07-01-04, 08:40 AM #1
Rape in animals?
Do animals rape eachother?
In humans, the definition of rape is a wide one, stretching from statutory rape to cases where the rapist(s) physically disable the victim by a previous fight in which the victim, upon defending themselves, gets so seriously injured that they cannot defend themselves anymore, and then the rapist(s) take(s) advantage of them.
I am wondering if this is the case in animals too: Does it happen that a male, in a fight, physically injures the female so much that she cannot defend herself anymore, and then rapes her?
07-01-04, 11:09 AM #2
Are you serious?
I certainly don't know, but there must be occations in nature where one partner is not entirely willing.
Perhaps they will rape in self defense!
07-01-04, 11:33 AM #3
07-01-04, 11:34 AM #4
07-01-04, 12:20 PM #5
it is everywhere though.
07-01-04, 12:59 PM #6
Getting consent for sex is a human social construction. In nature, sexual partners are often determined amongst competing males, and has nothing to do with the female's "wishes". You just have to watch some of those nature shows on public TV to see it.
07-01-04, 03:43 PM #7
It's almost wrong to think of it that way. It is like considering if animals steal, murder, blackmail, or prostitute- applying human traits and motivations to animals. Do lions murder buffalo? Are ants that invade termite mounds and eat their children guilty of war crimes?
07-01-04, 06:06 PM #8
You have to remember that very few animals have the kind of sexuality that humans do. In most species, the females have an estrus cycle. They are physically capable of having intercourse only during a short period of time (e.g., in dogs and cats it's about six days, twice a year), during which time they are fertile. During that time they exude pheromones and drive the males crazy. Stallions, bulls, and rams fight -- sometimes to the death -- over the privilege of having sex -- and of course their babies are born with the ability to run so can get by without much fathering. Dogs are more prolific, every male in the pack gets his turn with any female in heat so they all think they're the babies' father and will protect with their lives the little blind pups who can barely crawl.
When the females are not in estrus they exude no pheromones and the males don't even think about having sex with them. Couldn't get an erection to save their life.
Humans are practically unique. Our females are capable of having intercourse at any point during their fertility/infertility cycle, which happens once a month -- astoundingly frequent for an animal of our size with a gestation period of nearly a year. Our males don't need a burst of pheromones in the air in order to feel like having sex. We can couple anytime we want. And unfortunately, a male can force a woman to couple when she doesn't want to -- because they are both physically capable of doing it even if one is forced to.
One of the few other mammals that is not bound to an estrus cycle is the dolphin. And, of course, one of the few other mammals that is capable of enacting a rape is the dolphin.
I can't cite a reference -- although there's probably one on the web these days, everything else is. About fifteen years ago I read an article reporting that the dolphins off the coast of Australia engage in rape. In a three dimensional environment, for an animal with no arms, it's not easy. So they have to do a gang rape. Three bulls corner a cow and take turns, one having intercourse while the other two pen her in and keep her from swimming away. And three more participate -- they stand guard a short distance away to prevent anyone from coming to her rescue.
Six on one. Is that chickenshit or what?
Fortunately this is not universal behavior in dolphins. No one (at least at that time) has ever reported seeing this happen in other populations of dolphins.
At any rate, rape is physically impossible in most species. Unfortunately, in one of the most intelligent, charismatic species we know, it is not only possible but it happens.
07-01-04, 06:12 PM #9
I've heard of it occuring among chimps and gorillas, who share many of our sexual traits.
07-01-04, 07:56 PM #10
Yes it happens in chimps and gorillas, monkeys, also all kinds of pinnipeds(where even pedophilic rape is common). Fraggle there has definately been more than one case of dolphin rape, I have seen more than 1 case on television so I'm sure it happens quite a bit. Apparently it won't happen within a group, but rival groups will kidnap females from eachother and may keep them hostage and rape them repeatedly for weeks.
It is also common in whales, infact many whales seem to have evolved penises especially designed for rape. I've witnessed whale rape and the female would try to twist and turn out of the way but the males penis was so long and manuveurable that it could just wrap around her and probe its way into her sex organ.
Even fish, except its not exactly rape. Some fish will sneak in and fertilise a females eggs even though she hasn't given consent, while the male she did give consent to isn't watching. Its not penetration, but still.
If you are trying to figure out if its a natural behaviour in humans I'm sure it is. As in I'm sure its occurred since before we even became a species and all the way up untill now where it still occurs. The first homo sapien may have even been concieved by way of rape (that would be quite fitting if you ask me).
Fraggle, I don't agree that females need to be in estrus for males to even get an erection because my cousins female dog became stuck in their fence with her backside sticking out to the street and a stray dog litterally raped her. She had been spayed for years so she definately wasn't in estrus.
Its not surprising that rape is common in the animal kingdom (probably the plant kingdom too but i wouldn't know), any behaviour that continues your genetic legacy is favoured by evolution. In case you haven't noticed, nature doesn't much care for the rights of individuals.
07-02-04, 04:35 AM #11
Thank you for your response.
First of all, I know that animals have a different sexual life than humans, and that human terminology is not applicable.
But I made it clear in the opening post what I was wondering about -- rape with *physical assault*. Physical assault is observable.
So this happens in primates, whales, dolphins, dogs -- it is interesting that these happen to be the most intelligent animals, using tools or elaborate hunting techniques.
As if intellect goes hand in hand with deliberate violence.
07-02-04, 04:49 AM #12
Maybe it's because greater intellect expands the boundaries of "love" in both directions - negative and positive. Where there cannot be rational consent to sex, there can't be forced sex, either. If resistance to sex and violence is just a preference, then what processes make it possible for that preference to be respected? But if they are an asserted right, it becomes a moral issue. The animal world doesn't share our moral assertions, things are sorted out by force and displays of strength.
Humans have the capacity to live a mental life apart from their natural ones. That's why sex isn't just a reproductive impulse, or even just a pleasurable one (morally, of course). And why violence isn't just an assertion of the alpha male.
"Sex without love is violence" (from the movie Body Shots).
07-02-04, 04:58 AM #13
I don't think its common for dogs to rape, this instance was the first time I heard of it, I think it was purely due to the nature of the predicament the female dog got herself into. Usually male dogs will mount females but the females protests will make the male back off. This female couldn't effectively fight the dog off after it mounted her, so thats how it happened, I'd guess its not usual. I don't think male dogs beat up females and rape them. I've never heard of such a thing happening and I've noticed with dogs that males in general tend to be nice to females.
Lots of species attempt to just hump a member of the opposite sex, but usually won't retaliate to the females defensive reaction with violence, they'll just keep trying to hump untill they get sick of her beating them up.
Male elephants occassionally have tantrums when denied sex and might beat up the female that denied them or even beat up her children. But I haven't seen them beat up a female and then hump her while she was injured.
Chimps commonly hold grudges against females that resist their advances and will often wait untill the dominant male is away to administer a brutal beating to said female, occassionally even murdering them.
But again, going straight from a beating to a humping is something I haven't really heard of. Forcefully humping is more common then beating and then humping I think.
Sea lions and elephant seals would be an exception, they do horrible things to eachother.
Male sea lions fight for a beach filled with females, but then this leaves lots of males on the sidelines with no females, they become extremely frustrated because they had to travel far to that beach for a chance to get laid. They will often take it out on youngsters that stray from the group, they will beat them up and throw them around and then rape them, usually killing them.
Its really disturbing to see, definately one of the things on my top 10 list of "events in nature that I don't want to see again". Along with baby eagles pecking their little brothers to death, baboons casually eating gazelles alive starting at their back legs and paralysis tick victims being eaten by ants.
07-02-04, 06:22 AM #14
Originally Posted by Fraggle Rocker
About fifteen years ago I read an article reporting that the dolphins off the coast of Australia engage in rape. In a three dimensional environment, for an animal with no arms, it's not easy. So they have to do a gang rape. Three bulls corner a cow and take turns, one having intercourse while the other two pen her in and keep her from swimming away. And three more participate -- they stand guard a short distance away to prevent anyone from coming to her rescue.
Six on one. Is that chickenshit or what?.
07-02-04, 06:33 AM #15
Originally Posted by Dr Lou Natic
07-02-04, 06:59 AM #16
I was reffering to an incident where my cousin's dog became stuck in their fence.
There was a gap in the fence she used to go in and out of but a neighbour started feeding her all the time and she got really fat and then one day she got stuck trying to get back into her own yard. When her owners found her, her back end was stuck out on the sidewalk and a stray dog was boning it. She was really stuck, they had to take a paling out of the fence.
07-02-04, 07:09 AM #17
oh.. in that case she was helpless. Man, it is disgusting to see dogs exploiting the situation like humans.
07-02-04, 09:30 AM #18
You can often see male dogs raping other males.
The situation is usually so: A dog is tied to a chain at his house. Another dog comes to his territory. The dog that is chained can fight, but the chain restricts him, he cannot run away even he wanted to. The intruder rapes him.
I live in the country and many people have dogs chained. Every now and then, a dog breaks free, or they let him free, and goes on a spree of rape and other violence through the village. It's horrid.
07-02-04, 09:49 AM #19
In applying natural law/system-- how much rape is justified? Is it a social sin/crime or/and a natural sin/crime? Do the animal rape or it is just part of the game? If sperms movement is somewhat raping the ova?
07-02-04, 03:03 PM #20
I suppose animals are different from humans in that even if the sex is not consentual, there is little point in it being violent, because this would reduce the ability of the mother to care for the kids, and it is still reproduction that is the goal. When humans rape, reproduction is not the goal.