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J Sex Res. 2008 Jan-Mar;45(1):57-70. doi: 10.1080/00224490701808191.

Women's erotic rape fantasies: an evaluation of theory and research.

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1
Psychology Department, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76205-1280, USA. critelli@unt.edu

Abstract

This article is the first systematic review of the research literature on women's rape fantasies. Current research indicates that between 31% and 57% of women have fantasies in which they are forced into sex against their will, and for 9% to 17% of women these are a frequent or favorite fantasy experience. Erotic rape fantasies are paradoxical: they do not appear to make sense. Why would a person have an erotic and pleasurable fantasy about an event that, in real life, would be abhorrent and traumatic? In this article, the major theories of women's rape fantasies are evaluated both rationally and empirically. These theories explain rape fantasies in terms of masochism, sexual blame avoidance, openness to sexuality, sexual desirability, male rape culture, biological predisposition to surrender, sympathetic physiological activation, and adversary transformation. This article evaluates theory and research, makes provisional judgments as to which theories appear to be most viable, and begins the task of theoretical integration to arrive at a more complete and internally consistent explanation for why many women engage in erotic rape fantasies. Methodological critiques and programs for future research are presented throughout.

PMID:
18321031
DOI:
10.1080/00224490701808191
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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