Marital Rape And Spousal Rape

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Childs 1 Marc Childs Professor Sherene Jensen Sociology 100 16 November 2014 Marital Rape Marital rape, or spousal rape, had been an exceedingly controversial and touchy subject in the United States since the first feminist movement in the 1960s. In this paper, marital rape and spousal rape will be used interchangeably. One of the many challenges in addressing the topic of marital rape, is defining what behaviors should be considered rape. Rape is defined as the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse ( The legal definition of marital rape, however, differs within the United States. Nevertheless, marital rape can generally be defined as any non-consensual interaction or penetration (vaginal, anal, and/or oral) obtained by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another (Cal Pen Code § 262). Most research having to do with marital rape has included couples who are legally married, separated, divorced or cohabiting with the understanding that the dynamics of sexual violence in a long-term cohabiting relationship are similar to those of a married couple (Mahoney and Williams, 1998). Currently, there has been no study of marital rape that has included married or cohabiting gay or lesbian couples. The reason there is a lack of representation of gay and lesbian couples on the topic is due to the fact that homosexual marriage has
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