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Summary Feminist theoretical works on rape and sexual violence focus on several key questions: 1) What defines rape and sexual violence? 2) What are the meanings of rape and sexual violence?  How are those meanings influenced by social, historical, and political contexts? 3) How do rape and sexual violence intersect with and perpetuate various systems of inequality, including those centered on race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and others? 4) How do anti-rape efforts undermine, or, perhaps, perpetuate elements of a rape culture?
Key works Susan Brownmiller's Against Our Will (1975) offered an early version of the feminist argument that rape is primarily about power rather than sex.  Catharine MacKinnon countered this theory in her work Toward a Feminist Theory of State, where she argued that rape is the logical extension of a phallocentric, patriarchal system of sexual inequality.  Contemporary works include Susan Brison's Aftermath (the first feminist philosophical work that integrated first-person narrative of a sexual assault), Ann Cahill's Rethinking Rape (which argues against both Brownmiller's and MacKinnon's models), Louise du Toit's A Philosophical Investigation of Rape (which frames sexual violence as an assault on feminine subjectivity), and Debra Bergoffen's Contesting the Politics of Genocidal Rape (which analyzes decisions in international law that established rape as a violation of human dignity).  
Introductions See the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on "Feminist Perspectives on Rape" (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-rape/) for an excellent introduction to the topic.
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  1. Andrew Aberdein (1998). Persuasive Definition. In H. V. Hansen, C. W. Tindale & A. V. Colman (eds.), Argumentation and Rhetoric. Vale
    Charles Stevenson introduced the term 'persuasive definition’ to describe a suspect form of moral argument 'which gives a new conceptual meaning to a familiar word without substantially changing its emotive meaning’. However, as Stevenson acknowledges, such a move can be employed legitimately. If persuasive definition is to be a useful notion, we shall need a criterion for identifying specifically illegitimate usage. I criticize a recent proposed criterion from Keith Burgess-Jackson and offer an alternative.
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  2. Carol J. Adams (1994). Bringing Peace Home: A Feminist Philosophical Perspective on the Abuse of Women, Children, and Pet Animals. Hypatia 9 (2):63 - 84.
    In this essay, I connect the sexual victimization of women, children, and pet animals with the violence manifest in a patriarchal culture. After discussing these connections, I demonstrate the importance of taking seriously these connections because of their implications for conceptual analysis, epistemology, and political, environmental, and applied philosophy. My goal is to broaden our understanding of issues relevant to creating peace and to provide some suggestions about what must be included in any adequate feminist peace politics.
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  3. Margaret M. Aiken & P. M. Speck (1991). Confidentiality in Cases of Rape: A Concept Reconsidered. Journal of Clinical Ethics 2 (1):63.
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  4. Linda Martin Alcoff (2010). Rorty's Anti-Representationalism in the Context of Sexual Violence. In Marianne Janack (ed.), Feminist Interpretations of Richard Rorty. Pennsylvania State University Press
  5. Linda Martín Alcoff (2009). Discourses of Sexual Violence in a Global Framework. Philosophical Topics 37 (2):123-139.
    In this paper I make a preliminary analysis of Western (or global North) discourses on sexual violence, focusing on the important concepts of “consent” and “victim.” The concept of “consent” is widely used to determine whether sexual violence has occurred, and it is the focal point of debates over the legitimacy of statutory offenses and over the way we characterize sex work done under conditions involving economic desperation. The concept of “victim” is shunned by many feminists and nonfeminists alike for (...)
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  6. Gill Allwood (1998). French Feminisms: Gender and Violence in Contemporary Theory. Ucl Press.
    This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
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  7. Jami L. Anderson, Comprehending the Distinctively Sexual Nature of the Conduct. Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll.
    Since the 1970s, sexual assault laws have evolved to include prohibitions of sexual acts with cognitively impaired individuals. The argument justifying this prohibition is typically as follows: A sex act that is forced (without the legally valid consent of) someone is sexual assault. Cognitively impaired individuals, because they lack certain intellectual abilities, cannot give legally valid consent. Therefore, cognitively impaired individuals cannot consent to sex. Therefore, sex acts with cognitively impaired individuals is sexual assault. The prohibition of sex with such (...)
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  8. Jami L. Anderson (ed.) (2003). Race, Gender, and Sexuality: Philosophical Issues of Identity and Justice. Prentice Hall.
    This anthology of contemporary articles (and court cases provides a philosophical analysis of race, sex and gender concepts and issues. Divided into three relatively independent yet thematically linked sections, the anthology first addresses identity issues, then injustices and inequalities, and then specific social and legal issues relevant to race, sex and gender. By exposing readers to both theoretical foundations, opposing views, and "real life" applications, the anthology prepares them to make critically reasoned decisions concerning today's race, gender and sex social (...)
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  9. Michelle J. Anderson (2010). Sex Education and Rape. Michigan Journal of Gender and Law 17 (1).
    In the law of rape, consent has been and remains a gendered concept. Consent presumes female acquiescence to male sexual initiation. It presumes a man desires to penetrate a woman sexually. It presumes the woman willingly yields to the man's desires. It does not presume, and of course does not require, female sexual desire. Consent is what the law calls it when he advances and she does not put up a fight. I have argued elsewhere that the kind of thin (...)
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  10. Scott A. Anderson (2005). Sex Under Pressure: Jerks, Boorish Behavior, and Gender Hierarchy. [REVIEW] Res Publica 11 (4):349-369.
    Pressuring someone into having sex would seem to differ in significant ways from pressuring someone into investing in one’s business or buying an expensive bauble. In affirming this claim, I take issue with a recent essay by Sarah Conly (‘Seduction, Rape, and Coercion’, Ethics, October 2004), who thinks that pressuring into sex can be helpfully evaluated by analogy to these other instances of using pressure. Drawing upon work by Alan Wertheimer, the leading theorist of coercion, she argues that so long (...)
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  11. D. Archard (forthcoming). Keith Burgess-Jackson, Rape: A Philosophical Investigation. Radical Philosophy.
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  12. D. Archard (forthcoming). Sue Lees, Carnal Knowledge: Rape on Trial. Radical Philosophy.
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  13. David Archard (2007). Is It Rape? On Acquaintance Rape and Taking Women's Consent Seriously - by Joan McGregor, Making Sense of Sexual Consent - by Mark Cowling & Paul Reynolds, the Logic of Consent, the Diversity and Deceptiveness of Consent as a Defence to Criminal Conduct - by Peter Westen, and Consent to Sexual Relations - by Lan Wertheimer. Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (2):209–221.
  14. David Archard (2007). The Wrong of Rape. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):374–393.
    If rape is evaluated as a serious wrong, can it also be defined as non-consensual sex (NCS)? Many do not see all instances of NCS as seriously wrongful. I argue that rape is both properly defined as NCS and properly evaluated as a serious wrong. First, I distinguish the hurtfulness of rape from its wrongfulness; secondly, I classify its harms and characterize its essential wrongfulness; thirdly, I criticize a view of rape as merely ‘sex minus consent’; fourthly, I criticize mistaken (...)
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  15. David Archard (1997). Rape: A Philosophical Investigation; Carnal Knowledge: Rape on Trial. [REVIEW] Radical Philosophy 81.
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  16. Nafsika Athanassoulis (2002). The Role of Consent in Sado-Masochistic Practices. Res Publica 8 (2):141-155.
    In 1993 the Law Lords upheld the original conviction of five men under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act for participating in sado-masochistic practices. Although the five men were fully consenting adults, the Law Lords held that consent did not constitute a defence to acts of violence within a sado-masochistic context. This paper examines the judgements in this case and argues that sado-masochistic practices are no different from the known exceptions cited by the court to the idea that consent (...)
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  17. H. E. Baber (1987). How Bad Is Rape? Hypatia 2 (2):125-138.
    I argue that to be compelled to do routine work is to be gravely harmed. Indeed, that pink - collar work is a more serious harm to women than rape. My purpose is to urge politically active feminists and feminist organizations to arrange their priorities accordingly and devote most of their resources to working for the elimination of sex segregation in employment.
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  18. Brenda M. Baker (2006). Joan McGregor, Is It Rape? On Acquaintance Rape and Taking Women's Consent Seriously Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 26 (1):47-49.
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  19. Kelly H. Ball (2013). "More or Less Raped": Foucault, Causality, and Feminist Critiques of Sexual Violence. Philosophia 3 (1):14.
  20. Susan A. Bandes (2008). Child Rape, Moral Outrage, and the Death Penalty. Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy 103.
    In *Engaging Capital Emotions,* Douglas Berman and Stephanos Bibas argue that emotion is central to understanding and evaluating the death penalty, and that the emotional case for the death penalty for child rape may be even stronger than for adult murder. Both the Berman and Bibas article and the subsequent Supreme Court decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana (striking down the death penalty for child rape) raise difficult questions about how to measure the heinousness of crimes other than murder, and about (...)
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  21. Edyta Barańska (2008). Do Not Rape The H. Arendt’s Thought. [REVIEW] Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia 3 (3):157-161.
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  22. Annie Bartlett (2009). Gender, Crime and Violence. In Annie Bartlett & Gillian McGauley (eds.), Forensic Mental Health: Concepts, Systems, and Practice. OUP Oxford
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  23. Srimati Basu (2011). Sexual Property: Staging Rape and Marriage in Indian Law and Feminist Theory. Feminist Studies 37 (1):185-211.
    In a dramatic postshow performance in January 2004, Kolkata police stormed the play 'Phataru', seeking to arrest actor Rudranil Ghosh on charges of rape brought by fellow-actor Oindrila Chakraborty, galvanizing conversations around rape in terms of sexual agency, marriage and fraud. I examine accounts of this hypervisible case against ethnographic data from other legal settings and other appellate cases which evoke and elide rape in the context of marriage. Legal categories for managing divorce, domestic violence and sexual violence have seemingly (...)
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  24. David Benatar (forthcoming). Two Views of Sexual Ethics: Promiscuity Pedophilia, and Rape. Public Affairs Quarterly.
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  25. Janine Benedet & Isabel Grant (2014). Sexual Assault and the Meaning of Power and Authority for Women with Mental Disabilities. Feminist Legal Studies 22 (2):131-154.
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  26. Vivian Berger (1988). Review Essay/Not so Simple Rape. Criminal Justice Ethics 7 (1):69-81.
    Susan Estrich, Real Rape Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1987, 160 pp.
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  27. Debra Bergoffen (2014). Gendering Vulnerability: Re-Scripting the Meaning of Male-Male Rape. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 18 (1):164-175.
    The testimonies of men raped by men in Uganda indicate that the meaning of rape as an aggression that enforces the gendering of women as vulnerable and therefore dependent on men's protection needs to be reformulated to account for the fact that being raped transforms a man into a woman. In describing their humiliation, these men reveal that gendered masculinity is grounded in a flight from vulnerability that depends on the presence of vulnerable/rapeable victim bodies. Their words teach us that (...)
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  28. Debra Bergoffen (2011). Contesting the Politics of Genocidal Rape: Affirming the Dignity of the Vulnerable Body. Routledge.
    -/- Rape, traditionally a spoil of war, became a weapon of war in the ethnic cleansing campaign in Bosnia. The ICTY Kunarac court responded by transforming wartime rape from an ignored crime into a crime against humanity. In its judgment, the court argued that the rapists violated the Muslim women’s right to sexual self-determination. Announcing this right to sexual integrity, the court transformed women’s vulnerability from an invitation to abuse into a mark of human dignity. This close reading of the (...)
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  29. Debra Bergoffen (2011). Exploiting the Dignity of the Vulnerable Body: Rape as a Weapon of War. Philosophical Papers 38 (3):307-325.
    When the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia convicted the Bosnian Serb soldiers who used rape as a weapon of war of violating the human right to sexual self determination and of crimes against humanity, it transformed vulnerability from a mark of feminine weakness to a shared human condition. The court's judgment directs us to note the ways in which the exploitation of our bodied vulnerability is an assault on our dignity. It alerts us to the ways in which (...)
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  30. Debra Bergoffen (2003). Toward a Politics of the Vulnerable Body. Hypatia 18 (1):116-134.
    On February 22, 2001, three Bosnian Serb soldiers were found guilty of crimes against humanity. Their offense? Rape. This is the first time that rape has been prosecuted and condemned as a crime against humanity. Appealing to Jacques Derrida's democracy of the perhaps and Judith Butler's politics of performative contradiction, I see this judgment inaugurating a politics of the vulnerable body which challenges current understandings of evil, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
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  31. Don Berkich (2011). A Heinous Act. Philosophical Papers 38 (3):381-399.
    Intuitively, rape is seriously morally wrong in a way simple assault is not. Yet philosophical disputes about the features of rape that make it the heinous act it is invite a general account of the difference between (mere) wrong-making characteristics and heinous-making characteristics. In this paper I propose just such an account and use it to refute some accounts of the wrongness of rape and refine others. Given these analyses, I close by developing and defending an account of a particularly (...)
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  32. J. M. Bernstein (2015). Torture and Dignity: An Essay on Moral Injury. University of Chicago Press.
    In this unflinching look at the experience of suffering and one of its greatest manifestations—torture—J.M. Bernstein critiques the repressions of traditional moral theory, showing that our morals are not immutable ideals but fragile constructions that depend on our experience of suffering itself. Morals, Bernstein argues, not only guide our conduct but also express the depth of mutual dependence that we share as vulnerable and injurable individuals. Beginning with the attempts to abolish torture in the eighteenth century, and then sensitively examining (...)
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  33. Talia Mae Bettcher (2007). Evil Deceivers and Make-Believers: On Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Illusion. Hypatia 22 (3):43-65.
    : This essay examines the stereotype that transgender people are "deceivers" and the stereotype's role in promoting and excusing transphobic violence. The stereotype derives from a contrast between gender presentation and sexed body. Because gender presentation represents genital status, Bettcher argues, people who "misalign" the two are viewed as deceivers. The author shows how this system of gender presentation as genital representation is part of larger sexist and racist systems of violence and oppression.
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  34. Talia Mae Bettcher (2007). Evil Deceivers and Make-Believers: On Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Illusion. Hypatia 22 (3):43-65.
  35. Maria Bevacqua (2000). Rape on the Public Agenda Feminism and the Politics of Sexual Assault. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  36. John H. Bogart (1996). Commodification and Phenomenology: Evading Consent in Theory Regarding Rape. Legal Theory 2 (3):253-264.
    In a recent essay, Donald Dripps advanced what he calls a of rape, offered as an alternative to understanding rape in terms of lack of consent. Under the rape is understood as the expropriation of sexual services, i.e., obtaining sex through means. One aim of Dripps's effort was to show the inadequacy of consent approaches to understanding rape. Robin West, while accepting Dripps's critique of consent theories, criticizes Dripps's commodification approach. In its place, West suggests a more phenomenological approach.
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  37. John H. Bogart (1991). On the Nature of Rape. Public Affairs Quarterly 5 (2):117-136.
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  38. Elsje Bonthuys (2008). Putting Gender Into the Definition of Rape or Taking It Out? Feminist Legal Studies 16 (2):249-260.
    The main issue in the Masiya judgment was whether the current South African definition of rape—namely non-consensual penetration of a vagina by a penis—should be extended to include anal penetration of both female and male victims. The majority of the Constitutional Court held that anal penetration of female victims should constitute rape, but declined to offer similar protection to male victims. This note argues that this judgment reverts to and reinforces patriarchal stereotypes and dichotomies and that it misunderstands, in a (...)
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  39. Jeane Lessinger Borges & Débora Dalbosco DellAglio (2009). Funções cognitivas e Transtorno de Estresse Pós-Traumático (TEPT) em meninas vítimas de abuso sexual. Aletheia 29:88-102.
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  40. J. Bourke (2012). Sexual Violence, Bodily Pain, and Trauma: A History. Theory, Culture and Society 29 (3):25-51.
    Psychological trauma is a favoured trope of modernity. It has become commonplace to assume that all ‘bad events’ – and particularly those which involve violence – have a pathological effect on the sufferer’s psyche, as well as that of the perpetrators. This essay explores the ways victims of rape and sexual assault were understood in psychiatric, psychological, forensic, and legal texts in Britain and America from the 19th to the late 20th century. It argues that, unlike most other ‘bad events’, (...)
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  41. Susan Brison (2002). Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self. Princeton University Press.
    Violence and the Remaking of a Self Susan J. Brison. Political activism (including lobbying for new legislation, speaking out, educating others, helping survivors) can also help to undo the double bind of self-blame versus helplessness.
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  42. Susan J. Brison (2006). Contentious Freedom: Sex Work and Social Construction. Hypatia 21 (4):192-200.
  43. Susan J. Brison (2003). Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self. Princeton University Press.
    On July 4, 1990, while on a morning walk in southern France, Susan Brison was attacked from behind, severely beaten, sexually assaulted, strangled to unconsciousness, and left for dead. She survived, but her world was destroyed. Her training as a philosopher could not help her make sense of things, and many of her fundamental assumptions about the nature of the self and the world it inhabits were shattered.At once a personal narrative of recovery and a philosophical exploration of trauma, this (...)
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  44. Susan T. Brison (1993). Surviving Sexual Violence: A Philosophical Perspective. Journal of Social Philosophy 24 (1):5-22.
  45. Susan Brownmiller (1975). Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. Fawcett.
    continue to have armies, as I suspect we will for some time to come, then they, too, must be fully integrated, as well as our national guard, our state troopers, our local sheriffs' offices, our district attorneys' offices, our state prosecuting attorneys'  ...
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  46. Susan Brownmiller & Barbara Mehrhof (1992). A Feminist Response to Rape as an Adaptation in Men. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (2):381-382.
  47. Michal Buchhandler-Raphael (2011). Failure of Consent: Re-Conceptualizing Rape as Sexual Abuse of Power. Michigan Journal of Gender and Law 18 (1):147-228.
    The Kent indictment sharpens two key questions pertaining to the complex relationships between sexual harassment and rape law. ... However, none of the jurisdictions that criminalize nonconsensual sex per se acknowledge that submission to unwanted sex, resulting from being threatened or placed in fear of economic or professional harm in the workplace, academia, and other professional and institutional settings warrants criminal regulation. ... Failure to Align Social Norms with Legal Changes. While many scholars believe that the key to legal change (...)
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  48. Diken Bülent & Laustsen Carsten Bagge (2005). Becoming Abject: Rape as a Weapon of War. Body and Society 11 (1).
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  49. Kristin Bumiller (1996). In an Abusive State: Now Neoliberalism Appropriated the Feminist Movement Against Sexual Violence. Hypatia 11 (4):77-91.
    Domestic violence discourse challenges cultural acceptance of male violence against women, yet it is often constituted by gendered, racialized, and class-based hierarchies.Transformative efforts have not escaped traces of these hierarchies. Emancipatory ideals guiding 1970s feminist activism have collided with conservative impulses to maintain and strengthen family relationships. Crime control discourse undermines critiques of dominance through its focus on individual men. Domestic violence discourse exemplifies both resistance to and replication of hierarchies of power.
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  50. Keith Burgess-Jackson (2000). A Crime Against Women: Calhoun on the Wrongness of Rape. Journal of Social Philosophy 31 (3):286–293.
1 — 50 / 332