Attorney General Eric Holder announced a broader definition of rape on Friday that encompasses any offense involving “penetration, no matter how slight.”
The definition will not change penalties for such crimes but, according to the White House, “will lead to a more comprehensive statistical reporting of rape nationwide.”
Rape will now be recorded in records whenever a person, male or female, is penetrated with any object in a genital area or orally with a sexual organ. The definition will also include rape of females by females and nonforcible rape, encompassing more than the old definition, established in 1927, which included only “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.”
“This new, more inclusive definition will provide us with a more accurate understanding of the scope and volume of these crimes,” Holder said in a statement.