SOCIAL SCIENCES

Adultery: Infidelity and the Law

Harvard Univ. Mar. 2016. 272p. maps. notes. index. ISBN 9780674659551. $28.95. LAW
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Longtime legal expert and author Rhode takes aim at the state's policing of fidelity and the societal double-standard it creates of biases based on class, race, and gender. As a legal professor and the director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University, Rhode's proficient knowledge on law, legal ethics, and gender takes a new direction in this book. She explores the legal ramifications as well as continued criminalization of adultery in certain U.S. states, which includes civil lawsuits, job termination, and child custody battles. Rhode offers a new legal regime that would repeal criminal prohibitions on adultery and abolish civil damages. The book includes an intriguing comparative chapter on the international perspective of infidelity and adultery from conservative countries to more liberal nonprohibiting areas accompanied by detailed chapter notes.
VERDICT Rhode succeeds in providing an unparalleled sociolegal take on the issues of infidelity and adultery with a focus on how the continued patrolling and protection of sexual relationships is not only no longer necessary, but also that it holds inherent discrimination and is thus archaic law.

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