oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Psychosexual autonomy, crimes against humanity and the Rome Statute: remarks on the process of internationalisation of criminal law

Volume 34, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The evolution of the elements of the crime of rape, as well as other relevant sexual crimes, runs parallel to the gradual rise of the fundamental right to psychosexual autonomy of, in the first instance, women and, thereafter, persons with a non-procreation sexual orientation. Nowadays sexual crimes, worldwide, are in a process of being redefined to protect the psychosexual autonomy - i.e. the right, within reasonable limits, to freely express his/her sexual feelings within the context of his/her bodily integrity - of persons of all forms of sexual orientation. The psychosexual autonomy of individuals is progressively prioritised in definition of crime, even within the marital and cohabitation as well as previously 'taboo' contexts.

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