Sex, Golf and Stereotypes: Measuring, Valuing and Imagining the Body in Court

Torts Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 205-221, 2002

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/24

18 Pages Posted: 14 May 2007  

Reg Graycar

The University of Sydney Law School

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Personal injury, damages, non-economic loss, gender, sex, reproduction, household work

JEL Classification: J16, J17, K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Graycar, Reg, Sex, Golf and Stereotypes: Measuring, Valuing and Imagining the Body in Court. ; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=985505

Reg Graycar (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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