This course reviews contemporary public policy regarding sexually coercive behavior. A major focus is the aggressive legislative approaches to sexual violence developed in the United States over the past twenty years. The course examines and evaluates these controversial legal approaches, as well as alternative approaches to the societal effort to address sexual violence. The course includes an examination of the current state of social science research into sexual violence, including etiology, classification, treatment, supervision, recidivism, and risk assessment. Examination of legislative approaches to sexual violence seeks an understanding of the operation of these laws, the constitutional litigation challenging them, the legal issues currently in controversy, and an attempt to assess their efficacy as part of a system for addressing sexual violence in society. The course addresses issues at a variety of levels of abstraction, examining the morality of the laws, their implications for public policy, and the fight against sexual violence, as well as the practical skills and knowledge necessary for lawyers and other professionals to operate effectively. The grade is based on a take-home midterm exam and a take-home final exam.
The upper-level substantive course examines the contemporary public policy and legislative treatment of sexually coercive behavior.
Recommended for the following Professional Pathways: Civil Rights/Civil Liberties; Criminal Defense; Criminal Prosecution; Family Law; Government/Public Sector