San Diego Law Review


Steven B. Katz

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In this Article, Mr. Katz struggles with the question of whether genuine sexual choice is ever possible where a legally-defined entitlement structure empowers men over women. The author is mainly concerned with the current state of the law in some states whereby a man who reasonably expects that sexual access if forthcoming from a woman will not be convicted of rape if he proceeds to have sex with her, even though she has not consented. The author presents a contractual model to explain the social arrangements protected under the law of forcible rape. He then argues that rape law doctrine enforces the reasonable expectation of sexual access held by men. He cites the "weakness" of rapists as the reason for their failure to discipline their sexual desire to their cognitive capacity to understand the desired woman's subjective willingness to engage in sex. In conclusion, there is a contradiction in law and society between the fact of enforcement and the liberal ideal of sexual bodily autonomy.

Included in

Law Commons