can a woman rape a man

This might be an uncommon question for common people. However, it has very important legal implications. Here you will see the position of the law regarding the question asked taking Tanzania as a case study.

Why this question

In ordinary life, it is very common that it is only men who are accused of rape however in some instance you might see or hear some men are complained to have been forced to have sex with a woman without their consent, is that Rape?

What is rape?

Rape is a creature of the law. Section 130(1) of the Tanzania Penal Code [CAP 16] creates the offense of rape by stating that 

“it is an offense for a male person to rape a girl or a woman.”

Further Section 130(2) of that law provides circumstances where a person can be said to have committed rape after having sexual intercourse with a woman or a girl.

1. If a male person carnally knows a woman not being his wife or if she is his wife, they have separated and without her consent.
2. If the woman consented to the sexual intercourse with that man and the consent was obtained by using force, threats or intimidation or he put her in fear of hurt or while she was in unlawful detention.3. If the woman consented, but the consent was obtained when she was of unsound mind due to intoxication induced by any drug or matter or another thing and administered to her by the man or another person. However if it is proved that there was prior consent between the two, and then the man will not be liable.
4. When the woman gives consent when the man knows that he is not her husband, but the consent of the woman was given because she has been made to believe that she is legally married to the man.5. If he has sexual intercourse with a girl who is under eighteen years of age. Here the consent of a girl is immaterial. However, the man will not be criminally liable if the woman is his wife and is fifteen or more years of age and they are not separated.

Ingredients of Rape

From those provisions the important ingredients of rape are

  • Having unlawful sex with Woman, unlawful sex simply means sex out of marriage lock.
  • Without Her Consent, this is the gist of rape. No consent=Rape while Consent=No Rape.
  • Penetration of the penis into the vagina

Penetration issues

Someone may ask what if the penis did not successfully enter into the vagina or I didn't even ejaculate? it was just ‘brushing?’ Will it be rape?

According to CAP 16 Section 130 (4)

(a) Penetration however slight is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offense; and
(b) Evidence of resistance such as physical injuries to the body is not necessary to prove that sexual intercourse took place without consent.  

Final Remarks

However, you might hear or see a man forced to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman but according to the law of Tanzania and that is true for the law of England and Wales a a woman cannot rape a man simply because the law recognizes the only man to woman action and not vice versa.
This position of the law attracts unending debate all over the world. The authors of a new study of the phenomenon say perhaps it should be.

do you think the law is unfair on this issue? Comment below

You may consider reading Can a husband rape his wife?

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