Added: March 13, 2006 – Last updated: September 5, 2015


Author: Victoria R. Garnier Barshis

Title: The Question of Marital Rape

Subtitle: -

Journal: Women's Studies International Forum

Volume: 6

Issue: 4

Year: 1983

Pages: 383-393

ISSN: 0277-5395 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 19th Century, 20th Century | U.S. History | Types: Marital Rape


Link: ScienceDirect (Restricted Access)



»The legal definition of rape most commonly used in the United States - 'sexual intercourse by a male with a female not his wife without her consent' - gives legal permission for men to rape their wives. This article integrates the legal and psychosocial aspects of marital rape and the marital rape exemption. That rape is an act of aggresion against women is established, and the effects of intimate rape are explored. A brief legal history of the marital rape exemption is included, followed by a look at the arguments both for maintaining and for abolishing this rape exemption. The societal influences that make rape and abuse seem 'okay' are discussed, and steps that have been taken towards change in the United States are outlined. Suggestions for further change in the rape laws and penalties are offered in the conclusion.« (Source: Women's Studies International Forum)

»The standard legal definition of rape in the US - as "sexual intercourse by a M with a F not his wife without her consent" - gives legal permission for men to force sexual intercourse with their wives. The legal & psychosocial aspects of this situation are explored. Rape is essentially an act of aggression, the effects of which include a predictable pattern of psychological trauma. The legal history of the marital rape exemption is examined, & the arguments for & against maintaining it are explored. The societal assumptions that make rape & family violence acceptable have been undergoing change in the US; further change appears possible & desirable. Some legal changes that might facilitate such change are outlined.« (Source: Sociological Abstracts)

Wikipedia: Marital rape: Marital rape (United States law)