Written Assignment (due April 9): Answer all parts of the following question fully; when referring to the readings, cite properly, including page numbers.
Drawing upon the article by Susan Estrich, explain the legal requirements for establishing a rape conviction, including such elements as force, nonconsent and resistance. Explain how these differ from the legal requirements for establishing convictions for other crimes (robbery, murder, etc.), particularly with regard to the intent of the alleged perpetrator (the mens rea). What does Estrich propose as an alternative to these requirements? What is your reaction to Estrich's proposal? Do you think that rape law should be different from other forms of criminal law? Why or why not? Based on her article about "Researching the Rape Culture' of America," how do you think Christina Hoff Sommers would react to the arguments proposed by Estrich?
Women and Law Syllabus