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Encyclopedia > Consensual crime
It has been suggested that Victimless crime be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)

A consensual or victimless crime is behavior that is considered a crime, even though all of those involved in the act give consent, and no third parties suffer as a direct result. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... A victimless or consensual crime is behavior which is forbidden by law, yet does not hurt, harm nor violate the rights of anyone, except perhaps the consensual participants themselves. ... A victimless or consensual crime is behavior which is forbidden by law, yet does not hurt, harm nor violate the rights of anyone, except perhaps the consensual participants themselves. ...


Political leaders may justify criminalizing such behavior because of indirect effects on third parties, or because of offense to cultural norms, or because the law assumes that one of the parties to the action is a "victim" despite his or her informed consent. In sociology, a norm, or social norm, is a rule that is socially enforced. ... Informed consent is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon an appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of any actions. ...


Consensual crimes are often described as crimes in which the victim is the state, the juridical system, or society at large. These crimes are therefore forbidden behaviours that do not imply damage to third persons, but only affect general (sometimes ideological or cultural) interests of the system, such as common sexual morality. A state is an organized political community occupying a definite territory, having an organized government, and possessing internal and external sovereignty. ... For the song by the California punk band Pennywise, see Society (song). ... An ideology is a collection of ideas. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Some, particularly libertarians, consider the term victimless crime to be an oxymoron, the concept to be inconsistent or hypocritical, and begging the rhetorical question: if there is no victim, where is the crime? This article deals with the libertarianism as defined in America and several other nations. ... An oxymoron (plural oxymora) (noun) is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms (e. ... Consistency has three technical meanings: In mathematics and logic, as well as in theoretical physics, it refers to the proposition that a formal theory or a physical theory contains no contradictions. ... Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, virtues and feelings that one does not truly possess. ...

Contents


Giving consent

When discussing consensual crimes, one issue is whether the participants are capable of giving genuine consent. This may not be the case if they are: Consent (as a term of jurisprudence) is a possible justification against civil or criminal liability. ...

Thus, for example, sex with a child is a crime but not a consensual crime, because even if there is consent, it is not valid. A male Caucasian toddler child A child (plural: children) is a young human. ... In criminal law, the age of consent is the age at which a person is considered to be capable of legally giving informed consent to sexual acts with another person. ... The Scream, the famous painting commonly thought of as depicting the experience of mental illness. ... A mood swing is an extreme change in mood. ... Duress (coercion) (as a term of jurisprudence) is a possible defense, via excuse, by which a defendant may argue that they should not be held criminally liable for actions which broke the law. ... Addiction is an uncontrollable compulsion to repeat a behavior regardless of its negative consequences. ... The unconscious mind (or subconscious) is the aspect (or puported aspect) of the mind of which we are not directly conscious or aware. ...


Examples

People often debate which crimes are consensual, arguing either that those involved are not in fact consenting adults, or that the crimes are not victimless. The following is a list of criminal acts in various societies at various times, that some people regard as consensual crimes, arranged into three broad categories:


Sex crimes and crimes related to reproduction: Sex crimes are forms of human sexual behavior that are crimes. ...

  • Adultery and, in general, sex outside marriage where all persons involved give consent (though violation of a marriage contract may involve a direct victim).
  • Polygamy and other non-traditional marital and family practices.
  • Prostitution, other sex work, and related acts (though poverty or drug addiction raises issues of consent)
  • Incest between legal adults where offspring cannot result from the sexual activity; for example homosexual acts or where at least one partner is sterile. (In some countries forbidden only when causing public scandal).
  • Homosexuality, BDSM, or other sexual activities not strictly related with biological reproduction (see, for example, sodomy law).
  • Statutory rape where the "underage" participant(s) give consent (this raises the question: at what age are people capable of giving informed consent?).
  • Pornography (production, trade, possession, consumption) and other obscenity, when produced involving consenting adult participants, and distributed to consenting adult purchasers.
  • Human reproduction outside ordinary methods, such as chemical or genetic interventions, birth control (illegal in many places), human cloning and other non-approved reproductive technologies.

Religion: Adultery is generally defined as consensual sexual intercourse by a married person with someone other than their lawful spouse. ... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sex positions Francoeur, Robert T. (ed. ... The term polygamy (literally many marriage in late Greek) is used in related ways in social anthropology and sociobiology. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services, such as oral sex or sexual intercourse, for money. ... A sex worker is anyone who earns money by providing sexual services. ... Incest is sexual activity or marriage between very close family members. ... A scandal is a widely publicized incident involving allegations of wrong-doing, disgrace, or moral outrage. ... Since its inception, the term homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings. ... A collar is a common symbol of BDSM. BDSM is a term which describes a number of related patterns of human sexual behaviour. ... For other uses, see Reproduction (disambiguation) Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. ... A sodomy law is a law which makes certain sexual acts into sex crimes. ... The term statutory rape is sometimes used when national and/or regional governments, citing an interest in protecting minors, consider people under a certain age to be unable to give consent, and therefore consider sexual contact with them to be equivalent to rape regardless of the minors consent. ... Pornography (from Greek πορνογραφία pornographia — literally writing about or drawings of harlots) (also informally referred to as porn, porno, and more recently, pr0n) is the representation of the human body or human sexual behaviour with the goal of sexual arousal, similar to, but (according to some) distinct from, erotica. ... Obscenity has several connotations. ... Birth control is a regimen of one or more extra actions, devices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of a woman becoming pregnant. ... Human Cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of an existing, or previously existing human or growing cloned tissue from that individual. ... Reproductive technology is a term for all current and anticipated uses of technology in human and animal reproduction, including: artificial insemination artificial wombs cloning (see human cloning for the special case of human beings) cryopreservation of sperm, oocytes, embryos embryo testing embryo transfer genetic engineering hormone treatment to increase fertility...

Self-preservation and public safety: In religion and sociology, a cult is a cohesive group of people (often a relatively small and new religious movement) devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be far outside the mainstream. ... A superstition is an irrational belief about the relation between certain actions (often behaviors) and other actions. ... Blasphemy is the defamation of the name of God. ... In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of making a false statement of fact that injures someones reputation. ...

In the systems that have laws on these matters, jurists commonly consider that the general interests of the state can originate laws that have to be respected only because of their existence (until eventual abrogation), since the respect for the entire juridical system is a duty of every citizen that has to be expressed in the respect of any formal law or rule (juridical public order). Obviously some laws eminently reflect a dominant (or prevalent) cultural position and therefore impose the respect for the cultural preferences of the majority of citizens. Sexually-related crimes frequently appear to belong to this kind of legislation and in fact they are in some cases prosecuted only if from the fact a public scandal is effectively originated; in these cases the avoidance of scandals might then be the goal of the law. Note that while the definition here bears some superficial resemblance to the legal concept malum prohibitum ("bad because prohibited", as opposed to malum in se, "inherently bad"), these crimes are legally considered malum in se, because it is expected that all members of the culture correlating with the state know that these acts are forbidden in that culture. Gambling (or betting) is any behavior involving risking money or property (making a wager or placing a stake) on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event in which the outcome of that activity depends partially or totally upon chance or upon ones ability to do something. ... Suicide (from Latin sui caedere, to kill oneself) is the act of willfully ending ones own life; it is sometimes a noun for one who has committed or attempted the act. ... Self-harm (SH) is deliberate injury to ones own body. ... Seat belt legislation is a law or laws put in place to enforce or require the wearing of seat belts while driving, or a passenger in, a vehicle. ... A motorcycle helmet is a type of protective headgear used by motorcycle riders. ... Drug may refer to: A substance perceived or defined as a drug in clinical medical practice or a substance perceived or defined as a drug in legislation and political strategies so as to prevent or punish abuse of the substance. ... In general usage, alcohol (from Arabic al-ghawl الغول) refers almost always to ethanol, also known as grain alcohol, and often to any beverage that contains ethanol (see alcoholic beverage). ... The black market is the sector of economic activity involving illegal economic dealings, typically the buying and selling of merchandise illegally. ... The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House illuminated under New Years Eve Fireworks 2005 A fireworks event (also called a fireworks display or fireworks show) is a spectacular display of the effects produced by firework devices on various occasions. ... General Name, Symbol, Number plutonium, Pu, 94 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block ?, 7, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass (244) g/mol Electron configuration [Rn] 5f6 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 24, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... Also known as Nerve agents, it is the term used for a type of chemical warfare substance that interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses. ... A weapon is a tool used to kill or incapacitate a person or animal, or destroy a military target. ... Cable television or Community Antenna Television (CATV) (and often shortened to cable) is a system of providing television, FM radio programming and other services to consumers via radio waves transmitted directly to people’s televisions through fixed coaxial cables as opposed to the over-the-air method used in traditional... Cryptography (from Greek kryptós, hidden, and gráphein, to write) is, traditionally, the study of means of converting information from its normal, comprehensible form into an incomprehensible format, rendering it unreadable without secret knowledge — the art of encryption. ... Sedition refers to a legal designation of non-overt conduct that is deemed by a legal authority as being acts of treason, and hence deserving of legal punishment. ... Look up Culture in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikinews has news related to this article: Culture and entertainment Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Cultural Development in Antiquity Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Culture and Civilization in Modern Times Classificatory system for cultures and civilizations, by Dr. Sam Vaknin... A minority language is a language spoken by a minority of the population of a country. ... Orphaned works are — broadly speaking — any copyrighted works where the rights holder is hard to find. ... JURIST is an online legal news and research service hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, edited by Professor Bernard Hibbitts and a staff of more than 20 law students. ... The word citizen may refer to: A person with a citizenship Citizen Watch Co. ... Aphorism Critical legal studies Jurisprudence Law (principle) Legal research Letter versus Spirit List of legal abbreviations Legal code Natural justice Natural law Philosophy of law Religious law External links Find more information on Law by searching one of Wikipedias sibling projects: Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School... Legislation refers to the process of enacting statutory laws, or to the set of statutory laws in a state. ... Malum prohibitum (plural mala prohibita, literal translation: wrong because prohibited) is a Latin phrase used in law to refer to crimes made so by statute, as opposed to crimes based on English common law and obvious violations of societys standards which are defined as malum in se. ... Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong in itself; it is an act that is illegal from the nature of the act, i. ...


About the personal use of drugs, which is varyingly considered by different systems (some allow it, others don't), it has to be recalled that a concrete interest of the state is sometimes found in the damage that related criminality could cause, or for merely economical schemes. The personal use is then sometimes forbidden because it indirectly enforces related traffic (and mafia-like activities) and more serious crimes. Not differently, prostitution is forbidden in some countries because of the other criminal interests that usually surround the phenomenon, with an additional interest for the general public health (due to the risk of sexual diseases). for other uses please see Crime (disambiguation) A crime is an act that violates a political or moral law. ... The Mafia, also referred to in Italian as La Cosa Nostra (variously translated as This Thing Of Ours or Our Thing), is the name for a secret criminal organization which evolved in mid-19th century Sicily, and led to an offshoot on the East Coast of the United States, emerging...


About the crimes against one's own person, like suicide or self-injury, again the interest of the state in fighting them is commonly individuated in the consideration of the opposite convenience of a general public health, and the matter is deeply discussed also depending on the juridical consideration of the acceptable extent of a man's free will. An argument that is similarly discussed regards euthanasia, differently evaluated as a help for suicide or as a true murder. Free will is the philosophical doctrine that holds that our choices are ultimately up to ourselves. ... Euthanasia (Greek: ευθανασία - ευ good, θανατος death) is the practice of killing a person or animal, in a painless or minimally painful way, for merciful reasons, usually to end their suffering. ...


On an opposite situation, artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, human cloning and other medical or chemical interventions on the processes of human reproduction can be forbidden due to a general interest of the state in protecting the cultural position of the establishment; in some countries commissions for bio-ethics have been created in order to define the prevalent position and consequently adjust laws on it. Artificial insemination (AI) is when sperm is placed into a females ovarian follicle (intrafollicular), uterus (intrauterine), cervix (intracervical), or fallopian tubes (intratubal) using artificial means rather than by natural copulation. ... In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a technique in which egg cells are fertilized outside the mothers body in cases where conception is difficult or impossible through normal intercourse. ... Human Cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of an existing, or previously existing human or growing cloned tissue from that individual. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


In most western cultures, arguments are produced in favour of or against a legal provision of mentioned behaviours. These arguments are often expression of political positions, but not only, not necessarily and not uniformly.


Arguments for banning some consensual acts

In general, social conservatives tend to defend the existence of laws banning consensual acts. Conservatism or political conservatism is any of several historically related political philosophies or political ideologies. ...

  • Advocates of laws against victimless crimes often assert that they are essential for the preservation of the greater good of society. For instance, laws mandating the use of seat belts are argued to save considerable amounts of death and serious injury, thus offering a net benefit to society, if only for the reason that treating the injured and supporting the families of the injured or dead has a cost for insurance or social security systems paid for by the general population.
  • Some argue that some laws on victimless crimes are needed to preserve morality or the prevention of an offence against God. Such arguments are often disputed in secular societies.
  • Advocates may consider the side-effects of the forbidden consensual activity on those close to the individuals concerned to be so harmful that they may be considered victims of the crime. A common example is laws restricting gambling, on the basis that gambling addicts can severely harm their family's well-being.
  • In the same vein as the previous reason, some argue that while perhaps the activity in question in an ideal, theoretical state may indeed be victimless, most or all of its practical incarnations have generated situations in which many are victimized. For example, prostitution is in theory a simple transaction where money is traded for sex, however, in its many real-world incarnations there is a history of coercion and violence within the trade.
  • They may consider that the direct harm of the activity in question is so great that the people involved need to be protected against their own actions, regardless of their desires. This is a common argument for the maintenance of laws against illegal drugs.

Aphorism Critical legal studies Jurisprudence Law (principle) Legal research Letter versus Spirit List of legal abbreviations Legal code Natural justice Natural law Philosophy of law Religious law External links Find more information on Law by searching one of Wikipedias sibling projects: Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School... A victimless or consensual crime is behavior which is forbidden by law, yet does not hurt, harm nor violate the rights of anyone, except perhaps the consensual participants themselves. ... For the song by the California punk band Pennywise, see Society (song). ... A three-point seat belt. ... Insurance, in law and economics, is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of potential financial loss. ... For specific national programs, see Social Security (United States), National insurance (UK), Social Security (Sweden) Social security mainly refers to a field of social welfare concerned with social protection, or protection against socially recognized needs, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment, families with children and others. ... Morality, in the strictest sense of the word, deals with that which is innately regarded as right or wrong. ... God is the monotheistic concept of a supernatural Supreme Being who is the creator of the Universe. ... This article concerns secularity, that is, being secular, in various senses. ...

Arguments against banning some consensual acts

In general, social libertarians believe that laws banning consensual acts should be abolished, as there is no rational or moral reason for them to exist, and they reduce freedom. Libertarianism is a modern political philosophy that strongly advocates the maximization of individual rights, private property rights, and free market capitalism. ... Personal liberty is one of the meanings of freedom. Freedom refers, in a very general sense, to the state of being free (i. ...

  • They also assert that the harm caused by the prevention of these activities is often far greater than any harm caused by the activities themselves, and would justify repeal of these laws on the same harm reduction grounds that supposedly justify them.
  • They assert that laws against consensual crimes may have unintended consequences that are the reverse of that intended: for example, the War on Drugs puts the distribution of illegal drugs into the hands of criminals, and creates artificial scarcity, making their distribution highly profitable. At the same time, it fails to prevent the activities it was intended to prevent. Many cite the history of the Prohibition era in the United States as an example of a similar failed battle against an illegal drug.
  • The criminal underworlds often created by laws against consensual crimes mean that a subculture comes into existence for whom police are an enemy, who cannot rely on law, and who often adhere to a violent code of honor. These traits discourage respect for property, encourage violence and revenge, and depress the economy of the areas in which they operate.

Harm reduction recognizes that some people always have and always will engage in behaviours which carry risks, e. ... Unintended consequences can be either positive, in which case we get serendipity or windfalls source of problems, according to the Murphys law definitively negative: perverse effect, which is the opposite result to the one intended The Law of Unintended Consequences holds that almost all human actions have at least... The War on Drugs is an initiative undertaken in the United States to carry out an all-out offensive (as President Nixon described it) against the non-medical use of certain prohibited drugs. ... Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol. ... Organized crime is crime carried out systematically by formal criminal organizations. ... As understood in sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a set of people with a distinct set of behaviour and beliefs that differentiate them from a larger culture of which they are a part. ... Honor (or honor) comprises the reputation, self-perception or moral identity of an individual or of a group. ... // Use of the term The concept of property or ownership has no single or universally accepted definition. ... Violence refers to acts —typically connotative with aggressive and criminal behaviour —which intend to cause or is causing of injury to persons, animals, or (in limited cases) property. ... Revenge or vengeance consists of retaliation against a person or group in response to perceived wrongdoing. ...

Legalization of consensual acts

Many activities that were once considered crimes are no longer illegal in some countries, at least in part because of their status as victimless crimes.


For example, in the United Kingdom in the 1950s the Wolfenden report recommended the legalization of homosexuality for these reasons. Almost fifty years later, Lawrence v. Texas struck down US sodomy laws. Over the same period, abortion was legalised in most countries (although the 'victimless' nature of abortion is a subject of great controversy and debate in the United States and some other countries). // Events and trends The 1950s in Western society was marked with a sharp rise in the economy for the first time in almost 30 years and return to the 1920s-type consumer society built on credit and boom-times, as well as the height of the baby boom from returning... The Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (better known as the Wolfenden report, after Lord Wolfenden, the chairman of the committee) was published in Britain on September 3, 1957 after a succession of well-known men were convicted of homosexual offences. ... Legalization is the process of removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently illegal. ... Since its inception, the term homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings. ... Holding A Texas law prohibiting homosexual sodomy violated the liberty under the Fourteenth Amendment of adults to engage in private intimate conduct. ... A sodomy law is a law which makes certain sexual acts into sex crimes. ...


Prohibition of alcohol was repealed in the United States, and there are efforts to legalize cannabis in many countries, and some reformers advocate the legalization of all currently illegal drugs (although they generally also recommend legal regulation of the supply of drugs). Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol. ... In general usage, alcohol (from Arabic al-ghawl الغول) refers almost always to ethanol, also known as grain alcohol, and often to any beverage that contains ethanol (see alcoholic beverage). ... Species Cannabis indica Cannabis ruderalis Cannabis sativa Cannibis is a genus of flowering plant that includes one or more species. ...


Further reading

Aint Nobodys Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Society (ISBN 0931580587) is a book by Peter McWilliams in which he presents the history of legislation against consensual crimes (also called victimless crimes), as well as arguments for their legalization. ... Peter Alexander McWilliams (August 5, 1949 - June 14, 2000), born in Detroit, was a writer primarily of self-help books. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Consensual crime - Definition, explanation (1398 words)
Governments may justify making these acts into crimes because of indirect effects on third parties, or because of offense to cultural norms, or because the law assumes that one of the parties to the action is a "victim" despite his or her informed consent.
Consensual crimes are often described as crimes in which the victim is the state, the juridical system, or society at large.
They assert that laws against consensual crimes may have unintended consequences that are the reverse of that intended: for example, the War on Drugs puts the distribution of illegal drugs into the hands of criminals, and creates artificial scarcity, making their distribution highly profitable.
Crime (921 words)
Crimes are viewed as offenses against society, and as such are punished by the state.
Crimes can be divided into several (overlapping) categories: computer offences, crimes against persons, crimes against property, crimes against state security, drug offences, sexual offences, and weapon offences.
Crimes are also be grouped by severity, some common categorical terms being: felonies, indictable offences, infractions, misdemeanors, and summary offences.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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