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Traumatic developments: Contractual theory of rape in America

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References

  1. 1

    On the general implications of recent judicial appointments within Pennsylvania, especially as influenced by conservative political leaders, see Davis Rhode, “Critics Charge Pennsylvania Courts are Stuck in ‘Judicial Dark Ages,’”Christian Science Monitor, 1st Nov. 1993, p.7:1, and Debbie Howlett, “Behind Pa. Bench, ‘Mockery’ of Courts,”USA Today, 21st April 1994, p. A8:1.

  2. 2

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super 1992) at 1341.

  3. 3

    18 Pa.C.S.A. s.3121.

  4. 4

    Richard A. Lord,A Treatise on the Law of Contracts by Samuel Williston, Fourth Edition (Rochester, NY: Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, 1990, 4th ed.), vol. 1 221. See UCC Restatement (Second) of Contracts s. 19(2). InBerkowitz, the Superior Court made special notice of the accuser's claim, despite some indications to the contrary, that she was not intoxicated at the time of the incident, 609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1339.

  5. 5

    609 A.2d. 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1344. 641 A.2d. 1161 (Pa. 1994) at 1165.

  6. 6

    609 A.2d. 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1344. 641 A.2d. 1161 (Pa. 1994) at 1166.

  7. 7

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1346–1347.

  8. 8

    641 A.2d. 1161 (Pa. 1994) at 1166, brackets added by the court.

  9. 9

    An excellent recent study of the judicial preoccupation with the relationship of “force” and “consent” in rape law and cases, and how that relationship exacerbates a woman's lack of power when faced with sexual violence, is Lani Anne Remick, “Read Her Lips: An Argument for a Verbal Consent Standard in Rape,”University of Pennsylvania Law Review 141 (1993), 1103–1151.

  10. 10

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1347–1348.

  11. 11

    542 A.2d. 1335 (Pa. 1988).

  12. 12

    641 A.2d. 1161 (Pa. 1994) at 1167–1168.

  13. 13

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1341.

  14. 14

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992), 1348. Illinois has qualified this need to prove “forcible compulsion”, but only where such resistance would “clearly endanger” the survivor. This definition has met with mixed results in terms of establishing the specific criteria that is required in order to exempt the survivor from proving that she resisted physically. See, for example,People of the State of Illinois v.Faulisi, 185 N.E.2d 211 (Ill. 1962),People of the State of Illinois v.Smith, 203 N.E.2d 879 (Ill. 1965),People of the State of Illinois v.Taylor, 268 N.E.2d 865 (Ill. 1971), andPeople of the State of Illinois v.Warren, 446 N.E.2d 591 (Ill. 1983).

  15. 15

    641 A.2d. 1161 (Pa. 1994) at 1169.

  16. 16

    641 A.2d. 1161 (Pa. 1994), at 1165, in which the court quotes from one of its own precedent ofCommonwealth v.Rhodes, 510 A.2d. 1217 (Pa. 1986), at 1221.

  17. 17

    641 A.2d. 1161 (Pa. 1994), at 1169.

  18. 18

    This legal paradox is discussed in Jeanne C. Marsh, Alison Geist, and Nathan Caplan,Rape and the Limits of Law Reform (Auburn House: Boston, 1982), 21–22.

  19. 19

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1347.

  20. 20

    106 N.W. 536 (Wis.1906) at 538.

  21. 21

    Among others, Margaret Mead expressed a belief in this misconception relating to primitive, as well as advanced, societies. See Christina Tchen, “Rape Reform and a Statutory Consent Defence”,Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 74/4 (1983), 1525. This article offers an excellent review of American judicial precedents in the areas of rape and consent.

  22. 22

    For example, seeState of North Carolina v.Alston, 312 S.E.2d 470 (N.C. 1984).

  23. 23

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1340.

  24. 24

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1347.

  25. 25

    609 A.2d 1338 (Pa.Super. 1992) at 1348.

  26. 26

    “When ‘No’ Means Nothing,”St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6.6.94, p.B6:1. “Report on Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rape Decision,”Morning Edition, National Public Radio, 11.7.94.

  27. 27

    609 A.2d 1266 (N.J. 1992) at 1269.

  28. 28

    609 A.2d 1266 (N.J. 1992) at 1277.

  29. 29

    For a listing of these states and a brief overview of this reform process, see Remick, pp. 1116–1117.

  30. 30

    Vermont Statutes Annotated, title 13, section 3,525 (Supp. 1992).

  31. 31

    A classic treatment of this theory, particular in terms of its social and legal implications, can be found in Carol Pateman,The Sexual Contract (Stanford University Press: Stanford, CA, 1988), 39–76.

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McHugh, J.T. Traumatic developments: Contractual theory of rape in America. Feminist Legal Stud 3, 237–247 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01104115

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Keywords

  • Social Issue
  • Contractual Theory
  • Traumatic Development