Policing Sex: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Policing Sex

1st Edition

Edited by Paul Johnson, Derek Dalton


192 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415668064
pub: 2012-05-17
SAVE ~$11.59
Hardback: 9780415668057
pub: 2012-05-17
SAVE ~$34.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203120736
pub: 2012-05-31
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


This collection focuses attention on an important but academically neglected area of contemporary operational policing: the regulation of consensual sexual practices. Despite the high-level public visibility of, and debate about, policing in relation to violent and abusive sexual crimes (from child sexual abuse to adult rape) very little public or scholarly attention is paid to the policing of consensual sexual practices in contemporary societies. Whilst ‘sexual life’ is commonly understood to be a matter of ‘private life’ that is beyond formal social control, this book shows that policing is implicated in the regulation of a wide range of consensual sexual practices. This book brings together a well known and respected group of academics, from a range of disciplines, to explore the role of the police in shaping the boundaries of that aspect of our lives that we imagine to be most intimate and most our own. The volume presents a ‘snap shot’ of policing in respect of a number of diverse areas – such as public sex, pornography, and sex work – and considers how sexual orientation structures police responses to them. The authors critically examine how policing is implicated in the social, moral and political landscape of sex and, contrary to the established rhetoric of politicians and criminal justice practitioners, continues to intervene in the private lives of citizens.

It is essential supplementary reading for courses in criminology, law, policing, sociology of deviance, gender and sexuality, and cultural studies.


'…in what can only be described as the intellectual Fifty Shades of Grey, [Policing Sex] stares the policing prude firmly in the eye and offers a no-holds-barred exploration into the policing of consensual sexual activity.

…the authors […] draw upon a wide range of authoritative sources, policy direction, legislation and empiricism to collectively bring together a set of critically robust chapters that should be commended for igniting debates on hitherto neglected areas of policing studies …

Policing Sex is a book that I would recommend to academics, students and senior police practitioners alike. It strikes a sound balance between theory, policy and practice and successfully illustrates the intellectual and operational complexities and realities faced by those who are concerned with this area of policing that are often overlooked.'

Matthew Jones , Policing and Society (2013): Policing sex, Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, DOI: 10.1080/10439463.2013.844136.

Table of Contents

Introduction Paul Johnson and Derek Dalton 1. The Changing Landscape of Policing Male Sexualities: A Minor Revolution? Leslie J. Moran 2. The Enforcers of Morality? Paul Johnson 3. Heterosexuality Public Places and Policing Chris Ashford 4. Sex and Sexuality Under Surveillance: Lenses and Binary Frames Kevin Walby and André Smith 5. Policing ‘Beats’ in Australia Derek Dalton 6. Pornography, Policing and Censorship Murray Perkins 7. Policing Obscenity Dave McDonald 8. Sexting, Intimacy and Criminal Acts: Translating Teenage Sexualities Jo Moran-Ellis 9. Policing Commercial ‘Sex Work’ in England and Wales Teela Sanders 10. The ‘Problem of Tabletop Dancing’ Antonia Quadara 11. Regulating Adult Work in Canada: The Role of Criminal and Municipal Code Mary Laing

About the Editors

Paul Johnson is Professor of Sociology at the University of York. His current research focuses on the relationship between law, sexuality and social control.

Derek Dalton is Senior Lecturer at the Flinders University Law School in Adelaide, Australia where he teaches in the Criminal Justice programme. His research interests cluster around the historic criminalization of homosexuality and contemporary issues surrounding the policing of sexual conduct in public.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology