A group of men rape an intoxicated fifteen year old girl to “make a woman of her.” An immigrant woman is raped after accepting a ride from a stranger. A young mother is accosted after a neighbor escorts her home. In another case, a college frat party is the scene of the crime. Although these incidents appear similar to accounts one can read in the newspapers almost any day in the United States, only the last one occurred in this century. Each, however, involved a woman or girl compelled to have sex against her will.
Sex without Consent explores the experience, prosecution, and meaning of rape in American history from the time of the early contact between Europeans and Native Americans to the present. By exploring what rape meant in particular times and places in American history, from interracial encounters due to colonization and slavery to rape on contemporary college campuses, the contributors add to our understanding of crime and punishment, as well as to gender relations, gender roles, and sexual politics.