Straw men and fairy tales: Evaluating reactions to a natural history of rape

  title={Straw men and fairy tales: Evaluating reactions to a natural history of rape},
  author={Craig T. Palmer and Randy Thornhill},
  journal={The Journal of Sex Research},
  pages={249 - 255}
In this paper we respond to two frequent criticisms of our book, A Natural History of Rape (Thornhill & Palmer, 2000). The first criticism portrays the book as little more than a “just‐so” story that human rape is an adaptation. We demonstrate that this portrayal is not accurate. The second criticism reflects a common response to the book's challenge of the popular assertion that rapists are not motivated by sexual desire but instead commit these crimes motivated by the urge to power… Expand

Paper Mentions

Blog Post
Book Review: An Important Contribution to the Study of Sexual Coercion
  • Craig T. Palmer
  • Psychology
  • 2009
Reviews the book, "Sexual Coercion in Primates and Humans: An Evolutionary Perspective on Male Aggression Against Females" by Martin N. Muller & Richard W. Wrangham (2009). This book makes anExpand
Why Do Men Rape? An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective
Rape of women by men has occurred throughout recorded history and across cultures. In this article, we discuss rape from an evolutionary psychological perspective. Evolutionary psychology is aExpand
Evolution and Rape: A Feminist Darwinian Perspective
It is commonly thought that feminist and evolutionary explanations of rape cannot be integrated. As I aim to show, this view is incorrect. Although feminist and evolutionary approaches are notExpand
Evolutionary Psychological Perspectives on Rape
Rape is a fact of life across cultures (Broude & Greene, 1978; Rozée, 1993; Sanday, 1981). In American samples, estimates of the prevalence of rape are as high as 13% for women (Kilpatrick, Edmunds,Expand
Sex, power, and dominance: the evolutionary psychology of sexual harassment
Among the effects of sexual integration of the workplace has been an increase in the opportunities for, and incidence of, sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, and women's responses to it, can beExpand
Situational Factors in Rape
The purpose of this thesis was to investigate rape from the perspective of a situational model of crime. Rape has long been conceptualised almost exclusively from sociocultural and psychopathologicalExpand
Women's avoidance of rape
Females of many species have recurrently faced the adaptive problem of rape over the species' evolutionary history. In humans, rape of women by men has occurred throughout recorded history and acrossExpand
Evolutionary Psychology and Rape Avoidance
Females of many species have recurrently faced the adaptive problem of rape. In humans, rape of women by men has occurred throughout history and across cultures. The costs associated with rape areExpand
From Attire to Assault: Clothing, Objectification, and De-humanization – A Possible Prelude to Sexual Violence?
New findings demonstrate cognitive processing of sexualized female bodies as object-like, a crucial aspect of dehumanized percept devoid of agency and personhood that is a consequence of a dehumanized perception of female bodies that aggressors acquire through their exposure and interpretation of objectified body images. Expand
Sexual harassment in academia: A study of forms, prevalence and perception
---------------------------------------------------------------------***--------------------------------------------------------------------How to cite this article in APA (6 Edition) Kay, J. (2019).Expand


A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion
In this controversial book, Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer use evolutionary biology to explain the causes of rape and to recommend new approaches to its prevention. According to Thornhill andExpand
Realities of Rape: Of Science and Politics, Causes and Meanings
This review essay discusses the book A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion, by Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer (MIT Press, 2000). The essay builds on work previouslyExpand
Twelve reasons why rape is not sexually motivated: A skeptical examination
The most popular current explanation of rape holds that rapists are seeking power, control, violence, and/or domination instead of sex. After reviewing the history of this explanation, this paperExpand
Law and the Biology of Rape: Reflections on Transitions
This Article serves is a sequel to a previous Article: Sex, Culture, and the Biology of Rape: Toward Explanation and Prevention, 87 Cal. L. Rev. 827 (1999). Part I briefly considers the thresholdExpand
Forcible rape: An evolutionary perspective
Abstract In humans, forcible rape is usually defined as copulation achieved by violence or threat of violence without the free consent of the female. Although rape is universally considered a heinousExpand
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
The blank slate, the noble savage and the ghost in the machine: the official theory silly putty the last wall to fall culture vultures the slate's last stand. Fear and loathing: political scientistsExpand
Human rape: Adaptation or by‐product?
This paper examines two alternative evolutionary explanations of human rape. One explanation sees human rape as a facultative male reproductive tactic. The other explanation sees human rape as anExpand
Human rape: An evolutionary analysis
Abstract Human evolutionary history was apparently one of polygyny. Polygyny favors the use of different reproductive options by human males with different competitive abilities. These options orExpand
The evolution of human sexuality.
The study of human sexuality from the darwinian perspective is in an explosive phase, and recent research reveals that the sexual selection that designed human secondary sexual traits was functional rather than strictly fisherian. Expand
Controversies in the evolutionary social sciences: a guide for the perplexed.
It is concluded that a greater use of formal models, measures of current fitness costs and benefits, and attention to adaptive tradeoffs, will enhance the power and reliability of evolutionary analyses of human social behavior. Expand