(trigger warning for rape)
From the front page of reddit, user DrRob discusses with other users why the ask a rapist thread was dangerous.
Hi all. I’m a psychiatrist. My main area of clinical work is emergency psychiatry, and my main research interest is functional brain imaging. I’d like to start a discussion about the rapist thread, which I see as a serious danger. In a nutshell:
- Rape is a crime which hinges directly on feelings of power over the victim.
- That power often loses its meaning if the victim is unconscious. Many rapists typically need a victim who knows they are being victimized.
- This victim is the rapist’s audience. This is crucial.
- The audience gives the rapist pleasure, euphoric delight from unfettered, witnessed suffering. That euphoria is intense and is driven by the same neurobiology involved in a drug high.
Now, when Reddit invites rapists to retell their stories, they offer an audience of thousands. The possibility that individuals reading these stories will be horrified afresh is very appealing to some rapists. It’s neurobiologically very much like anticipating drug use.
Note: the audience doesn’t actually need to be horrified. In the mind of the rapist, the possibility of horrifying an audience is what is appealing.
Ever wonder what makes addicts keep using? A major factor is the craving that comes from recalling the feelings associated with the pleasurable activity or drug. Cocaine addicts, active or in recovery, who are asked to think about using cocaine have measurable brain changes precisely when they report cravings. We haven’t actually measured this in rapists, but we suspect it’s highly analogous.
Thus, the Reddit rape forum is very likely triggering rape cravings in rapists.
It is also teaching rapists how to rape better via shared stories, the same way we teach new participants to improve in any field, by sharing our experiences.
I plan to be available to discuss this, so jump in.
(For those more curious about the guy behind the message, I’m a frequent guest on the  Caustic Soda Podcast.)
Edited at 6:43 pm to eliminate gendered language. My apologies for insensitivity! I was pretty anxious when I was writing this, and my bias showed. Any gender can rape any gender.
Second edit at 7:09 pm (Pacific):  My credentials
Third edit at 7:19 pm: Edit #2:  Caustic Soda has confirmed my identity on their Facebook page.
the full thread is here
On a second note, this adds an entirely new level of disgust to people who intentionally try to trigger rape victims on-line.
I mean, not that it wasn’t gross before, it’s just that after reading what DrRob had to say, it makes it that much more disgusting.
The Young Turks talked about this last night. This professional POV is very interesting.
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