Hastings Women’s Law Journal


Owen D. Jones


The effectiveness of the legal system in preventing rape depends, in part, on the accuracy of the model of rape behavior on which it relies. To date, most models of rape reflect the disciplinary isolation of their proponents. In this article, Professor Jones argues that integrating life science and social science perspectives on sexual aggression can improve law's model of rape behavior and further our efforts to reduce the .incidence of rape. Extending his prior work on law, biology, and sexual aggression, Professor Jones addresses both why law's model of rape behavior can usefully incorporate insights from biobehavioral science in coming years, and why the transition to a behavioral model that supplements existing knowledge about rape with biobehavioral perspectives need not be as traumatic as commonly feared. In furtherance of that transition, Professor Jones explores how common definitional ambiguities continue to plague most crossdisciplinary discussions of rape, and proposes more systematic disentangling of theories about the meaning of rape from theories about the cause of rape.