Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law
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Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law

Edited by Chris Ashford and Alexander Maine

This innovative and thought-provoking Research Handbook explores not only current debates in the area of gender, sexuality and the law but also points the way for future socio-legal research and scholarship. It presents wide-ranging insights and debates from across the globe, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia, with contributions from leading scholars and activists alongside exciting emergent voices.
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Chapter 35: Red, white, and BLACK AND BLUE: the American criminalization of BDSM

Stephan Ferris


This chapter will explore the legal concept of consent in context of BDSM relationships. Battery is the intentional infliction or harmful contact. Most jurisdictions do not recognize consent as a valid defense to battery within BDSM play, resulting in criminal charges being filed against consenting adults. This chapter will explore the notion of consent in comparison to other activities that require battery, such as sports, and argue in favor of an affirmative defense of consent.

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