skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 98880 Find in a Library
Title: Rape in Marriage - A Sociological View (From Crime and the Family P 121-133, 1985, by Alan J Lincoln and Murray A Straus - See NCJ-98873)
Author(s): D Finkelhor; K Yllo
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Indepth interviews with 50 women whose husband or partner had used force or the threat of force to try to have sex with them revealed three types of experiences: those associated with physical and verbal abuse, those associated with longstanding disagreements over some sexual issue, and those involving bizarre sexual obsessions.
Abstract: The incidents varied both in the amount of force used by the men and the amount of resistance offered by the women. Perceptions that their partners were very strong, fear of being hurt worse, and beliefs that they were wrong were the main factors inhibiting women from resisting. Appeasement rather than massive resistance was the response of these women. Other research indicates that marital rape may occur in 10 percent of marriages and is therefore much more common than rape by strangers. Marital rape has a traumatic impact. The victim must live with her attacker and can be left feeling much more powerless and isolated than if she were raped by a stranger. The criminal justice system has an outdated view of the subject. As of January 1982, about 36 of the 50 States and the District of Columbia did not consider marital rape to be a crime. Most States have a spousal exemption in their rape laws. Although legal changes will be opposed, evidence from jurisdictions that have changed their laws shows that few frivolous complaints are brought. However, public attitudes will have to change before the laws, because interviews with college students revealed that spousal rape is not viewed as a serious offense. Nevertheless, changing the law may have a deterrent effect. Twenty-one references are listed.
Index Term(s): Sexual assault trauma; Sexual assault victims; Spousal Rape
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.