The Invasion of Sexual Privacy

21 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2007


Privacy is a universal value. No government must invade private homes to discover and punish peaceful and consensual behavior between adults, which threatens no tangible state interests. Sexaul privacy protects such a right. This Article does not argue that all forms of sexual behavior practiced in privacy are morally good or that social approval must be accorded to such behaviors. Nor does this Article argue that all sexual relationships deserve equal treatment. But the state's police powers turn odius and constitutionally unacceptable when the state criminalizes intimate relationships conducted within the sacred precincts of privacy. (The analysis in this article, the first to criticize Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), appealed to the US Supreme Court to overrule its holding in the case. In 2003, seventeen years after the publication of this article, the Supreme Court overruled the Hardwick ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S.558. The Court's reasoning in Lawrence v. Texas closely follows the reasoning offered in this Article--but without mentioning the Article.)

Keywords: sexual privacy, intimacy, Bowers, Harwick, lifestyles, equal treatment of sexual relations

Suggested Citation

Khan, Ali, The Invasion of Sexual Privacy. San Diego Law Review, Vol. 23, 1986, Available at SSRN:

Ali Khan (Contact Author)

Legal Scholar Academy ( email )

Topeka, KS 66610
United States


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