A rape occurs when the statute of the state where a sexual act takes place defines that act as rape. How academicians define rape may be very different from a particular state’s legal definition. A general definition of rape would be nonconsensual contact or penetration of a person’s mouth, vagina, or anus by another’s body part (e.g., finger, hand, penis) or an object (e.g., bottle, weapon). Rape also occurs when a person is made to contact or penetrate another person. Similarly, what constitutes consent can also vary based on statute. In general, consent exists when a person both knowingly and willingly participates in sexual activity. It requires a person be aware that the decision is being made, understand the potential consequences of the decision, and ...

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