Can men who rape be treated so that they lose their desire to rape? Many different ther­apies have been tried, including shock treatment, psychotherapy, behavioral treatment, support groups, and the use of Depo-Provera, a drug that can diminish a man’s sex drive. The idea behind Depo-Provera is that if the sex drive is reduced, so too is the likelihood of rape. So far these treatments have yielded inconclusive results. Many feminists argue that because violence, not sexual desire, causes rape, taking away sexual desire will not decrease the incidence of rape. For many men in treatment, the most important first step is to accept responsibility for their actions.

Many programs have been developed to decrease myths about rape and increase knowledge levels. All-male programs have been found to significantly reduce the belief in rape myths (Foubert & Marriott, 1997). In another study evaluating posteducation outcomes, among the 20% of men who indicated a possible likelihood of raping before participating in an educational program, 75% reported less likelihood of raping after the program (Foubert & McEwen, 1998). However, although attitudes about rape myths ap­pear to change after these programs, research has yet to show that these attitude changes result in changes in sexually coercive behavior (Foubert, 2000). Treatments for high-risk rapists (those who are repeat offenders) have not been found to be overwhelmingly suc­cessful (Lalumiere et al., 2005a).

child sexual abuse

Sexual contact with a minor by an adult.