One in seven rapists is sentenced to four years or less in jail, figures showed today.
But the average prison term for rape is more than eight years, compared with just over six years for manslaughter, the Ministry of Justice figures showed.
The report comes after Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke vowed to "reflect carefully" on his proposals to halve all sentences for offenders who plead guilty at the earliest opportunity.
Mother-of-two Gabrielle Browne, the victim of an attempted rape, met Mr Clarke earlier this week after declaring his plans were a "disaster" on the radio.
She said yesterday that she was sure Mr Clarke would consider her views before announcing his final plans and added she had been persuaded that his ideas were "fair enough" in an attempt to reduce victims' trauma and cut costs.
Of the 984 rapists jailed last year, 134 were given four years or less, the criminal justice statistics showed.
Two out of five (377) were given between five and 10 years, while one in five (188) was given more than 10 years but less than life.
A total of 13 rapists were sentenced to life in prison, with one in five (180) jailed indefinitely for public protection.
The average sentence was just over eight years.