A History Of Rape Essay Research Paper

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A History Of Rape Essay, Research Paper Amongst the ancient Hebrews, who flourished about 1000 B.C. women were portrayed as more sexual than men, and their status was inferior to that of men. Sexual activities were supposed to be confined to one’s spouse, but women who failed to uphold these rules was dealt with more severely than those by males because women were considered to be man’s property. The Jewish law of that time was defined as adultery, and was punishable by death. According to the Hebrews, adultery referred only to a married woman’s sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband. A man who had intercourse with another man’s wife was charged only with the violation of the husband’s property rights. While the punishment was severe, the man did not

receive the death penalty, only the woman did. So, if a man committed the crime of rape (as we know it today) the woman, or “property”, was put to death and the man escaped with a severe punishment, but not death. The idea that women were property is also reflected in some Old Testament views regarding prostitution and rape. Because a woman belonged to a man, rape was considered theft. A man who raped the daughter of another man could absolve the situation by either paying the father, or marrying the daughter. It wasn’t a crime for a father to sell sexual access of his daughter to other men. However, if a woman chose to have sexual relations with other men, and deprived her father of the fee, she committed a capital crime! This offense could result in the daughter of an

ordinary citizen being stoned to death. If the daughter of a priest committed such an offense, the priest could request the daughter to be put to death by fire. Girls who had sex (or raped) before the age of 12 had their punishment postponed until their 12th birthday, at which they were then stoned to death. In 1486, two German theologians, Sprenger and Kramer published a book called Malleus Maleficarum which diagnosed procedures of identifying witchcraft. Of these procedures a woman was susceptible to witchcraft because of her carnal (sexual) lust. This book expressed the dangers of women’s lust and their moral depredations. Because of this on growing fear of the enticements and evil’s of a woman’s sexuality in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the attempt to

“save” the community took the form of witch hunts. A male could, therefore “take” a woman, and because the people of this time period believed that the woman was evil with her seductions, the result of today’s crime of sexual assault would result in her death and the man’s cleansing of the soul. In the nineteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution created a middle class, the roles of males and females began to become separated. The dominating sexual ideals of this time was called Victorianism. During this time period women were expected to be passive and emotional and to concern themselves only with their proper place, the home. In contrast to the middle ages where women lured men to commit sin, in the nineteenth century the blame for lust was directly put on

men. It was during this period that a woman’s morality, taste, and feelings were more developed than men. Thus, the evolution towards today’s sexual assault laws began to grow. Men begin to become more liable for their roles in sexual assault towards women. The Victorian era was so influential that until recently many women attempted to hid their sexual interest and worried about “animalistic” feelings. During the first part of the century, men believed that it took alot of effort to pursuade a woman to have sex, and that it took more work to get her aroused and orgasmic. The Kinsey group and Masters and Johnson helped, through their research, to partially shift these views. Today, in some circles, females are seen as sexual, and some argue that females are more capable