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Rape in common law is forcible, deceptive, performed while female is asleep/unconscious or with a non-competent female. Also, the female in question is not the male’s legal wife. Traditionally the law is written using the terms forcible “against the will” of the female or “without her consent”. It is clearly defined that the male is the only perpetrator and the female is the only victim in the crime (Lexisnexis.com). This type of thinking is centered on society’s idea of what women and men are capable of doing. In the mind of society this crime can only be committed by a male because they are more aggressive than docile females. Furthermore, the role that females play in society is that of nurturer and caregiver. It would be completely out of the female’s character to perform a violent act such as rape.
According to Renton 1995, sexual assault involves any forms of unwanted sexual touching which doesn’t have to be forced. The law remains the same concerning the consent and awareness of the female. All forms of sexual penetration are taking into consideration and now include both the victim and the perpetrator. Sexual assault can also include groping, assault/battery and attempted rape.
Lexisnexis.com. Chapter 25 Rape. Retrieved Dec 1, 2010, from http://www.lexisnexis.com/lawschool/study/outlines/html/crim/crim25.htm
Renton, Lord. (1995 November 1). The Evolution of Modern Statue Law And Its Future. Retrieved Dec 1, 2010, from http://www.statutelawsociety.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/67758/Lord_Renton_lecture.pdf