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date: 17 April 2024


The Oxford Encyclopedia Women in World History
Jennifer McMahonJennifer McMahon, Jody Clay‐WarnerJody Clay‐Warner, Mia KorpiolaMia Korpiola

This entry consists of two subentries:


Comparative History

Rape is a violent crime involving forced sexual intercourse. Laws often specifically define rape as forced vaginal penetration committed by a man against a woman. Defining the crime of rape in gender‐specific terms reflects the facts that, worldwide, men are more likely to be the perpetrators and women are more likely to be the victims. Additionally, cross‐national research indicates that close to 20 percent of women experience either a rape or an attempted rape at some point in their lives, and women are raped most often by someone they know. It has also become increasingly recognized that wartime rapes are common, with women's bodies used as weapons with which soldiers inflict damage on the opposing side.... ...

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