Crimes Against Children Sexual Violence and Legal Culture in New York City, 1880-1960

ISBN-10: 0807855960

ISBN-13: 9780807855966

Edition: 2005

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Description:

In the first half of the twentieth century, Americans' intense concern with sex crimes against children led to a wave of public discussion, legislative action, and criminal prosecution. Stephen Robertson provides the first large-scale, long-term study of how American criminal courts dealt with the prosecution of sexual violence. Robertson describes how the nineteenth-century approach to childhood as a single phase of innocence began to shift at the end of the century to include several stages of childhood development, prompting reformers to create legal categories such as statutory rape and carnal abuse to protect children. However, while ordinary New Yorkers' involvement in the prosecution of those offenses reshaped their understandings of who was a child and produced a new concern to establish the age of their sexual partners, their beliefs in childhood innocence and in a concept of sexuality centered on sexual intercourse remained unchanged. As a result, families' use of the law and jurors' decisions ultimately diminished the protection the new laws offered to children. Robertson's study, based on the previously unexamined files of the New York County district attorney's office, reveals the importance of child sexuality and sex crimes in twentieth-century American culture.
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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 4/18/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.122
Language: English

Stephen Robertson is a lecturer in the department of history at the University of Sydney.

To rescue the developing child
The act of violence on a child of tender years
The crime against nature
To throw absolute protection around females of less than sixteen years of age
Making right a girl's ruin
Making adolescents
Crimes against children
Child molestation
Sex play
Separating the men from the boys
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