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Lecture 14

Psychology 2075 Lecture 14: Sexual Coercion

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Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Rape in the Criminal Code of Canada Prior to 1983 • Male commits rape when he has sexual intercourse with a female who is not his wife: o Without her consent o With her consent if the consent • Is extort by threat of fear of bodily harm • Is obtained by impersonating her husband • Is obtained by false and fraudulent representations as to the nature and quality of the act • Criticisms of earlier law o No provision for spousal rape o No provision for male as victim o No provision for female as assailant o Charge of rape required corroboration o Victim's past sexual history could be put on trial o Victim's past sexual history not involving intercourse o Rape complaints had to be made immediately after the attack Sexual Assault in the Criminal Code of Canada as Amended 1983 • Sexual assault • Sexual assault via threats, with a weapon, or causing bodily harm • Aggravated assault involving wounds, disfigurement, endangers life o Gender-neutral o Prosecution of spousal assault o Consent must be clearly established • Consent must come from individual • Consent must not result from abuse of trust or power • Consent may be withdrawn after initial consent o "rape shield laws" provide protection to victim by limiting the sexual history testimony o Current criticism: "sexual assault" as diminishing violation and impact of the act - desire to reintroduce "rape" as emotive term Sexual Assault from the Laypersons Perspective: The "Match and Motivation" Model • Charlene Muhlenhard (2011) posits that perceiving and labeling and event as "rape" depends on two factors o Match: does an event match an individual's operational definition of rape or sexual assault: • Did I know the perpetrator? • Was physical force involved? • Was I somehow complicit? • Did I resist? o Motivation: What will labeling or reporting the event cost me? • Do I want to maintain the relationship? • Will I have to distrust all men? • What will happen to me if I label it as "rape"? • What are the costs of reporting the event? o Special deterrent to male's labeling or reporting of sexual assault (no match, very negative motivation: double deviant, "not male enough" and "assaulted") • 128 university women/1862 university women asked, reported that they had coerced sexual intercourse • 55/128 women who reported an event that objectively was sexual assault, did not label it as such but labeled it o Normal sexual experience o Bad sexual experience o Miscommunication o Mistake on my part o Mistake on other person's part Is Rape a Sex Crime? • Feminist inspired redefinition of rape: o Rape is an assault o Rape is not a sexual crime o Rape is an expression of male power and control over women o Rape is a mechanism whereby all men control all women whether they are directly victims or not • Does this possibly impose the experience of the victim as the motivation of the rapist? o Victim experience is of assault, not sex in volitional sense o Rapist motivation may be many things: sexual, paraphilic (sexual sadistic), sociopathological (rapist obeys no social rules), or indeed an expression of male rage, power, and domination Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Assault: Victimization Data • Impact of sampling o Representative? o [N = 5446 women] o [two campuses] • Impact of methodology o Victimization rates or reported rates? o [victimization rates] • Impact of definition o [unwanted…touching…insertion] • "sexual assault involved unwanted sexual contact that could include touching of a sexual nature, oral sex, sexual intercourse, anal sex, or sexual penetration with a finger or object Incidence of Sexual Assault per 1000 in Canada • 4x physical assault vs sexual assault Incidence of Sexual Assault in Canada: Victimization Data • Overall, Canadians reported similar rates of sexual victimization in 2014, 2009, 2004, 1999 • Rates of sexual assault are higher among females than among males. In 2009, the self-reported sexual assault victimization rate for females was twice the rate for males. Of the sexual Assaults reported by respondents to the GSS 70% involved a female victim • The majority of sexual assaults reported to the 2009 GSS were the least serious form of sexual assault. For example, incidents of sexual touching, unwanted grabbing, kissing, or fondling accounted for 81% of sexual assaults reported to the GSS. In contrast, sexual attacks, which involve the use of threats or physical violence, accounted for about 20% of sexual assaults • Self-reported incidents of sexual assault were more likely than robberies and physical assaults to involve an offender who was known to the victim. In over half (51%) of sexual assault incidents, the perpetrator was a friend, acquaintance, or neighbour of the victim Ideas about male rape victims are where ideas about female rape victims were about 50 years ago • He just making this up • Most men would enjoy this sort of thing • No man can get raped if he really doesn't want to Sexual Assault in US Prisons Psychological Impact of Sexual Assault • Victims may be emotionally controlled or emotionally expressive • Severe emotional reactions after an assault which reach a peak at three weeks after the
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