The Dodge Ballroom in the Campus Union filled quickly come 7 p.m., on Tuesday, April 15. The chatters of people filling the seats and talking to their classmates quickly stopped once Christina Lane, associate professor of Criminal Justice at the College of Saint Rose, began to speak.
On a PowerPoint presentation displayed from the projector that read, “Understanding Sexual Violence,” the crowd quickly became focused on the topic at hand. This lecture was sponsored by the Social Sciences Department.
As Lane began to explain, the presentation was about serial rapists, particularly of the male gender, and why they commit the crimes they do. For one, these reasons are psychological, dating back to childhood or even a way for them to cope with the negativity in the life they live.
Lane brought up many points, including the topic of sadism, and how rapists enjoy the pain they inflict on victims. She explained that three out of 10 rapists are aroused by their victims, but five out of 10 are further aroused if their victims are fighting back. The entire lecture was intertwined through facts with a common question in mind: what develops the actions of a rapist?
With that question in mind, Lane read many court cases and articles showing the audience the triggers of convicted rapists. One poem stated, “I’m going to rape your body…your mind…your soul,” written by an anonymous person.
“This [topic] is more of an understanding of motivations and goals,” said Lane. “It could be frightening.”
Along with these articles, there were a series of pornographic pictures, illustrated by rapists, in which viewers’ discretion was advised. As an audience, the photos were analyzed, really breaking down the mind of a rapist.
While explaining the different topics of the lecture, Lane incorporated group questions, asking the audience their opinions of the questions she was placing. With topics from the onset puberty of males, to the fantasies rapists have, to peeping Toms (which is a person who gets sexual pleasure from secretly watching people undressing or engaging in sexual activity), the audience was able to critically analyze important questions.
At the conclusion of the lecture, Lane wrapped up everything that was talked about, explaining that a rapist is seeking to gain power and control. She gave the audience information such as that a rape will last around two minutes, but the process of choosing a victim is a strenuous process. Underlying issues, such as the way people grew up, or a bad experience with someone can alter the way a rapist thinks and chooses someone to harm.
“When you talk about sex, it is really viewed as taboo. In our society, we really try to contain it,” said Lane. “We don’t want to know why.”
Although the topic was frightening, the lecture of “Understanding Sexual Violence” really showed the audience an educational, inside look about the thoughts and fascinations of a serial rapist.