Illicit and Unnatural Practices : The Law, Sex and Society in Scotland Since 1900

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How did the Scottish legal system respond to what were deemed 'illicit and unnatural practices' after 1900? Offers a new perspective on the relationship between the law and society in modern Scotland Makes a significant contribution to our understanding of sexual practices and attitudes in modern Scotland Highlights and explores previously neglected areas of Scottish social life and sexual behavior Using a wide range of prosecution and trial records, along with more recent newspaper coverage of court proceedings, this book furnishes a fascinating insight into the relationship between the law, sex, and society in modern Scotland. Case studies of sex-related offences, including abortion, bestiality, brothel-keeping, child sexual assault, and wilful HIV transmission, reveal how far the legal process both reflected and reinforced contemporary moral panics and how far it was shaped by the interplay between law officers and forensic experts, by the prejudices of the local community and civic leaders, and by Scotland's distinctive legal and moral identity. The law in practice is seen to have sustained important norms of sexual behaviour and masculinity along with an enduring double moral standard with respect to female sexuality. This volume thus affords a remarkable new perspective on the sexual behaviours and ideologies of Scottish society across the twentieth century and into the new millennium.

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