Sexual Violence: Beyond the Feminist - Evolutionary Debate

Sexual Violence: Beyond the Feminist - Evolutionary Debate
Andrew L. Spivak
July 2011

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-415-5 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xviii, 218 pages

Price   $67.00

"... tackles the largest debate in the rape and sexual violence literature." -- Contemporary Sociology


The debate between feminist and evolutionary scholars about sexual violence has resulted in polarized ideas about whether sex offenders’ motives are sexual, nonsexual, or both. Spivak examines the history of this controversy, and then evaluates national victim survey and police data to test hypotheses about victim-targeting in rape incidents. The primary question is whether offenders preferentially select victims based on youth, or more indiscriminately based on convenience and proximity, examining the age distribution of victims and offenders across relationships and other measures of routine activity. Results reveal that offenders may be more sexually motivated than implied by some feminist assertions, since they appear to specifically target younger victims, but these facts are explainable within a criminological framework that does not require a direct evolutionary adaptation.

About the Author

Andrew L. Spivak is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He worked in corrections for a decade and completed his PhD at the University of Oklahoma in 2007. His peer-reviewed articles have appeared in Crime & Delinquency, Deviant Behavior, Justice Research and Policy, Public Integrity, and Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.