Sexuality and the Law

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This includes how to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and what you can do if you do get pregnant. Find out more about how the law applies to contraception and pregnancy. Sexting and child pornography. Find out how you can get help with sex and the law. Skip to the content. After systematically analyzing the pros and cons of the ways others have approached these concepts, he presents his own choice of terms: "In this study, my tendency to use the term 'young people,' to encompass a wide range of ages is intended to displace the traditional assumptions accompanying 'childhood,' particularly views of children as non-sexual, and as subjects without any rights or degree of competence" p.

This thoughtful destabilization of taken-for-granted terms is especially necessary in the area of young people's sexuality, too often conflated with the politically charged term "child sexual abuse. The next chapter examines age of consent laws cross-nationally, illustrating how the specific politics in various countries and in some cases, the legacies of colonialism have shaped today's laws.

Family, Gender, & Sexuality | NYU School of Law

The ages range from 12 to 18 around the world; across the United States, they range from 15 to 18 and most states have age-span provisions which exempt young people close in age from prosecution. Some countries have separate ages for acts between people of the opposite sex versus people of the same sex--the latter always being the higher age in such cases.

It cannot even be assumed that every state has an age of consent for sexual activity per se" and the absence of a law may have a variety of meanings p.

The implementation of the laws varies greatly as well. The following four chapters track the history and politics of age of consent laws in the United Kingdom, from through the most recent changes in There is simply no other work that compiles and analyzes this data at this length, through such a wide range of primary sources, and with this level of detail.

The age was first set at 12 in and then raised to 13 in Waites closely examines parliamentary debates over the Criminal Law Amendment Act of , which raised the age to As in the United States at the same time, the change came in the context of public anxieties over urbanization, industrialization, and shifting gender and sexual identities, and was finally sparked by the publication of a tract purporting to expose the "white slave traffic" of young girls into prostitution.

The social purity movement first-wave feminists and those to whom he refers as "male moralist campaigners" wanted to protect young working-class females from older middle- and upper-class males. Along with women's rather circumscribed citizenship status at the time, "The lack of decision-making competence attributed to working-class girls was not only generated by the projection of middle-class cultural assumptions, but also generated through … evolutionary and biologizing theories [which] … increasingly denied the agency of the poor" p.

The laws prosecuted only men and protected only women: they assumed that males were the active party in sexual activity and females were the passive party. This would include males aged 14 and over according to common law--i. At the same time, although "buggery" was already illegal, a new offense criminalized "the commission by any male person of any act of gross indecency with another male" p. Known as the "Blackmailer's Charter," this became the basis for prosecuting any sexual activity between men.

Like the change in the age of consent, Waites writes, this amendment reflected increasing anxieties not only about homosexuality, but also about privileged men crossing boundaries of age and class to find sexual partners. The next chapter examines the amendment to "indecent assault" law, which raised the minimum age for sexual activity other than sexual intercourse to Waites convincingly argues, via analysis of parliamentary papers, that this was understood as an age of consent to sex between females. Sex between males was addressed in the famous Wolfenden Report of the s, which partially decriminalized such sex but created an age of consent of 21 to do so.

I have deliberately used the terms "sex between females" and "sex between males" because Waites points out repeatedly that although "heterosexuality" is never really named in these debates, "homosexuality" is used to label all same-sex activity--the identity and the sexual activities are conflated by those who discuss and reform the laws.

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Thank you once again for all of your ongoing support. As we enter the holiday season, we ask our constituencies to think about us on GivingTuesday. Tuesday, November 13th, Department of Justice for leaving water and food for migrants in the Cabrieza Pietra National Wildlife Area, a federally controlled refuge in the Southern Arizona desert that is so hot and dry that the human remains of migrants are frequently found there.

Department of Justice substantially burdens their sincere religious belief in the sanctity of human life and that they must come to the aiding people in dire distress. Kelley , a case in which the federal government is prosecuting Catholic anti-nuclear activists who staged a mock disarmament of nuclear weapons at a Naval installation in Georgia. The activists, members of the group Kings Bay Plowshares, argue that criminal prosecution by the U. Department of Justice substantially burdens their sincerely held religious belief that nuclear weapons are evil.

Media Contact: Elizabeth Boylan eboyla law. Stephen Kelley et al. The brief provides guidance to the federal court on how to examine the claims of the activists, the Kings Bay Plowshares, that criminal prosecution by the U. Professors Micah J.

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Schwartzman, the Joseph W. Earlier this year, Professor Franke submitted an amicus brief on behalf of scholars of religious liberty in U. Warren, a case in which a member of the humanitarian group No More Deaths in Southern Arizona is being prosecuted by the federal government for aiding migrants crossing the desert.

In that case, Scott Warren claims that his actions were compelled by a sincerely held religious belief in coming to the aid of persons in great distress, and that prosecution for a felony by the U. Justice Department substantially burdened his religious beliefs. Access a. Professor Suzanne Goldberg argues ban relies on sex-based stereotypes that have been rejected by courts for decades.

Human Rights, Sexuality and The Law

New York, Oct. Court of Appeals for the D. Goldberg , director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. Donald J. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has twice preliminarily enjoined the ban while the case proceeds. Secretary of Defense James N. Morales-Santana , a case in which the U. Kollar-Kotelly rejected that argument.

Gender, Sexuality and Law - LW596

To serve in his biological sex would be to suppress his identity. To do so would be a harm in and of itself, sufficient to confer standing. The fact that a plaintiff can avoid the effect of a discriminatory policy by renouncing the characteristic that leads to the discrimination in the first place does not mean that the plaintiff lacks standing. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sex and the law

Robertson, Robert C. Boyd, and William C. Miller also served as counsel on the brief. Professors Fischel and Stolzenberg will be participating in Center programming, and working on their own independent research while in Residence with the Center. Joseph Fischel Curriculum Vitae.


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Joseph Fischel is a theorist of social and sexual justice. His research on the regulation of sex, gender, and sexuality is informed by normative political theory, queer studies, and critical race and feminist legal theory.

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His first two books interrogate consent as the magnetizing, dominant metric of modern sex law and late modern sexual ethics. Sex and Harm in the Age of Consent University of Minnesota Press, argues that the sociolegal figures of the recidivistic sex offender, the innocent child and the heroic homosexual invest consent with its normative power while obfuscating more pervasive but less perceptible forms of sexual injury and gendered violence.