— speaking only about men and women in this reply. Partner rape can certainly happen in same sex couples as well. —
I believe that much of the resistance to the idea of marital rape is rooted in the influence of Christian beliefs. Many churches teach that the wife’s body does not belong to her; it belongs to her husband and vise versa (although the issue of men being forced into sex by their wives seems much less prevalent or at least unreported). If a man cheats, the wife is often held responsible for not “meeting his needs” thus forcing him elsewhere. Google Focus on the Family marital sex. I cannot even repeat what it says I am so horrified.
The bottom line become that if women are taught they must always consent then it can’t be rape. The actual message is that women have no control over what happens to their own bodies. The absence of control is really an absence of the ability to true consent.
Of course their are times when a woman does choose to have sex even if not in the mood as a gift or act of love towards their husband. But, it is their choice. Not having the option to choose is entirely different.