Crimes against morality

Carpenter, Belinda Jane & Hayes, Sharon L. (2009) Crimes against morality. In Hayes, Hennessay & Prenzler, Timothy (Eds.) Introduction to Crime and Criminology (2nd ed.). Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales, pp. 149-165.


The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the relationship between crime and morality, with a specific focus on crimes against morality. While we argue that all crimes have a general moral basis, condemned as wrong or bad and proscribed by society, there is a specific group of offences in modern democratic nations labelled crimes against morality. Included within this group are offences related to prostitution, pornography and homosexuality. What do these crimes have in common? Most clearly they tend to have a sexual basis and are often argued to do sexual harm, in both a moral and /or psychological sense, as well as physically. Conversely they are often argued to be victimless crimes, especially when the acts occur between consenting adults. Finally they are considered essentially private acts but they often occur, and are regulated, in the public domain. Most importantly, each of these crimes against morality has only relatively recently (ie in the past 150 years) become identified and regulated by the state as a criminal offence.

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ID Code: 29013
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: morality, crime, harm principle, victimless crime, consent
ISBN: 9781741038989
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Deposited On: 30 Nov 2009 05:29
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2015 14:13

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