Sex Crimes in the Fifties

Sex Crimes in the Fifties

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The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013-2017) has given national consciousness to the problematic treatment of sexual offences in Australia's past. Yet there has been little historical research into the policing, prosecution and punishment of those crimes. This book examines Australia's treatment of sexual crimes in the 1950s, a decade well known for its political and social conservatism, its prudish views on morality, and its prescriptive gender roles for men and women. Fewer would know that this same decade saw soaring arrests, mounting criminal prosecutions, and intensifying public debates about how to deal with sexual offenders. Or that sexual offences on children attracted the most concentrated state attention and public concern. Sex Crimes in the Fifties uncovers this new history by drawing on transcripts of hundreds of criminal proceedings and extensive research in criminal justice archives. We examine the criminal trial itself, exploring how prosecutors, defence counsel, witnesses, juries and judges understood sexual crimes. We consider the experience of women testifying in rape trials, the prosecution of sexual crimes against children, the court's treatment of recent immigrants, the prosecution and punishment of homosexual men, the influence of psychiatric evidence, and the increasing public debates over the 'sex offender'. We show that the 1950s was indeed foundational to many of our contemporary beliefs about sexual crimes. This book makes a major contribution to our historical and socio-legal knowledge about sexual offences and criminal prosecution. It will be of interest to historians, criminologists, sociologists, and legal scholars as well as general readers interested in the treatment of these crimes in our more

Product details

  • Paperback | 255 pages
  • 135 x 209 x 21mm | 308g
  • Melbourne University Press
  • Academic Monographs
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • Main ed.
  • 0522866557
  • 9780522866551
  • 1,456,179

About Lisa Featherstone

Dr Lisa Featherstone is a Senior Lecturer in Australian History at the University of Queensland. Lisa has worked widely on the history of sexuality, including the monograph Let'sTalk About Sex- Histories of Sexuality in Australia from Federation to the Pill (2011). Lisa is a Chief Investigator on the ARC DP Project 'Sexual Offences, Legal Responses, and Public Perceptions- 1880s-1980s'. Dr Amanda Kaladelfos is Research Fellow with the Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship Project 'Prosecution and the CriminalTrial in Australian History' at the Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University, Australia, and Chief Investigator on the ARC Discovery Project 'Sexual Offences, Legal Responses, and Public Perceptions- 1880s-1980s'. Amanda's research crosses the fields of history, law and more

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