Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Title

Emory L. J. Online


Tuerkheimer's article for the Emory Law Journal, Rape On and Off Campus, extends her earlier work on sexual agency, consent, and the inadequate nature of U.S. rape law to examine the disconnect between widely acknowledged cultural norms around sex, and the stubborn recalcitrance of rape laws to social reform. This response applies some of the insights of vulnerability theory to Tuerkheimer's piece with the goal of extending these important conversations into new analytical fields. The theory provides a useful vantage upon the systemic and historical patterns of inequality that lead to violence against women, as well as the legal and social means for redress. By tracking questions of consent, criminality, and sexual agency through a vulnerability lens, we may move away from the 'vulnerable victim' model to engage a more robust understanding of resilience and institutional responsibility.

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