Rape laws – Crime and clarity – commentary

Machel Montano – Waiting In Vain

Rape laws – Crime and clarity

Whether sex is rape depends partly on where it happens

Sep 1st 2012 | The Economist

DEFINING rape, or trying to, is a sure-fire way to start a row. Does age matter? (In some countries, sex with minors is automatically rape; in others, it is not.) Must it involve violence? What kind of sex is involved? Is the victim by definition a woman and the perpetrator a man? Do time, location or the parties’ sexual histories play any role?

Views and laws vary hugely between countries and cultures. In South Africa, where four out of ten women say their first sexual experience was rape, the polygamous president, Jacob Zuma, believes “you cannot just leave a woman if she is ready.” To deny such a woman sex, would be “tantamount to rape”, he told the judge in his 2006 rape trial (he was acquitted). [Read more]


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