Rape, Sexual Assault, and Mistakes: "They All Really Love It"

Publication Year



Politics, rape, sexual assault, law, women's rights, justice


Law | Legislation | Political Science | Women's Studies


My thesis is that major reforms in our rape laws are necessary if we are to enable our courts to fairly balance the rights of defendants and the requirements of justice to victims. I will outline the features of current rape statutes which have hampered prosecutions and describe the likely impact of the new mistake-of-fact defense to charges of rape. I will next consider the competing theories of justice which underpin arguments for varying standards of criminal responsibility. Finally, I will make a case for a move away from rape statutes to laws which emphasize assault as the essential character of the act society wishes to forbid.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Political Science

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