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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Barebacking and the ‘Cult of Violence’: Queering the Criminal Law

Ashford, Chris (2010) Barebacking and the ‘Cult of Violence’: Queering the Criminal Law. The Journal of Criminal Law, 74 (4). pp. 339-357. ISSN 0022-0183

Item Type: Article


This article seeks to revisit the law in relation to the sexual phenomenon of barebacking. Drawing upon queer theory, the article seeks to evaluate critically the development of the criminal law in relation to the practice of ‘unsafe’ sex by men with other men, known as bare- backing, along with the broader casting of the judiciary as sexual custos mores. It will argue that the present heteronormative legal and cultural framework largely reflects a focus upon the ‘good gay’, de-sexed and constructed within a rights discourse, in contrast to Stychin’s ‘bad queer’, sexual and defiant of a narrow heteronormative rights agenda, and em- bracing ‘unsafe’ and ‘deviant’ sexual practices.

This article seeks to move the analysis of the criminal law on from the doctrinal debates that have dominated thus far, and onto a more theoret- ical exposition of the criminal law regarding barebacking as erotic play.

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Item ID: 1069
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ISSN: 0022-0183
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Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2011 15:22
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 10:56


Author: Chris Ashford

University Divisions

Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > School of Law
Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > Sunderland Law School


Law > Criminal Law
Law > Law

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