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Traditional Rape Laws, Misconceptions, and Social Stigmas
Traditionally, state rape laws defined rape as a man forcing a woman to have sexual intercourse. This traditional notion of rape is reinforced by various misconceptions and social stigmas. For instance, many people believe that it is impossible for a woman to rape a man because they believe that the male erectile response is voluntary. However, this is untrue as this is an involuntary response. Additionally, many people believe that women are unable to rape a man because they are smaller and weaker. This too is untrue. Further, a female rapist may compel sexual intercourse through the threat of a weapon, or by the use of a date rape drug. Many people also believe that women cannot rape men because men always want to have sex. This social stigma is untrue and should not be used as a basis for finding consent from the man.
Can a Woman be Prosecuted for Raping a Man?
Yes! While a minority of states still use the traditional definition of rape, most have amended their rape laws to make them gender neutral. Under these statutes, women can be charged with raping men, or other women. (see same sex rape) Additionally, women can be charged with statutory rape of minor boys who are under the age of consent. Several widely publicized cases of female-male statutory rape in the United States involved school teachers raping their teenage male students. Further, in states that do not recognize female-male rape, the unwanted sexual touching can still be classified as assault or sexual abuse.
Do I Need a Lawyer if I am a Woman Charged With Raping a Man?
Rape is a very serious charge with extremely severe consequences. You should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Your lawyer will be familiar with your specific state laws and will be able to help you defend yourself against these charges while ensuring that your rights are protected.
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Last Modified: 11-11-2011 03:36 PM PST
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