PSY621 Chapter 16.docx - PSY621 Chapter 16 Sexual Assault...

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PSY621Chapter 16Sexual AssaultIn the last 2 years, there has been a movement toward seeing crimes involving force in sexual relations as crimes of violence and victimization rather than as sex crimesoBasically, the victim is blames a lot more often nowBefore 1983, the Criminal Code had 4 statutes that prohibited forced sexual activity: rape, attempted rape, indecent sexual assault against a female, and indecent assault against a maleAt this time, the legal definition of rape was heterosexual intercourse by a man with a woman who was not his wifeoThis law was criticized for a number of reasonso1) rape was limited to forced sexual intercourseo2) it defined the assailant as male and victim as female, so women could not be charged with rape, and men couldn’t be victims of rapeo3) husbands could not be charged with raping their wives, meaning a woman could not legally refuse her husbands demandso4) the victims prior sexual activities could be considered as evidence of her consent and of the credibility of her testimony (putting her past on trial)This law also specifically required that the crime of rape actually took placeThe jury could not convict only on the basis of attempted rapeLastly, rape complaints that were not made immediately after the attack were invalidated – basically, there had to be physical evidence (such as injury) if the complaintwasn’t filed immediately Majority of the complaints of rape didn’t result in a convictionCauses of Sexual Assault Against Women4 major theoretical views of the nature of sexual assaults:o1. Victim-precipitated assault: this view holds that a sexual assault is always caused by a woman “asking for it”. Basically the assault is considered the woman’s fault. Represents the tendency to “blame the victim”o2. Psychopathology of sex offenders: this theoretical view holds that sexual assault is an act committed by a psychologically disturbed man. His deviance is responsible for the crime occurringo3. Feminist: view sexual assault as the product of gender-role socialization in our culture, which reinforces and legitimizes male aggression in general and sexual coercion specifically. Also theorized between sex and power: in some assaults,

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