Should a Woman Who Lies About Being on Birth Control Be Prosecuted?

The New York Times did an article called “Is Sex by Deception a Form of Rape?” Although there were certainly some grey areas discussed, I think most people would feel comfortable calling most of the situations mentioned “rape.”

Abigail Finney was in her freshman year at Purdue University in Indiana in February 2017 when she fell asleep in her boyfriend’s dorm room. During the night he snuggled up to her in bed in the pitch black, his hand grazing her breast, and they began having sex.

She soon stopped to go to the bathroom and, when she returned, discovered, to her horror, that it wasn’t her boyfriend who was in bed with her.

Was it rape?

Ms. Finney thought so and went to the police, who arrested Donald Grant Ward, the 19-year-old impostor.

…In some states — but not Indiana — it’s considered rape by deception if you impersonate a spouse or partner. The same is true for those who abuse medical privilege, like Larry Nassar, the doctor for the American women’s gymnastics team, who had told his patients that touching their genitals was medically necessary. He was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.

Failure to disclose being H.I.V. positive is also a criminal offense nationwide, although states vary about not revealing other sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes.

….“Gender fraud” — when people misrepresent their birth gender to potential sexual mates — likewise remains a gray area. Sean O’Neill was convicted of gender fraud in Colorado in 1996, and five people have been convicted in the United Kingdom since 2012.

All of these, including pretending to be the wrong gender and having sex with someone without disclosing that you’re H.I.V. Positive, should be illegal. Of course, if you go far enough down the rabbit hole, you could get into some areas that shouldn’t be looked at as rape. A man claims to make 100k per year, but only makes 30k. A woman claims to be single, but she’s actually married. Even the NYT article mentions a man who claimed to be a spy, but wasn’t. Of course, all of these lies are bad things, but should they be illegal? Probably not.