In the 2011 book Transforming Japan: How Feminism and Diversity Are Making a Difference Japanese feminist Masaki Matsuda argued that date rape was becoming an increasing problem for Japanese college and high school students.
A 2007 study of attitudes towards rape among university students in South Korea found that date rape was "rarely recognized" as a form of rape, and that forced sex by a date was not viewed as traumatizing or criminal.
The two phrases are often used interchangeably, but date rape specifically refers to a rape in which there has been some sort of romantic or potentially sexual relationship between the two parties.
Acquaintance rape also includes rapes in which the victim and perpetrator have been in a non-romantic, non-sexual relationship, for example as co-workers or neighbors.
In a 1993 paper German sociologist and criminologist Joachim Kersten suggested date rape may be less prevalent in Japan compared with the United States because Japanese culture puts a lesser emphasis on romantic love and dating, and because young Japanese people have less physical privacy than their American counterparts, and in her 2007 book Kickboxing Geishas: How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation, American feminist Veronica Chambers questions whether date rape is under-reported in Japan because it isn't yet understood there to be rape.
One of the earliest and most prominent date rape researchers is Mary Koss, who in 1987 conducted the first large-scale nationwide study on rape in the United States, surveying 7,000 students at 25 schools, and who is sometimes credited with originating the phrase date rape.
Date rape is a form of acquaintance rape in which there is a potential romantic or sexual relationship between the two partners in the moment the sexual assault occurs.
"An assault by a stranger is more likely to be seen as a 'real rape' than one by some-one known to the victim." Because of this cultural conception, many date rapes are considered to be less serious than stranger rapes because the nature of the perpetrator-victim relationship, especially for those who have had a prior or current sexual relationship.
In college date rape has a different meaning, as in a date would be a party where the woman is purposely given alcohol and drugs by the man and usually his friends, therefore the rape is a group effort.