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date: 28 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay explores the concept of sex crime, placing the discussion within the context of space and time by reviewing the evidence and literature available to scholars. The essay does this by dissecting four issues: (1) the historical and contemporary attitudes towards sexual behavior, including the changing definitions of sex crimes and a review of how deviant behaviour is a socially constructed concept, and as such the discussion of sex crime and how it is defined must take place within a broad social context; (2) the role of sex crime in political context (such as trafficking, rape as a war crime); (3) contemporary controversies about sex crimes (such as abuse within institutions, the definition of coercion); and (4) contemporary “moral panic” legislation developed in response to high-profile sex crimes.

Keywords: definition, high profile, moral panic, sex crime, sexual behaviour

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