I was listening to an NPR broadcast at lunchtime today and was struck by a talkback portion of the show dealing with a case in Israel where a man was sentenced to an 18 month jail term for rape in Israel because he had lied to a Jewish woman to convince her to have sex with him - he told her he was Jewish when, in fact, he was an Arab. The judge in the case referred to his conduct as "rape by deception". BBC story here.
What was particularly interesting to me was listening to a panel of non-lawyers talking about how they perceived the definition of rape. Most of the talkback part of the show focused on things like the perceived necessity of physical violence to support a rape conviction and/or various social definitions of fraud. During the time I was listening to the show, no one - not even the host - talked about the concept of "consent" to sex, or discussed whether the sexual act could be meaningfully "consensual" in situations where one party has lied to the other to convince them to engage in sexual activity. Am I missing something or shouldn't this have been an important part of the discussion?
Incidentally, one person who called into the show made an analogy between lying to someone to get them to have sex and slipping drugs into the person's drink in order to induce them to have sex. Interesting analogy, but I'm not sure that it works on close examination. The drug situation physically removes a person's ability to make clear decisions, whereas the lying situation leaves the "victim's" natural ability to analyze the situation intact, but presents the victim with false information. Is this significantly different or not?