certainly a sign of our time, to posit that, just because our nature drives us to rape, that we can be excused from such behavior; the same argument could be applied to murder, for, by nature, we could all be murderers, but are restrained by morality, conscience and law.

--CARL PEARLSTON

Torrance

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Please watch VH1, MTV, "Soul Train," or any of the dating shows for an hour or so. It is ridiculous to think that the "feminist theory" of Ms. Brownmiller is the sole reason for rape. Watch how the young women of today dress, act and, especially, dance. (They even refer to it as "grinding.") What is being sold here is sex, and any idiot can see it. What is pathetic is that we are turning kids loose without the most important tools they need: boundaries, rules, morals. Men are not the only guilty ones here; the girls share a piece of it and so does the rest of society.

--RICK CLEVELAND

Anaheim

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Excuse me! The children's section is wonderful, but I do not think it belongs in the Southern California Living section. It belongs with the Sunday comic strips, where children are naturally attracted to the pictures and color. On Feb. 20, the headline of Living was in large type: "RAPE."

Obviously, this is a topic that needs to be discussed in print, but please don't put this stuff in the same section where our children's section is. It is too complex and harsh a topic for children to grasp, and we'd like to let them keep their innocence as long as possible.

--PENELOPE SHIBLEY

Hollywood

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