The Grey Area Between Rape and Consensual Sex

The Grey Area Between Rape and Consensual Sex

What is the definition of rape?

Dictionary.com states it as:

  1. unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.

Justice.gov defines it as :

1.The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

So rape is anything sexual and non consensual?

I want to say yes, and technically I agree but there is such a grey area that we Americans are just beginning to learn about. Because, what is consent?

What is consent?

This is the tricky part.  Did you know every state has their own laws and definitions for consent?  You can find your state’s laws by clicking here.

I live in Washington so here is the definition my government has given:

Consent requires that there are actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact at the time of the act. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9A.44.010(7).

So if you say yes, even after much coercion, it is not rape? Or is it? There is a very grey area here.

I am still learning along with everyone else, and having personally been in situations in this grey area, I am asking more and more questions.  Even if giving in after saying no isn’t rape, that doesn’t mean it is right.  There are many scenarios, that may not technically be defined as rape, but can leave long lasting and emotional consequences.  These are the situations I want to highlight, because, we cannot always be victims.  Sometimes we need to grow in knowledge, communicate with our significant others, and remove ourselves from bad situations. Sometimes we are victims. It is very important that if you are experiencing any unwanted sexual acts or being coerced, you need to talk to someone. The National Sexual Assault Helpline is 1-800-656-4673

Please take this poll and see where other men and women fall in the same categories. It may not give you answers but it may shed some light on what we are all going through.

 

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