Sex, Golf and Stereotypes: Measuring, Valuing and Imagining the Body in Court
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
Torts Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 205-221, 2002
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/24
This discussion looks at the treatment of non-economic losses in the context of the assessment of damages for personal injuries. The non-economic loss issues discussed include compensation for cosmetic injuries and the value ascribed to women and men's appearances, as well as issues of sex and reproduction. The major focus of the article is on sex or at least on the active corporeality reality of accident victims' embodied lives.
When a person is injured and comes before a court for assessment, every aspect of their day to day life is scrutinised. In addition to telling us stories about women's and men's involvement in work, both paid and unpaid, damages cases also tell us about the judicial construction of women's and men's bodies. They tell us about the constructions of family life, about women's and men's leisure activities and often, as many of the cases discussed in this article do, about their lives as heterosexual beings. In effect, in these cases not only are people's actual bodies before the court for evaluation but judges also have a unique opportunity to create narratives about people's past, present and future.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: Personal injury, damages, non-economic loss, gender, sex, reproduction, household work
JEL Classification: J16, J17, K10, K40
Date posted: May 14, 2007