General Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Theoretically, could a doctor tell the difference between the result of varying degrees of rough sex and rape?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21433points) March 30th, 2009

I know that during rape there is vaginal tearing sometimes. Is this similar to what happens during rough sex? Does the tearing come from the victim’s struggle or is it purely caused by the rapist? If it is purely caused by the rapist, could the same thing happen to a woman who is having consensual sex that is somewhat violent?

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12 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

One thing to consider is lubrication. Without lube, the vagina is more likely to be torn when having an object (such as a penis) forcefully put in and taken out. Vaginal lubrication is generally produced when one is aroused or stimulated pleasurably, so a person engaging in rough sex while aroused would likely produce more natural lube and thus have a lower chance to be damaged. Of course, the penis also causes the vagina to become lubricated simply through friction, so this is worthwhile to consider.

I think a doctor would be able to distinguish between the two more accurately by considering any secondary damage, such as bruises, signs of choking, bite marks or nail scratches, etc.

Ultimately, I think the biggest contributor to the determination is what the woman says, how she acts, etc. I can see situations in which the physical results of rough sex would be similar if not very much like those of a rape, and one person may say one thing when another says another thing. A physical exam cannot determine the intent, after all, and that’s a big key in such scenarios.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@dynamicduo: I hadn’t considered the issue of lubrication. That is a very good point. as for your other points, I agree that behavior and other marks are more likely to show whether or not someone was raped, but I meant specifically when examining the vagina.

qualitycontrol's avatar

katawagray…what did you do?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@qualitycontrol: I’m warning you now, I’m going to answer your question honestly. The last time I had sex with my boyfriend (yesterday) it was rougher than usual (all consensual) and I am actually hurting a little. I’m wondering if I was to be examined by a gynecologist if he or she would suspect rape or if it’s just a little tender down there.

Probably not the answer you were expecting, but fatigue brings on brutal honesty in me. :)

EmpressPixie's avatar

When a gyno gives you the once over, there is no way for them to know your willingness to have sex. That’s your state of mind. They can only look at your body and talk about it. If you are in pain and worried, you should get thee to the doctor. A doctor might look at some vaginal tearing or bruising and make delicate inquiries. Nothing wrong with that—just doing his or her job. Just be honest with the doc. Hopefully you have a doctor you see regularly and have built up a relationship with. S/he will already know you are seeing someone and having sex and won’t be surprised if you are experimenting in bed. If you don’t, no biggie. Just be reading for the question (if it was really that rough) and be honest.

Don’t let embarrassment or concern for your boyfriend keep you from seeing the doctor when you need to.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@EmpressPixie: I think the issue is that we went longer than we usually do and kept starting and stopping. I’m really not that concerned, it just got me to thinking. Thank you for you concern though. :)

Dr_C's avatar

It really does come down to lubrication.
Dring rape a woman being obvisously incredibly apprehensive (to say the least) will have a great deal of trouble lubricating if and when they can actually pull it off (no pun intended).
A woman engaged in consensual sexual activity… rough or not will more than likely become aroused and lubricate quite easily… diminishing the chance of tearing.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

They would look at the rest of your body too. Bruises from being held down, on your wrists, having your legs pried apart, and generally roughed up.

Holden223's avatar

A psychiatrist could.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@HarmonyAlexandria and @Holden223: I do realize that rape entails more than just harm to the vagina, but the question is directly about vaginal tearing/bruising.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

@KatawaGrey I do realize that rape entails more than just harm to the vagina, but the question is directly about vaginal tearing/bruising.

Then the answer is no, as the source of the tearing is the same. It’s no different than a gun shot wound , a doctor could tell all sorts of things from studying the wound, but none of it relays the motive.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar


That’s one of the things that make rape so incredibly humiliating/degrading/shameful, in many cases the women’s body betrays them.

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