Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present Day

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Virago, 2008 - Rape - 565 pages
24 Reviews

Joanna Bourke, author of the critically-acclaimed Fear, unflinchingly and controversially moves away from looking at victims to look at the rapists. She examines the nature of rape, drawing together the work of criminologists, sociologists and psychiatrists to analyse what drives the perpetrators of sexual violence.

Rape - A History looks at the perception of rape, both in the mass media and the wider public, and considers the crucial questions of treatment and punishment. Should sexual offenders be castrated? Will Freud's couch or the behaviourists' laboratory work most effectively? Particular groups of offenders such as female abusers, psychopaths and exhibitionists are given special attention here, as are potentially dangerous environments, including the home, prison, and the military. By demystifying the category of the rapist and revealing the specificities of the past, Joanna Bourke dares to consider a future in which sexual violence has been placed outside the human experience.

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Review: Rape: Sex, Violence, History

User Review  - Vishal Misra - Goodreads

This book is a stunningly well researched text which should be a must read for anyone interested in socio-legal studies. It's obviously disturbing, given its subject matter, and it's not necessarily a ... Read full review

Review: Rape: Sex, Violence, History

User Review  - Madden Swan - Goodreads

wrote about pg. 150: so far I like the historiography going on here, but I do think it suffers from a narrow, prescriptive, and overly-normative scope. I understand why that was necessary in 2007 and ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Joanna Bourke is a professor of history at Birkbeck College in London. Her book An Intimate History of Killing received critical acclaim, winning the Wolfson History Prize.

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