View Poll Results: Can a man be criminally/legally charged with raping his wife?

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  • Yes. Absolutely.

    60 68.18%
  • No. Definitely not.

    5 5.68%
  • Case-by-case basis. Not that black & white.

    21 23.86%
  • Other- please explain

    2 2.27%
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Thread: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

  1. #121
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    No, it wasn't. Before 1993, if a woman told her husband "no", yet he continued to have sex with her anyway, then there was nothing she could do with it. He could not be charged with rape of his wife. Even the military had an explicit exception for the UCMJ rape article that protected a man from getting charged under that article if the two were married.
    Yup, you are correct.

    The views which contributed to rape laws not being applicable in marriage can be traced, at least partially, to the 17th century, to English common law, which was exported to the US: the views of Sir Matthew Hale, a 17th-century English jurist, published in The History of the Pleas of the Crown (1736), stated that a husband cannot be guilty of the rape of his wife because the wife "hath given up herself in this kind to her husband, which she cannot retract" (this would remain law in England and Wales for more than 250 years, until it was abolished by the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, in the case of R v R in 1991).[1] The strong influence of conservative Christianity in the US may have also played a role: the Bible at 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 explains that one has a "conjugal duty" to have sexual relations with one's spouse (in sharp opposition to sex outside marriage which is considered a sin) and states that "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another (...)"[2] - and this is interpreted by some conservative religious figures as rejecting to possibility of marital rape.[3]

    Prior to the mid-1970s marital rape was not a crime. Traditional rape laws in the US defined rape as forced sexual intercourse by a male with a "female not his wife", making it clear that the statutes did not apply to married couples. The 1962 Model Penal Code stated that "A male who has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife is guilty of rape if: (...)".[4] In 1993, North Carolina became the last state to remove the spousal exemption.[5] On July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in all 50 states, under at least one section of the sexual offense codes.[5]
    In some states, notably New York - in People v. Liberta 1984 [6] - the courts had been involved in striking down the marital exemption as unconstitutional. The decision of the New York Court of Appeals, delivered by judge Sol Wachtler, stated that "a marriage license should not be viewed as a license for a husband to forcibly rape his wife with impunity. A married woman has the same right to control her own body as does an unmarried woman".

  2. #122
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by reinoe View Post
    If it's written in the contract then there it is. Are you going to go around and witness every marriage and listen to the vows? Are you going to scrutinize every pre-nup? Are you going to eavesdrop on every conversation? If a man or woman promises to rape their spouse then it's in the contract.
    Sex is not written into the contract of marriage. It simply isn't, and the belief that it is, is the major problem here.

    The problem people are coming to is mistaking a level of affection automatically for sex. If a couple has been having sex for a number of years within a marriage, then one of the parties refuses to have sex, then it could be alienation of affection. A good other spouse would question why though if this were a sudden change for their spouse. However, if the couple went into the marriage verbally agreeing to either not have sex or to only have sex for children or on certain days of the month, then one of them wanting more sex later down the line but being refused would not truly alienation of affection since they would wanting a higher level of affection than initially agreed upon. They can still get divorced because you can divorce for any reason, but such a thing should not be used against the other spouse who simply wants to maintain that initial level of affection they agreed to in the beginning.

    Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. (I've only seen through S.6, so I may be behind.) He wrote up a relationship contract with Amy when they started dating. I can easily see someone like him insisting that sex be scheduled and anything outside the contract is more. There are people like Sheldon in this world.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  3. #123
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    I understand the question, you failed to understand the answer. There is no marriage contract you sign, what you sign is a license. One of the obligations of that license are that you comply with state law on the matter of marriage. While all states now allow No Fault divorces many do still have At Fault divorces to address when a spouse violates the terms set in law of said license.

    Further you show you don't read very well (from the link):
    Note here that the accusing spouse would have to prove a certain level of affection, then prove that it was intentionally being withheld by that other spouse in order to prove that the other spouse was at fault. There are many reasons that a marriage could change and that levels of affection within the marriage might change with time, including availability of sex. Plus, it would have to be based on a change of level of affection. If the couple agreed to a limited level of sex to begin with, then it is not going to be a valid argument that one is willfully withholding sex by not doing more than what they did to begin with.

    This would be a case by case. And the law recognizes this. See the note in your own post that says that says it would be wise to seek legal advise before filing for divorce on those charges because it is not as simple as refusing to have sex with your spouse one, two, or even 10 or 20 times. It requires a bit more.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  4. #124
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    Once again there is a legal obligation to have sex with your spouse. The license can be withdrawn if you don't and you would be at fault. It's part of deal, don't like it, don't get married. Now, does this mean you can't rape your spouse? That's still a debatable legal point and in effect the law is all over the map and unevenly applied because it's a rock and/or hard place question.

    However, assault is clearly illegal and carries the same potential for penalty without the rape question even being necessary.
    No there is not. There is only a legal obligation to show the agreed upon amount of affection to your spouse during a marriage. It is assumed for most marriages that a certain amount of sex will be in the marriage, but not all marriages include sex.

    Then assault would be an appropriate charge for any rape, according to your reasoning. But since we view rape as having a much harsher psychological impact, we have rape as an actual offense. And it does not have to include physical harm or violence to the person. (And assault does not carry the same potential penalties as rape.)
    Last edited by roguenuke; 01-18-14 at 11:20 AM.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  5. #125
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Right, so we can get rid of 'spousal rape'. That's all the senator is saying.
    No he isn't. He is trying to get rid of being able to charge spouses for rape at all, essentially reinstating the old exceptions that prevented spouses from being charged with rape. There is not really separate laws for charging married and non-married people with rape. They are the same laws. The change that was made in the past simply removed the exemption of spouses from being charged (or at least husbands).

    In fact, if anything, I think people should be complaining that some laws still exempt women from being charged with rape at all. Husbands can be raped by their wives.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  6. #126
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Yup, you are correct.
    It may have already been mentioned somewhere, but back when marital rape wasn't a crime, an estranged husband could rape the wife he was legally separated from and not sharing the same residence. In Canada, the events that led to criminalizing rape...even within marriage, occurred because of a court case of a woman who had been separated from her husband, who barged in one day and raped and physically assaulted her. He was charged with aggravated assault, but the court ruled that since they were still legally married, he couldn't be charged with rape. And that's why the law was eventually changed in...I think it was 1978 off hand.

    Nice to know that conservatives want to turn back the clock on this reform as well! How long will it be before we have burning witches and adulteresses being forced to wear a scarlet letter?

  7. #127
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Commie View Post
    It may have already been mentioned somewhere, but back when marital rape wasn't a crime, an estranged husband could rape the wife he was legally separated from and not sharing the same residence. In Canada, the events that led to criminalizing rape...even within marriage, occurred because of a court case of a woman who had been separated from her husband, who barged in one day and raped and physically assaulted her. He was charged with aggravated assault, but the court ruled that since they were still legally married, he couldn't be charged with rape. And that's why the law was eventually changed in...I think it was 1978 off hand.

    Nice to know that conservatives want to turn back the clock on this reform as well! How long will it be before we have burning witches and adulteresses being forced to wear a scarlet letter?
    That's terrible and should definitely be a crime.

  8. #128
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Yes, you could certainly rape your spouse. However I think the standards of what is rape and what isn't are a little more lax in a marriage. Behaviors which might be considered rape outside of a marriage might not with a married couple.
    If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.

    If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  9. #129
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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    Yes, you could certainly rape your spouse. However I think the standards of what is rape and what isn't are a little more lax in a marriage. Behaviors which might be considered rape outside of a marriage might not with a married couple.
    I think that most spouses would be aware of when they are crossing a line with the other, and that is when it would be considered rape IMO.

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    Re: Spousal Rape - Crime of Rape, or Not ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    I think that most spouses would be aware of when they are crossing a line with the other, and that is when it would be considered rape IMO.
    Oh definitely. If one partner doesn't give consent, it's rape. However I think in a marriage it's a lot more valid to assume consent in certain circumstances. If I had sex with a stranger while she was extremely drunk, that's probably rape. If I have sex with my wife while she's extremely drunk, it's probably not.
    If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.

    If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

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