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The Australian National University

Sexual offending in a historical context

The Gender Institute would like to congratulate one of our members Dr. Carolyn Strange and her colleagues Dr. Lisa Featherstone; Dr. Amanda Kaladelfos; and Dr. Nina Westera who have won funding for an ARC Discovery project that examines qualitative and quantitative analysis on sexual offending in a historical context.

Project Summary:

The narrow terms of reference of recent inquiries into institutional sexual abuse highlight the need for broader, longer-term historical analysis, based on archival prosecutorial records, parliamentary debates and popular accounts of sex crimes. This project will deploy quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse shifting understandings of sexual offending, and their impact on political and legal processes, from the 1880s to the 1980s in Australia and Canada. Its outcomes will include briefing papers to law enforcement agencies; a monograph on ‘turning point’ criminal cases; and a publicly accessible interactive website, allowing users to trace the complete history of the criminalisation of sex acts, the trials of alleged sexual offenders, and changing impressions of sexual offending.