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A Separate Crime of Reckless Sex


Ian Ayres


Yale University - Yale Law School; Yale University - Yale School of Management

Katharine K. Baker


Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago-Kent College of Law

August 24, 2004

Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 80

Abstract:     
This article attempts to make progress on both the problems of sexually transmitted disease and acquaintance rape by proposing a new crime of reckless sexual conduct. A defendant would be guilty of reckless sexual conduct if, in a first sexual encounter with another particular person, the defendant had sexual intercourse without using a condom. Consent to unprotected intercourse would be an affirmative defense, to be established by the defendant with a preponderance of the evidence. As an empirical matter, first-encounter unprotected sex greatly increases the epidemiological force of sexually transmitted disease and a substantial proportion of acquaintance rape occurs in unprotected first encounters.

The new law, by increasing condom use and the quality of communication in first sexual encounters, can reduce the spread of sexually transmitted disease and decrease the incidence of acquaintance rape.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 85

Keywords: aquaintance rape, sexually transmitted disease, criminal law

JEL Classification: K14

working papers series


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Date posted: August 25, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Ayres, Ian and Baker, Katharine K., A Separate Crime of Reckless Sex (August 24, 2004). Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 80. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=581663 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.581663

Contact Information

Ian Ayres (Contact Author)
Yale University - Yale Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-7101 (Phone)
203-432-2592 (Fax)
Yale University - Yale School of Management
135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
Katharine K. Baker
Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago-Kent College of Law ( email )
565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States
312-906-5391 (Phone)
312-906-5280 (Fax)

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