FBI Finally Includes Men in Definition of Rape

Until now, only rapes of women have been counted
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2012 7:36 AM CST
FBI Finally Includes Men in Definition of Rape
This Nov. 5, 2011 file photo shows former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky, center, arrives in handcuffs at a judge's office.   (AP Photo/The Patriot-News, Andy Colwell,File)

The FBI is at long last changing its definition of rape to include males, after years of pressure from advocacy groups. For the past 85 years, the bureau has defined rape as "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will," a definition that would exclude, for example, several things Jerry Sandusky is accused of doing, USA Today points out. From now on, rape will be defined as any kind of non-consensual penetration, regardless of gender.

Before the move, rapes against men were still being prosecuted, but they weren't being counted in the FBI's annual crime report, which advocacy groups complained "misled" the public about the scope of the problem. Joe Biden hailed the change in a statement yesterday as "a victory for women and men across the country whose suffering has gone unaccounted for over 80 years." (More FBI stories.)

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