Let’s talk about sex: deception, ethics and consent

Jack Thompson, Victoria Brooks

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Finding the answer to whether consent is present within a sexual encounter has become increasingly difficult for the courts. We argue that this is due to the focus placed on entrenching gender binaries, a conservative sexual ethic and clear offender/victim roles. It should be the case that the court’s task is to find the truth of the encounter in coming to a judgment as to the ethical balance, rather than judging the parties’ conformity to cis-normative and heteronormative roles. This endeavour is obscured by the court’s need to exclude ‘sex talk’, or otherwise testimony as to the messy reality of the encounter, in favour of asserting gender identity and a procreative understanding of sex. We are, therefore, left in the position where the required information necessary for valid consent is obscured by the courts. We draw on an analysis of cases involving issues relating to consent to sex in order to argue for a judicial approach that is informed by a more flexible understanding of sexual autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSocio-Legal Studies Association 2018 - University of Bristol
Duration: 27 Apr 2018 → …


ConferenceSocio-Legal Studies Association 2018
Period27/04/18 → …

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    Thompson, J., & Brooks, V. (2018). Let’s talk about sex: deception, ethics and consent. Abstract from Socio-Legal Studies Association 2018, .