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‘Oh you're a guy, how could you be raped by a woman, that makes no sense’: towards a case for legally recognising and labelling ‘forced-to-penetrate’ cases as rape

  • Siobhan Weare (a1)
Abstract

The existing legal definition of rape in England and Wales is gendered, only recognising men as offenders. The law also only recognises as victims of rape those who are penetrated by a penis, either vaginally, anally or orally. This therefore excludes the female perpetrator–male victim paradigm, and more specifically those cases where male victims are ‘forced to penetrate’ female perpetrators. This paper argues that consideration needs to be given to legally recognising and thus labelling forced-to-penetrate cases as rape. Applying a methodology that draws upon the lived experiences of male victims, it is argued that there are significant similarities between compelled-penetration cases and those cases legally recognised as rape, not only because they both involve non-consensual penile penetration, but because there are clear similarities in the aggressive strategies used by perpetrators and the subsequent harms experienced by victims.

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      ‘Oh you're a guy, how could you be raped by a woman, that makes no sense’: towards a case for legally recognising and labelling ‘forced-to-penetrate’ cases as rape
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Copyright
Corresponding author
s.weare@lancaster.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Thanks to Professor Alisdair Gillespie and Dr Susan Leahy for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Thanks also to the anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive feedback.

Footnotes
References
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