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Introduction

  • Caroline DerryEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This book is the first sustained consideration of an overlooked area of legal history and policy: the regulation of lesbianism by the criminal justice system of England and Wales. The introduction begins by challenging the myth that lesbians have been tolerated by the criminal law. Rather, there has been an overarching policy of deliberately silencing lesbian possibility which reflected acute anxieties about the threat it posed to the patriarchal family. The definitions of two key terms, lesbianism and silencing, are explored. The book centres around case studies of court cases and policy discussions ranging from 1746 to 2013: these are introduced, and the feminist, lesbian-centred methodology used to explore them is explained and located within the wider literature.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law SchoolThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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