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NCJ Number: 50301 Find in a Library
Title: RAPE AND THE LAW IN THE UNITED STATES - AN HISTORICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS
Journal: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY AND PENOLOGY  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1974)  Pages:317-328
Author(s): E C VIANO
Corporate Author: Seminar Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Seminar Press, Inc
New York, NY 10003
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIETAL VALUES AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF RAPE LAWS IS EXPLORED.
Abstract: THROUGHOUT HISTORY, RAPE LAWS HAVE BEEN CONTROLLED BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC'S FEELINGS ABOUT THE MEANING OF SOCIETY AND ABOUT THE ROLE OF ITS MEMBERS. RAPE LAWS HAVE BEEN USED TO DEFEND THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE, PUBLIC AND PERSONAL MORALITY, CONCEPTS ABOUT THE PROPER ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN, AND IDEALS OF MANHOOD. BUT RAPE LAWS HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO PROTECT THE SOCIAL, MORAL, AND EMOTIONAL STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY. CONTRADICTORY GOALS OFTEN HAVE RESULTED IN CONTRADICTORY OR UNJUST TREATMENT OF BOTH VICTIMS AND OFFENDERS IN RAPE CASES. THE COURTS HAVE FACED DILEMMAS IN ATTEMPTING TO SATISFY THE CONTRADICTORY NEEDS OF THE PUBLIC WITH REGARD TO RAPE CASES. FOR EXAMPLE, IT APPEARS TO BE INAPPROPRIATE AND YET NECESSARY FOR THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, IN HANDLING RAPE CASES, TO DECIDE AT WHAT POINT A PERSON'S SELF-DETERMINATION HAS BEEN VIOLATED. RAPE PROSECUTION IN THE SOUTH OF BLACK MALES ACCUSED OF RAPING WHITE WOMEN, AND THE PASSAGE OF UNNEEDED 'SEXUAL PSYCHOPATH LAWS' AT THE END OF WORLD WAR II ARE CONSIDERED AS EXAMPLES OF PUBLIC PREJUDICES AND MISCONCEPTIONS BEING REFLECTED IN THE LEGAL STRUCTURE. A REALISTIC REASSESSMENT OF ALL LAWS RELATED TO THE VICTIMIZATION OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN BY MEANS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NEEDED IN MOST CONTEMPORARY SOCIETIES. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Criminal codes; Law reform; Rape
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50301

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