Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rape, Date and Marital
Ida M. Johnson
Forced sexual intercourse is as old as human history. However, it has not always been viewed as a crime against the victim. Early in history, the institution of marriage was clearly supported by attitudes that defined the man as the authoritarian figure responsible for controlling and dominating the woman. Prior to marriage, a woman was the property of her father or male guardian; this ownership was transferred to the husband when she married. A woman's role in society was defined by her ability to function in a subservient position and to procreate. These attitudes facilitated the perception of rape as a property crime rather than a crime of personal violence. Forced sexual intercourse in a marital relationship only recently became a crime. The difficulty of making the rape of a wife by her husband a crime was directly related to the view that the submission of a wife to her ...