• Laura Lykke Simonsen
  • Hanna Hofgaard Fonslev
4. semester, Kriminologi, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis examines people's reasoning behind defining a sexual episode as rape or not. We explore
this by examining how doubt and disagreements can arise in these situations. We study whether the
involved parties' definitions of the sexual encounter align with the new rape law in Denmark regarding
sexual consent. The thesis has a constructivist-interactionistic understanding, which complements the
theory of Narrative criminology used throughout the thesis. The thesis also utilizes Neutralization
Techniques and Sexual Script Theory as part of the analytical approach. The study is based on
qualitative interviews to explore the stories of people who have experienced doubt or disagreement
about the nature of a sexual encounter. We have conducted nine interviews with both male and female
participants. The participants include individuals whose boundaries have been crossed and
individuals who might have crossed or been accused of crossing sexual boundaries.

In our thesis, we found that defining these types of sexual encounters is both complex and challenging
for the involved parties. How the informants define their experiences is affected by how they acted
before, during, and after the sexual encounter. Furthermore, the use of force affected whether they
defined the situation as rape. We also identified lesser-known factors in our data, such as "relationship
consent" and "persuaded consent", which affected how our informants viewed their experience. We
also found that our informants may choose to distance themselves from either a "rape victim" or
"rapist" identity through their narrative and different Neutralization Techniques. Others can also
either confirm or disregard the informants' identities as either a rape victim or a rapist. We also discuss
how our informants view the new law about sexual consent in relation to their own experience.

Based on the informants' experiences, we discuss whether the new law about consent contributes to
a change of culture and, therefore, the conversation around rape and sexual conduct. However, the
new law can face challenges when dealing with complex situations, such as "persuaded consent". We
argue that the law faces difficulties in making a difference in practice but can work as a deterrent.
Udgivelsesdato6 jun. 2021
Antal sider83
ID: 414005364