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Jailbait
The Politics of Statutory Rape Laws in the United States
Jailbait
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Carolyn Cocca - Author
N/A
Hardcover - 242 pages
Release Date: April 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-5905-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5905-8

Out of Print
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 242 pages
Release Date: April 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-5906-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5906-5

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

2005 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award

Examines the development of statutory rape laws in the United States.

The first book-length study of American statutory rape laws, Jailbait investigates the double-edged nature of legislation aimed at both protecting and punishing adolescent sexuality. Carolyn Cocca explores how, throughout the history of the United States, the regulation of sexual behavior was seized upon as a means to alleviate larger problems, be they moral, social, political, or economic. Feminists, religious conservatives, and legislators, each with their own agendas, have at times both conflicted and cooperated over legislation, leading to uneasy compromises that play out in the ways in which the laws are implemented today. Using both detailed case studies and quantitative analysis, Jailbait examines important changes made to statutory rape laws since the 1970s, including prosecutions under the laws. Among the more surprising findings is that changes to statutory rape laws were sometimes made in opposition to prevailing public opinion, contrary to previous studies that have asserted morality policy is especially responsive to public opinion.

“…Cocca has written a thoughtful and engaging book that connects a variety of theoretical perspectives and makes use of multiple methodological approaches in a coherent manner.” — American Politics

“Cocca’s carefully crafted, empirically rich, and clearly written study of amendments to statutory rape laws since the 1970s is based on statistical analysis of all 50 states and 3 well-selected, brief, state case studies … Her findings challenge previous studies that attribute state morality policies to public opinion, instead arguing for the salience of organized groups.” — CHOICE

"Cocca's discussion of statutory rape is a thoughtful and compelling account that goes beyond stereotypes of adolescent sexuality as it critically analyzes how the issue has been constructed to achieve different types of policy goals. She distills seemingly disparate concerns—theories of policy change, research methods, feminist theories, adolescent sexuality, and statutory rape—into an absorbing and coherent whole." — John P. Entelis, Fordham University

Carolyn Cocca is Assistant Professor of Politics at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury.


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Introduction

1. Statutory Rape Laws in Historical Context

2. Robbing the Cradle: Age-Span Provisions Decriminalize Teen Sex

3. Prosecuting Mrs. Robinson: Gender-Neutral Statutory Rape Laws

4. From "Welfare Queen" to "Exploited Teen": Targeting the Partners of Pregnant Females

Conclusion

Appendix: Theory and Method: State Politics, Pooled Cross-Sectional Time Series, and Case Studies

Notes

Bibliography

Index



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