From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Rape is a form of assault where an individual forces another to have sexual intercourse against that person’s will. Most experts believe the primary cause of rape is an aggressive desire to dominate the victim rather than an attempt to achieve sexual fulfillment. They consider rape an act of violence rather than principally a sexual encounter.
Rape is generally considered one of the most serious sex crimes and can be very difficult to prosecute. Sexual violence can also be a war crime under international law. Consent may be absent due to duress arising from the use, or threat, of overwhelming force or violence, or because the subject is incapacitated in some way such as intoxication and/or underage innocence. In some cases coercion might also be used to negate consent.
There is no universally accepted distinction between rape and other forms of assault involving one or both participant's sexual organs. Some criminal codes explicitly consider all kinds of forced sexual activity to be rape, whereas in others only acts involving penile penetration of the vagina. Many restrict rape to instances where a woman is forced by a man. In recent years some women have been convicted of raping men; this is classed as either rape or sexual assault. In some jurisdictions rape may also be committed by assailants using objects, rather than their own body parts, against the sexual organs of their target.
The rape of women by men is the most frequent form of the assault. Male-male rape is common, primarily in correctional facilities. There are an increasing number of female assailants being convicted for the rape of men, and research on female rapists is rare.
- "Rape is an act of desperation", Camille Paglia
- Rape (word)
- Types of rape
- Causes of rape
- Rape fantasy
- Sociobiological theories of rape
- Rape culture
- Sexual assault
- Comfort women