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Intoxicated Sex Is Not Rape Essay

1615 words - 6 pages

Is intoxicated sex not consensual sex? It is clear that most people would quickly respond with various signs of affirmation which all center around the statement: “of course, intoxicated sex is not consensual sex.” This is the reigning viewpoint among many ethicists, who take up a huge percentage of our society, who argue that alcohol use impairs a person’s judgment. Because of this, the decisions one makes while intoxicated are decisions that have not been adequately contemplated. Consequently when a person agrees to engage in sexual intercourse while under the influence of alcohol, one is unable to give full consent to such a big decision. These same ethicists argue that full consent is necessary in order for sexual intercourse to not be categorized as nonconsensual. . Most people use this ethical viewpoint as the basis for condemning all forms of intoxicated sex. This is where controversy arises. While some believe that sexual activity under the influence of alcohol is considered rape, it in fact is not in certain cases because by one consuming alcohol, they are agreeing to everything that comes with it, whether that may be good or bad; therefore some cases involving this situation should not be categorized as rape.
According to the United States Department of Justice, “nonconsensual sex is rape”(United States), which means that there is no nationally accepted definition for rape. However, the US military has an official definition that coincides with many Americans viewpoint: by one or both parties being under the influence of a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance and thereby substantially impairing the ability of that other person to appraise or control conduct. (United States)
Recently however, law interpreters have began to question how intoxicated sex is always nonconsensual because of some peculiar situations, that contradict the statement: intoxicated sex is not consensual sex . The lack of logic behind all intoxicated sex being categorized as nonconsensual can be seen in an example given by Keith Burgess Jackson in which he jokes that couples are raping each other whenever they engage in intoxicated sexual intercourse. Even though Keith Burgess Jackson is light heartedly poking fun at the current state of laws regarding intoxicated sex and consent, it something that should actually be taken seriously because it is evident that citizens of the United States are being misinformed about this situation. A person could engage in intoxicated sex one day and be facing criminal charges the next day, even though both parties agreed to the act. This all occurs because the person someone had sex with blindingly decided to conform to the notions that drunken sex is nonconsensual and “nonconsensual sex is rape” (United States). People are wrongfully being jailed because all forms of intoxicated sex are deemed nonconsensual because of the confusion our society has on whether all forms of intoxicated sex is consensual sex.
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