Chapter 1: State Variations on Definition of Sexual Assault Next Chapter

Amanda Burgess-Proctor & Christopher G. Urban

In: Sexual Victimization: Then and Now

Chapter 1: State Variations on Definition of Sexual Assault

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State Variations on Definition of Sexual Assault
State variations on definition of sexual assault
AmandaBurgess-Proctor and Christopher G.Urban

The task of evaluating state sexual assault statutes is more complicated than it might appear at first. States have long ago abandoned a solitary “rape” law in favor of more nuanced and multilayered sets of laws. Even a cursory exploration of sexual assault legislation demonstrates that these laws address a wide variety of proscribed behaviors, including (but not limited to) child sexual assault; adult sexual assault; statutory rape; rape occurring within correctional, educational, and other specific populations; sodomy; and bestiality. There is also tremendous variation in the terminology states use to describe sexual assault (“sexual abuse,” “criminal sexual conduct,” “sexual battery,” “sexual torture,” etc.), and there likewise exists no ...

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