chapter  4
20 Pages

Date Rape and the Demon-Lover Complex

The divine, the deviant, and the diabolical in male/female politics
WithSusan Kavaler-Adler

In this chapter, the author looks at the case of Sherry, a woman who suffered the ultimate seduction and control of a malignant man, a seductive male stranger, who defined her as part of his own psychic ritual in the prologue to raping her. The theory of the demon-lover complex is particularly pertinent to a woman like Sherry. The woman's susceptibility will be discussed in terms of early life trauma, as well as the character disorder pathology of both her parents. The author offers the psychoanalytic perspective on what allows a woman to develop a psychological capacity for choice. In the case of Sherry the murder is not literal, but psychological, as it occurs through rape. This case of date rape is instructive in revealing the dangers inherent in language being used by men to impose primitive and sadistic control of women; control which operates consciously or unconsciously in the minds of men.