Rape law often condemns females who are not chaste and excuses males who act with sexual entitlement. Rape law has been a significant site for the valorization of female chastity and constraint, on the one hand, and male prowess and freedom, on the other. It continues to reflect the sexism of a culture resistant to ceding male control over sexuality. Legal reform of rape law over the past forty years has greatly helped those who experience stranger rape that includes violence extrinsic to the rape itself. However, this generation of reform did not sufficiently help those whose experiences are more common: those raped by acquaintances without extrinsic violence. To tackle this larger problem, the law must undergo another generation of renewal, one that works affirmatively to diminish the legal impact of negative social attitudes toward acquaintance rape victims. Tis article proposes a range of legal reforms to that end.
- ©© 2010 by the Regents of the University of California