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Constitutional Law

Law and Gender

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

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E-Race-Ing Gender: The Racial Construction Of Prison Rape, Kim S. Buchanan Nov 2011

E-Race-Ing Gender: The Racial Construction Of Prison Rape, Kim S. Buchanan

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Prison rape is a form of gender violence. Men’s prisons institutionalize a toxic form of masculinity when they foster homophobia, physical violence and an institutional culture that requires inmates to prove their masculinity by fighting. Staff and inmate abusers alike target small, young, effeminate, gay, bisexual and transgender inmates. According to recent nationwide survey data, the two factors that most strongly predict an inmate’s risk of sexual abuse are (1) prior sexual victimization, and (2) gay, bisexual or transgender identity. Nonetheless, prison rape continues to be understood in accordance with an inaccurate stereotype that it is typically black-on-white ...


Just Say No: Birth Control In The Connecticut Supreme Court Before Griswold V. Connecticut, Mary L. Dudziak Jul 2010

Just Say No: Birth Control In The Connecticut Supreme Court Before Griswold V. Connecticut, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This essay examines the right to use birth control in Connecticut before Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). It is often assumed that the Connecticut birth control ban was not enforced, and consequently did not affect access to birth control in the state. Accordingly, the cases challenging the state statute have been viewed as not real cases or controversies deserving of court attention. This essay demonstrates that this view is erroneous. Connecticut law was enforced against the personnel of birth control clinics for aiding and abetting the use of contraceptives. Enforcement of the statute against those working in clinics kept birth control ...


Gendered Laws, Racial Stories, Kim S. Buchanan Sep 2009

Gendered Laws, Racial Stories, Kim S. Buchanan

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this Article, I argue that, in prisons and in Title VII jurisprudence, the legal response to same-sex sexual harassment and abuse enforces the norms of masculinity that abusers enact in the practice of such abuse and harassment. Prison guards and administrators routinely refuse to prevent or punish sexual abuse, telling the victim to “Be a man. Stand up and fight.” If he is raped, the victim is often told that he is—or has been made—“gay,” and therefore “liked it.” Similar norms, albeit in less violent and more coded form, inflect Title VII jurisprudence of same-sex sexual harassment ...