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
Mary P. Koss & Karen J. Bachar
The definition of rape differs from state to state and changes over time as a result of legislative advocacy. Currently, however, the majority of statutes in North America define rape as the nonconsensual oral, vaginal, or anal penetration of the victim with a penis, finger, or other part of the body or with objects by using force or threats of bodily harm or by taking advantage of a victim who is incapable of giving consent. Penetration, however slight, is considered rape; emission of seminal fluid is not required for a finding of rape. After a rape, many survivors—the term often used for rape victims coping with the long-term effects of the crime—experience intense feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame, in part because they have internalized myths and believe that something they did, or didn't do, led to their rape. Responses from legal, medical, and mental health systems and unsupportive social ...