The Sexes: Revolt Against Rape

"I'm not sure I understand rape at all. I don't see how a woman can be penetrated if she doesn 't cooperate. You just can't thread a moving needle."

For decades, the majority of lawmakers and jurors have seemed to agree with that viewpoint, expressed by a Manhattan defense attorney. "The victim is really the one on trial," protested one woman after a long court battle against three men who gang-raped her.

Indeed, only 133 out of every 1,000 men tried for rape were convicted in 1972—the lowest rate for any violent crime.

Meanwhile, the incidence of reported rape is increasing at a...