Understanding the mentality of sex crimes

“See men aren’t afraid like, ‘Oh God I’m going to get raped!’- they’re pissed that you would even threaten their masculinity, ” said sociology professor, Dianne Pirtle.

Pirtle, specialized in Human Sexuality, commented on the sexual assault that happened on campus last Monday in the Social Science building.

“That guy is actually lucky that the student didn’t start to beat the crap out of him, because it touches their sense of masculinity,” Pirtle said.

Benson “Fwea” Louis-Pierre, a criminal justice major, said that if he were put in that scenario his reaction would have been more than just a push.

“I would have really gotten physical and stuff would have gotten ugly,” Louis-Pierre said.

People that commit these sexual assaults often times have similar characteristics.

“They typically have terribly low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and they feel inadequate- and it’s the only way that they know to be able to get aroused,” Pirtle said.

Dr. Todd Gaffaney, a clinical psychologist and Cerritos College professor, also commented on the mindset that the violator may have had.

“They have a sexual disorder and emotional problems or they wouldn’t do that,” Gaffaney said, “the mindset of exhibitionist is different then that of a molester.

“Right there you have an exhibitionist and (the incident) probably would have resulted in more behavior if the victim had given permission.”

In this situation the violator may have even been turned on by the simple reaction of a push because they like the attention, Pirtle said.

She compared this type of genital exhibitionist to the actions of “Peeping Toms”.

Cerritos College experienced a “Peeping Tom” on campus before- a person who experiences pleasure from watching people undress or engage in sexual activity.

“We had some guy looking into girls stalls like two years ago using a mirror to spy on them,” said Pirtle.

Pirtle offered a comparison between the gender difference in the incident: how would the situation be different if a male had walked into a women’s restroom and showed her his genitals?

“Women, we’re fearful because men are larger than we are. It’s a sense of power over us. Men react very differently than women. Their worries are about their egos, their manhoods- we’re worried about whether or not we’re going to get raped and survive this.”

Gaffaney agreed with this statement to a certain degree, but said that men also experience an emotional trauma.

Sixto Montenez, English major, said that if he were sexually assaulted, he would respond in a similar way.

“I’d be devastated. I would probably be so furious that I would want to hurt someone and so depressed that I would never want to talk to anyone,” Montenez said.

“Men could too fear for their life, especially if they fought back,” Gaffaney said, “it’s a fair comparison only to a certain degree that women are more likely to fear for their life because of previous experience and what we (society) know about sexual assaults and rape, but it could also be the same for men.”

When it comes to sexual assaults, each victim reacts differently.

“Because of personal violation and betrayal, they’re likely going to respond with anger,” said Gaffaney.

Nonetheless, male students on campus agreed that the violator would face repercussions after pulling a stunt like that.

Valente Huerta, sociology major, said that he would take matters further by filing a police report on the individual.

“I would get a restraining order or have them arrested,” Huerta said.