Philosophy Faculty Publications

Document Type

Encyclopedia Entry

Publication Date

Summer 2009

Publication Source

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Although the proper definition of rape is itself a matter of some dispute, rape is generally understood to involve sexual penetration of a person by force and/or without that person's consent. Rape is committed overwhelmingly by men and boys, usually against women and girls, and sometimes against other men and boys. (For the most part, this entry will assume male perpetrators and female victims.)

Virtually all feminists agree that rape is a grave wrong, one too often ignored, mischaracterized, and legitimized. Feminists differ, however, about how the crime of rape is best understood, and about how rape should be combated both legally and socially.



Document Version

Published Version


This entry, downloaded from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on May 20, 2016, is provided for download from the repository with the permission of the author. Permission documentation is on file. It is an archived version of a dynamic online resource; as such, it may be revised in the future; to be assured of the most current version, please consult the online resource via the link provided.


Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University

Place of Publication

Stanford, CA