'Sperm Bandits', Birth Control Fraud and the Battle of the Sexes

Sheldon, Sally (2001) 'Sperm Bandits', Birth Control Fraud and the Battle of the Sexes. Legal Studies, 21 (3). pp. 460-480. ISSN 1748-121X. (Full text available)

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Abstract

This paper briefly reviews the US case law dealing with the issue of birth control fraud and speculates on the possibility of a similar action succeeding in the UK. It then focuses on newspaper reporting of one such case. A common media reading of this case, and one which can also be detected in some academic commentary of similar cases, is to contextualise it as part of an ongoing 'battle of the sexes', where historic poles of inequality have become reversed and women have gained unfair (legal) advantage in procreative matters. It is argued that such an understanding is flawed and misleading, serving to distract attention from the legal structuring of these kinds of disputes. The paper concludes that the operation of the law can here be better understood as seeking to support the nuclear family in a way which can impact negatively on both individual men and individual women. The birth control fraud cases invite us to rethink the way that parental obligations are imposed and to justify more rigorously the choices which we make in this regard.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: C.A.R. Kennedy
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:21
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2011 23:20
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/589 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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