Jessica L. Hoover
Rape in College Students
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Rape in America
Rape is a type of sexual assault that can be defined as forced sexual intercourse that includes both psychological and physical intimidation. Forced sexual intercourse can mean either vaginal penetration, anal penetration, or oral penetration by the offender (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2000). This is without the person’s consent. The term rape has been defined in different ways by researchers, the legal systems, and the victims. All of them define rape by the perceived boundaries the offender has to cross in order to commit the crime. Researchers consider any attempted sexual penetration whether successful or not a crime of attempted rape.
Our view of rape has changed throughout the decades. Although rape has always been in our culture it was only started to be seen as an issue in the early 1970’s. At that time, there started to be a focus on understanding this crime and helping the victims. Feminists prepared the first public rape-speak out in 1971 and shared their stories of incidents (Connell & Wilson, 1974). They identified rape as more than just men’s need for sex. The majority of rapes are perpetrated by men against women (Rozee & Koss, 2001). They saw sex as a weapon that men used against women and the fear of rape as a means of social control.
In the 1990s, there was increasing awareness of the problem of marital and date rape. Before the modern views of rape we learn about today, rape was not considered breaking the law if it was done by a spouse. The United States legal system at that time defined rape of “forced sexual intercourse done by someone other than the spouse”. Fortunately our views have changed as a result of feminist groups. The United States now acknowledges that a man is breaking the law when raping his wife and he could suffer legal consequences. Sadly though, these prosecutions are...