For most mammals, penile penetration of a female by a male is done only when the fe­male is in estrus, or “heat” as it is commonly called. However, forced penetration is com­mon in a wide variety of animal species (Lalumiere et al., 2005b); for instance, male orangutans often engage in forced mating and vicious biting of the female. Humans can have sexual intercourse at any point in the menstrual cycle, which means other moti­vations determine when intercourse might take place. However, in humans, male and female desire for sexual contact may not coincide.

Defining Rape and Sexual Assault

Подпись: I rape Forced sexual behavior with an individual without that person's consent. The line that separates rape from other categories of sexual activity can be blurry be­cause of the fine distinctions between forced and consensual sex, as well as societal pat­terns of female passivity and male aggression (LaFree, 1982). For instance, societal and cultural rules often dictate that men, not women, should initiate sexual activity. These beliefs about how sex is supposed to be can make defining rape a difficult task.

Typically we define rape as forced sexual intercourse (force can be physical or psy­chological), and sexual assault as victimization that include unwanted sexual behavior.

That said, it’s also important to point out that every state has its own legal definitions of rape and sexual assault. For example, in order for a rape to occur in North Carolina there must be penile-vaginal intercourse, whereas in other states, such as Arkansas and New Jersey, a rape can include penetration with a hand, finger, or object (American Prosecutors Research Institute, 2003b). Lack of consent, force or threat of force, and vaginal penetration are typically included in the definition of rape and sexual assault. Ejaculation is not a necessary part of the definition; however, there are states that re­quire the exchange of semen in order for a crime to be established (American Prosecutors Research Institute, 2003b).

Подпись:Regardless of state definitions, many women do not consider an assault rape if there was no penis involved (Bart & O’Brien, 1985). This is because many women view rape as something that is done by a penis (intercourse, fellatio, sodomy) rather than something done to a vagina (digital penetration, cunnilingus, touching). However, research has shown us that a woman subjected to such assaults still experiences a trauma quite similar to that of a woman who is forced to endure penile penetration. A nonpenile sexual at­tack has also been referred to as sexual assault and is defined as the unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person, including the genitals, buttocks, and/or breasts, for sexual arousal. Sexual assault also includes sexual penetration (vaginal, oral, anal) as well (Searles & Berger, 1987). This would include rape that occurs to both females and males.

Подпись: TABLE 17.1 Age of Consent

Recently there has been a debate about the appropriate term for a person who has experienced a rape. Although the word victim emphasizes the person’s lack of responsi­bility for the incident, it may also imply that the person was a passive recipient of the attack. The term victim can also become a permanent label. Some prefer the term sur­vivor, which implies that the person had within her – or himself the strength to overcome and to survive the rape. It also confirms that the person made important decisions—for example, not to fight and possibly be killed—during the assault and thus was not com-

Many countries, and states within the United States, have legal ages of consent. The age of consent is how old a person must be to be considered capable of legally giving informed consent to engage in sex­ual acts with another person. It is considered a crime for a person to engage in sexual behavior with someone below the age of consent. Many countries and states provide ages of consent for male-male and female-female sex. In some countries there is no information on specific ages for certain behaviors.

Country

Male-Female Sex

Male-Male Sex

Female-Female Sex

Queensland, Australia

16

18

16

Austria

14

18

14

Bahamas

16

18

18

Botswana

16 for females 14 for males

Illegal for all ages

No information

Denmark

15

15

15

Hong Kong

16

21

No information

Croatia

14

14

14

India

16

Illegal for all ages

Illegal for all ages

Italy

14

14

14

Kenya

16

Illegal for all ages

Illegal for all ages

Madagascar

21

21

21

Puerto Rico

14

Illegal for all ages

Illegal for all ages

Saudia Arabia

No age minimum but must be married

Illegal for all ages

Illegal for all ages

South Africa

16

19

19

Swaziland

18

Illegal for all ages

Illegal for all ages

U. S.A.—California

18

18

18

U. S.A.—Connecticut

16

16

16

U. S.A.—Illinois

17

17

17

U. S.A.—New Hampshire

16

18

18

U. S.A.—Pennsylvania

16

16

16

Source: "Legal age of consent.” (1998-2000). Retrieved November 30, 2005, from http://www. ageofconsent. com/ ageofconsent. htm

Подпись: ReviewQuestion Explain why there is no single definition of rape. Подпись:pletely passive. However, for clarity, in this chapter we will use the term victim to refer to a person who has survived a rape.