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Sex and Harm in the Age of Consent$
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Joseph J. Fischel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780816694754

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816694754.001.0001

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Numbers, Sex, Power

Numbers, Sex, Power

Age and Sexual Consent

(p.85) 3 Numbers, Sex, Power
Sex and Harm in the Age of Consent

Joseph J. Fischel

University of Minnesota Press

Chapter 3 proposes reforms to age of consent laws via the principle of sexual autonomy. Conceptually, sexual autonomy envisions young people as volitional but vulnerable. Practically, sexual autonomy portends a lowered age of sexual consent, decriminalization of sex between minors, regulation over relations of dependence, and a more robust standard of consent. This chapter demonstrates too that concerns around age, age difference, and sex reflect and displace more difficult questions around gender, gendered subordination, and queer sexuality that are less solvable by law.

Keywords:   age of sexual consent laws, sexual autonomy, vulnerability, gendered subordination, queer sexuality, gender, legal reform

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