Can a woman rape a man?
This might be an uncommon question for common people.
However, it has very important legal implications.
Here you will see the position of the law regarding the question asked taking Tanzania as a case study.
Why this question
In ordinary life, it is very common that it is only men who are accused of rape however in some instances you might see or hear some men are complained to have been forced to have sex with a woman without their consent, is that Rape?
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What is rape?
“It is an offense for a male person to rape a girl or a woman.”
Further Section 130(2) of that law provides circumstances where a person can be said to have committed rape after having sexual intercourse with a woman or a girl.
- If a male person carnally knows a woman not being his wife or if she is his wife, they have separated without her consent.
- If the woman consented to sexual intercourse with that man and the consent was obtained by using force, threats, or intimidation or he put her in fear of hurt or while she was in unlawful detention
- If the woman consented, but the consent was obtained when she was of unsound mind due to intoxication induced by any drug or matter or another thing and administered to her by the man or another person. However if it is proved that there was prior consent between the two, then the man will not be liable.
- When the woman gives consent when the man knows that he is not her husband, but the consent of the woman was given because she has been made to believe that she is legally married to the man.
- If he has sexual intercourse with a girl who is under eighteen years of age. Here the consent of a girl is immaterial. However, the man will not be criminally liable if the woman is his wife and is fifteen or more years of age and they are not separated.
Ingredients of Rape
From those provisions the important ingredients of rape are
- Having unlawful sex with a Woman, unlawful sex simply means sex out of the marriage lock.
- Without Her Consent, this is the gist of rape. No consent=Rape while Consent=No Rape.
- Penetration of the male reproductive organ into the female reproductive organ
Penetration in Rape
Someone may ask what if the male reproductive organ did not successfully enter into the female reproductive organ Will it be rape?
According to CAP 16 Section 130 (4)
(a) Penetration however slight is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offense; and
(b) Evidence of resistance such as physical injuries to the body is not necessary to prove that sexual intercourse took place without consent.
Can a woman rape a man?
However, you might hear or see a man forced to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman but according to the law of Tanzania and that is true for the law of England and Wales a woman cannot rape a man simply because the law recognizes the only man to woman action and not vice versa.
This position of the law attracts unending debate all over the world. The authors of a new study of the phenomenon say perhaps it should be.
Natasha McKeever in her wonderful article stated that the notion that a woman cannot rape a man may be both a cause and an effect of the negative gendered stereotyped beliefs which she believes are all outdated.
Can a woman rape a man in the USA?
Yes, a woman might face legal action for raping a man.
The majority of states have changed their rape laws to make them gender-neutral or have introduced additional laws that penalize other forced sexual activities, even if a small number of states still define rape according to the conventional meaning.
According to these laws, a woman might be charged with same-sex rape for raping a male or another woman.
Additionally, a woman could face charges for statutory rape of juvenile boys who are not of consenting age.
About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (source)
You may consider reading Can a husband rape his wife?