Potential Causes of Sexually Violent Offenders: Theodore Robert Bundy
In the past, there have been many debates regarding the factors that are seen as giving rise to sexual violence. The different factors thought as probably causing the violence include particular evolutionary pressures, legal regimes, ethical standards, psychopathological conditions, sexual pressures, sadism, power disparities, socioeconomic realities, and military conquests (Crowell & Burgess, 1996; Ellis, 1989). Theodore Robert Bundy, who was born in 1946, is essentially known for his violent exploits, which included sexually assaulting and strangulating women. Bundy employed his corporeal looks, charm, and considerable legal knowhow in disarming unsuspecting women before assaulting them. At times, he feigned to be in need to be shown some directions to come near the targets of his attacks. Most of the women targeted by Bundy, especially the young ones, considered him markedly charismatic and handsome. He exploited such traits to win women’s trust according to Dekle (2011) and Keppel (2010).
After approaching his targets, he persuaded them to move with him to secluded zones, or areas, where he overpowered and assaulted them. At times, he revisited the areas where he had murdered some women to perform with their decaying corpses sexual acts. He performed the acts with the corpses until they were destroyed by animals from the wild or were completely putrefied. Bundy decapitated many women and took home their heads as souvenirs. At times, he broke into his neighbors’ houses and bludgeoned the women in them to death. Law enforcers got hold of him when he killed two persons in their rooms at Florida State University. He was brought before court to answer to multiple murder charges. Ultimately, he was executed for the murders following a number of appeals. Diverse factors may have contributed Bundy’s behavior.
Various social factors ma have made him behave violently towards women and assault them sexually. First, Bundy may have become predisposed towards sexual violence and violence in general by the violent social environment that he grew up in. His father, Samuel Cowell was quite violent in nature. As well, he was abusive. He was a tyrannical terrorist and a dogmatist at home. He expressed marked hate against Jews, Blacks, Catholics, and Italians. He often sexually abused and clobbered own wife and daughter in the presence of Bundy according to Dekle (2011) and Keppel (2010).
Persons who grow up in social spaces that are defined by violence, including sexual violence, like Bundy are more likely to express sexually violent conducts themselves than those growing up in social environments devoid of aggression. Environments that are defined by social beliefs in the superiority of males and their right to sex increase the possibility of sexual violence happening (Crowell & Burgess, 1996; Ellis, 1989). Numerous studies have shown that the violence, as a behavior, is indeed learnt. Boys and girls who are exposed to sexual aggression like Bundy are likely to sexually molest others with time. They regularly justify their being sexually aggressive, rebuff claims of wrongdoing, and develop unhealthy perspectives regarding sexuality. Often, Bundy tried to rationalize his being sexually aggressive, refused claims of wrongdoing, and build up harmful perspectives regarding sexuality.
Second, Bundy may have become sexually violent owing to the particular male socialization that he got while growing up. While growing up, his close male figures included his aggressive father and his bigoted grandfather. It appears that the father and grandfather raised Bundy up to be sexually conquering, aggressive, and dominant to affirm his masculinity. For example, in the presence of Bundy, Cowell often sexually abused and clobbered own wife and daughter in the presence of Bundy, possibly to socially experience his masculinity being asserted by violent instigation of particular sexual interactions according to Dekle (2011) and Keppel (2010). Possibly, that allowed Bundy to learn that he could socially experience his masculinity being asserted by violent instigation of such interactions. Men who learn from the society to initiate such encounters are highly likely to be violent (Omorodion & Olusanya, 1998).
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Second, Bundy may have become predisposed towards sexual violence and violence in general by the ASPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder) that he suffered from. Notably, the disorder is psychopathological in nature according to Dekle (2011) and Keppel (2010). In his actions against women, he came off as a psychopath. Psychopaths suffering from ASPD are commonly externally charming the way Bundy was. Most of them are charismatic. Even then, they lack genuine personalities and insights. Like Bundy, they appear to lack remorse or guilt feelings (Grisso, Schwarz, Hirschinger, Sammel, Brensinger, Santanna, Lowe, Anderson & Shaw, 1999; Omorodion & Olusanya, 1998). Often, Bundy asserted that guilt was incapable of solving anything. He viewed guilt as only capable of hurting. Possibly, he sexually abused women since, owing to his ASPD condition, he was incapable of reading the cues that women express in social setups, especially regarding sex, correctly. As well, the condition makes persons develop coercive, impulsive, and hostile sexual fantasies.