While strict and prompt punishment for the guilty has been considered as a deterrent to crimes against women, it becomes important to understand the very root of this issue to reach an effective solution.

News about outrage against women, often with extreme cruelty, even from their traditional protectors, appear regularly in the media. A range of views, opinions, analysis of the problem and possible remedies offered by members from different cross sections of the society also come up as responses. The majority feels that very stringent and quick punishment to the offenders will act as a deterrent and will reduce such incidents drastically. But, as of now the overall situation appears to remain almost the same.
Gang rape protest 300x198 Atrocities Against Women.
There are two ways to solve a problem;

1. Through trial and error methods.

2. Find out the cause and arrive at a cure or solution.

The suggestions given by the majority do not appear to be a cause based solution.  Therefore, it may not be sufficient to solve the problem completely and permanently.  It is only a trial, based on the age-old logic of punishment against any kind of crime irrespective of the conditions and causes which resulted in the crime.  This article is an effort to find out the likely causes for such crimes.

Looking for a cause, the first question seeking an answer is; why is it that the male member alone is always the offender? Searching for an answer to this question and further from various sources accessible certain opinions were found, which could help to find an answer. These may not necessarily be correct, complete or acceptable to all.

(i) Male domination culture through the ages.

Sex instinct and associated emotional urge are common to both male and female and is considered a natural  characteristic built into the biological system for preservation and sustenance of several living species. But, unlike in the animals, in the case of human being his mind has transformed the sex urge into a  habit and practice to serve as his supreme physical  enjoyment submitting to temptation without restraint and cultivating it in  many subtle ways. It is seen that the male member is invariably the offender in all reported incidents of sexual outrages. His feeling of superiority with physical prowess and adventurous spirit naturally ingrained in the male biology to face dangers and challenges during the primitive age when forests, fruits, hunting and caves were his only concerns is still retained in his constitution which could be inducing him to do such crime.

The female role was then limited to child-bearing and taking care of the domestic realm. The male domination was an accepted fact of life in the society during the past for millennia.. Further, the physical superiority of the male is considered to be the basis of all human progress in the life style brought about by the physical and intellectual efforts of the male members, throughout the ages. However, the same physical gift, was also misused by thieves, robbers, dacoits, kidnappers, pirates etc causing atrocities in human society. The feeling of superiority, built into the male subconscious culturally could be tempting some of them to take an adventurous attitude in satisfying their ambition, greed and sex related passion. Thus, the sexual harassment of female by the male can be considered a residue of the feeling of domination still remaining in his subconscious and still encouraged by many in the society. In the drastically changed context of modern society and life style, this mindset of the male has no place, and has to be totally erased from both his conscious and subconscious being.

(ii) Security of Women.

Any attractive and valuable object  has to be protected from theft and misuse due to common human temptation among many to possess the attractive and valuable and enjoy pleasures. Thus, diamond, platinum, gold, rare art forms and other valuables are preserved securely in safe locations and protected by necessary foolproof arrangements. Our houses are generally provided with doors and locks, offices and other installations provided with special security and so on, to protect them. It is not that every individual in the society is prone to criminal tendencies, but a very small fraction of the population definitely has such inclinations.

The female body is an object of great fascination and attraction to a large number of male members in the society. This must be clear from the fact that anything needing attraction for sale and publicity uses the exposed female body picture making it an object for attractive advertisement. Naturally, some get tempted for its possession and use for carnal pleasures. As such, the female human body also needs proper security. This fact was well understood from olden times, and was taken care by the code of conduct followed in the society and other arrangements necessary and feasible then and according to the competence of the leaders who guided the society in those days.

Presently, the perspective of the common man  has changed drastically in many places and the surroundings and circumstances where women have to be present have changed vastly making it imperative to provide  effective security measures  for them. At the same time, there is also a notion that men and women are equal and no special consideration and protection bringing about likely constraint in their freedom is necessary. Instead, the male members should be compelled to behave in a civilized way and women have the capability and confidence to take care of themselves. While this courage is a welcome attitude our culture and surroundings have not yet become secure enough to depend on the above assessment.

(iii) Safety Precaution For Women.

Security is for protection against intentional and wilful acts of stealing, creating trouble and attempts to destroy or do harm to a person, place or thing. Safety is more against unintentional causes, leading to the same results. It is well-known that inflammable materials, explosives etc., have to be stored with extreme care and precaution to avoid any accidental fire and explosion. An electrical spark, an unexpected sparkle or a thermal spike etc, can trigger the initiation of ignition and cause heavy damage and loss of property. In spite of repeated accidents ,care and precaution, still accidents happen because enough attention and seriousness have not been provided.

The female body is like the spark or sparkle to some male members and it can set fire to their suppressed or nurtured sexual passion under favorable surroundings. It is reported that the male sex urge is nine fold powerful compared to the female and so if ignited it is almost impossible to quench. As a comparison, if female is like the ignition power of kerosene the male  power is like that of  dynamite. Just like in the  gun, once the trigger is pulled, bullet just gets fired and then nothing can be done.

Some males could easily get excited with least stimulation and get into a wild sexplosive state, like a hungry tiger chasing its prey for the kill. If, this analogy has any merit, then one should always take enough precaution, in not igniting the sexual passion of easily excitable male members. When there is a favorable situation for the uncontrolled sexual passion to  be aroused, such as lonely places, very crowded places, in the night or in darkness, during long travel  etc., the mind of the male member can get disengaged from usual  thought process and slide into sexual thought domain, nurtured by  ads, cinema, nude pictures from internet etc,. and suddenly go out of control and lose all discrimination, and act without any concern about the consequences. This is the reason why, persons even in highly dignified position too, misbehave with females, much against one’s belief. So, it is in the interest of the female members, that irrespective of age, position, relationship, character and other considerations, they should avoid unfavorable situations. Here again, there is opinion that women are as free as men, and it is the responsibility of men to ensure that, they do not misbehave with female members. Yes, it should be so, but as yet, the situation and facts  do not give that assurance.

 (iv) Domination of Habits and Subconscious over Discrimination.

The present standard of science education and general awareness must be high enough to recollect that the human brain consists of two distinct parts. One part called the ‘cortex’  is the exclusive preserve of the human beings. The animals do not have this part. The size of this part is about 10 per cent of the whole brain. The thinking process and all conscious mental activity take place here. The remaining large 90 percent of the brain is similar to that of animals and can be referred to as animal brain or old brain. It contains the subconscious and takes care of all automatic functions of the bod, as per the data and instructions stored in it. It is extremely powerful in controlling human actions on the basis of instincts and habits and other actions needed to protect and preserve life. Breathing, sleep, thirst, hunger etc are to be taken care of by this part. It  always over rides the authority of the thinking mind, when special situations arise.

The thinking man will be always busy with the question,“ What is to be done next ?” But, when he is under emotional disturbance like anger, depression, agony or under the influence of alcohol, drug etc the thinking part  i.e. cortex gets completely over powered by the animal brain, and will behave according to instincts and habits . His discriminating ability, guiding him to choose good against evil, and his normal intelligence available for rational thinking will be lost temporarily.  He will be following his animal propensities and emotional passions influenced by the data present in his subconscious. There is every chance that his sub conscious is loaded with all kinds of sex stimulating pleasures, enjoyed by seeing and watching easily available books and websites, the modern life style provides. Thus, a drunkard can get easily get ignited into a sex related passion mode and commit unimaginable atrocities against women. Even a highly educated person occupying a responsible position can also slip into this situation, where his normal character, knowledge, wisdom or nobility are of no use. It is this danger, against which, the old saying, ” See no evil, hear no evil , speak no evil”cautions, so  that one is able to have a clean subconscious, without any temptation for illegitimate actions  or pleasures. One can understand from the above limitations of even severe punishment, in controlling atrocities against women.


Any meaningful and effective solution to the problem of atrocities and cruelty against the females by the male members has to consider various aspects including the causes for this immoral behavior. With the media and advertisement profession heavily dependent on the human weakness of temptation, especially using pictures of exposed female body for their effectiveness, and the use of intoxicating drink becoming a fashion for the highly cultured, it appears difficult to implement any integrated and complete solution to the problem.  Stringent laws can certainly  work as a deterrent. But creating proper awareness also can bring about some improvement. Thus the causes and some answers have been presented here for awareness among the concerned. As for solution, some words of wisdom are the only solace.

“It is not enough that one has a solution for a problem, others must be willing to accept it.”-  Aurobindo Ghosh.

“Humanity still has only a slender minority, who are competent to benefit from the ‘ancient wisdom’. We have to wait patiently, till the minority becomes the majority.”   -Annie Besant.

By Sukumaran Thampi

Also See:
Busting the Rape Myth- Violence or Uncontrolled Lust?
The Pascal Mazurier Assault Case – Speaking for Suja

Image Source: Rape Victim Advocates@facebook, By Jim Ankan Deka (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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