Rapes Without Rapists: Consent and Reasonable Mistake*

Douglas Husak

in The Philosophy of Criminal Law

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585038
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723476 | DOI:
 							Rapes Without Rapists: Consent and Reasonable Mistake*

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Since a mistaken belief about consent should be a defence to rape when it is reasonable, it is important to identify the kind of evidence that is helpful in distinguishing reasonable from unreasonable mistakes about consent to sex. This chapter argues that an adequate theory of whether a mistake about consent is reasonable depends on empirical evidence about how consent to sexual relations is expressed even when no mistake is made. It examines this evidence and contends (contrary to many rape law reformers) that the author's views about the conditions under which mistakes about consent to sex are reasonable are not unfair to women in general or to rape victims in particular.

Keywords: rape; mens rea; reasonable; defence; consent; mistake; convention

Chapter.  14533 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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