Children, Sexuality, and the Law

Children, Sexuality, and the Law


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American political and legal culture is uncomfortable with children's sexuality. While aware that sexual expression is a necessary part of human development, law rarely contemplates the complex ways in which it interacts with children and sexuality. Just as the law circumscribes children to a narrow range of roles—either as entirely sexless beings or victims or objects of harmful adult sexual conduct—so too does society tend to discount the notion of children as agents in the domain of sex and sexuality. Where a small body of rights related to sex has been carved out, the central question has been the degree to which children resemble adults, not necessarily whether minors themselves possess distinct and recognized rights related to sex, sexual expression, and sexuality.

Children, Sexuality, and the Law reflects on some of the unique challenges that accompany children in the broader context of sex, exploring from diverse perspectives the ways in which children emerge in sexually related dimensions of law and contemporary life. It explores a broad range of issues, from the psychology of children as sexual beings to the legal treatment of adolescent consent. This work also explores whether and when children have a right to expression as understood within the First Amendment.

The first volume of its kind, Children, Sexuality, and the Law goes beyond the traditional discourse of children as victims of adult sexual deviance by highlighting children as agents and rights holders in the realm of sex, sexuality, and sexual orientation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814723852
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 05/22/2015
Series: Families, Law, and Society Series , #1
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sacha M. Coupet is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of Research of the Civitas ChildLaw Center at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Ellen Marrus is the George Butler Research Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Children, Law & Policy at the University of Houston Law Center.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Sacha M. Coupet and Ellen Marrus

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit: The Conundrum of Kids, Sex, and the Law 6

Paul R. Abramson and Annaka Abramson

2. Consent, Teenagers, and (un)Civil(ized) Consequences 30

Jennifer Ann Drobac

3. The Wages of Ignorance 72

Franklin E. Zimring

4. Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice: Definitely Not the Girls in the Juvenile Justice System 87

Ellen Marrus

5. Sexual Media and American Youth 108

Piotr Bobkowski and Autumn Shafer

6. Sex, Laws, and Videophones: The Problem of Juvenile Sexting Prosecutions 133

Seth F. Kreimer

7. The Right to Comprehensive Sex Education 163

Hazel G. Beh

8. Policing Gender on the Playground: Interests, Needs, and Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Youth 186

Sacha M. Coupet

9. Gender at the Crossroads: LGBT Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems 224

Barbara Fedders

About the Contributors 255

Index 259

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