Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rape and Sexual Offenses
Michelle J. Anderson
Rape and sexual offenses are widespread around the world, with devastating psychological and physical consequences for millions of victims each year. Overwhelmingly, men perpetrate sexual offenses, although women commit some of these crimes as well. In the United States, one in five women has been forced to have sexual intercourse against her will at some point in her life. Worldwide, rape rates are difficult to trace and compare, but in 1995, the United Nations Conference on Women (Beijing) urged all countries to combat sexual offenses against women and girls in their own states. Stereotypes about rape abound. Many believe that those who rape must be mentally insane. Most rapists, however, score normally on standard psychological assessments. Many believe that strangers usually commit rapes. In fact, acquaintances and intimates commit the vast majority of rapes. Perhaps the most intimate kind of rape, marital rape, is itself an enormous problem. Many believe ...