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Rape in America - Essay Example

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Rape is a socially disturbing crime, the origin of which dates back before the start of human civilization. Its occurrence in these modern times is not only a concern for the American society but also to different societies around the world. It is a brutal violation of the rights of persons, especially women, over their body and well-being…
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Rape in America
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Download file to see previous pages This figure translates to an incidence rate of 64.8 victims of forcible rate for every 100,000 women and girls (FBI, 2003). The report also states that around 91 percent of these victims suffered rapes by force while 9 percent reported experiencing forcible rape attempts by another person.
Although definitions of rape in every society, culture and nationality varies and considered very complex, the law provides basic situations or conditions for the commission of this crime. The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), established in the 1960s, defines rape as "forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender" (Kilpatrick, 2004).
"The Federal Criminal Code of 1986 has a different definition of rape. It does not use the term rape per se but uses aggravated sexual abuse instead. According to this law, there are two types of aggravated sexual abuse. These are (1) aggravated sexual abuse by force or threat of force and (2) aggravated sexual abuse by other means". (Title 18, Chapter 109A, Sections 2241-2233). The first type involves the use of force or threat such as death, injury or detention to coerce a person into sexual activity. The second type includes rendering the victim unconscious through force or other means such as alcohol or drugs in order to engage into a sexual act (Title 18, Chapter 109A, Sections 2241-2233).
The National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS) on the other hand clearly defined the nature and limits of rape in their assessment of U.S. adult women from 1995-1996. There were five instances or conditions in their questionnaire which can be considered as an act of rape. The first is the use of force or threat to victim or persons close to the victim in order to have sex which involves putting a penis in the victim's vagina. The second is the use of force or threat to victim or persons close to the victim to have oral sex. The third is the use of force or threat to victim or persons close to the victim to have anal sex. The third is the use of force or threat to victim or persons close to the victim to put the offender's finger inside the victim's vagina or anus. The last condition includes the above four acts but without actual penetration (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).
In the social or psychological science, rape is defined as forcing sexual activity on a person who objects or withholds consent or, in other words, sexual activity devoid of consent and against the person's will. This paper aims to assess the applicability of the narcissistic theory in the commission of rape and the psychology of rapists.
Narcissistic Theory
The narcissistic theory was presented by several psychologists including S. Freud, C. Lasch, O. Kernberg and H. Kohut to name a few. Narcissism was based from the name of a Greek mythology character called Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection on the water's surface. Narcissism, simply put, is used to refer to self-love or self-admiration (John & Robins, 1994; Rhodewalt et al., 1998; Morf & Rhodewalt, 1993).
Freud's adaptation of the term found healthy and pathologic applications of narcissism in his psychodynamic theories while Kohut defines it as a mental illness caused by a defective upbringing resulting to excessive love of oneself and disregard for other persons. Lasch ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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