Tenzer on #MeToo, Statutory Rape Laws, and the Persistence of Gender @ProfLGTenzer

Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer, Pace University School of Law, has published #MeToo, Statutory Rape Laws, and the Persistence of Gender. Here is the abstract. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, feminists pushed for reform of statutory rape laws. At that time, states’ laws explicitly provided that only males could be charged with the crime of having sexual intercourse with a female below a certain age. The victims of statutory rape were always female. Feminists advocated that the law should be rewritten in gender-neutral terms. They hoped that formal equality in statutory rapes laws would lead to the recognition that both males and females have sexual agency and greater equality in society as a whole. Unfortunately, the prosecutorial discretion granted by the language of these laws perpetuate rather than abolishes traditional male/female stereotypes. In October 2017, a social movement erupted out of the unacceptable exercise by men of their power over female…

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