Marital Rape

  • Mildred Daley Pagelow

Abstract

The terms marital rape and spousal rape are most often used in reference to acts that are in reality wife rape. Is this because there is a presumption that the spouse who perpetrates rape is as likely to be a wife as a husband? It appears there is an assumed mutuality of sexual “ownership” and sexual aggression, considering the gender-neutral wording of California’s rape statutes. For example, Penal Code 261 and Penal Code 262 refer only to a “person” or a “spouse” as victim or perpetrator of rape. Theoretically, it may be possible, but highly unlikely, for a wife to rape her husband. It is more likely that the gender-neutral language was used for political purposes (cf. Russell, 1982, p. 9), considering the difficulty of garnering support for legislation identified as women’s issues.

Keywords

Penal Code Battered Woman Sexual Aggression Rape Myth Wife Beating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mildred Daley Pagelow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyCalifornia State UniversityFullertonUSA

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