The issue of acquaintance rape has been gaining increased prominence in recent years. In this book Joan McGregor analyses the ethical and legal problems that arise in connection with acquaintance rape cases. She discusses with great clarity and precision the complexities involved in notions such as consent, force, autonomy, power, intention and the impairment of responsibility through drugs, alcohol and mental illness. Arguing that criminal rape laws are too narrow, capturing only cases where there is clearly recognized physical violence and resistance from the victim, she sets out a new proposal for how the criminal law should deal with cases of nonconsensual sex which captures the ideals of a liberal political society and in particular the idea of equality. This book explains fully what it means when a woman says no and means no.
Table of Contents
Contents: What is wrong with the criminal law of rape?; The historical treatment of rape; Expanding the legal definition of rape; Consent and autonomy; Factors undermining consent: incapacitation; External constraints; I thought she consented: The mens rea of rape; What is the harm of rape?; Bibliography; Index.
Professor Joan McGregor is Lincoln Associate Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Bioethics Program at the School of Life Sciences and Department of Philosophy, Arizona State University, USA.
’...an informative, lucid book...In explaining why acquaintance rape is often fraught with ambiguity and confusion, she displays a reasoned and substantial knowledge of the relevant philosophical literature on rape and the legal scholarship.... Recommended.’ Choice 'The layout of McGregor's book makes it an accessible and stimulating read... Is it rape? deserves to be read by theologians, lawyers, sociologists, and anyone interested in the ethical and legal questions surrounding rape... This is an admirable contribution, not only to the Live Questions in Ethics and Moral Philosophy series, but also to the all too often neglected victims of rape, whose story needs to be told in a new light... Is it Rape? is a book that few would dare to write but even fewer would succeed. Neither can be said of Joan McGregor.' Ethical Perspectives ’This is an intelligent and insightful book. It reflects a contemporary perspective on sexuality. It is directly and engagingly written, and will inform a wide audience with interests in legal reform, sexual offences, and greater equality for women.’ Philosophy in Review 'Overall, this volume provides an important and salient discussion Point about an area that is continually misunderstood and misrepresented. Useful arguments are presented. While the book is written by an author discussing the pitfalls of the U.S. legal system and its role in rape reform, the ideas about consent can certainly be applied to a wider audience.' Archives of Sexual Behaviour