Absence of malice: Constructing the female sex offender

Hayes, Sharon L. & Carpenter, Belinda J. (2010) Absence of malice: Constructing the female sex offender. In Moral Panics in the Contemporary World, 10-12 December 2010, Brunel University, London. (Unpublished)


It could be argued that all crimes have a general moral basis, condemned as ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ in the society in which they are proscribed, however, there are a specific group of offences in modern democratic nations which bear the brunt of the label, crimes against morality. Included within this group are offences related to prostitution and pornography, homosexuality and incest, as well as child sexual abuse. While the places where sex and morality meet have shifted over time, these two concepts continue to form the basis of much criminal legislation and associated criminal justice responses. Offenders of sexual mores are positioned as the reviled corruptors of innocent children, the purveyors of disease, an indictment on the breakdown of the family and/or the secularisation of society, and a corruptive force (Davidson 2008, Kincaid 1998). Other types of offending may divide public and political opinion, but the consensus on sex crimes appears constant.

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ID Code: 41899
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 please contact the authors
Deposited On: 06 Jun 2011 00:59
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 07:55

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