61 Pages Posted: 16 May 2013
Date Written: May 15, 2013
This Article examines statutory rape cases of the last decade and submits that both the apparatus to police sexual violence against minors — statutory rape laws — as well as their application against consenting minors create legally untenable, absurd results that frequently impose legal and extralegal burdens on minors that may exceed that of adult, convicted rapists. No coherent framework has been offered by a politician that responds pragmatically to the empirical realities of adolescent sexuality. Neither federal nor state legislatures offer a coherent, well-articulated approach to militate against the harshest criminal punishments demanded by statutory rape provisions. Indeed, judges interpret and enforce statutory rape cases in a manner that entrenches stereotypes and biases. On the other hand, few scholars wrestle with the broader contemporary applications of statutory rape law despite recent decades of absurd results and disproportionately harsh penalties against teens. The Article offers two novel ways forward to address teen sex and statutory rape.
Keywords: Crime, Rape, Statutory rape, Sexual predatory, Adolescents, Teens, Sex, Pregnancy, Abstinence, Punishment, Cruel and Unusual, Race, Gender
JEL Classification: H59, K14, K4, K40, K42, K49, I3, I31, J7, J71, J78, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Goodwin, Michele, Law's Limits: Regulating Statutory Rape Law (May 15, 2013). Wisconsin Law Review, 2013; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper 13-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2265567