Talk:Marital rape

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I think this article is necessary, but it's got some problems in terms of style and composition - I've started to try to hammer it into shape...PFoster 11:48, 28 February 2008 (EST)

This is important, and it is in dire straits. You're a hero for starting the work, PF :-) -αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 11:55, 28 February 2008 (EST)
No offense to the original author, but I took out some stuff that may be more relevant to an article about divorce or sex ed, while trying to stay on point...PFoster 12:06, 28 February 2008 (EST)
Trying to help whip it into shape... humanUser talk:Human 14:11, 28 February 2008 (EST)
I don't get the connection between chastity and "knowing your rights", for lack of a better term. Also (not being a fundy or an avid studier of fundies in their natural habitat, I may be wrong here), do fundies really advocate no sex education until marriage? Lurker 14:59, 28 February 2008 (EST)
Well, "abstinence-only" and a lack of discussion of things like homosexuality, masturbation, contraceptive techniques, etc. fall in with American Christian fundy ideas aof what sex education can be....and it's not a stretch to say that telling young women that they have the right to say "NO" is part of that.PFoster 15:02, 28 February 2008 (EST)
It't not a huge stretch, maybe, but it definitely is a stretch. Chastity is a complete different area than treating women as property. Lurker 15:06, 28 February 2008 (EST)
Lurker: Yes, you are right. This article is in the process of being whipped into shape, as such there are still a number of non-sequiturs in it. We don't even have a "legal" section yet... humanUser talk:Human 15:27, 28 February 2008 (EST)

"comes home drunk from a night out at Hooters feeling a little frisky,"[edit]

Awww... I enjoyed writing that bit...not the bit about the baby shaking; that was somebody else. PFoster 14:30, 28 February 2008 (EST)

Yeah, I thought it was funny too, but by the time I was done cleaning out the baby shaking reference (that no one will ever understand), the Hooters got lost as well. Partly I'm trying to broaden the scope from just focussing on Xtianity & American perspectives. I would like to see sections on various religion's perspectives - and legal ones, as well. This issue is very broad. After all, before various "emancipations", women were legally property, not people, etc.
Perhaps at some point we can figure out a way to put some of the witty stories back in without potentially trivializing the issue we are discussing? humanUser talk:Human 14:43, 28 February 2008 (EST)
Trivializing? HA! As if you're one to talk!Ghost of TK 15:00, 28 February 2008 (EST)


I'm glad someone moved this to the more sensible title. humanUser talk:Human 15:18, 29 February 2008 (EST)

Your welcome. ^_^ --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 15:37, 29 February 2008 (EST)

UK case of Marital rape[edit]

There was a case of this that got into the UK media a few years ago - some bloke married a Phillipino lady (I think) and either tried to or actually did have sex with her whilst she was asleep (she woke up, ISTR). It went to court and the husband got convicted of marital rape. I'll see if I can dig up a link or two about the case. Spica 15:03, 1 March 2008 (EST)

Cool, I'd love to see some legal stuff in this article. humanUser talk:Human 16:23, 1 March 2008 (EST)

Places and Such[edit]

I'm only familiar with the US, which is why I put in the bit about the US. Thanks to everyone for making it more world conscious. Researcher 00:18, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

1983 perspective[edit]

"The women who call for help are generally angry with their husbands and fearful of future attacks; most want information about divorce as opposed to counseling. A very important finding, however, was that although forced sexual intercourse may occur frequently, most women do not view this as rape. One reason is that the same type of victim self-blaming that so often occurs among rape and wife abuse victims is likely, e.g. 'I was provocative at the wrong time'; 'I haven't made myself available enough', affecting perceptions of the act. The image of the stranger-in-the-bushes type of rape is so strong that many women are likely not to even consider that such acts might be rape. And finally, while the women are angered by or fearful of the attacks, the majority still do not consider it a problematic issue, often feeling that such acts are the man's right". The question of marital rape, Victoria R Garnier Barshis, doi:10.1016/0277-5395(83)90031-6, Women's Studies International Forum, Volume 6, Issue 4, 1983, Pages 383–393.

I wonder if the stigmatization of marital rape has the unfortunate effect of making it harder for the victims to get over, because now they think of it as being a bigger deal than people might have considered it to be in the past. Blaming the guy also detracts from attempts at problem-solving; for instance, if the victim doesn't tell herself 'I haven't made myself available enough' then maybe she won't attempt to solve the problem by making herself available more. Landmartian (talk) 20:00, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Are you serious? ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:10, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
>problem-solving Wot? Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 20:19, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
To clarify: You can't hope to know if it has had that effect if you trivialize it yourself. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 20:21, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Amount of force and injury[edit]

The article claims, ""Marital rape is just like any other "kind" of rape—that is, forcible unwanted sexual contact—except that it occurs between two people who are married."" Well, it's not just like it. According to a study, "Stranger rapists used more force that partner rapists and caused more physical injury than rapists of known victims." Relationship to Victim Predicts Sentence Length in Sexual Assault Cases, doi: 10.1177/088626098013003007, J Interpers Violence June 1998 vol. 13 no. 3 413-420. Landmartian (talk) 20:13, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Read the sentence you quoted again. It doesn't claim that the amount of force used is equal across the board. (talk) 22:23, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
"More" is a matter of degree in the same kind of action. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:34, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

removed via undo[edit]

The following was placed in a very clunky location. Perhaps there is a better place (and wording) for it?

Alternatively, marriage was viewed as an agreement in which the parties voluntarily contracted away the right to refuse consent to sex. Another argument against criminalizing marital rape was that the state's involvement in the matter would invade the sanctity of the marriage and hinder the spouses from reconciling.[1]
  1. Victoria R Garnier Barshis (1983). "The question of marital rape". Women's Studies International Forum 6 (4): 383–393. Error: Bad DOI specified. 

End of quoted material. PS, there is an error in the ref format somewhere. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:53, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Enforcement of rights[edit]

One of the arguments that was sometimes made for keeping marital rape legal was that the spouses had contracted to be sexually available to each other. An argument for banning marital rape was that ordinarily, contractual rights aren't enforced through physical force. This doesn't seem to hold water, because ultimately contracts are enforced by physical force. If, for example, you lease me an apartment, and then try to keep me from entering and using it, the court might issue an order that will either allow me to personally use reasonable force to enter that apartment, or will have the police enforce my rights. At least I think that's how it works? Or would I only be eligible for money damages? Landmartian (talk) 06:22, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

If I come to threaten to shoot you unless you finish a job I paid you for, regardless of any "ultimate" conclusions that can be drawn about force as part of enforcement, the courts are still going to throw me in jail. Ikanreed (talk) 06:33, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I guess it depends on whether sex within marriage would be considered a "personal service" or if a person's body would be considered more akin to property that they can buy, sell, rent, etc. pursuant to binding contracts. From Note, The Marital Rape Exemption: Evolution to Extinction, 43 Clev. St. L. Rev. 351 (1995): "Two additional arguments have been made to discredit the contract theory. First, under contract law, private parties are not permitted to use self-help methods to remedy a contract breach; normally this must be done through the courts. Further, the remedy for breach of contract for personal services is not specific performance. Personal services are unique, and contract law does not require a person to perform against her will. Hence, even if it were to be accepted that a woman breached the marital contract by not having sexual intercourse with her husband, the husband should not be able to enforce the contract by physically forcing his wife to have sexual intercourse. The fact that the matrimonial 'contract' does not resemble a true contract at all is one of the strongest legal arguments for its outright rejection."
In support of that last point, the article noted that the terms of the marital contract are never explicitly stated. I think they're basically stated in the statute books, in the form of penalties that can be imposed if spouses do certain things. For example, the duty to be faithful to a spouse is implied by the fact that there are penalties for adultery.
It's kinda like the contract that soldiers sign when they enter the Army. They agree to do pretty much whatever Congress passes a law requiring them to do, since Congress establishes the laws governing soldiers' responsibilities. Those laws are subject to unilateral change by Congress before the enlistment is over. It's the same way with marriage: the parties' obligations are whatever the state says they are, and that can change during the course of the marriage. It's one of the hazards of getting married. Landmartian (talk) 07:10, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Here's a question for you: Where does a contract get its 'validity' from? Isn't it from being a consensual agreement? Why should a contract then remain acknowledged as valid if one party abuses it to force the other party to submit to non-consensual acts? (talk) 08:06, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Isn't the whole point of agreements that you can't unilaterally withdraw from them, unless the contract allows it? If you could get out of it any time you wished without punishment, then people would not be able to arrange their plans around your obeying the contract, because they wouldn't be able to count on it.
So, for instance, suppose two people want to get married, and it's known from the beginning that there's a disparity in their level of sexual desire; one of them wants a lot more sex than the other. But maybe there are other mismatches in their other desires too; maybe, for instance, one of them would prefer to be a teacher, but the family's financial survival depends on his being an engineer. Maybe also, one of the partners would prefer, in an ideal world, to be allowed to have sex with other people besides his spouse, but his spouse wants him to stay monogamous.
They might come to an agreement that they will set aside some of their desires in order to please the other partner. They come to an arrangement that, while not ideal for either of them, they both can live with, and they feel is better than what they could get with any other partner. If they can't depend on the other to keep their end of the agreement, there isn't a basis for marriage, and then they have to stay single and miss out on the benefits of the relationship. Landmartian (talk) 08:16, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Force and brutality[edit]

There was this other article, The Question of Marital Rape, that said "While granted that both spouses enter the marriage contract voluntarily, as Lenore Weitzman so succinctly puts it: ‘The marriage contract is unlike most contracts. Its provisions are unwritten, its penalties are unspecified, and the terms of the contract are typically unknown to the “contracting” parties. Prospective spouses are neither informed of the terms of the contract, nor are they allowed any options about these terms’ (Martin, 1976: 37). Providing such a contract should even be enforced, why has there been no holding outside of the context of rape that implies consent to intercourse at all times? Furthermore, it can not be reasonably argued that this consent extends to the force and brutality used in obtaining the ‘right’ (New York University Law Review, 1977: 311) - yet how can we separate the means from the end?"

I wonder what the basis is for concluding that consent can't extend to the amount of force needed to secure a right. If you walk out of a Wal-Mart with a bag of chips that you didn't pay for, Wal-Mart isn't required to let you leave and then sue you if it wants to get reimbursed for the chips. They are allowed to use reasonable force to detain you, even though you didn't initiate any physical force against anyone.

Also, there are certain jobs that you aren't allowed to walk off of; if you do, then force can be used against you. For example, suppose you're in the military and they order you to deploy to a conflict you don't feel like deploying to. You can't just say "I quit" and leave. They will say that when you joined up, you consented to the deployment, and that if you go AWOL, they will forcibly lay hands on you and throw you in prison. Once you're in prison, you'll be forced to work once again under threat of punishment; if you walk off of your prison job, they'll once again lay hands on you and put you in an isolation cell.

When marital rape was legal, it was basically the same way with that "job". You either performed, or your spouse could punish you. As with the military job, the idea was that you had the opportunity not to sign up for it if you didn't want to be expected to comply with command performances. Landmartian (talk) 08:16, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

The risk of false accusations[edit]

In family or civil court, the standard of proof when you're accused of marital rape is preponderance of the evidence (not proof beyond a reasonable doubt). In other words, if the judge thinks that more like than not, you raped your wife, then you're considered guilty, and can suffer the consequences that go along with that.

Marital rape is different than some other kinds of domestic violence, in that there might not be a lot of strong evidence (bruises, broken bones, etc.) Semen in the wife's vagina won't be proof that she was raped, because the sex could've been consensual, given that they're married.

So, what is to be done about this? Should men focus on the solution of, "Don't marry crazy women who will make false rape accusations" given that the system won't do much to protect them from being found to have committed rape? Or should a higher standard of proof be implemented, so that women would need to focus on the solution of, "Don't marry abusive guys who will rape you" since the system wouldn't be able to do much to protect them? Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 12:03, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Neither, because it is a non-issue. Queexchthonic murmurings 12:06, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
If you believe all women are duplicitious tricksters who're going to lie about being raped, you shouldn't marry them. I'd have thought that is fairly obvious. I think this is the logic behind men going their own way. Annquin (talk) 12:21, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
It's always interesting watching people that think women are pure evil but still want to fuck them. How about treating other human beings as...well, humans instead of monsters for a change? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:33, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Queex: Guess you've never been falsely accused, or known anyone who has been. Lucky you.
Annquin, EmeraldCityWanderer: How about if we told domestic abuse victims, "Why do you think men are pure evil but still want to fuck them? Why don't you just stay single so you don't get abused?" That would basically be the equivalent of what you're proposing. Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 16:56, 8 March 2016 (UTC)