Online Guide to Common Sex Crimes

Sex crimes include acts considered as either sexual abuse, or a non-tolerable behavior considered inappropriate to social norms. The law forbids certain sexual acts, despite expressed consent from both parties. Sex laws vary from region to region, and may evolve over time. Furthermore, sexual acts forbidden by law in a proscribed jurisdiction are coined as sex crimes.


Rape, or forcible sexual intercourse without consent from both parties, may involve physical violence, threats, and verbal abuse to intimidate and violate one person's body. Rape is considered a federal offense in the Western world. A perpetrator caught in the act of forcible intercourse is known as a rapist. According to the American Medical Association, rape victims tend to avoid reporting a violation, often times out of shame or self-blame. The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that ninety-one percent of all U.S. rape victims are female with nine percent that are male, and ninety-nine percent of the perpetrators are male.

Statutory Rape

Statutory rape describes sexual activity where one participating party is below the age of consent to engage in the sexual conduct. The term usually refers to adults engaging in sexual activities with minors under the age of consent; however, only a handful of jurisdictions recognize the actual words "statutory rape" in their legal code. Statutory rape differs from forcible rape because imposed force or threat is not present during the sexual acts. However, the laws presume that the adult coerced the minor into having sex because a minor or someone mentally challenged are unsuitable to make their own decisions, according to the courts. Statutory rape differs from "child molestation," which is typically treated as a far more severe crime.

Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse consists of sexual acts between an adult or older adolescent and a prepubescent child. Child sexual abuse entails pressuring a prepubescent child to sexually stimulate the perpetrator, indecently exposing the genitals to a child, making a child watch pornography, viewing and fondling a child for sexual gratification, and using a prepubescent child to create child pornography. Victims of child sexual abuse will undergo bouts of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, all types of anxiety, and may deal with physical injury or even death as a result of the abuse. Child sexual abuse by a family member is known as incest, which may inflict long-term psychological trauma for the victim.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking consists of the illegal trade of human beings in exchange for sexual slavery, such as commercial sexual exploitation, otherwise known as prostitution and forced labor. Human trafficking is a lucrative business. In fact, it has the fastest growing propensity among any other criminal enterprises. Human trafficking has ties with the illegal drugs and arms trade. The estimated total revenue for human trafficking ranges from five to nine billion dollars per year. The United Nations estimates that nearly two and a half million people from one hundred twenty-seven countries are the victims of human trafficking around the globe.

Voyeurism and Exhibitionism

Voyeurism refers to a sexual impulsion to peep into someone else's sexual activities. A voyeur remains in secret while getting sexually aroused by watching unsuspecting couples engage in getting unclothed or engage in sexual acts. Exhibitionism has the opposite effect, whereby a person gains sexual gratification by being watched while getting unclothed or suspended in sexual acts. Voyeurism, a deviation from normal sexual desires, intrudes into an individual's private space, which makes it a criminal offense in countries like Canada, United Kingdom, and India.


Incest is the forbidden sexual intercourse between close and distant relatives. Depending on regional jurisdiction and socially imposed taboos, incestuous relations constitute a breach of law within a given culture. Incest between adults and minors is a form of child abuse, which has been shown to be the most extreme form of child abuse. Research indicates that nearly ten to fifteen percent of the general populous has come into sexual contact with a family member.


Prostitution refers to the providing of sexual services in exchange for material goods. Prostitutes arrange, promote, and sell sexual services. The legality of prostitution varies from country to country and even state to state. For instance, in the United States, prostitution is a punishable crime (with the exception of Nevada), while the Netherlands treats the practice as a regulated business. Prostitution has an annual revenue of close to one hundred million dollars. Brothels are business-oriented establishments aimed to promote prostitution to prospective clients. Sex tourism refers to traveling with the explicit intent to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes.

Extramarital Relations

Extramarital sex embodies the sexual exchange between a married person and someone other than his or her partner. Extramarital sexual relations may breach a sexual norm known as adultery, fornication, infidelity, and philandery. Involvement in extramarital affairs may carry moral and religious stigmas and consequences, depending on the cultural region of where the affair occurred. A 1950s-era study revealed that nearly fifty percent of all males and twenty-six percent of all women engaged in extramarital affairs

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