Forced Sex and Women’s Consent Overview
Forced Sex – Intimate partner abuse is a well-known public health and development concern that is systematically and comparatively assessed by women’s experiences of physical and/or sexual acts by their partners.
Sexual intimate partner violence (SIPV) is often calculated only by attempted or completed forced intercourse, overlooking less noticeable types of sexual intimate partner violence.
Today our objective is to determine the main characteristics of women’s sexual intimate relationships, as well as their expectations of them. SIPV, which included acts of coercive sex and sex under the threat of abuse, was specifically described by the women as acts of positive sexual relationships that occurred with mutual consent and seduction. They also described a number of actions that crossed the line, with differing opinions about whether or not they constituted SIPV, such as having sex while not in the mood, sex as the wife’s responsibility, sex during the menses, demands for anal sex, having sex to avoid losing the husband, husband refusing sex, and husband having other partners. In this article, women reported feeling violated by a much broader spectrum of sexual acts in their relationships. In order to obtain comprehensive, comparable data on this negative phenomenon, future research would need to enhance the calculation of sexual intimate partner abuse.
Forced Sex and Sexual Violence
In recent years, there has been a greater focus on identifying the multifaceted causes of sexual harassment and how they affect women’s health, as well as groundbreaking preventive measures to reduce the various effects. Men who are familiar to the women, mostly their intimate partners, are the most frequent perpetrators of sexual assault. According to a meta-analysis, the pooled prevalence rate of sexual intimate partner abuse in Sub-Saharan Africa is 18.8%. According to Tanzania’s 2015–2016 Demographic and Health Survey, 14% of women have been subjected to one or more acts of sexual assault, the most frequent of which is being physically coerced to engage in sexual intercourse by their partner when they do not want to. In Mwanza, Tanzania, 38% of women have experienced sexual intimate partner abuse in their lifetime, and 17% have experienced it in the previous 12 months. According to a study conducted in Moshi, Tanzania, about 10.9 percent of women were sexually assaulted during their first encounter, and another 15.3 percent identified their first sexual encounter as unwanted.
Intimate partner sexual abuse is a public health problem that has a significant effect on women’s health. It has been related to gynecological issues, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, a lack of sexual appetite and sexual gratification, as well as poor mental health and trauma. Sexual abuse during the first intercourse is linked to a higher tolerance for violence later in life, as well as suicidal ideation, an increased risk of physical violence, and having multiple sexual partners or partners with alcohol problems.
What is Sexual Violence?
World Health Organization (WHO) definition – sexual violence is defined as “any sexual act, attempts to obtain a sexual act, or acts to traffic for sexual purposes, directed against a person using coercion, harassment or advances made by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work”
Sexual violence exists in all communities, cultures, and across all lines of separation—class, gender, race, and ethnicity—to name a few. However, various people’s interpretations of acts and attitudes, including those that constitute sexual harassment, are better interpreted in a particular socio-cultural sense. While most programs in Tanzania and other low and middle-income countries recognize the importance of aligning local expertise and theoretical principles when developing and implementing strategies to counter intimate partner violence, most programs in Tanzania and other low and middle-income countries rely on the WHO’s standard definition of sexual intimate partner violence.
Forced Sex and Male Dominance
Gendered relationships, institutions, and patterns of male power are all factors in sexual intimate partner abuse. Due to restrictive social and cultural standards and the stigma associated with separation or divorce, most women suffer silently from sexual coercion and aggression from their husbands. In certain cultures, where sex in marriage is considered a man’s right, nonconsensual sex in marriage is part of the broader cultural landscape. Religious interpretations that stress women’s life as a means of fulfilling men’s sexual desires and bearing children worsen the situation. This suggests that married women are supposed to be ready for sex at any moment.
Some studies on sexual violence in Tanzania and other Sub-Saharan African countries have focused on community perceptions of intimate partner violence, the prevalence of intimate partner violence against women, and its connection to HIV risk behaviors and women’s first sexual encounters. These studies, on the other hand, do not look at how women think of sexual harassment in intimate relationships.
We examine women’s narratives about what they perceive to be sexual harassment using the cultural schemas theory. According to D’Andrade, a community’s cultural sense of systems is made up of shared cultural schemas like information structures, which enable people to recognize objects and events. Beliefs, attitudes, feelings, norms, and values are examples of schemas.
People’s actions and reactions to familiar situations are motivated by schemas, which are context-specific, powerful sources of information and meanings. As a result, how a certain activity (such as sexual violence) is conceptualized is determined by each community’s cultural meaning structures. However, certain schemas (such as norms) are enforced and retained as a result of power imbalances between social classes. These schemas are designed to normalize such subordinate group behaviors. In this sense, for example, certain norms have the potential to normalize sexual assault behaviors. Cultural schemas serve as mechanisms that not only constrain but also allow different types of action.
Forced Sex and Marriage
Although sex in marriage is traditionally conceived as a man’s right, women may be influenced to deconstruct this norm and refer to sex as consensual by their negative sexual experiences in their relationships. In other words, while a woman is supposed to tolerate her husband’s sexual advances at all times, she has the right to refuse sex when she has reasonable grounds (for example, when she does not feel like having sex).
Positive Sex from Women’s Perspective
Women’s accounts of positive sexual experiences emphasized what they considered to be an ideal sexual relationship and how pleasurable sex is. Sex was synonymous with pleasure for most women and was seen as a symbol of a good relationship with their partner as long as it was focused on mutual consent and the right mood.
Enjoyable sex, according to the majority of women, entails being well prepared and enticed with sexual foreplay, as quality foreplay will not only put them in the right mood for sex but will also allow them to experience full satisfaction during sexual intercourse. Good foreplay was recognized for making intercourse more enjoyable while also avoiding pain.
One participant also suggested that great foreplay by the partner before intercourse would make a woman enjoy sex even if she was initially not in the mood, confirming the majority of women’s views on quality preparations in relation to positive sex.
Even though they had physically traumatic encounters, such as when reflecting about their first sexual activity, women could still view sex as consensual and optimistic. Many participants said that they had bargained with their partners before agreeing to have sex for the first time, with some (men) contacting them directly or using intermediaries who were usually mates. As a result, much of the participants’ first sex was positive because it was done out of love and was consensual.
Some Types of Forced Sex
Forced to Have Sex When Not in Mood
Some women reported that they often have a low sex drive as a result of fatigue from a busy daily schedule, sickness, and stress. Day-to-day challenges in life, ongoing problems with their spouse, confidence or family issues, or prior experiences with some kind of violence may all be sources of stress.
The majority of women wish that their husbands will understand their reasons for not wanting to have sex.
Using words like cruelty, mistreatment, and humiliation, the majority of the women agreed that “having sex when not in the mood” is a form of sexual brutality. Several other women went so far as to compare it to rape.
Related Topic – Rough Sex
Sex to Avoid Accusations of Infidelity
One of the most common reasons for women’s acceptance of inappropriate sex in their relationships was to avoid their husband’s infidelity. There was a widespread misconception that men are sexually weak and unable to control their sexual desires. As a result, denying a husband sex would be a reasonable cause for him to engage in an extramarital activity. Women felt compelled to have sex even though they didn’t want to, based on this theory, so they wouldn’t lose their partners to other women.
Some women were aware that refusing to have sex with their husbands could be interpreted by him as a sign that they are sexually satisfied by other men. Women prefer to comply with their husband’s sexual desires even though they are not in the mood to prevent being accused of infidelity.
Sex is a Marital Right!
Despite the fact that the majority of participants viewed nonconsensual sex as a form of abuse, many wives were said to comply with their husband’s sexual desires, even though they did not want to. The cultural assumption that sex is a right that a husband has with his wife, and that refusing him violates the right he earned through marriage affected women’s acceptance of non-consensual sex. While some women support this and do not consider it to be abuse, others disagree.
The most common explanation for women’s decision to have sex with their partner, even if they were not interested, was to please their husband sexually. This means that women value their husband’s sexual needs above their own, and are willing to tolerate unwanted sex to please him.
Forced to Have Sex During Menstruation!
Almost all of the women thought that having sex during their menstrual cycle was sexual assault, with Muslim participants portraying it as a prohibited act in their religious doctrines. However, the majority of the women stated that they were not required to have sex during their periods.
Since women’s beliefs about sex as a husband’s right continued to affect their perceptions of having sex while menstruating, not everyone saw it as sexual abuse.
Leaving the Women Unattended
Most women agree that sex is at the heart of every marriage and is a major motivator for getting married. Sex was often seen as each partner’s right, as well as each partner’s comfort to the other. They regarded a partner’s rejection of sex for no good or justifiable purpose, including being turned on but left unattended, as a form of sexual abuse/violence, in line with their conception of sex. Women were worried about this conduct because, unlike men, they couldn’t choose to have extramarital affairs to satisfy their sexual desires because they would be labeled as deviant and promiscuous if they did.
Some women listed situations under which a man’s rejection of sex with his wife may not be considered abusive, such as when the refusal occurs infrequently or with justifiable reasons such as exhaustion or inability to perform sex.
Having Sex For Fear of Divorce
Some women talked about how refusing to have sex caused their partner to threaten to leave them and pursue relationships with other women if they refused.
Almost all women considered their partner’s extramarital affairs to be sexual harassment against them, and many of them had witnessed it. Their motives for doing so were based on the repercussions for them, which included depression, low self-esteem, becoming less involved in sex with their spouse, sexual denial by their husband, loss of affection, hatred toward husbands, and fear of losing their partner to other women and contracting HIV.
Some women represented men’s extramarital affairs as predicted, claiming that a real man must have more than one sexual partner, upholding the concept of male superiority on sexuality. Getting another wife, in addition to extramarital affairs, was viewed as a type of sexual abuse, especially by Christian women, since it goes against their religious beliefs. However, for Muslim participants, this was not a form of sexual harassment since it is permissible under Islamic law unless the man marries another woman without informing his wife.
Demanding Anal Sex
The majority of western women saw their partners’ requests for or demands for anal sex as unethical and sexually aggressive. However, the majority of the women who were interviewed said they had ever had forced anal sex in their relationships.
Cultural traditions and religious teachings emerged as significant origins of anal sex schemas, and they seem to have influenced women’s portrayals of it as despicable, unethical, and against nature.
Men’s appetite for anal sex is motivated by peer pressure and their excitement to explore it, according to some women. They also mentioned that most men begin to experiment with anal sex with women other than their partners/wives and ultimately demand that their partners do the same. When a woman rejects her partner’s/need husband’s for anal sex, she may face a variety of repercussions, including being forced to have anal sex, being beaten, being refused sex, receiving poor economic support from her partner, and a partner’s threat that he will demand that service from other women.
Some Unusual Sexual Violence or Forced Sex
Excessive Sex Demand of the Partner/Husband
Some women raised concerns about excessive sex demands, such as the need for sex on a regular basis or the need for several rounds of sexual intercourse in a single encounter. According to a woman, her husband was abusive because he craved sex on a regular basis.
Some women have mentioned her current husband’s proclivity for requiring several rounds of sex when she is exhausted.
Physical And Emotional Violence During Sex
The reluctance of a wife to have sex with her husband became a common source of disputes and conflicts between partners, and in most cases resulted in emotional or physical abuse by their partner, including insults and bites. Many people justified their practice of succumbing to unwanted sex by citing their desire to prevent conflicts with their spouses, citing a common idiom (cover the cup and let the bastard pass), which means normalization of what they consider as sexual harassment as a result of prior abuse while refusing.
Forced Sex Summery
Although the majority of women said they were accepting of their partners’ forced sex, a few said they tried to avoid it when they weren’t in the mood.
Meanwhile, some of the women explained how being forced to have sex affects them, including experiencing pain during sex (which then translates into anger), feeling depressed or unhappy and lacking peace, and having decreased feelings for or interest in sex with their husbands.