Straw men and fairy tales: Evaluating reactions to A Natural History of Rape
Palmer CT, Thornhill R.
Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado,
Colorado Springs, CO 80918, USA.
J Sex Res. 2003 Aug;40(3):249-55.


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, domination, and violence, and the urge to degrade and humiliate women. We demonstrate that such criticisms of our book are inherently contradictory and illogical. We believe it is important for sex researchers to understand that these sorts of criticisms are seriously flawed so that future research efforts toward understanding the causes of sexual coercion are not stalled.
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