Wednesday, May 18, 2011
When is a rape not a serious rape?
Not for the first time, Ken Clarke appears to have been at the centre of some controversy, so I thought I would ask the following:
All of the following are legally rape, but do you regard them as equally serious?
1. A boy of just over 16 has sex with his just under 16 year old girlfriend, and they both want to do it so there is no complaint of rape.
2. A boy of 16 or 17 has sex with "his" 10 year old "girl friend" and there is no complaint from the girl of rape.
3. A man of 30 has sex with "his" 13 year old "girlfriend" and there is no complaint from the girl of rape.
4. A man and a woman having spent all evening together, consuming much drink go to one or others home and have sex which turns out to be non consensual.
5. During an evening in a bar a man slips a "date rape" drug into a drink for the woman he is talking to then takes her home and has sex with her.
6. A man jumps a woman he has never met in an alley, drags her away, threatens violence, and forces sex.
7. A man breaks into a house in the middle of the night, uses violence, and the threat of violence, forces sex.
Are they all as serious as each other?
Please note that in all the cases above the perpetrator is always male because the legal definition of rape involves sexual engagement with a penis. Anything not involving penetration with one is not legally rape but may be a sexual or serious sexual assault.