What Henry Rollins said (emphasis mine)
It is obvious that the two offenders saw the victim as some one that could be treated as a thing. This is not about sex, it is about power and control. I guess that is what I am getting at. Sex was probably not the hardest thing for the two to get, so that wasn’t the objective. When you hear the jokes being made during the crime, it is the purest contempt.
That's pretty clear. If the town of Steubinville is even remotely like other sports-identity towns then even if you subscribe to dolorous of MRA/PUA/Ev-Psych analyses of gender it's unlikely such a town or school's star quarterback and wide receiver will have much trouble finding willing partners.
To add to that consider the "apology" issued by one of the four prominent, well-connected Carmel, Indiana, basketball players as part of his reduced-sentence plea bargain after "allegedly" digitally sodomizing a smaller boy on a school team bus filled with fellow teammates and at least three adult coaches.
"I can assure there was absolutely no malice in my actions. At the time, I truly believed this was normal everyday athletic team horseplay. After reflecting, I came to realize how I could have put a teammate in a situation in which they were uncomfortable."
Horrifyingly, I believe him! I believe the boy really didn't believe the sexual violence he perpetrated against his victim was done with any particular malice towards him. And I also agree he probably considered it "everyday athletic team horseplay."
I very gloomily suspect the perpetrators in Steubinville were little different, even though the Carmel victims (that we know of) were male and the Steubinville victim (that we know of) was female.
This indifference does <em>not</em> absolve the perpetrators. Instead it damns them. And it damningly confirms Rollins' point: sexual violence is almost never about <em>sexual desire</em> for the victim. Instead it's waaaay more about choosing tools for establishing, demonstrating, or maintaining social, not sexual, status of the perpetrator. Sometimes the victim is the intended recipient of the demonstration. More often, however, the victim is the object, in the most literal sense of the word, of the perpetrator's demonstration to others. Thus the bragging. Thus the (not even always nervous) laughter by peers and nominal elders. Thus the "boys will be boys" indifference by coaches, police, "proud fathers" and other nominal supervisors.
They can all "assure there [is] absolutely no malice" in the perpetrator's actions.
This is the opposite of assuring.
Incidentally I'd go one step further and say that this phenomenon of the use of sexual violence to demonstrate social dominance best explains the reflexive defense of perpetrators and for the equally reflexive anger and blame launched against their victims.