in Secrets, Sex, and Spectacle

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780226894089
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226894119 | DOI:

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Scandals are sometimes about sex. A sex scandal can be a platform for debating the fissures in sexual morality—both serious and otherwise—that divide us. There is something more complex involved here than intercourse. Some of the complexity is contained in the excitement of watching someone challenge the boundaries and break the rules. This chapter examines those rules in a broad morass of sex scandals to see what it is about sex-related conduct that Americans and Japanese consider important enough to fuss over. It begins by examining the laws and norms of gender and family in Japan, and then examines some common types of sex-related scandals: sexual harassment, solicitation of prostitution, underage sex, prostitution, and divorce. The chapter also looks at the history of adultery law in Japan and the United States, as well as attitudes about adultery in the two countries. After Bill Clinton and Sōsuke Uno, both countries regard adultery as an unforgivable political sin, but for very different reasons.

Keywords: sex scandals; Japan; United States; adultery; gender; family; sexual harassment; prostitution; underage sex; divorce

Chapter.  21318 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Law

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