Added: July 12, 2001 – Last updated: October 25, 2008


Authors: Patricia L.N. Donat and John D'Emilio

Title: A feminist redefinition of rape and sexual assault

Subtitle: Historical foundations and change

Journal: Journal of social issues: a journal of the Society for the Psychological Studies of Social Issues

Volume: 48

Issue: 1

Year: 1992

Pages: 9-22

ISSN: 0022-4537 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Society: Women's Movement


Link: -



John D'Emilio, Department of History, University of Illinois at Chicago – Wikipedia

Abstract: »The meanings of sexual assault and women's sexuality have changed significantly since the Colonial period. At that time, women were valued for their sexual purity. Sexual intercourse was acceptable only within marriage for the purpose of procreation. If a woman engaged in sex outside of marriage, even against her will, she was considered a "fallen" woman and often blamed for her own victimization. With the feminist movement of the 1960's, rape was reconceptualized as a mechanism for maintaining male control and domination, a violent means of inducing fear in women and reinforcing their subordination to men. This reconceptualization has made a clear difference in the way Western culture defines and understands sexual assault.« (Source: America: History and Life)

Reprint: Donat, Patricia L.N., et al. »A feminist redefinition of rape and sexual assault: historical foundations and change.« The other Americans: sexual variance in the national past. Edited by Charles O. Jackson. Westport 1996: 191-203. – Bibliographic Entry: Info