Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Haitian rape

This is somewhat of a follow up to an idea I sort of hinted at in my last post, the idea that sociopaths possibly succumb to temptation less than empaths do, such that proportionally we yield to temptation less than normal people do (i.e. fewer indiscretions per temptation), if not necessarily less in terms of raw numbers. I think there is some evidence for this -- that empaths are also quite inclined to commit crimes, they just see fewer opportunities than sociopaths do. I think the strongest evidence for this comes from times of war or other social strife when the fabric of society has broken down to the point that people are basically getting away with murder.

I read a statistic recently that 20% of the violent crimes committed after the Haitian earthquake were rapes, and that 11% of the population knows someone who was raped. It makes sense. Whenever there is unrest, whenever they can get away with something, people exploit the situation by looting whatever there is of value. In a situation like Haiti post earthquake, there isn't much more of value besides other people. For your pleasure, from this article:
But women are not the only victims that are falling prey to sexual predators. According to the AP, two small girls ages 7 and 2-years-old were victims of rape attacks and as of Monday (March 16), leaving the toddler taking antibiotics for a gonorrhea infection of the mouth.

"We are aware of problem ... but it's not a priority," Information Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said last month.
Lest we think that this uptick in rapes is earthquake specific (men mad with grief at the loss of a wife turning to rape?), any sort of social upheaval will do:
Rapes, which have been a big problem in Haiti even before the earthquake, were frequently was used as a political weapon in times of upheaval. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president, was ousted twice after his enemies assassinated his male supporters and raped their wives and daughters.

8 comments:

  1. M.E. wrote: i think the strongest evidence for this comes from times of war or other social strife when the fabric of society has broken down to the point that people are basically getting away with murder.

    True. That’s one of the reasons I find apocalyptic stories so compelling. I like to see authors/filmmakers play around with the with idea of putting normal folks in extremis. What would upstanding, law abiding folks do when their social order is in ruins all around them? Who do they become? What do they allow themselves to do that they never would have when law and order filled the land? I personally find those questions fascinating.

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  2. More rape articles, insteresting.

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  3. ""We are aware of problem ... but it's not a priority," Information Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said last month."

    A woman said this? (I'm not the only one wondering, am I?)

    Wow, she not only broke the stereotype but also showed great, upstanding, and fantastic character.

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  4. Psychopaths resist temptation when they stand to lose something significant, like their freedom.

    When people are "getting away with murder," they don't really stand to lose that.

    Empaths have an even greater fear of punishment, plus the conscience.

    Ergo, these rapists are more likely to be psychopaths than empaths. Ergo, this article is better suited to point the finger at them than empaths.

    Plus, 11% of the population knowing someone who was raped means the actual number of rapees is insignificantly low. The number of rapists would be even lower. It's not sufficient to make sweeping generalizations about any group of people.

    No punishment, the baddies surface. Simple as that.

    And who make the best baddies? Lemme see those teeth, psychos!

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  5. I'm surprised the numbers aren't higher. With the influx of Aid Workers, contractors, military from other countries, it would be very easy for someone who wanted a pool of victims to find them there. The same goes for the homeless in "civilized" countries.

    I would think that situations like that, just the availability, would make it more enticing for an empath because there is little danger of getting caught. It's almost too easy for a sociopath. Where's the challenge? What's the fun in taking the cookie if the cookie has a giant "Eat Me" sign on it?

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  6. I think being able to get away with it is only a tiny part of the explanation for the upsurge in rapes. I think it's mostly due to the trauma people experience during such times. Being traumatized can (but doesn't necessarily) lower your compassion and raise your anger and aggression. It also makes people feel disempowered, vulnerable, afraid. Rape is largely a way for the perpetrator to feel powerful and in control, and such feelings can be highly appealing in a situation where the world around you is out of control and you yourself are powerless.

    !H!

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