PMS: Legal Usage and Limitations

Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, pp. 2149-2156, A. Jamieson, A. Moenssens, eds., John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2009

9 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2011 Last revised: 18 Jun 2018

See all articles by Patricia L. Easteal

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Neil Kaye

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas Reed

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

We look at the medical definition and description of the diagnostic symptoms of severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which is commonly referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). We explain how PMS has been used as a basis for insanity, automatism and diminished capacity (responsibility) legal pleas. Such forensic use of PMS in the courtroom has generated controversy with concerns about sexism, potential for stigmatizing all women, its reliance upon acceptance of the legitimacy of PMS and PMDD, the need for expert witnesses and the potential for its misuse.

Keywords: Premenstrual syndrome, PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD, insanity, automatism, diminished capacity, diminished responsibility, women

JEL Classification: K00, I00, I10, J70, J71

Suggested Citation

Easteal, Patricia L. and Kaye, Neil and Reed, Thomas, PMS: Legal Usage and Limitations (2009). Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, pp. 2149-2156, A. Jamieson, A. Moenssens, eds., John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2009 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1743277

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Neil Kaye

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Thomas Reed

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States

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