The Scottish police department and advocacy groups have launched a new anti-rape public awareness campaign called “We Can Stop It“. They have several posters and they include the usual token male-on-male example while pointing out that sexual attacks on men have been legally classed as ‘rape’ for the very first time. As usual for such campaigns there are no female-on-male examples. Nevertheless, the language seem to be clear and gender-neutral when they state that sex without consent is rape (screen grab from the site):
This is looking pretty good so far. So let’s look at what we can do:
Sex without consent – no matter what the circumstances are – is rape. That sounds pretty clear to me. One really gets the impression that they really mean it, but no.
Let’s find out what the law on rape is in Scotland – Sexual Offenses (Scotland) Act of 2009:
(1) If a person (“A”), with A’s penis—
(a) without another person (“B”) consenting, and
(b) without any reasonable belief that B consents,
penetrates to any extent, either intending to do so or reckless as to whether there is penetration, the vagina, anus or mouth of B then A commits an offence, to be known as the offence of rape.
(2) For the purposes of this section, penetration is a continuing act from entry until withdrawal of the penis; but this subsection is subject to subsection (3).
(3) In a case where penetration is initially consented to but at some point of time the consent is withdrawn, subsection (2) is to be construed as if the reference in it to a continuing act from entry were a reference to a continuing act from that point of time.
(4) In this Act—
“penis” includes a surgically constructed penis if it forms part of A, having been created in the course of surgical treatment, and
(a) the vulva, and
(b) a surgically constructed vagina (together with any surgically constructed vulva), if it forms part of B, having been created in the course of such treatment.
Well, what to make of this then? Scottish police would like one to think that sex without consent is rape no matter what the circumstances are yet the law won’t allow for a female rapist.
The only possible conclusion then is that a man cannot not consent to sex with a woman or that the concept of consent from a man to a woman does not exist.
Someone might argue that I am not being very charitable towards the “We can stop it”-campaign. Perhaps they truly believe that sex without consent is rape no matter what the circumstances are. If so I would have at least expected some mention on the website on the incongruity between the legal term rape and rape as defined by the campaign.