New York defines rape as forced penile vaginal penetration, which means only women can be rape victims. Given this definition, rape should always be considered a type of hate crime and thus eligible for sentencing enhancement because the perpetrators target victims based on their group membership. Such a narrow definition of rape is problematic because it fails to acknowledge oral and anal rape and overlooks the fact that men can also be raped. I argue that regardless of the type of sexual assault that occurs (vaginal, oral, or anal), rape should be considered a hate crime when the rapist chooses the victim based on gender, gender identity, and/or sexual orientation and the rape reinforces the patriarchal and heteronormative hegemony.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies