Sex crime: FBI changes its 1927 definition of rape

“This long-awaited change to the definition of rape is a victory for women and men across the country whose suffering has gone unaccounted for over 80 years,” said Vice President Joe Biden, as Lindsay Goldwert reports for the NY Daily News.

Biden is referring to what the FBI has done: changed the definition of rape to one that allows for men to be treated as victims in sex crimes cases.

Here’s the new definition: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

The old definition, as Goldwert reports, includes the words “carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” Without that language, the definition of rape seems to get a bit clearer, and is non-gender specific.

Notably, the FBI’s new definition also includes the word “consent,” which has always been major issue in allegations of sex crimes.

Source: NY Daily News, “FBI scraps long-standing definition of rape to include men as victims,” by Lindsay Goldwert, 1/6/12