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Details of the FB's book:

Sexual Ethics and Criminal Law


Lester Publishing   Doc. No. 2003.001


Description of book




Text of Book


Publishing Details


Selections from reviews


Description of book


The book is a critique of Part I (Sexual Offences) of the UK Government's Sexual Offences Bill in the form in which it was introduced into the House of Lords on 28 January 2003. The Bill is expected to be given Royal Assent in November 2003. So there is still time to change it, if the book's warnings are heeded.


The book is based on the fundamental proposition laid down in FB's related book The Sex Code: Morals for Moderns that sexual positivism or the healthy acceptance of human sexuality, seeking its fulfilment, is largely absent from British society - even though it is essential for human happiness. Yet much of Part I of the Bill is fuelled by public hysteria and founded on what might be termed a Victorian spinster's view of sex, namely that it is frightening, horrendous, and fit only for life with one's head beneath the bedclothes desperately hoping no wicked man will approach.


There are no fewer than 57 varieties of new sexual offences contained in Part I of the Bill. Some, but not many, replace existing offences that would be abolished by it. The Government's proposals are not based on any system of morals and values. On the question of a basis of agreed common morality the Bill is strangely silent, as was the White Paper on which it is based. While some sexual acts are obviously immoral and criminal, the vast majority are innocent and healthy A few others are on the borderline. Here there is a grey area, which needs to be addressed very carefully by those who lay down the criminal law. The proposals in the Bill fail to do that, as the book explains.




The text of the sections within the book can be read by clicking on the relevant link. Italicised lines relate paragraphs within the sections.



The Sex Hate Bill?

The nature of sexuality


Law and ethics

No ethical basis


Specific proposals in the Bill

Sex with children

Sexual activity between minors

Adult sexual activity with a child

Grooming of children

Familial sexual abuse of a child

Mistaken belief in child’s age

Prohibited adult sexual relationships

Sex with mentally disabled


Sexual interference with human remains


Drafting points on the Bill

Monosexual drafting

Meaning of “sexual”

Overlapping offences

Unnecessary complexity






Text of Book


You are able to read the text of the book on-line, either in html or Adobe pdf format.


Publishing Details


Title Sexual Ethics and Criminal Law
Subtitle A Critique of the Sexual Offences Bill 2003
ISBN 0 9542855 2 2
Type of book Paperback
Number of Volumes 1
Number of Pages 47
Name of Publisher Lester Publishing
Address of Publisher 29 Pegasus Road, Oxford OX4 6DS
Date of publication 2003
Reprinted No
Current edition 1st
Previous editions None
Supplements None
Current availability Out of print


Selections from reviews


"It seems a thoughtful, passionate, knowledgeable and careful piece of work and if what half it says is true then [the Sexual Offences Bill] is the shoddiest, meanest-minded most ignorant and demotically creepy piece of legislation the government has yet to let fall."

- Stephen Fry


"In a trenchant analysis of the Bill's provisions, Bennion argues that the Government's attempt to deal with the problem through the inventive creation of more and more criminal offences is misconceived and even dangerous. But of course he is crying for the moon if he expects a reactionary Home Secretary, in a Government chasing popular votes, to do anything else."

- Richard Oerton


The book has also been reviewed on the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Web Site by Andy Armitage