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date: 24 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter first reviews the foundational works and thinking that put the criminal legal history of gender on the academic map, setting an ambitious research agenda that remains inspirational. The second section explores the topic of fatal femininities and masculinities by considering how feminist scholars and masculinity researchers have shaped our analysis of men and women who murder intimates. The third section examines how historians, beginning in the 1970s, came to consider the enduring and historically variable contexts of the crime’s perpetration, policing, and punishment. The last section discusses American exceptionalism—among Western advanced democracies the most murderous, and the nation in which race is held out to explain its unique history of rape. The conclusion identifies the challenges that remain and the need to review researchers’ reliance on the now-standard intersectional model of gender analysis.

Keywords: criminal legal history, intimate murder, rape, gender analysis, crime, American exceptionalism, race

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