Marriage: the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (www.google.com). Wikipedia defines marriage as a relationship and bond, most commonly between a man and a woman, which plays a key role in the definition of many families. Precise definitions vary historically and between and within cultures, but it has been an important concept as a socially sanctioned bond in a sexual relationship. Nowhere in here does it state that undesired sexual intercourse is a normal part of this commitment. In any relationship, there is a desire to please your mate; but how far should that go? In this paper, I will discuss current views on marital rape, laws concerning the issue, and the physical and psychological effects marital rape has on the woman. While the legal definition varies within the United States, marital rape can be defined as any unwanted intercourse or penetration (vaginal, anal, or oral) obtained by force, threat of force, or when the wife is unable to consent (Bergen, 1996).
Marital rape is a touchy issue. It is one that bears a lasting impact on the woman, both physically and psychologically; yet it is still an issue that has not been given the adequate attention it deserves as compared to rape by a stranger. Socially, marital rape is a term that few are able to accept and understand. Many still hold the view that once the bond of marriage has been entered, it is the woman's duty to satisfy her husband. Researchers estimate that 10% and 14% of married women experience rape in marriage (www.vawnet.org/domesticviolence/research). It should be noted that most statistical data come from women who were in battered women's shelters at the time of collection. There seems to be a stigma of reporting rape in marriage. There is a tendency to blame yourself for the act. This is one reason for underreporting. Marital rape is different from stranger rape because it betrays the fundamental basis of the marital relationship...
Cited: Basile, Kathleen C. Prevalence of wife rape and other intimate partner sexual coercion in a nationally representative sample of women. Violence and Victims 17.5 (Oct 2002): 511(14). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. University of South Alabama (AVL).
Bergen, R.K. (1996). Wife rape: Understanding the response of survivors and service providers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Bergen, R.K. (1999). www.vawnet.org/domesticviolence/research.
Whatley, M.A. (2005).The Effect of Participant Sex, Victim Dress, and Traditional Attitudes on Causal Judgments for Marital Rape Victims. Journal of Family Violence. Vol. 20. No. 3, June 2005.
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