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Vagina Dentata? Techno-Gizmos for the Elimination of Rape
Hank Pellissier   Apr 17, 2012   Hplusmagazine  

Rape has been violating women (and occasionally men) since the dawn of humanity. Even before that, evolutionarily. Our Great Ape relations – chimpanzees and gorillas - are rapists, and approximately 33%-50% of orangutans are the result of rape. Gang rape, war rape, prison rape, date rape, serial rape, spousal rape, incestuous rape… hundreds of millions of people have been terrified, humiliated, injured and scarred. Rape has to be halted, but how?

Is there a transhumanist remedy? A technological solution? Currently there are rape-preventative items available, but IEET contributors Khannea Suntzu, Giulio Prisco, Joern Pallensen, P. Tittle, Gabriel Rothblatt, Alex McGilvery, David Brin, David Pearce, Dick Pelletier, and Dorothy Deasy have futuristic ideas that are far superior.

The “Rape Capital of the World” is currently South Africa, with a University of South Africa study estimating 2,777 rapes per day, for a total of 1 million a year. The South African Law Commission asserts the figure is considerably higher: 1.69 million per year.

Journalist, rape survivor, and anti-rape activist Charlene Smith claims that a South African woman is raped every 26 seconds; 40% of the victims are children, and 65% are gang-raped, aka “jackrolled.” Human Rights Watch reports that 28% of South African males has admitted to sexual assault, in this nation where 16.9% of the adult population is HIV/AIDS infected.

To combat this atrocity, the citizenry invented two retaliatory devices. A “killer tampon”, developed by 72-year-old Jaap Haumann in 2000, sports a guillotine blade attached to a hollow cylinder that, if sprung, decapitates any intruding penile head. Haumann estimated that 1 million women would arm their crotches with his contraption, but he was ridiculed in the media and sales never materialized.

“Rape-aXe” was next. Unveiled in 2005 by medical technician Dr. Sonnet Ehlers, this simple latex sheath transforms the female orifice into a shark-like vagina dentata. 25 razor sharp barbs, facing inward, serve as a “rape trap” that painfully hooks the penetrator. The snared assailant, claims Dr. Ehlers, “cannot pee or walk when it is on, and if he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter.” The vengeful fangs can only be removed surgically, a procedure that would alert police and imprison the rapist.

The munching mechanism costs only 1 rand (14 cents) and its potential was carefully researched – Dr. Ehlers consulted engineers, gynecologists, psychologists, and convicted rapists to determine its effectiveness. She sold her car and house to mass-produce the penis-chewing device and she reportedly distributed 30,000, for free, at the 2010 World Cup venues. Despite her efforts, South African women aren’t all chomping at the bit to purchase her product. Instead – like Haumann – Dr. Ehlers was chewed up by pundits, especially women.

Charlene Smith fretted that Rape-aXe, “is vengeful, horrible, and disgusting. The woman who invented this needs help.” Another critic – a rape victim who was stabbed twice – insisted that Rape-aXe, “will increase the danger to women… the government must not allow this to go on sale.” I contacted Dr. Ehlers last year to inquire about her sales volume, but I never received a response.

Dr. Ehlers presents, in my opinion, solid justification for her penis-ripper. “It will help identify attackers and secure conviction,” she tells the Johannesburg Star. “A medieval deed deserves a medieval consequence,” she explains on her website, that lists numerous letters of support and endorsement. Unfortunately, the product’s primary weakness is that it only provides past-the-threshold protection. The assailant is incapacitated only after a woman has been:

1. Terrified

2. Physically Assaulted (rape victims are often beaten)

3. Stripped of her Clothes

4. Penetrated

The security that Rape-aXe provides is similar to shooting intruders in your home. Isn’t it far better to deny them interior access? Anyone with morbid imagination can visualize numerous situations in which Rape-aXe’s “security” backfires, due to the equation of “violence begetting more violence.” The same flaw exists in Haumans’s penectomy tool, and in “FemDefense”,” a similar, Swedish design that features a sharp pin sticking out of a tube, waiting to puncture the glans.

It is interesting to note how defense against rape – or any physical assault – mimics strategies in animal behavior. The 15th century chastity belt resembles the hard-bodied protection of the armadillo, pangolin, snail, turtle, and mollusks like oyster and clam. The advice to “never walk alone” has been obeyed for epochs by ungulate herds. Pepper spray and mace owe a debt to skunks and the bombardier beetle (stink bug), as does the   – “Horberg Device” - an appliance the Rape-aXe website refers to, that expels a “crude odor.” Tasers, now available to resemble cell phones, impersonate the cruel jolt of a scorpion or wasp. FemDefense, Rape-aXe, and the Haumann device are sharply linked to porcupines and sea urchins.

There’s even a modern equivalent to the “invisibility” defense employed by squid and octopi that expel ink, and insects and reptiles that utilize camouflage. Michelle Leslie, a 25-yer-old Australian model, was convicted of drug possession in Indonesia (two ecstasy tablets) and tossed into a prison for three months. After observing that another woman was regularly taken out of her cell for forced sex with the guards, Ms. Leslie donned the shroud-like Muslim burqa, and was summarily ignored.

Transhumanists need to devise self-defense mechanisms that transcend these techniques employed by lower life forms, and scifi offers some options. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, presents a vagina dentata that narcotizes trespassers with a tiny hypodermic needle. If women installed this, the dismantling of it could be regarded as part of the foreplay process, like removing the last item of clothing. Female groins could also be implanted with micro-spray guns that have incapacitating fumes, similar to the gas Russians used to overpower Chechen militants in the 2002 Moscow theater-hostage crises. These solutions, however, are only slightly better than Rape-aXe, because the weaponry would inspire counter-weaponry.

Star Trek and Superman offer stronger resistance possibilities. If the “deflector shield” that protected the Starship Enterprise is scaled down for the human form, a bubble of security would be attained. The “Man of Steel” is equally invulnerable with his dense Kryptonian body and “force field” surrounding his flesh. Neither of these improvements is forecast for the near future, however.

What we can employ for safety, immediately or in the next decade, are the two strategies below:

1. Security “Smart” Cameras – Already universally employed in airports, these devices could be installed, unobtrusively, in numerous public areas. Capable of analyzing what they observe, they set off alarms if they witness behavior that is programmed as “unsafe.” The cameras would be major crime deterrents because they’d be recording culprits engaged in criminal acts. Smart cameras could also be installed indoors in private-owned buildings where sexual assault was a concern: fraternities, for instance. Micro-sensors (additionally equipped with auditory and olfactory abilities) could also be installed on anyone’s body, to record hostile behavior directed at them. The bionic eyeball “eyebrow”, utilized by the Terminator and Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence, could serve as a safety enhancing “third eye.”

2. GPS microchips – Valued pets already have RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification Chips) imbedded discreetly in their bodies, with 16-digit identification numbers. These grain-sized devices will soon be GPS-enabled. If every human gets microchipped with their pathways charted, all assaulters would be easily apprehended because their trail would intersect with the victim. The result would be a 100% arrest and conviction rate! A milder strategy would be to only “tag” convicted criminals, and to forbid them to approach anyone in isolated areas.

Obviously, employment of these options would result in drastically diminished privacy. “Big Brother” organizations would be able to track their opponents, and clandestine rendezvous, sexual or otherwise, would no longer be secret. But still… how much privacy are “good guys” willing to sacrifice, to rein in the “bad guys”? I’m not endorsing either of these two options, but I believe they both merit consideration.

Seeking additional suggestions, I contacted numerous IEET contributors, and received a slew of magnificently creative ideas. I predict that many of the ideas listed below will be ordinarily available in our lifetime:

David Brin In [my upcoming novel] EXISTENCE I extrapolate a world only hinted at by Google Goggles, when the corner of your glasses will record and send to the cloud whatever you see and hear. And provide info on everybody you meet. Under those conditions, it [rape] will be a rare, rare thing.

Alex McGilvery:  Since we are talking future tech here the question of consent could be dealt with by interface of his and her computer. You could even have a subroutine that shuts down the libido if consent is not granted.  Of course the reality is that most sex crime is not about sex, but about power. Rape is about taking power away from the woman, so something that gives them power back would be ideal. The problem with the vagina dentata is that by the time it comes into play the de-powering of the woman is mostly complete.

This is where having a subroutine placed in one’s computer would be an automatic response to a first offence, given that sexual offenders have the highest rate of recidivism.

Joern Pallensen: New smart-phones could have a “button” by which you could easily activate camera/or microphone, and the phone would send directly to a (secret) number of your choice, and the rapist would know he’d been either photographed or sound-recorded.  General idea is to automatically gather any kind of and as much information about the rapist as possible, and have it sent directly to a secret recipient.

Joern Pallensen’s wife: Men with uncontrollable and socially unacceptable lusts should be treated with pills.

Khannea Suntzu: When going outside in risk-laden environments:

“The Eye of Khannea” - Wear 2 or more micro-cameras on your person, as a collaborative insurance system.  Not everyone wears the cameras, but a number of people wear a sign or distinctive and visible piece of jewelry that *might* contain the camera. The actual camera shoots a HR  screenshot every several seconds and instantly uploads the shot with a geotag by 3G or 4G connectivity. The shots are saved publicly, or anonymous (settings) for a given  number of days. If the device goes offline when damaged it signals an alarm. If it depicts  public data any protege of the service spotting the pics can signal an alarm. At the very least people wearing the distinctive “this might be a camera” markers will signal potential rapists. They may or may not be screengrabbed if they attack the protege.

“Khani Strap Panties” - Chastity Panties - a set of panties that can’t come off for several minutes, with a timelock with a delay of 180+ seconds. They are belted and secure and on the side is a lock that opens in a set amount of time. When they open, the location, time and geotag is transmitted.  When opened with force they might be set to release a gruesome stench, a cloud of paint,  an unbearably loud noise, and a 911 warning signal. This opening delay introduces a waiting period to get vaginal or anal access of several minutes - tricky when you have to pee in a hurry, and it does not totally impaired premeditated  kidnapping, but at least when opened (or the victim falls of the grid) it transmits last known time and position. This last device  can be linked to a biorhythm scanner,  which transmits agitation, anxiety, physical exertion, pain to the ‘several minute’ update signal. 

“SunTzu Retalliation Contract” - Protege wears a distinctive piece of jewelry or recognizable icon that only can be purchased from a site for a fairly high price. The price is indicative of a contract the victim is not engaged in. Just buying, registering name, address and background closes an implicit vengeance contract. If the protege is raped, the organization will select a set number of rape case every month, and will transact a set of random cases out to an anonymously-paid vigilante killer. There are several warning jewels available - blue (100$) means the organization will hire a quality private investigator and do whatever it can to find the rapist. An green (250$) contract implies the organization will do the same and counter-rape the rapist and inflict a severe beating. A red (500$) jewel implies the organization will do whatever it can to find the rapist, and apply  chainsaws or soldering irons or battery acid (protege can make a selection when acquiring the jewel) until death occurs in the rapist. Clearly this creates an interesting dilemma for law enforcement (is buying such a red jewel an act that is in itself a criminal act?) but who cares? Note that the victim of a rape who wears such a jewel can NOT cancel such a contract - once bought and consecutively raped, the organization will randomly target rapists it can find and give them the justice contracted for. This would be a fairly powerful deterrent, especially after the first rapist is found dangling with amputated limbs from the gates of a local police station. The jewel contains a feature button that when pressed explains the parameters of the contract in a monotone voice to any rapists who didn’t get the memo yet.

Gabriel Rothblatt: I consulted these sources for guidance: they are good reads particularly the motivations and avoidances listed in the first source:,

“The Night Before Pill” counteracts effects of barbiturates/ date rape drugs

“The Matchmaker” is an inhaler that temporarily counteracts the effects of alcohol allowing for clarity in decisions, but not ruining your investment in the evening.

“The Matchmaker V2.0” dissolves the equivalent of 1.0 % BAC (Warning may cause food cravings, do not use if diabetic)

“iScream” A voice activated distress beacon that with the screech of a code releases a pheromone causing a euphoric confidence in men that
allows the victim an opportunity for escape.

“iScream V2.0” In addition to the original specifications it also has a thought activated distress beacon, that arms a gps and/or cognitive link that streams the location/ status of the victim and a voice augmenter that allows for a higher frequency and duration cry for help.

“Mental Detectors” brain scanners embedded in door frames at clubs/bars that alarm when patterns associated with predatory behaviors are detected.

“Saltpeter Cookies”- does not allow males to become erect within proximity to a woman who is not “turned on.” Women’s cookies turn on when aroused or by thought code, to prevent drugging. Like pre nuptuals agreements at marriage a woman may or may  not decide to open her cookies to her husband permanently. (When a couple is married her cookies could be unlocked solely to her mates, I can see a thriller here about the future where a serial rapist/killer targets married women by making the husband watch while restrained the kills the wife afterwards)

David Pearce: Two thoughts, one “safe”, the other controversial. - and also a long term suggestion.

The safe thought is the promotion of wider availability of SSRIs for sexual offenders and potential offenders. Although SSRIs struggle to achieve statistical significance as antidepressants, SSRIs are extremely effective at dampening libido. Many men struggle with  violent and socially unacceptable lusts, but only a small minority are sexual sociopaths who don’t want to change.

The other, controversial, idea is future use of sexbots and immersive VR for the fulfillment of socially unacceptable sexual desires. _If_ - and it’s a critical if - scientific evidence suggests their use is likely to lead to a decline of crimes against women (and minors), then other things being equal, perhaps such technologies and software should be supported? No, I’m not advocating their development and commercialisation, simply that the question be studied.

However…. In the long run,  perhaps we may hope hope that the “love maps” of very young children can be channelled in a socially acceptable direction from an early age. It’s not someone fault if they happen to be turned on by e.g. violent sexual fantasies and/or children, etc, any more than they can be blamed for sneezing. But of course it’s profoundly damaging to their victims if these socially unacceptable desires are acted on, and also profoundly damaging for the rapist/child abuser himself when caught.

Of course, genetically tweaking / channelling children’s sexual orientation sounds horrendously Orwellian. Clearly there is immense scope for abuse. But the alternative is continuing today’s genetic roulette - with all the horrors it entails. I don’t agree that “all men are rapists”. But a conditionally activated predisposition to rape women can be genetically adaptive:§ioncode=26  I think we need to tackle its biological roots.

Giulio Prisco: A good idea would be to make women as physically strong as men (we will be able to do this in a couple of decades), or offer free training in self-defense and martial arts to women (we can do this now).

I am in favor of fighting rape with any reasonable means, but not with means that endanger innocents. The vagina dentata scenario would prevent some rapes, but cut many more innocent dicks due to carelessness. And I believe having the dick cut off by an idiot who forgets to switch off her vagina dentata is much worse than getting raped.

Dick Pelletier: DARPA scientists dream that one day their nanodust research efforts may result in the ability to launch nanodust particles that would seep through the skin into an adversary’s brain causing thought changes. People attempting harmful events would be unable to activate them.

Some believe this technology will evolve into a self-protection system allowing people facing danger to launch and direct nanoparticles at an attacker. Rape victims would change the aggressive thoughts in a rapist’s mind – no harm, no foul.

P. Tittle: Testosterone inhibitors / an antidote to the testosterone poisoning that seems to affect so many males we think it’s the ‘normal’ condition - so that the norm for men is not always-being-on-the-cusp-of-arousal/violence, so they have to take something in order to want sex and/or violence (and after the first rape, make it permanent - deny them the reversing injection)

Or, a small tranquilizer gun, issued free to all girls - something that puts the guy out long enough for her to get away and send the police to his location. It has to induce memory loss as well so the guy doesn’t remember who the woman was - so no retaliation fear!!

Dorothy Deasy: Souvielance (streaming recording technologies) may be able to be used as a deterrent. If a perpetrator can not be sure whether or not he (or she) is being filmed in the act,  then the cost of committing the crime increases.
Related would be an easily accessible “panic button” that could alert police and social networks when a person is in trouble. It could lead to faster intervention and also document the crime if help does not arrive in time. Also, self-defense technologies such as jewelry that could be used as a taser or clothing that can not be easily forcibly removed.

Dear Readers - if you have ideas that aren’t expressed in the suggestions above, please enclose them in the Comment section below.


Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.


There are some interesting suggestions here. I should clarify with mine that some of the trend in enhancements includes integrating extra computer hardware and software into human functioning. It would be in that extra software that sexual ethics software could be inserted.

The challenge with many of the suggestions is that the onus is on the woman to defend herself, or make herself less attractive in order to avoid rape. This is just an extension of the “don’t dress like a slut” that resulted in global slutwalks.

The suggestions that are male directed address libido, but not the power issue. I think this is a reflection of the above concern about making rape a woman’s issue.

Rape is weapon. Armies use it to subdue and terrorize the populace they are invading. In some cases it has been downgraded to the use of prostitutes who become essentially professional rape victims.

Individual men use rape to subdue and terrorize women. Rape within marriage is a major issue.

I think that David Pearce’s third paragraph is our immediate goal. How do we teach our children that power is shared and not taken?

This whole article is making my eyes water..

““Rape-aXe” was next. Unveiled in 2005 by medical technician Dr. Sonnet Ehlers, this simple latex sheath transforms the female orifice into a shark-like vagina dentata. 25 razor sharp barbs, facing inward, serve as a “rape trap” that painfully hooks the penetrator. The snared assailant, claims Dr. Ehlers, “cannot pee or walk when it is on, and if he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter.” The vengeful fangs can only be removed surgically, a procedure that would alert police and imprison the rapist.

The munching mechanism costs only 1 rand (14 cents) and its potential was carefully researched..”

carefully researched eh? So there is no possibility of misuse? as a weapon of humiliation, of torture, or blackmail???

Yet more importantly, any rape victim that springs this trap is liable to have their heads bashed in - doesn’t exactly help their predicament does it?

I would say that the best deterrent is, enforcement of punishment for offenders - obviously South Africa has not yet come to this conclusion, (and this applies for all nations, including here in the UK)

What is the adequate punishment?.. you decide, take time to sit with your conscience.

Rape is another “learned” debasement and disvalue of women in general. South Africa needs address this problem and educate/enforce against this social depravity as only “they” can in the end, make mends ultimately.

For me.. the problems all start with little kids giving their elders the finger?

Hank, sigh, you just couldn’t resist “munching” and “weiner ripper” - both of which cartoonify and so trivialize the problem.  A contradiction since you so obviously DO take the problem seriously.  I thank you thank you for writing this!!

Like Alex, I note that so many of the ideas focus on the women.  It’s the men that are the problem!  (Why not just have a curfew for women? Oh, oh, I know: we could limit them to their apartments - all the time!)

Also, I’m wary of focusing on apprehension and conviction because of retaliation.  Improved apprehension might not change things.  Women would still, rightly so, be afraid of escalating the violence directed toward them.  (Cygnus gets it: “...liable to have their heads bashed in…”)

And yes, we really need to address the root of the problem.  Without the violent penetration option, they’ll just resort to some other assault.  WHY DO MEN RAPE?  (Seriously, I’d like to hear rapists’ answers…)  I fear that nothing short of a total revamping of our sexist society will solve the problem.

And, or, WHY DON’T MEN RAPE?  That’s one men here can answer.  (I doubt we’ll hear ‘because I fear getting caught’...)  Likely your answers involve some appeal to morality, consent, women as autonomous persons (rather than property), and so on.  So, as Cygnus, Alex, and Pearce point out…

We could get really serious about male violence.  (Well, female too, it’s just that something like 95% percent of the physical violence is perpetrated by males.)  First time, rehab.  Second time, prison at the parents’ expense (assuming the second time will occur when the male is under 18). Third time, death penalty.  Woh, wouldn’t that CHANGE OUR SOCIETY.

Peg, I’m not sure that we can remove violence from our society by being violent.  Sherri Tepper through her novels has progressed to an interesting position on violence and society. Moving from the idea that violence can be bred out of humanity by allowing violent young people to kill each other off before they breed; to the idea that intervention in thought processes is possible and desirable.

As I have said above, rape isn’t primarily about sex, it is a weapon for the suppression of peoples and individuals. I think we need to take the conversation away from the sexual aspect and bring it into the realm of how we deal with power and powerlessness.

When we talk about power and its use and abuse, responsibility and the teaching of responsibility becomes the primary goal. If we can teach responsible humanity to our children then being inhuman will be much rarer.

Imagine we integrate our smartphones to the point where we can interact with them at through thought. They could be programmed to tell us when we are in the process of breaking the local laws/mores and make it a conscious choice if we continue to act.

Let’s be cold and analytical here.

I can envision a “castle defence game”, sort of like a sandbox game, where not just “rapes” are simulated properly, but all victimed crimes are simulated. The simulation would have to be made detailed enough to contact environmental circumstances for crimes (your uncle’s home, the local garage, a deserted street, the local Catholic seminary, Israel, Wall street, Washington DC) then motive categories (hunger, greed, pathology, lust, fear, membership of a criminal organization, CEO of Goldman-Sachs, being a Catholic priest) and the interface for the criminal activity (Rape, theft, pedophyle molestation, mugging, tax evasion).

The simulation must then be turned in a Sand Box that allows for an object oriented syntax that allows for reprogramming, testing and reiterating all of the above three parameter sets. For instance, members working for Goldman-Sachs engaging in crimes would require very finely attuned set of parameters and definitions in what would be the gross common demoninator of criminal activity.

The next step is to watch and measure how we finetune the numerical variables that the simulation “somewhat” correct in comparison with the real world. In effect we’d end up with a simplified world simulation that shows the incidence of crime in a statistical analysis sandbox that is congruent with real-world incidence of crime.

The next step would be to list each and every imaginable way to get rid of crime. Don’t hold back and eschew no possible anti-crime measure, ranging from free access to firearms, public executions, death sentences, soft punishment, Saudi style floggings, long sentences, class justice. Also it might be interesting to create the proper simulation environment for urban design; we might have all noticed the effects of parks in SimEarth on crime levels in the area.

Such a simulation can start rather simple, and by doing it crowd-sourced I can envision the public gaining some long-overdue understanding of the variables of criminal activity, i.e. what prevents crime, what is the cost of crime, what are the consequences of certain sets of punishments and deterrants, where should we spend most money to prevent crime, and so forth.

We might also come to understand what the role of proper interaction design is, and what personal civil responsibility entails in a world with crime - what should we do as private responsible citizens to prevent crime, and mitigate the effects of crime.

I am absolutely convinced that at this stage most people are completely deluded why crime occurs, what the price of crime is, how crime can be best prevented and what the unconscious choices of everyday normal people are (especially the choices of politicians) and just how flawed, hypocritical and contradictory existing choices, policies, convictions and beliefs are.

Crime should be treated as an incidence of a range of infectious diseases. New crimes emerge, based on opportunity and inclination - as well as need/motive.

In looking at the specific case of crime, RAPE, we must ask ourselves what works, and what is an acceptable set of policies. Clearly, people are very concerned about this issue. But even then I see an outward display of theatrical concern about all forms of sexual aggression on the one hand, whereas most people don’t give flying hoot about the most common forms of sexual predation and aggression (which we just don’t societally interpret as “rape”, but reasons of apathy or political correctness).

With a public/sandbox simulation of these variables we should be able to reassess our long held misconceptions and come to a better understanding how we must act.

I am pretty sure we are doing a LOT of things really wrong right now, in matters of crime in general, and “rape” in specific.

1) Sousveillance
2) Mental Health
3) Abundance

In that order.

Try to convince the rubes that own this world, Cygnus. We have to deal with now and what/who we are stuck with.
IMO penalties for nonviolent crimes ought to be lessened, while rapists should never be paroled until (if) they are rehabilitated. In other words, life sentences without parole until rehabilitation (and for murderers as well).

I object to any irreversible or lasting punishment on even rapists, murderers or paedophile predators. We must accept the possibility of redemption, even if ever so apparently irredeemable as in one such as Anders Brevik.

The worst case scenario is humane internment. As civilized humans we must shirk away from vengeance in our legal systems. We must regard victimed crime as a disease, where the criminal act and not the perpetrator is the disease. I advocate the formation not of prisons but of “reservations” for those we must for now regard as irredeemable and kept them enclosed for the protection of the rest of us.

Bear in mind - in a world where we are all now aware this reality we inhabit might be a simulation of sorts we must also conclude we are all of us already embedded in such a protective custody, to protect the far more moral and empathic outside the simulation.

Judge not lest you be judged.


I basically agree with CygnusX1

The idea of a “Vagina Dentata” is the stupidest idea I have read in a while. In case of gang rape, that gizmo makes just matters really worse for the victim - quite obviously. Not to mention that once rapists expect women to use one of those devices, they can simply force their victims to insert their own fingers first - to check for possible traps.

What puzzles me the most is how most of the solutions proposed are mostly about universal surveillance and/or some kind of castration for males. Why do so many people nowadays tend to think that absolute surveillance powers to law enforcement agencies works better than a good juridical system? Why are we even talking about male identity, as if that is the problem? I remind that there is quite an established record of sexual violences between female inmates, including rape with various toys available in jail. Does anyone here think that the average male South-African rapist has genetic pool and brain biochemistry substantially different from a quiet, Scandinavian bank clerk?

There are many sexist, phallocentric micro-environments in our western societies, but the presence of rape is extremely rare. It is basically a matter of culture. If a dozen of guys can have a beer in the corner of a street and laugh about their rape stories, probably there is something wrong with the culture of the place. A culture that defines women and children as lesser human beings breeds rapists and abusers of all kinds. You cannot chance a pathological cultural environment by decree, or with the ridiculous draconian punishment someone proposed. It takes time, and economical development. Gulio is right in pointing out the cause of these abuses is simply physical weakness. So, while we can propose economically sound policies to improve living conditions in Africa (and here), women might just boost their strenght by keeping an effective, easy to use weapon on their person. It is a sacred prerogative of every living being to contrast, even with lethal force, any imminent threat to their physical integrity.

I don’t agree that the cause of rape is (always) “simply physical weakness”.  Any person, esp women, who have ever even had the mildest of changes in hormone levels can imagine that body chemistry is responsible for both the nature and the strength of desires, sexual included.

I agree Peg that rape isn’t about physical weakness, but I will state again that rape is not about sex. As long as we continue to focus on sex we will not find a solution for rape.  You can castrate a rapist, and they will use something else to commit the crime.

What we need to do is address issues of power and power imbalance along with making the perpetrator responsible for their actions.

Love is supply and demand along lines of mutual adoration, desire and respect. Sex is simply an extension of such, again a matter of supply and demand, and generally involves seduction or other “gregarious” means.

Rape extends this barter in the realm of violence and the denounciation of love. Rape can be a matter of subjugation, involving contempt, pathology or extremes of lust (or intoxication). Rape leads to children, and in effect nature is fine with rape for that reason. To state that rape is NEVER about sex is oversimplification.

The idea that rape is a only matter of asymmetrical physical ability is likewise naive.

Rape extends to subjugation of stronger males, for instance in prisons. The reason males do not often engage in male-male rape is because you need very build-up of sexual frustration combined with the severely pathological conditions of lengthy confinement.

The female is attractive to the male, and the male body is constantly inundated with testosterone intoxication. Not many males will eventually resort to rape, even in the most extreme of conditions, but they will be dragged along in group rape because of peer pressure. Likewise withhold sex from females and they in turn will engage in rape, or (like males) either of both sexes most submissive inclined members will consent to being raped (yes I said it) rather than go without sex for years.

Note that for some what they regard “as rough sex” for others is rape. Also note that in a relationship a woman can express an interest in a kind of sex (with someone she really trusts) that for anyone looking at the coitus would be interpreted as rape. I am no stranger to this topic myself; I like bruises on me.

“Actual” rape is a pathology of the human social supply/demand mechanism, squared with unhealthy psychosexual development in youth. There are genetic components (mostly in males) but by and large in a healthy society there is neither much need for rape, or given a healthy upringing males will not generally seek out to rape females.

I have witnessed “actual” rape in my life and it is an act that degrades the rapist more than the victim, and that’s a bold statement. Whereas some victims of rape break down and die inside, I have seen most women deal with the pain and humiliation and “life goes on”. The rapist however is forever marked by the act.

Note that by far most rape occurs in family or relational situations where the victim is dependent on the rapist for money or safety.

In my book - the worst betrayal a mother can engage in is to “stay with a rapist spouse” because of the children.

But is the rapist seeking to affirm the power he has over women (if so, why aren’t most men, who have power, rapists) or is he seeking to gain power over women (in which case, giving him power, over women, would solve the problem, but which we surely don’t want to do).

It seems to me that men who rape do so even when women have power.  That seems to be part of the problem - he wants to put them in their place.

So I’m back to revamping the entire system to be non sexist.  Then violence will be non-gendered.  Then we deal with just violence, unaligned with sex or gender.

You are right, I expressed myself poorly. I meant that weakness - and more precisely the weaker muscular structure of the victim - is what makes rape possible. In the animal world there are particularly gruesome examples of rape - but they all happen when males have bigger/stronger bodies than females. Human zoophiles, for example, usually rape small pets or docile farm animals. I never heard of a (suicidal) zoophile trying to rape a gorilla, while the other way round has always had quite a number of amusing literary declinations (listen to the fantastic Brassens’ song - “Le Gorille”).

The cause of rape - meaning, the motive - is obviously something more complex. I insist that local moral standards make all the difference. Human sexual appetites are more or less the same, from the Equator to the Poles. What changes is the categories of people that do not deserve respect. Dehumanized individuals are always abused, in all human communities.

Also, I agree with Alex - rape motivations are not always sexual. The most obvious example that comes to my mind is the recent report about Libyan rebels that gang-raped Queddafi with sticks before shooting him dead. I suppose that their libido played a hardly any role in the occasion.

“...As civilized humans we must shirk away from vengeance in our legal systems. We must regard victimed crime as a disease, where the criminal act and not the perpetrator is the disease. I advocate the formation not of prisons but of “reservations” for those we must for now regard as irredeemable and kept them enclosed for the protection of the rest of us.”

All true, the legal and penal systems are outmoded- and economic rape (economic warfare) is everywhere. But this topic is on rape, and an anti-rape device, and for now we are stuck with the legal system and with rape. After talking with many who work in the incarceration system, it became clear they start out idealistic and become hardened.. they wind up merely ‘doing the job’ because they see no way out of the stasis of rubes at the top who make and perpetuate the laws, and violent criminals at the bottom.
And sometimes they who work for the system just do not give a damn, they see themselves as warehouse workers dealing with human inventory:
“dey committed de cwime so to hell wif dem.”
You are correct, Khannea, the system needs to be more humane, and it can be done if we could so much as even communicate with the fools running this world. They don’t know what to do so they continue with the status quo because “isn’t up to” them, they think. And I’ve always despised libertarians who say they don’t know what to do but in a few decades by golly thinkers smarter than they (false modesty) will come along to supposedly discover new ways to manage crime and punishment. Well perhaps they wont—what we have today is more or less a self-perpetuating legal and penal racket; those at the top are callous, those at the bottom are often as violent as can be.
Around and ‘round we go.
As for the device, it can only succeed if the perpetrator has no accomplices.
So two cheers for the device.

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