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Making the Modern Criminal LawCriminalization and Civil Order$
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Lindsay Farmer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568642.001.0001

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(p.264) 9 Sex
Making the Modern Criminal Law

Lindsay Farmer

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the emergence of the category ‘sexual offences’ in the criminal law and explores the consequences of this recognition for criminalization. It looks first at the diverse ways that crimes which had a sexual element (rape, sodomy and prostitution) were categorized in the law prior to 1956. The second section then examines how a range of offences were grouped together to form the category ‘sexual offences’ after 1956 and how this category was informed by new understandings of sex and sex offenders. It finally goes on to look at how this category of sexual offences has been transformed by the recognition of a distinct interest in sexual autonomy understood as a right to sexual expression.

Keywords:   rape, prostitution, sodomy, sexual offences, sexual violence, the person, Sexual Offences Act 2003, sexual autonomy

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