Sex and Punishment did not start out as a project about sex. My initial, admittedly overambitious, goal was to write a narrative history of the law using colorful cases as examples. I decided to start with the oldest written laws in existence and take it from there. I was surprised by what I found.
As I looked at the first written laws from ancient Mesopotamia, I noticed that the earliest lawmakers were preoccupied with questions of sex. Everywhere I looked, there were specific rules on sexual relations with pigs and oxen, prostitutes, and family members. Sex was evidently more micromanaged then than it is now, with the exception of same-sex relations, which the law ignored almost entirely until the Hebrews labeled homosexuality a terrible crime against God and man.
Read the rest on Huffington Post Weird News: Sex and Punishment: 11 of the Most Outrageous Cases of Sex Being Criminalized Throughout History
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