A picture of an anti-rape protest. Picture provided by: GCIS.

Africa In The News Opinion South Africa

Rape as an unresolved childhood issue

Ogopoleng Mushi


Is it possible at all that rape is as a result of childhood unresolved issues and a person’s inability to practice self-control? Could it be a result of abnormal psychology? But yet again, what is normality?



How do hormones affect boys and how does the silence of their discomfort lead to rape culture in schools and the society?

There is one thing we must not forget to mention, adolescence is real.More often than not, boys, especially teenagers get erections in class (due to hormones of course) but are such realities openly spoken about except in the Life Orientation 45 minute class? Hormonal confusion can be equated to any other problem learners face daily.



Not speaking about these things leads to the following:

a-Low performance in class.

This is because an average boy gets about 8 erections a day as compared to an average man who gets about 11 a day, not including night time erections. Because the boy is not used to how his body and hormones work or does not understand it, then his performance in class, especially in presentations might be affected (so boys might not be hostile after all)


b-Rape culture: A sociological concept used to describe the setting in which rape is permitted and normalized to due societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. This definition was taken straight up from the internet in order to carry the full meaning without tainting the flow it has in explaining this concept.



The oxford dictionary explains rape culture as “a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse.”



It might sound like it is taken overboard but it is true what is said- this time used in the right context- one thing leads to another. Not to promote or justify any negative actions. As said in the beginning: adolescence is real. Boys don’t know yet how to react to hormones. Now boys might start using unwelcome words and touching girls as a result of their misplaced or uncontrolled or even confusing hormonal stage, therefore this may end up leading to rape if the boy does not learn self-control.



Let’s break down more concepts so we can understand how “one thing leads to another”.



Now this might look irrelevant, but if you apply your mind you will see that this can be a chain or reaction from a little lonely boy who is overwhelmed by hormones. Not only that, the little lonely boy has no willpower at all and can as a result not practise any form of self-control.



People with a psychology background will understand the theories of emotion. You may be sitting there wondering, what does emotion have to do with this? Well, emotions can be categorized in terms of context within which the explanation is developed. This can be evolutionary, social or internal. This is not a psychology lesson, but only a surface to try make you understand that there are different theories of emotion to explain what emotions are and how they operate.



You may still be like, “yeah, so what’s your point?”



Without getting deep into the psychological perspective of things, looking at emotions makes one understand the reference point of each person’s behaviour, whether being it right or wrong. You will understand that emotions form part of cognitive processing. Cognitive processing is comprised of judgemental theories which are “cognitive positions which have been developed by philosophers”- this is pretty much a basic judgement about our Selves and our position in the world. Cognitive processes are also comprised of cognitive appraisal theories, theories which have been developed by psychologist. This says a lot about the way a person behaves since the way in which a person interprets a stimulus determines emotion.



The thing I am trying to put across here-let’s call it a theory- is also supported by non-cognitive theories. You can search for Ekman and Griffith (we said we will not make this a psyche lesson).



You may now be thinking “yeah, and so?”



We are going the long way around in explaining this so as to achieve 1. An understanding 2. A judgement free reading and finally 3. A form of an education that might aid all parents and future parents with a new knowledge which might open lines of communication with children.



Getting to the point: We all react differently to the very same situation. It’s as easy as that. One Del of pain may be nothing to you when it may take the next person straight to ICU; it is with this exaggeration that you will get the point.



Our different reactions are as a result of multiple factors. These are nature, nurture, biology (DNA), and of course what you were taught, or rather what your mind chose to understand.



With all that being said, let us get back to the chain of reaction we spoke of earlier since we are now on the same level of understanding.



The following is not at all permissible nor condoned, but if not monitored or reprimanded, from the very little act such as a prolonged look, they may follow each other just as put below.



Sexual Harassment can include verbal or visual assaults, as well as cornering or unwelcome touching. Comments about someone’s gender, sexuality, or sexual activity, exposing oneself, gesturing or mimicking sexual acts, exposing someone to porn, whistles, crude jokes, and unwanted tickling all fall under sexual harassment.


Sexual Assault is any sexual contact without consent.


Rape is sexual intercourse vaginally, anally, or orally without consent.



So, what is consent?


Permission of something to happen or agreement to do something. Internet explanation once again.


Golden question: Is consent permanent?


Does it mean that if a woman agrees to sleep with her boyfriend or husband then he is allowed to have intercourse with her again without asking as long as they are still together? Can a man rape his own wife? Can a woman rape his own husband?


More things to think about. You will thank me later when you come back from that dinner part or wine tasting, or even that Saturday kiddie’s birthday that requires forced conversations. We will leave the above question for your dissection.


In conclusion, we cannot say that rape is a wrong act without trying to understand what might be causing it. In fact, we are allowed to say so about rape since it hasn’t done any good and has so many post-implications on victims. The point you should take from this message is, every single person has a reason for acting in a particular way, therefore understanding children is very vital aspect of their development. Treating them differently but still equally will aid in positively moulding the adults they become.


Everything in life is simple. Not easy, but simple.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *