Title

Gender differences in survey respondents' written definitions of date rape

Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3463-5704

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2000

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality

Volume

9

Issue

3

First Page

181

Last Page

190

Keywords

Date rape, Dating, Gender, Rape law

Abstract

Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted on 170 participants' written definitions of date rape. The qualititative analysis identified several key themes that characterized womens' and men' perceptions of date rape including the issues of consent, use of force, the sex acts that constitute date rape, and the context in which they occur. Thematic analysis also indicated whether participants' perceived date rape to be gender neutral or gender specific, an important issue given the feminist discourse on this matter that accompanied replacement of the gendered term "rape" in the Canadian Criminal Code with the new, non-gendered offence of sexual assault. While a majority of respondents used terms that indicated a gender-neutral perspective, the sexes differed in that a much greater percentage of women than men advanced a gender-specific understanding of rape. The findings are used to assess the extent to which the feminist perspectives that shaped changes in Canadian rape law in the 1980s are now embedded in public perceptions of date rape and to consider possible implications for prevention educators.

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