An investigation into the factors predisposing men to acts of rape in Kenya
There are increased cases of rape against women and girls in Kenya despite the efforts that are being made to prevent its occurrences. This study was, therefore, designed to answer the following questions: What are the individual motivational factors that increase men's chances of raping women? What are the socio-cultural factors that may predispose men to raping women? Accordingly, the overall objective of this study was to explore and discuss the individual motivations and socio-cultural factors that predispose men to acts of rape in Kenya. The specific objectives of the research were to determine the individual motivations that may increase chances of men raping women and to investigate the socio-cultural factors that may predispose men to committing the crime. Data were collected using the survey method, case histories and key informant interviews. In total, seventy-two inmates convicted of rape or attempted rape were drawn from Naivasha, Kamiti and Nyeri Main Prisons and subjected to a structured questionnaire. Unstructured interviews were undertaken with fourteen other inmates. This was aimed at re-writing the convicts' history, past experiences, their upbringing and socialization, and the individual motivations that may have prompted them to commit the sexual offence. An additional fourteen death row inmates from Naivasha Prison were subjected to a different set of a standardized questionnaire in which they gave their demographic details and described the rape episodes that they were involved in. Twelve key informants were subjected to in-depth interviews on the topic ofrape. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used in the analysis of the quantitative data. On the other hand, qualitative data from open-ended questions was organized and categorized on the basis of emerging themes which were then coded and the data entered into the computer. The qualitative data collected through unstructured and semi-structured interviews were sorted out, tabulated and interpreted in relation to the research objectives. ~ The findings suggest that a number of factors may predispose a man to rape. These factors could be either individual motivational factors, socio-cultural factors or a combination of these. The individual motivational factors include the use of drugs like alcohol and cannabis (bhang), marital problems which included conflicts with a spouse, separation or death of a spouse, inability to negotiate for consensual sex, rape as a form of sexual access, psychological factors like watching pornography and having rape hallucinations, rape as a form of impersonal sex and power and rape as a tool of punishing a woman. On the other hand, the socio-cultural factors include early childhood environment, gender-based inequality in society and peer influence. Finally, other factors identified that could predispose men to rape included occupation, poverty, place of origin, ethnic affiliation and having sex with underage girlfriends .