Rape : And its relation to other immoral acts

This is a spin off from the somewhat unpleasant “How Is A ‘Wet Wily’ So Different From Rape?” thread.

In that thread we started to examine and define the constituent acts which went to make up the immoral act commonly known as rape. Here I wish to avoid considering any single legal definition as that would differ from location to location and also may not include rape acts that are by their essence unprosecutable.

I had come to the conclusion that one necessary factor in rape is what we called nonconsensual domination. Where the perpetrator causes the victim to do things through threat or actual violence, that the victim would otherwise not do.

It is also clear that this nonconsensual domination is not the only necessary factor in rape, as some forms of nonconsensual domination (such as involved in parent/child relationships as pointed out by Svt4Him ) are clearly neither rape, nor even immoral.

I hope here to explore further the concept of nonconsensual domination as to when it should be considered a crime. And also the other factors that make rape the act that it is.

It would be easier to categorize exceptions to criminal nonconsensual domination. For instance, threatening someone who trespasses on property, maybe. But I don’t really see many instances where:

should be legal.

IANAL, but in fact, threatening violence is “assault” in many places and eminently prosecutable. So, by your definition, it already is a crime.

If the threat is not of violence, but some other action unwanted by the victim. Or if the victim simply fears the perpetrator. We can still have nonconsensual domination, without anything happening that is currently illegal.

The example given by Svt4Him was something like
A parent by threat (of toys being thrown away) can coerse their child to tidy up there room (which the child would not overwise do).

School Bullying is another form of nonconsensual domination which is not necessarily illegal (even if the bully was adult aged).

So may I redefine
nonconsensual domination :
Where the perpetrator causes the victim through threat , violence, fear, psychological pressure,… to act in a way that the victim would otherwise not do.

This could even arrise from the perpetrator making the victim feel guilty enough to act in the way that the victim otherwise would not.

In defining rape it can be seen that its effect uppon the victim is not part of the deffinition. This is because people would consider that the unwanted sexual activity of a Doctor with an anethatized patient is rape. Despite the fact that the victim may never be aware of the fact that he/she was raped, and thus may go without any suffering from the ordeal.

The motive of the perpetrator may have importance on wether or not some event is ‘rape’. But even though criminal guilt may not be correct to place uppon someone with severe mental dissability who forces nonconcensual sex upon another, I do not think that this means the act was not Rape, but instead that the act was mot punnishable due to the state of the perpetrator.

More complex would be the case were a person was forced to have nonconcensual sex with another person. Here both parties are being nonconsensualy dominated by a third party. In this case I would be willing to call the third parties act ‘rape’, though another name for such an act may be appropriate.

Another question reguarding rape is whether or not any ‘sexual’ activity is required for the act to be rape. In other words, is rape possible where no sexual activity takes place. And allong with this the question of what is considered a sexual activity?

your stereotypical “School Bullying”, if the perp were adult, would IMO be considered criminal. Non-violent threats, OTOH, could also be considered bullying, however are not the image I see when I free-associate the word “bullying”.

yes, I would consider that one example of non consensual domination that should be legal.

In an ideal world, unethical actions would be illegal. However, if using psychological pressure and fear were made illegal, there would be plenty of people who would “game” the system and claim fear/pressure when there was none in order to exact revenge. However, that does not stop the fact that using these hard-to-prove tactics can be just as evil as violent threats.

Rape is one of the worst offenders of freedom and ethics, but that does not mean it is in a separate “class”. You can approach it with the same approach one approaches other breaches of universal law.

For that reason, I am not all that interested in how we define rape, since it blends in with other, just as evil, acts, which are in essence the same in nature. However, if we over-define it, we lose the power of the term. Personally, I would define it acts which would be sexual in nature were it not for the lack of consent performed under lack of consent (which would also include the anaesthetic example.)

However, if we must consider some acts to fall under “sex” crimes, versus other classifications of breaches of universal law, then your example of forcing two people to have sex should also fall under this rubric, but not rape per se.

I think intent is a paramount factor.

When a parent makes her kid to clean up his own room, the intent is not malevolent.

OTOH, when a rape (or attempted rape) occurs, the intent of the attacker is malevolent.