Sexual Rights in America: The Ninth Amendment and the Pursuit of Happiness

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NYU Press, Aug 1, 2003 - Law - 227 pages
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The Constitution of the United States guarantees all Americans certain rights, such as the freedoms of speech and religious expression. But what guarantees our sexual freedoms?

Sexual Rights in America presents a bold and intriguing look at the constitutional basis of sexual rights in America. Resurrecting the "forgotten" Ninth Amendment, which guarantees those fundamental rights not protected elsewhere in the Constitution, Abramson and colleagues argue that the freedom to choose how, when, and with whom we express ourselves sexually is integral to our happiness. Their careful review of the historical record reveals the importance of the "pursuit of happiness" in the socio-moral philosophy underpinning the Constitution. Sexual freedoms, they assert, are cut from the same cloth as the other freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights, and therefore, should be covered by the Ninth Amendment.

Using concrete examples such as prostitution and phone sex, Sexual Rights in America illustrates the scope and limitations of Ninth Amendment sexual rights.

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About the author (2003)

Paul R. Abramson is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles

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