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HITE, Shere

The Hite Report

If sex/intercourse has traditionally been the basic symbol of male domination and ownership of women (whether or not an individual man may feel this at any given time), rape and paying women for sex, or buying women through pornography, are basic extensions of this ideology-not biologic "urges" or part of a physical male "sex drive." It is what "sex" means to men that makes them sometimes want to rape or buy women, not a desire for orgasm or sexual sharing.

The general culture-in movies, books, jokes, and popular sayings-reinforces the idea that men "get" or "take" sex from women,men "have" women, men conquer and possess women, women say "no" but mean yes, women "give in" to men-and "penetration" is the symbol of this victory. Men, brought up to feel that a vital part of being a male is to orgasm in a vagina, often resent women's "power" to withhold this "male need" from them-not realizing that this is in many ways the only "power" left to many women. It is this dynamic that in part sometimes leads men to say that women are "more powerful" than men.