|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
The destructive idea that if a person (usually female) has ever been the victim of some kind of sexual violation, then her life is destroyed forever. Lifelong depression is mandatory.
This trope is about Alice or Bob believing that Alice is defiled forever because she had an inappropriate sexual contact. That inappropriate sexual contact destroys the soul. ("Inappropriate" equals either "non-consensual" or "pre-marital", depending on their system of beliefs.) It doesn't mean that Alice actually is defiled forever. If she's a main character, she is very likely to eventually recover one way or another. If Bob is the one who believes her to be Defiled Forever, he will hopefully change his mind or get Put on a Bus. If Alice herself is the one holding the belief, it may be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, requiring to deal with her Internalized Categorism as well as her trauma.
This trope is one of the main reasons why rape and molestation are often considered a Fate Worse Than Death. Ironically, it is also a common argument for accepting sexual abuse against women who are already "defiled", making them Acceptable Targets for men who would say Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny. This goes both ways: A person who consider herself Defiled Forever is more likely to accept abuse, believing that she doesn't deserve any better.
At the core, the concept of Defiled Forever is a leftover from a worldview that is thankfully fading into Values Dissonance as civilization marches on. A matter of Honor Before Reason in a mindset where only men have honor, and the chastity (or faithfulness, if they're married) of the women they own is a large part of this honor. Sadly, this mentality is still fully operational in some ultra-conservative families and societies. In a number of underdeveloped countries, women (as well as some girls too young to even be women) have been stoned to death for being raped.
Since this worldview isn't all that keen on consent, it doesn't always make any distinction between rape and consensual sex: a woman having consensual sex with a man not her husband can be considered Defiled Forever, on the basis that it was her "purity" that got violated, not her rights and boundaries.
Most in 18th century England believed not just that any woman who had been raped was Defiled Forever. They also believed that any woman who was raped, no matter how violently or at what age, would instantly become sexually voracious and uncontrollably promiscuous. This justified the belief that a rape victim could never be a decent wife; in a time when women who didn't marry could end up dead in the streets, it forced many rape victims to either keep their rape a secret or end up in a brothel. Hogarth's series of engravings entitled "A Harlot's Progress" was not meant as parody but as the literal course of events for one of these women.
It is also pretty common that Bob is a love interest which Alice rejects because of not deeming herself worthy of being loved. Bob does not give up on her love, and continues his advances on her, until Alice, confused, asks Bob the reason of his persistence. Bob explains that he does not care about her Dark and Troubled Past since she is self-evidently an innocent who was the victim of a vicious crime against her, and we all learn that Love Redeems.
In reality, there is a wide spectrum of ways that victims of violence (sexual or otherwise) may react. Some are deeply traumatized for life even with the best help. And there are other who it barely affects, with some victims being genuinely surprised when they are told that what happened to them was a crime. Some victims may end up leaping into a hot shower or a bath and scrubbing obsessively at their skin to "purify" themselves, and some may go so far as to kill themselves. (Or try to, before someone rescues them.)
For this trope being played from a religious viewpoint, compare Soulsaving Crusader. When it's played from a secular viewpoint, compare Manufacturing Victims. Contrast Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, where it is the attacker rather then the victim that gets portrayed as dirty. However, the two tropes can be combined under the banner of Sex Is Evil. Also contrast Rape as Redemption, where rape makes a (previously undesirable) woman "Good" and "Wholesome", thus turning them into desirable again. This trope does not mean Ruined FOREVER to a lesser degree. No individual real life examples: Individual real cases are restricted to books/movies about these cases.
Anime and Manga
- In Fushigi Yugi, it is apparently the preferred major tactical strategy of the forces of Seiryuu Star Warriors in neutralizing their rival forces of the Suzaku Star Warriors by raping/seducing their Celestial Maiden, and thus preventing her from summoning the patron god Suzaku (who required Virgin Power) who could then battle their patron god Seiryuu. Also used as a ploy into tricking their own Celestial Maiden into joining their side in the first place by turning on her best friend (who was the other CM).
- The Big Bad however, is a relatively uncommon male example of this trope, as it is later revealed to be what originally caused his Start of Darkness.
- Also invoked in Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden, when Takiko discovers that the girl she helped is one of her celestial warriors...and doesn't stay a girl all the time. Takiko was very shocked when she woke up with a man in her bed, and freaked out, saying that she'd never be able to marry.
- In Hayate the Combat Butler, two characters react this way to the 'threat' of being touched this way. When they complain about this, neither character would have an inkling of a thought of doing something inappropriate, so it's able to be played for humor.
- Saki is worried about being seen as this whenever Hayate touches her.
- Hinagiku thinks she has been defiled and bemoans that she can't be someone's bride anymore when Ayumu drys her off after she faints in the hot springs. Ayumu says she'll still take her, and when reminded of her crush on Hayate, she suggests Polyamory.
- In K-On!, the extremely timid Mio sobs, "No one will marry me now!" after tripping onstage and giving the audience a Panty Shot...and also after being forcibly stripped and put in a skimpy outfit Mikuru-style. Played for Laughs of course since it's such an overreaction.
- In After School Nightmare, As a kindergartener, Kureha was brutally raped on her walk home from school; it's implied that this alone might not have been so bad, except that her father didn't give half a damn that his five-year-old daughter had been beaten and sexually violated, only complaining that she was now "damaged goods" that no man would want, and her own mother (who, incidentally, was frequently beaten by the father) didn't even object.
- In Bitter Virgin, female lead Hinako is plagued by this way of thinking after she was abused by her stepfather and became pregnant in middle school. Much of the story is made up of Daisuke trying to get through to her despite her thinking this way about herself. The trope is very much defied by Daisuke's sister Izumi, who makes it perfectly clear to their somewhat old-fashioned and moralistic mother (and anyone else that tries to judge her) that she has no less self-respect for herself just because she got pregnant out of wedlock.
- Not an in-show example, but when it was revealed that Nagi had a boyfriend before Jin, fans went nuts.
- Invoked and discussed in Wolfen Crest, while Akiko Aoshika, the lead female, is gangraped. The guy who staged her gangrape, Haguro Dou, filmed said incident and is about to release it in the Internet for everyone to see to have her life ruined even further. And for worse, Aoshika already considered herself defiled beforehand, having been sexually abused in her younger years..
- Guts from Berserk is a Rare Male Example. As a boy, Guts was raped by a fellow mercenary when his adoptive father sold him for three silver coins for one night. This experience pretty much ruined Guts's life and turned him into the man he was in the present. Then, he meets Casca. And eventually, They Do. But before that or rather, during "it" Guts has an emotional breakdown, and then tries to leave and deal with his issues on his own because he thinks he's ruined and that he freaked Casca out. But Casca doesn't think this at all.
- Mizore Shirayuki from Rosario to Vampire reacts this way to Miyabi, even though he only went as far as stealing a kiss and handling her a bit forcefully. Still, that alone would have been a very traumatic experience, especially since she was so emotionally fragile to begin with. She proceeds to jump out of a window, only for Kurumu to save her in a combined Crowning Moment of Awesome and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Rare male example in Soubi from Loveless after having been raped by his teacher as a teenager, and now he's pretty much an Extreme Doormat. Yeah, thanks a lot, Ritsu. Also used to deconstruct the idea of Sex as Rite-Of-Passage.
- Attempted and Defied in Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne: Maron herself was presumably RAPED by Noin to end her "purity". The Defied part came in when it turns out that's not the definition of "pure"; being "pure" means having a pure soul and believing in your own purity, and Maron realizes this about halfway through the series, also inspiring hope in her past reincarnation.
- Another rare male example is Ai no Kusabi's Riki who explains to his ex-lover that they can't get back together because another man's poison has seeped into his body and he is now permanently tainted.
- And in yet another Rare Male Example, Masayoshi's brother Masami from Kusatta Kyoushi no Houteishiki is revealed to have been sexually abused in his past AND to believe in the trope regarding himself. But his boyfriend Toru does NOT agree, immediately tells him "you're NOT defiled! I love you no matter what!", and this is followed by them going through Intimate Psychotherapy.
- In the Very Special Miniseries Lois Lane Lois investigates child molestation, abuse and murder. One woman whose 5 year old daughter was sexually abused bemoans the fact that she "ain't a virgin no more" and "what man would want her now?"
- Jack Chick gets really overboard with this trope in the tract called Uninvited: The tract feature a nurse who harasses dying AIDS-patients for their "crime" of being gay. Of course, her actions are fully justified within the verse of the tract, since this is an anviliciously bigoted Author Tract. The real kick? It turns out that all the homosexuals became homosexuals because they was sexually molested as children. More to the point, when a child gets sexually molested, she automatically becomes unclean, possessed by a demon of defilement. The trope is played straight for everyone who isn't both The Fundamentalist and a christian. Averted for all characters who are (or become) Holier Than Thou: Jesus Saves, everybody else takes 5d6 points of damage.
- ...Wait, since when is being raped a sin? My brain, it hurts.
- According to the author's Insane Troll Logic, it's probably because they didn't overcome being raped, and instead "let" it lead them into a life of depravity (aka becoming gay).
- Someone's never read the Bible, then. Leviticus details that the only way to repent for the sin of being raped is getting married to your rapist (Also animal sacrifice, but that's the Old Testament's answer to everything). So, to answer the question of since when is it a sin, several thousand years at least.
- That's not a method of repentance for the raped, but punishment for the man who wanted to be able to have sex and move on from it, free of responsibility. And now that he's married, if he tries to move on without responsibility, he's an adulterer who can be stoned to death. It's assuming the would-be bride is willing to marry her assailant. If not, then she goes free without penalty and the man is executed. "For he has ruined her the same as if he had murdered her." In like fashion, a woman could blackmail a man who consensually has sex with her into marriage. While blackmail is certainly not a good thing, it was allowed because it helped discourage male promiscuity. By contrast, a promiscuous woman still living promiscuously at home with her parents had to either leave the home or be stoned for defiling her parents' household.
- ...Wait, since when is being raped a sin? My brain, it hurts.
- Invoked & defied in The Sandman. The prehistoric African virgin queen Nada wants the amorous title character to leave her alone, so she breaks her own hymen with a sharpened stone, reasoning he won't be interested in her after she's already been "deflowered". This would be an entirely valid tactic for the time and place, though Nada understandably didn't count on the fact that Dream is responsible for the dreams of an entire universe's worth of sentient life and has already picked up some rather cosmopolitan ideas about sexuality from the planets that are at a different stage in their cultural evolution.
- The House fanfic "Used" invokes this against a man. After House is gang-raped by Tritter and his goons, Tritter tells House that he is a "filthy little whore that no one will ever want to touch again".
- Played tearjerkingly straight in the Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic Scar Tissue where Asuka was determined to completely destroy Shinji's life. A few months after Third Impact, she barged into his room when they were alone at home and said "pants off, bastard". Shinji was crying through the whole thing but didn't resist and didn't tell anyone that he was being raped repeatedly for six months because he really believed that he deserved this, even going so far as carving "MY FAULT" in kanji into his chest with a knife once Asuka was finished). To top it all off? Those who saw End of Evangelion know that neither of them acted out of character, since they were both that fucked up by how much It Got Worse. The perfect subversion of Rape Is Ok When It Is Female On Male?
- In the Kung Fu Panda fanfic, Memoirs of a Master, Yeying, Master Shifu's supposedly dead wife comes to the Jade Palace after years of being tortured and raped in prison by an evil tyrant convinced that Shifu would reject her. However, before she can fully articulate that fear, Shifu embraces her with a love undiminished after 40 years of separation and firmly asserts without equivocation that he is overjoyed beyond words to take her back. Furthermore, after hearing what she suffered, Shifu blew his top ranting that he so wished he could spit on the dead villain's grave for doing that to her.
- Narmishly implied to be Dark Link's plan for Jenna in My Inner Life, causing her to exclaim that she "won't have anything to do with [him] in thatmanor!"
- In the Fire Emblem Tellius fic Beneath Azure Skies, Lucia was raped by Ludveck during her captivity, and fully believes herself to be dirty, spoiled goods incapable and undeserving of love.
- In this Fire Emblem: Three Houses fic, Ashe is gang-raped by bandits. While part of the fic deals with his feeling unsafe and afraid after such violence, later on as he's bathing he laments being "soiled" and how he's no longer "pure and perfect" for Dedue, whom he's been pining for since the beginning of the fic. The badly wimpified Ashe ends up scrubbing his skin raw to try to cleanse himself, to the point where he bleeds. Luckily Dedue stops him in time, but Ashe still declares himself a dirty, stray whore who "doesn't deserve him" before Dedue tells him otherwise.
- A lost-to-the-ages Fruits Basket fic has (male) Akito sexually exploiting Shigure. After one such incident, Shigure attempts suicide because he feels he's "not lovely for Hatori anymore."
- Captain Tsubasa Suethor Tsuki W. of "Jerk Sue hides pregnancy from Ken and is a royal bitch to him and he marries her" infamy wrote a fic where the same Sue is raped and treated as such by her abusive grandma, who forces her to hide her defilement to protect the family name. Later, when Ken happens upon the rapist attacking the Sue again, he mistakes them for getting it on consensually and looks at her with disgust, causing her to wangst even more and finally decide to kill herself because she's been "ruined" for her one true love.
- In the sadly Lost Forever Babysitter's Club fanfic "When Forever Wasn't Enough", Stacey McGill commits suicide after realizing she was raped at a party, but says in her note that she doesn't want people to think she killed herself because she felt "ruined." (While the rape contributed to her depression, she was also dealing with other shit at the time, such as her defunct friend group's drama).
- A Pokemon Black and White fic has Hilda say she's "filthy" after being raped by Ghetsis. N reassures her that she's not.
- A Gundam Wing fic had Duo Maxwell decide to become a prostitute after being raped for this reason, even throwing away his cross because he felt himself "too filthy" to wear it anymore. This is how Heero meets him for the first time.
- Really, a good number of fanfics featuring a pining couple will have one half of that couple raped and be more concerned that their Love Interest will think they're "dirty" than with anything else. Said love interest will usually comfort them and tell them they're still pure and beautiful in their eyes, but this may or may not follow a suicide attempt or some other form of self-harm.
- The movie version of Titus Andronicus portrays the rape victim this way, as a way of justifying why the protagonist chose to murder her.
- Wasn't it a Mercy Kill? She was horribly mutilated after the rape.
- In the original play, it seems to be sort of a combination. The implication that Lavinia is Defiled Forever is certainly present, but the fact that she's had her tongue cut out and her hands cut off also appears to be a factor in her father's decision to kill her. Some productions make this marginally more acceptable to the modern viewer by having Lavinia, after naming her rapists, make it clear (non-verbally, obviously) that she wants to die.
- Lavinia made it clear before she was raped that she would rather die than suffer this fate.
- Wasn't it a Mercy Kill? She was horribly mutilated after the rape.
- In Baise Moi, a rape transform the victims into destructive Omnicidal Maniacs. This is not Rape and Revenge, since the victims aren't going up against those who are guilty or even people who they in some twisted way believe is guilty. It's more like the rape simply made them lose their humanity.
- Both the short story and the movie versions of The Searchers have the supposed hero believing this. At first we admit that his anti-Indian prejudice is at least partially justified, since his mother, brother, sister-in-law, and older niece are all killed in Comanche raids. But it eventually becomes clear that he is a Politically-Incorrect Villain who hates all Indians, whether violent or not (including his part-Cherokee adopted nephew) — and thinks that any white female who is raped by an Indian man (in this case, his younger niece) must die after being "defiled." There are even some Unfortunate Implications that the other family members of the niece — and possibly even the niece herself — would want it that way.
- The Swedish movie Lilja 4-ever takes a very grim view on present-day trafficking. It is loosely based on a real case where a underage girl from one of the ex-soviet countries killed herself in Sweden after having been lured here by a guy who turned out to be a pimp. In the movie he rape her repeatedly and then try to convince her that she's now a prostitute no matter what.
- This trope seems to be one thing the differing accounts of events in Rashomon agree upon.
- A particularly egregious straight instance appears in For A Few Dollars More, where the Colonel's sister, being raped by Indio, grabs a gun and purposely shoots herself instead of him!
- Implied to be the case with Jenny Curran in the movie version of Forrest Gump. After spending years being molested by her father, she turns to posing for porn magazines and singing nude while letting her boyfriends use and abuse her however they want. She won't let herself be happy with Forrest until the very end.
- The book I Choose Life is pretty much an Author Tract against this trope. The main character (who is also the writer) was kidnapped as a child — molested, tortured and almost murdered. Afterwards, one of her main problems was with people trying to make this trauma her permanent identity instead of acknowledging that it was one horrible incident that happened to her, and is now over.
- Twilight seems to avert this with Rosalie, to the extent that some detractors have claimed her cavalier attitude toward her rape is unrealistic. Of course, the rape happened more than a century ago, so she's had time to get over it. (And kill her rapists).
- Peter Pan plays this either Up to Eleven or with a metaphor: Tiger Lily has a vendetta against Captain Hook because he stepped on her shadow, in very specific circumstances, when she was six years old, thus leaving her Defiled Forever.
- It's possible to read Belinda's reaction to the Baron cutting her hair in The Rape of the Lock as this (note: Rape means forcible theft in this context). Then again, considering the entire thing is a satire of the war of the sexes, it's not nearly as grim as the other examples.
- Tess of the D'Urbervilles, good high heaven yes. Tess was raped by her employer while sleeping, and it's implied that she was raped again in the month in his service that followed before she slipped away in the dead of night. Because of this, her family and even her previously adoring and doting husband — Angel — consider her a ruined woman. Angel's reaction upon learning her dark and troubled past is especially egregious — he rejects her utterly, considering her an imposter and a monster that destroyed the Tess he was in love with (shockingly, he addresses she is not to blame for the rape). This comes on the back of his admission that he'd had a fling with either a prostitute or a desperate christmas cake, and his being forgiven by her for it. To cut a rather depressing 'It Got Worse' story short, this sort of behavior continues until the only way she can support her family is to become the mistress of the man who raped her in the first place. When she asks the atheistic Angel if they will be together in heaven, he can't even bring himself to say yes.
- Worthy of note, however, is the fact that this viewpoint is only espoused by characters within the novel. The novel itself was actually considered groundbreaking for not playing the trope straight in the narrative voice. The full title is, "Tess of the D'urbervilles — A Pure Woman, Faithfully Presented".
- Hester Prynne, heroine of The Scarlet Letter, would like a word with this trope. The idea of Defiled Forever applies not only to her (guilty of adultery when her husband was believed dead), to the man that impregnated her (who tortures himself with guilt, mentally and physically), but to their illegitimate child, whom even the narration describes as acting like a demon.
- In many interpretations, the book is a Deconstruction and/or Take That to this idea—the rather hypocritcal community thrusts this interpretation onto Hester to the point that it effectively becomes true (even, in a rather magical way, affecting her child and the world around), and she does her best to disprove it, eventually largely succeeding to the point where people forget what the eponymous letter means, imagining "Angel" and "Admirable" rather than "Adultery." Subverted Reformed but Rejected trope.
- Fantine in Les Misérables, who never had any parents to guide her, or friends who cared enough about her to warn her, ended up pregnant by her very first love. When word breaks out, people treat her like a prostitute until finally that's the only job she can take to save her daughter's life.
- Averted in the Wicked Lovely series- Ink Exchange is, when you take out the faeries and magickal tattoos, about Leslie reclaiming her life and body after being raped.
- Same with Niall, as evidenced by his comments to Leslie about ow they're survivors, although in his case he would have been Defiled Forever by mortal standards, but 1200 years is along time to get over things.
- My Forbidden Face (an autobiography written under a pseudonym) discusses this trope, though none of the characters in the novel gets raped. The main character reflects that under the Taliban, a woman being raped would be forced to marry her rapist.
- Notably, this was Truth in Television even in many parts of the Western world until quite recently.
- Goethe plays with this in Faust. Margaret/Gretchen starts off as the typical Purity Sue / Shallow Love Interest popular in Goethe's time. Rumors spread when Faust knocks her up and Gretchen's Knight Templar Big Brother Valentino decides to kill her "defiler". He attacks Faust and Mephistopheles at her doorstep and promptly gets Curb Stomped. As he dies, Valentino spews abuse at his sister, setting off Gretchen's personal Trauma Conga Line which breaks the girl completely. By the time Faust returns, he finds her insane and imprisoned for having drowned their child in shame. She no longer recognizes Faust and refuses to leave, Dying Alone in the cold and dark. Goethe does, however, subvert this when God declares Gretchen "saved".
- Completely averted in the Mercy Thompson books. Both Mercy and Anna have been raped, and while it is treated as serious obstacle, both go on to have healthy enjoyable sex lives with their chosen mates.
- Mercy notes that beating the hell out of her rapist helped a lot. She wonders if it will ever be a recommended therapy technique.
- Invoked in The Monk with Antonia; her rapist's enabler cites this as a reason to kill her, and Antonia tells her suitor that she doesn't mind dying since being raped means she couldn't have married him. However, other female characters like Marguerite (who was raped by her second "husband") and Agnes (who became pregnant not only out of marriage, but while she was a nun) defy this trope and manage to have happy lives afterward; in fact, Marguerite's parents are specified as overjoyed to have her back and dissuade her from entering a convent.
- Mitsuko didn't think this way after the first time she was raped. Unfortunately, the teacher she confided to did, and decided that since she was already ruined, he might as well rape her as well. At the book's start, she's an essentially broken individual, and a danger to everyone around her.
- In The Joy Luck Club, one storyteller's mother is forced to become the mistress of a wealthy man after he rapes her and an evil employee of the house (who set up the rape in the first place) tells everyone what has happened and ruins the woman's reputation.
- Subverted in a different story, where the storyteller's mother was forced into an arranged marriage. She escapes it by telling her mother-in-law that she was not the woman fated for her husband, and that one of the household servants was. She proves this by insisting that the child she should have been impregnated with is actually being carried by said servant. In reality, the servant had just had an affair and the woman never slept with her husband. The mother-in-law buys the story though, and the story ends with the woman being sent off to live her own life while the servant marries the guy and is honored by the family, instead of ending up disgraced with an illegitimate child.
- Anne Rice's The Feast of All Saints (and the miniseries based on it) play this trope deadly straight with Marie Ste. Marie. After her brutal gang rape, orchestrated by her sister, she returns home only to have her mother scream at her repeatedly that she is "ruined" and then attack her. When she flees the house, she goes to the only place she can think of where she will be accepted: Dolly Rose's brothel. As Dolly later says "Sometimes they go to church, and sometimes they come here." Marie herself expresses this attitude to Anna Bella, saying she belongs in the brothel and that she deserved what happened to her.
- Invoked by Mary and Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice when Lydia elopes and endangers not only her reputation and future, but that of her entire family—Mr. Collins even goes so far as to say Lydia's death would have been a blessing in comparison. Neither of them seem to realize that pointing this out isn't helping anybody.
- Mary Vaughn from The Neanderthal Parallax trilogy manages to avert this. While she is defiled at the start of the first book by the second one she has already consumated the relationship with her love interest, and by the third book they are onto making babies.
- In Gone with the Wind Rhett Butler took a girl out in his carriage without a chaperon and they got held up. Even though nothing had happened between them the mere possibility that they might have done something naughty was enough for the girl's family to demand that he marry her. He refused and she was "ruined".
- Explicitly subverted with Barra from Iron Dawn and Jericho Moon. Although she was gang-raped after running off to see the Trojan War, it's specifically stated that this wasn't the event that codified her adult life: it's when she started crafting the ax she used to hunt her attackers down that she embraced her identity as an implacable mercenary warrior.
- Pops up in the Arthurian legend in strange places. Malory occasionally invokes this trope either through the rape of women or their willful adultery, and there is quite a bit of both. Most striking, however, is the rape by deception that Morgause uses to sleep with Arthur and beget Mordred, which is counted among Arthur's sins and failings that lead to his kingdom's collapse and his death.
- Even worse in The Once and Future King where Morgause's rape is counted as Arthur's only sin, as he is otherwise pure, upright, wise and cosmopolitan beyond anyone else in his time, and the narrator outright states that it is this sin that seals Arthur's doom, even though he did not know he committed it (though the drowning of infants he attempts to solve the problem doesn't help). It's a really disturbing case when you stop and think about it.
- Interestingly, this may be Hypocritical Humor if one account of Malory's life is correct.
- More complicated than one might expect in the Judge Dee books, considering that they're set in Tang China. It is expected that women will remain virgins until married (Dee scolds one man for his laxity in policing his household when it is discovered that his daughter — a murder victim — had been carrying on an affair for some months), and commit suicide if raped, especially after marriage (even if their husband is dead; one woman hangs herself because she feels an "unchaste widow" has no other option). On the other hand, prostitutes are not considered to be ruined by their "unfortunate profession", and can expect to find a marriage with an "honest farmer" if they can get out of said profession with a suitable dowry. Furthermore, Judge Dee himself disagrees with the tradition of suicide for rape victims, and in fact ends up making one such woman his third wife.
- Invoked and then subverted in Juanita Coulson's The Death God's Citadel. Aubage, who was marrying Ilissa for position, considers her defiled and unworthy after finding out she was raped by Vraduir. By contrast, Erezjan cares only about how it traumatized Ilissa (with whom he's genuinely in love).
- Diyet/Hariba of Maureen Mc Hugh's "Nekropolis" views herself as this. First because of her brother's adultery, then because she sold herself into sci-fi indentured servitude, then because she falls in love with a biological construct instead of a real human, then because she ran away from her home country and feels alien in her new country, and finally because she has sex with the aforementioned biological constuct. The reader may be a little frustrated with her at the end (and [DownerEnding:depressed\]) but the original setting was an ultra conservative near future Muslim country, so it makes sense.
- The Acts of Caine gives us an interesting example. There's a religious sect of priestesses who are completely chaste virgins, to the point of dressing like men to stave off advances. If they ever give into temptation, they lose their power. If they are raped, however, they basically turn into a magic nuke. Unfortunately, they rarely survive the massive influx of power, not to mention the resulting destruction.
- Inverted in Tender Is the Night. Nicole had a sexual relationship with her father as a teenager, resulting in a long period of mental illness, but when she and Dick divorce she's able to move on and live a happy life with another man. It's Dick whose alcoholism causes him to slide into ruin until he becomes an unknown doctor in a backwater town.
- Catherine Anderson's Comanche Moon has Loretta's aunt Rachel treating her like this for most of the book, due to Loretta's close contact with the titular tribe. She even attempts to kill her rather than accept Loretta going with Hunter of the Wolf to save the family's lives! Then when Amy is raped by Comancheros, Rachel frets that no "good man" will ever want Amy now that her purity is gone.
- Ruth in Lurlene McDaniel's Angel of Hope was gang-raped by soldiers at the age of twelve, and confides to the heroine Amber that she feels guilty for not being able to save her virginity for her future husband. Amber reassures her that she's not this trope and that she has so much more to offer the man, her love being the most important thing.
- In Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Detective Olivia Benson has been through all kinds of horrors, physical as well as psychological, without being shown to have suffered much psychological damage. In a later season she goes undercover as an inmate and a prison guard attempts to force her into oral sex (and is stopped, not even touching her). She develops PTSD, and for the rest of the season there's an ongoing subplot about whether she will be able to keep doing her job after experiencing such a trauma.
- Possibly deconstructed in a season 1 episode where a TV journalist goes public with her rape story in order to put it behind her. Unfortunately a Loony Fan murders her and her attackers, in the belief that her life is ruined.
- In another episode, Olivia refuses to believe a victim who claims to have recovered psychologically from being sexually assaulted—the rest of the episode shows she hasn't (she ends up becoming a vigilante), but even before that plot twist happens, Olivia's disbelief is presented in a way that suggests that nobody ever comes to terms with being raped. This likely has a lot to do with the fact that Olivia's mother almost certainly never came to terms with being raped.
- Oz: Being raped is a stain that will stay with you forever in the eyes of the other prisoners. Truth in Television.
- There was an episode in The Pretender where Jarod investigate the case of a woman who had a mental breakdown after the second time she was raped. Turned out one of her co-workers was secretly the man who raped her years ago in college. Upon meeting her as an adult, he was furious to discover that this trope has not been played and that she has a completely normal life, so he raped her again and switched her medications with anxiety-inducing drugs to make sure that this time she won't recover.
- In the Brazilian historical Soap Opera Donha Beija, the titular character is kidnapped and raped by a powerful man, but nobody believes she was forced and instead accuses her of doing that voluntarily. Her fiancé even left her because he didn't wanted a "fallen woman." She ends as a prostitute as a result, a profession she uses as a way of revenge against the world. While this worked fine and dandy in the original version, when a Foreign Remake decided to "actualize" the story by just placing it in the actual times... well, let's say that the backslash because of the Values Dissonance hit it hard.
- On Dollhouse, the original Eleanor Penn was raped and left for dead as a child; she tried to get over this, even becoming a hostage negotiator so that she could prevent this from happening to others, but eventually killed herself. Fortunately, her personality in Echo winds up getting some posthumous revenge on her rapist.
Penn!Echo: You can't fight a ghost.
- Sierra plays with this trope—she does manage to move past both Hearns and Kinnard's treatment of her, but it's notable that even being wiped doesn't fully erase the memories.
- In I, Claudius when a Roman matron commits suicide in front of her husband and friends after being defiled by the emperor Tiberius.
- On General Hospital, a young woman traumatized by memories of being sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend became convinced that she was "bad" and "dirty". To that end, she began hanging out in seedy nightclubs, eventually becoming a stripper because she felt she wasn't good enough to be anything else. When her marriage and several other relationships subsequently fell apart, she asked her therapist point-blank if she had been so damaged by the abuse that she was unlovable.
Religion and Mythology
- Some versions of the myth of Medusa has her getting raped by Poseidon, then, as punishment for being so tempting, she's transformed into a gorgon.
- Quite a lot of victims of divine rape in Greek mythology were transformed or blasted by gods who were angry but couldn't take it out on the divine partner. Athena cursed Medusa because she was meant to remain a virgin as a priestess of Athena (and the act was in Athena's temple); Hera cursed many of Zeus' lovers (some of whom should be deemed rape victims).
- Both played straight and averted somewhat in the Old Testament of The Bible. There are several rules regarding purity and defilement. The book of Deuteronomy chapter 22, for example, demands the death penalty for various forms of sex outside marriage, but notably clears the woman if rape is proven (she was heard crying for help) or assumed (there's no way to prove she WASN'T crying for help), making this a slight yet notable aversion.
- Reading between the lines, it is implied that this trope was, however, present in all its forms in the culture of the time: There is another law that a man who rapes a woman has to marry her. Though modern readers would naturally see this as a horrible thing imposed on the woman, this view is contradicted by the story of Amnon and Tamar: After Amnon lures Tamar into his rooms and rapes her, Tamar herself says to him that his rejection of her afterwards is even more evil than the rape. In other words, she thinks he now has a responsibility to marry her, likely because now no one else will. This implies that the law is meant to force the rapist to provide for his victim now that he has put her in such a terrible position culturally, with no other prospects or means of support. Ah, the good old days.
- In the New Testament, this trope is arguably averted—sexual immorality defiles, but not irredeemably. Paul says in the sixth chapter of 1 Corinthians that a believer's body is considered a temple of God, which is defiled when it's involved in sexual immorality. But it doesn't say defiled forever—and Paul had just said in the same chapter that some of his audience used to be "sexually immoral" before they were "washed" and "sanctified".
- In St. Augustine's writings, this trope is averted in the case of rape. He says that if a maiden is raped and doesn't give in in spirit, then she is still a virgin just as if she wasn't raped because she did not bring the rape upon herself and she maintained her purity in mind throughout the experience.
- Another consequence of this belief can be seen in the sainthood of women who were canonized partly or entirely for remaining virgins when people were trying to rape them or get them to marry against their will. In ancient cases like St. Agnes, this usually involves impossible miracles happening to protect them, but a more recent (1902) and thus more literal example is Maria Goretti, an eleven-year-old Italian girl who was made a saint because she provoked her would-be rapist into killing her rather than let him have his way with her. On some level this can theoretically be seen as vindicating (she's a patron saint of chastity and similar things, but also of rape victims), but it's hard to celebrate the idea of a young child believing so strongly that being raped is a sin that she would rather die—which is assuming she even really intended to make that choice and wasn't just fighting back—and equally hard to ignore the implication that if you're a girl who survives a rape, you've done something wrong, because the Church would really prefer you virginal and dead.
- This may be the reason Lucretia of Roman mythology (and likely history) kills herself after naming her rapist.
- In Exalted, the Brides of Ahlat are forbidden from taking lovers outside their own ranks. This even applies when they're raped, a situation which...backfired...when Blood on the Horn was given Infernal Exaltation.
- Subverted in Sengoku Rance with Kouhime's rape. She's heartbroken that she can't get married anymore, but Rance tells her guys like that don't count, makes fun of the rapists' small penises, and promises to marry her himself if no one else will take her.
- Rare Male Example: The Nostalgia Critic's history of sexual abuse has given him an insane amount of problems, and he only comes out of spooning-induced muteness at the end of SWSII to sob that the experience felt like prom night all over again.
- Happens quite a bit in the Ciem Webcomic Series. It's one reason that Tobey doesn't object to the Phaelites experimenting on Baby Stan. It's also the reason Marissa never marries after Dwayne gave her Shalia. Darius/Ploribus being a half-clone of Stan also counts for why he's treated like a bastard child. Reily ignores his younger sisters believing they're "just a bunch of whores with baggage I don't need."
- Erin and Marina nearly become enemies after Marina gets pregnant, especially when it's revealed that Marina Really Gets Around.
- Miriam loses her self-esteem after she forfeits her virginity to keep Phil from committing suicide — and he does anyway.
- Miriam begins to exemplify this even more than Marina, in spite having fewer partners. While Marina merely messed around with 17 men before getting some help and settling down with Matt, Miriam took the 18th century England view to its (il)logical extreme before meeting Steve. She winds up having five one night stands after leaving Gerosha, gets a whole bunch of tattoos, contemplates smoking and drugs, becomes a bit of a drinker, briefly takes a job as a stripper, and ends up accidentally winding up in porn. Even she is dismayed by how far she let herself fall.
- Candi herself is less restricted sexually around Donte than around Denny, because she feels endless guilt for marrying Denny first. Donte, ironically, blames himself for her being Defiled Forever because he chose to put himself in the situation where Candi believed him dead and necessitated the actions that led to her marrying Denny first. In the end, everyone agrees that Arfaas ruined all of them forever by leading them into making the poor decisions that have hurt them so much. And now they must stop him before he snuffs them.
- Candi's clothing grew noticeably less modest between Ciem and Ciem 2.
- It probably didn't help Candi's cause one bit that several men have tried (and failed) to rape and/or kill her throughout her life.
- In the beginning of Ciem: Vigilante Centipede, Candi tries to seduce Donte so that he can get her pregnant before he goes off to a war from which he may not return. He is reluctant to do this, because he's a Chivalrous Pervert. But she reasons with him that there's nothing left for him to spoil, since she was raped in sixth grade. Even so, he's reluctant to let her become even more defiled by choice. They have sex, but he pulls out prematurely. She decides to respect the fact that he's not ready; but fears they'll never have children. When she reveals after his rescue that she'd been with Denny (and Jack,) Donte is forgiving. However, he doesn't hesitate to sleep with her himself; since she now truly has already crossed Donte's boundaries. For Donte in this continuity, defilement doesn't begin with an assault on the hymen — it begins with successful ejaculation inside the woman. Don Mendoza never got that far, nor did Wayne Norfine. And at first, neither did Jack. Only Denny.
- Adventure Time has an episode where Finn forces a goose and a fox to kiss eachother. The goose then bursts into tears while crying out that now no man will ever love her because she has been soiled. It was exactly a Does This Remind You of Anything? moment.
- It also turns out the fox was in love with the goose, but now thinks she'll never love him back because Finn defiled their first kiss. Both examples are subverted at the end, however; the goose hooks up with the gander she loved and the fox just got over it.
- It's also referenced when a little girl tricks Finn into committing theft. "You've soiled my purity!"
- King of the Hill features an episode that reveals that Hank's dad, Cotton, had a lovechild with a Japanese nurse at the end of World War II. When he returns to Japan, he finds that she had to marry an unsuccessful businessman because no respectable man would touch her due to the dishonor of bearing Cotton's illegitimate son.