Author: Sejal Chaturvedi, Student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad
Human society is governed by rules and principles of morals and ethics underlying the dynamics of their relationships and social ideology. As time changes and societies evolve these dynamics also are altered resulting in the change of these principles and their evaluation. Something which is considered ethical and today may not be so in future. Human society is thus governed by a set of rights upholding these principles of ethics, however, since the question of extent and limitation of such rights is often at conflict with the right of other individual there often arises a state of ethical dilemma with respect to laws and social security.
A similar dilemma is encountered by the society with concept of marital rape. It means having violent, aggressive forceful intercourse with spouse (wives) without her consent. When rape was defined as a crime this aspect was exempted by the society as well as the laws in the purview of the prevailing ethical principles. Having intercourse with your spouse is considered only ethical and a mark of accepting each other forming an integral part of the institution of marriage. However, with the realisation of human rights and civil liberties i.e., right to privacy, sexual privacy right to equality and protection against exploitation and harassment of any form, the concept of marital rape is often standing over ethical dilemma.
This research paper aims at examining the and evaluating the morality and ethical testament of this aspect of rape by studying the scope and meaning of “marital rape” along lines of evolving social norms and human rights. It also aims to take firm stand on this conflict of ethics and rights and suggest solutions to this dilemma.