On Law and Chastity

by Robert E. Rodes, Jr.

Tags: Legal History, Sexuality and Law

Table of Contents (PDF)

152 pp  $24.00

ISBN 978-1-59460-182-8

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In this wide-ranging and extensively documented study, Rodes shows how the law's recognition of traditional sexual standards has been gradually eroded, with the result that many of those standards have been marginalized or turned into personal idiosyncrasies. He gives full attention to positive developments such as increased protection against rape and sexual harassment, but invites speculation as to whether changes in other parts of the law have made that protection more necessary than it used to be. Rodes suggests that the trivialization of sex is a trivialization of life, and that we should use our laws to resist that trivialization without making them unduly oppressive. Even those who disagree with his provocative conclusions will appreciate his extensive coverage of the relevant cases and other legal materials.

"The extensive documentation of cases, statutes, and regulations across states and nations is impressive, and the chronological recounting of the legal lineage of these issues succinctly reviews the genealogy and stakes of our current cultural-sexual milieau." — Law & Politics Book Review