Seems kind of obvious, doesn’t it? Yet it hasn’t been this way before:
The FBI is changing its long-standing definition of rape for the first time to include sexual assaults on males following persistent calls from victims advocates who claim that the offense, as currently defined in the agency’s annual crime report, has been undercounted for decades.
Under the current definition, established 85 years ago, many of the sex crimes alleged in the ongoing prosecution of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky would not be counted in the bureau’s Uniform Crime Report, one of the most reliable measures of crime in the United States. Sandusky is accused in alleged assaults and sexual misconduct involving 10 male victims.
Rape is currently defined as the “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”
The new provision will define rape as any kind of penetration of another person, regardless of gender, without the victim’s consent.
I have seen statistics that show more men are raped in this country every year than women, and while I am unsure of their accuracy, the fact is that rape of men is common — in prison. Long-time readers of the site know that I do not consider prison rape funny. Not only is it not part of the prescribed punishment, but the victims are likely to be weaker and less violent people — meaning that even if you did subscribe to a vigilante justice ethic, you’d still be letting the most violent get their jollies at the expense of the least violent.
The FBI’s collection of these statistics will not settle the question of the extent of rape of males, since prison rape is often unreported. But it is a step in the right direction.
Thanks to Gabriel Malor on Twitter.