Renegotiating Sex and Sexual Violation in the Criminal Law
By Tanya Palmer
What is the difference between sex and sexual violation? This book explores the boundary between these two concepts via a theoretical examination of the values and interests at stake in sexual encounters, combined with empirical research into understandings and interpretations of the distinction between sex and sexual violation. The latter consists of original data from interviews and focus groups conducted with lay people and relevant professionals including specialist police officers and domestic violence support workers. The book uses an innovative methodology, based on 'empirical ethics' approaches developed in the field of bioethics, to develop a new framework for distinguishing sex from sexual violation.This new framework is then used to critique the current domestic legal framework, as encapsulated in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, focusing on the question of whether the consent standard satisfactorily distinguishes sex from sexual violation. It then offers some suggestions for legal reform, based on an alternative standard of 'freedom to negotiate' in place of consent.
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