Consent form

Tackling any mindset that diminishes the seriousness of rape must be a priority, so police campaigns clarifying the need for sexual consent are welcome (your report, 10 March).

But our whole culture of ­sexual permissiveness undermines the seriousness of rape. If sex is reduced to a leisure activity needing consenting participants, or a commodity to be bought or sold, rape ­becomes akin to forcing someone to play tennis against their will, or shop-lifting.

On the Christian view, sex is a uniquely bonding experience at the deepest emotional level, of huge relational significance, that must only be entered into with a lifelong partner.

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Thus rape is a crime of the utmost seriousness, totally perverting the purpose of sex and abusing the personhood of the victim in a profound way.

We also have a culture in which wildly excessive drinking is accepted as a routine leisure pursuit, frequently leaving courts to adjudicate between the claims of two drunk witnesses whose judgment and recall may be extremely clouded.

The symptoms must be tackled with the utmost vigour, but the underlying factors should not be ignored.

Richard Lucas

Broomyknowe

Edinburgh