Last week, Republicans and Democrats alike chastised U.S. Rep. Todd Akin for coming up with a highly troubling reference to "legitimate rape," implying that not all rapes were unjustified, like say when a married man forces his wife to have sex. Akin has since corrected himself and said he opposes only "forcible rape." Critics point out that there is only one kind of rape -- a violent one. Rape is, by definition, a form of aggravated assault.
The extent to which young people do not get what rape means has changed little over the years.
ccording to statistics in the 1988 book, "I Never Called It Rape," by Robin Warshaw, 84% of college men who committed rape claimed that what they had done was not, in fact, rape. One in 15 male students reported that they raped someone or attempted to do so in the preceding year. And "nearly one third of college men said they were likely to have sex with an unwilling partner if they thought they could get away with it.
A more recent study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology in 1998 asked students to what extent it was acceptable for a man to verbally pressure or force a date to have sexual intercourse. The responses show that 17% of men considered that using force was an acceptable strategy to get their way.
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