This outdated definition excluded oral and anal penetration, men as victims, female-on-female crimes, rape when a woman is unable to give consent because she is intoxicated or drugged, and forced vaginal or anal penetration with an object.
Under the old definition, fewer instances of rape were reported on a national level. This negatively impacted the federal funds allocated to fight this crime. It also presented an incomplete picture of rape for strategists tasked with figuring out how to reduce this type of crime.
In 2010, 84,767 instances of forced rape were reported, which equates to a rape ever 6.2 seconds. With the new definition, this number is expected to rise. However, with 18,000 police agencies in the U.S., it could take some time before everyone is on the same page in terms of what is considered rape.
Ultimately, this change is primarily about data collection, which is only a first step in understanding rape on a national scale and developing a strategy for combating it.
Read more at CNN.com
Follow Alfie on Twitter or Facebook and email him if interested in writing about Sex & Love