Rosemary west: Motives and meanings
DOI: 10.1080/13552609908413285
Title: Rosemary west: Motives and meanings
Journal Title: Journal of Sexual Aggression: An international, interdisciplinary forum for research, theory and practice
Volume: Volume 4
Issue: Issue 2
Publication Date: July 1999
Start Page: 68
End Page: 80
Published online: 31 Jan 2008
ISSN: 1355-2600
Abstract: This article originally appeared in Trouble and Strife (Winter 1996/97, pp 44-52) and is reproduced, by kind permission of the original publishers, as Deborah Cameron's thought-provoking analysis of the Rosemary West case is felt to deserve a wider audience.In the article, Deborah Cameron reports that feminists were mostly silent about the Rosemary West case in spite of having an analysis of sex crime, because female perpetrators of sexual murder seemingly did not fit that analysis. She argues, however, that female sexual murderers can be understood within a feminist framework. Identifying Rosemary West as one of only a handful of female sexual murderers, Cameron theorises that Rosemary and Fred West, like other sexual murderers, were constructing a form of identity based on sexual transgression and existential transcendence, perhaps as a strategy for dealing with their own history of abuse. What Cameron also provides us with is an explanation for why sexual murderers are overwhelmingly male, an analysis based on an understanding of the context of patriarchy.

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