- Edited by Ruthann Robson, City University of New York, USA
- Series : The Library of Essays on Sexuality and Law
The continued criminalization of same-sex sexual acts, variously labeled sodomy, buggery, or the crime against nature, is inconsistent throughout the world. The criminalization of other sexual acts, such as public sex, commercial sex, or HIV-transmission, is more common. The relationship between sexuality and criminality is not limited to a direct criminalization of sexual acts, however. The victimization of sexual minorities because of their sexuality has garnered attention in the conceptualization of hate crimes in many countries. When sexual minorities are accused of victimizing others, the criminal justice system can conflate sexual identity with the criminal acts resulting in biased convictions. Imprisonment and punishment norms can pose special problems in the context of gender minorities or for sex offenses.
The papers reprinted in this volume cover doctrinal, theoretical and political analysis of the current and historical criminalization of a wide variety of sexual acts, including ones less commonly discussed. It also includes discussions of the 'homosexual panic' defense, hate crimes and domestic violence, as well as examinations of specific cases in which the sexuality of the accused became pertinent. The volume also includes discussions of the imprisonment of gender nonconforming persons in systems of sex-segregated prisons and the treatment of 'sex offenders'.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Sodomy: Legal discrimination against homosexuals – a blind spot of the Commonwealth of Nations?, Michael Kirby; The myth of lesbian impunity: capital laws from 1270 to 1791, Louis Crompton; Lawrence v. Texas and the limits of the criminal law, Adil Ahmad Haque; Genealogy of the Australian homocriminal subject: a study of two explanatory models of deviance, Derek Dalton. Part II Criminalization of Other Types of Sex: Ordinary folk and cottaging: law, morality and public sex, Paul Johnson; Risk-taking, recklessness and HIV transmission: accommodating the reality of sexual transmission of HIV within a justifiable approach to criminal liability, Samantha Ryan; Gender outlaws before the law: the courts of the borderland, Aeyal Gross; Morality-based legislation is alive and well: why the law permits consent to body modification but not sadomasochistic sex, Kelly Egan; Abuse of a corpse: a brief history and re-theorization of necrophilia laws in the USA, John Troyer; Work, sex, and sex-work: competing feminist discourses on the international sex trade, Kate Sutherland. Part III Sexual Minority Victims: No straight answer: homophobia as both an aggravating and mitigating factor in New Zealand homophobia cases, Elisabeth McDonald; Hate crime and the image of the stranger, Gail Mason; The same difference: protecting same-sex couples under the Domestic Violence Ordinance, Puja Kapai. Part IV Sexual Minority Defendants: The Geronimo bank murders: a gay tragedy, Joan W. Howarth; Lesbianism and the death penalty: a 'hard core' case, Ruthann Robson. Part V Punishment: Safety and solidarity across gender lines: rethinking segregation of transgender people in detention, Gabriel Arkles; Sex offender as scapegoat: the monstrous other within, John Douard; Name index.
About the Editor: Ruthann Robson is Professor of Law and University Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York School of Law, where she has taught in the areas of Constitutional Law and Sexuality and Law since 1990.
She is the author of several books about sexuality and legal theory, including Lesbian (Out)Law and Sappho Goes to Law School, as well numerous articles published in the United States, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. She frequently speaks about sexuality issues throughout the world.
The Index is available to view in PDF format