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Rapists, Theories of

In Western societies, rape tends to be defined as the nonconsensual penetration of the vagina or anus. In the United States, the legal definition of rape at the federal level refers to the penetration of the vagina or anus with any body part or object or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person. However, at the state level, the source of penetration (e.g., penis, finger, or object), target of penetration (e.g., vagina, anus, or mouth), and gender of the perpetrator or victim can vary across jurisdictions. For example, in Washington State, the source of penetration includes a penis, tongue, finger, or object; in Georgia, it is confined to a male’s penis. Similarly, the United Kingdom restricts the legal definition of rape to ...

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