Rape and Sexual Assault

Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent. The act maybe carried out by force, under threat, or with a person who is incapable with valid consent. The definition of rape varies both in different parts of the world and at different times in history. According to the American Medical Association, sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime.

When part of a widespread and systematic practice, rape and sexual slavery are recognized as crimes against humanity and war crimes. The rate of reporting, prosecution and convictions for rape varies considerably in different jurisdictions. The U. S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 91% of U. S. rape victims are female and 9% are male, with 99% of the offenders being male. In one survey of women, only two percent of respondents who stated they were sexually assaulted said that the assault was perpetrated by a stranger.

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Several studies argue that male-male and female-female prison rape are quite common and may be the least reported forms of rape. Rape is also recognized as an element of the crime of genocide when committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a targeted ethnic group. Rape is defined in many jurisdictions as sexual intercourse, or other forms of sexual penetration, of one person by another person without the consent of the victim. The World Health Organization defined rape in 2002 as “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration even if slight of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.

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Some countries such as Germany are now, however, using more inclusive definitions which do not require penetration in the 1998 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda defines it as “a physical invasion of a sexual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive. In some jurisdictions, the term “rape” has been phased out of legal use in favor of terms such as “sexual assault” or “criminal sexual conduct. Some jurisdictions continue to define rape to cover only acts involving penile penetration of the vagina, treating all other types of non-consensual sexual activity as sexual assault.

There are several types of rape, generally categorized by reference to the situation in which it occurs, the sex or characteristics of the victim, and/or the sex or characteristics of the perpetrator. Different types of rape include but are not limited to: date rape, gang rape, marital rape or spousal rape, incestral rape, child sexual abuse, prison rape, acquaintance rape, and statutory rape. “Date rape”, often referred to as “acquaintance rape”, is an assault or attempted assault usually committed by a new acquaintance involving sexual intercourse without mutual consent.

The term “date rape” is widely used but can be misleading because the person who commits the crime might not be dating the victim. Rather, it could be an acquaintance or stranger. Gang rape occurs when a group of people participate in the rape of a single victim. Rape involving at least two or more violators (normally at least three) is widely reported to occur in many parts of the world. Systematic information on the extent of the problem, however, is scant. One study showed that offenders and victims in gang rape incidents were younger with a higher possibility of being unemployed.

Gang rapes involved more alcohol and drug use, night attacks and severe sexual assault outcomes and less victim resistance and fewer weapons than individual rapes. Another study found that group sexual assaults were more violent and had greater resistance from the victim than individual sexual assaults and that victims of group sexual assaults were more likely to seek crisis and police services, to contemplate suicide and seek therapy than those involved in individual assaults.

The two groups were about the same in the amount of drug use and drinking during the assault. Marital rape, also known as spousal rape, is non-consensual sex in which the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. As such, it as a form of partner rape, of domestic violence, and of sexual abuse. Once widely condoned or ignored by law, spousal rape is now repudiated by international conventions and increasingly criminalized. Still, in many countries, spousal rape either remains legal, or is illegal but widely tolerated and accepted as a husband’s prerogative.

In 2006, it was estimated that marital rape could be prosecuted in at least 104 countries (in four of these countries, marital rape could be prosecuted only when the spouses were judicially separated). In many countries it is not clear if marital rape may or may not be prosecuted under ordinary rape laws. Several countries in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia made spousal rape illegal before 1970, but other countries in Western Europe and the English-speaking Western World outlawed it much later, mostly in the 1980s and 1990s.

Most developing countries outlawed it in the 1990s and 2000s. Research literature, particularly in the areas of incidence and effects, may extend the use of the term spousal/marital rape to include divorced/legally separated ex-spouses or unmarried cohabiting partners. Current state laws, however, often treat rape by ex-spouses or intimate partners more different than marital rape, and therefore, legally equivalent to stranger rape.

Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is socially taboo. The type of sexual activity and the nature of the relationship between people that constitutes a breach of law or social taboo vary with culture and jurisdiction. Some societies consider incest to include only those who live in the same household, or who belong to the same clan or lineage; other societies consider it to include “blood relatives”; other societies further include those related by adoption or marriage.

Incest between adults and those under the age of majority or age of consent is considered a form of child sexual abuse that has been shown to be one of the most extreme forms of childhood abuse, often resulting in serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest. Prevalence is difficult to generalize, but research has estimated 10–15% of the general population as having at least one such sexual contact, with less than 2% involving intercourse or attempted intercourse.

Among women, research has yielded estimates as high as twenty percent. Father-daughter incest was for many years the most commonly reported and studied form of incest. More recently, studies have suggested that sibling incest, particularly older brothers abusing younger siblings, is the most common form of incest, with some studies finding sibling incest occurring orders of magnitude[not in citation given more frequently than other forms of incest.

Some studies suggest that adolescent perpetrators of sibling abuse choose younger victims, abuse victims over a lengthier period, use violence more frequently and severely than adult perpetrators, and that sibling abuse has a higher rate of penetrative acts than father or stepfather incest, with father and older brother incest resulting in greater reported distress than stepfather incest. Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation.

Forms of child sexual abuse include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure of the genitals to a child, displaying pornography to a child, actual sexual contact against a child, physical contact with the child’s genitals (except in certain non-sexual contexts such as a medical exam), viewing of the child’s genitalia without physical contact (except in nonsexual contexts such as a medical exam), or using a child to produce child pornography.

The effects of child sexual abuse include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, propensity to further victimization in adulthood, and physical injury to the child, among other problems. Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest, and can result in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest. In North America, for example, approximately 15% to 25% of women and 5% to 15% of men were sexually abused when they were children.

Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approximately 30% are relatives of the child, most often brothers, fathers, uncles or cousins; around 60% are other acquaintances such as ‘friends’ of the family, babysitters, or neighbors; strangers are the offenders in approximately 10% of child sexual abuse cases. Most child sexual abuse is committed by men; studies show that women commit 14% to 40% of offenses reported against boys and 6% of offenses reported against girls.

Most offenders who sexually abuse prepubescent children are pedophiles, although some offenders do not meet the clinical diagnosis standards for pedophilia. Under the law, “child sexual abuse” is an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification.

The American Psychiatric Association states that “children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults”, and condemns any such action by an adult: “An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior. Prison rape refers to rape in prison. It has come into common usage to refer to rape of inmates by other inmates, and less commonly to the rape of inmates by staff, or the rape of staff by inmates. Rape of corrections officers by inmates almost exclusively occur in the shower rooms.

Rape committed in prison is thought to be more about power and control than sex. The experience of rape can be psychologically worse than regular violence, and inmates may use rape to dominate other inmates. In 2001, Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 140,000 inmates in the United States had been raped while incarcerated, and there is a significant variation in the rates of prison rape by race. Just Detention International estimate that young men are five times more likely to be attacked and that the prison rape victims are ten times more likely to contract a deadly sexually transmitted disease.

In contrast to these high figures, a meta-analysis published in 2004 found a prevalence rate of 1. 91% with a 95% confidence interval between 1. 37–2. 46%. Applying that 1. 91% figure to the nearly 2. 3 million inmates currently incarcerated in prisons and jails in the United States suggests that raped inmates number 43,800. The phrase statutory rape is a term used in some legal jurisdictions to describe sexual activities where one participant is below the age required to legally consent to the behavior.

Although it usually refers to adults engaging in sex with minors under the age of consent, it is a generic term, and very few jurisdictions use the actual term “statutory rape” in the language of statutes. Different jurisdictions use many different statutory terms for the crime, such as “sexual assault,” “rape of a child,” “corruption of a minor,” “carnal knowledge of a minor,” “unlawful carnal knowledge”, or simply “carnal knowledge. ” Statutory rape differs from forcible rape in that overt force or threat need not be present.

The laws presume coercion, because a minor or mentally challenged adult is legally incapable of giving consent to the act. The term statutory rape generally refers to sex between an adult and a sexually mature minor past the age of puberty. Sexual relations with a prepubescent child, generically called “child molestation,” is typically treated as a more serious crime. There is no single theory that conclusively explains the motivation for rape; the motives of rapists can be multi-factorial and are subject to debate. Several factors have been proposed: anger, a desire for power, sadism, sexual gratification, and evolutionary pressures.

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Rape and Sexual Assault. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/rape-and-sexual-assault-new-essay

Rape and Sexual Assault

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