Saturday, 8 January 2011


ISBN-13: 978-0-226-67564-0
Writers: Richard A. Posner and Katharine B. Silbaugh
Title: A Guide to America’s Sex Laws
Language: English
Place of Publication: Chicago and London
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Year of Publication: 1996
Format: 145x220mm
Pages: 243; Glossary, 239
Binding: Boards in colour dust jacket
Weight: 477gr.
Price:  N/A
Entry No.: 2010007
Entry Date: 22nd July 2010


Sex, although considered by many in our culture the quintessential private activity, is blanketed by a staggering number and variety of laws. This first concise compendium of the nation’s sex laws brings together in one place and summarizes the laws regulating personal sexual activity. In doing so, it reveals gaps, anachronisms, anomalies, inequalities, and irrationalities, and provides an empirical basis for studies of sexual regulation.

In some states, for example, sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex is a crime, in some states the age of consent to marriage is lower for females than for males, and in some states marital rape is not a crime. Such a crazy  quilt of state laws means that a perfectly legitimate sexual practice in one state may be a felony in another. Seventeen chapters cover broadly defined areas such as adultery, rape and sexual assault, age of consent, public nudity and indecency, bigamy, prostitution, sodomy, incest, and possession of obscene materials. Each chapter contains an introduction that provides background and definitions and places the laws in their historical and constitutional context. The statutes –both state and federal –are then arranged alphabetically be state or federal jurisdiction. The summaries of statutes employ the original terminology in order to convey their flavor as well as their content, and are accompanied by citations to the statute books.

From Alabama to Wyoming, this informative and fascinating reference book will be an essential resource to a wide range of persons both within and outside the legal profession –specialists in the regulation of sexual behavior, students of the legislative process, lawyers involved in family and sex law, and anyone interested in social and political issues involving sexual orientation and sexual morality.

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