Sexual offences :: Introduction
Cesare Beccaria was perhaps the first criminologist who comprehended crime as a symptom of social disease. This concept of crime led penologist to believe that struggle against crimes was above all a struggle against poverty, sickness, alcoholism and prostitution. This , in other words, means that if these social evils could be eliminated, the problem of crime prevention would be considerably eased. There are, however, certain peculiar categories of crime which do not respond to this hypothesis favorably because of the pervasive tendency of human nature. Sexual crime is obviously on among such crimes which prevails in almost all societies from ages.
Sexual offences :: Legal Theories
With the advance of science, civilization and culture, the complexities of life have enormous multiplied. Modern mechanization and urbanization has bought about total disintegration of the ‘family’ institution which has created serious problems in human life. The control of parents over their wards has weakened considerably. In fact it is this parental negligence which is mainly responsible for growing indiscipline, rowdyism, and vagrancy among youngsters. Uncontrollable hooliganism among youths has become a serious problem for law enforcement agencies throughout the world. It has rather become a social disease. As a result of this unhappy development, the incidence of sex delinquency in the form of unmarried motherhood, abortion, rape, kidnapping, enticement, abduction, adultery, incest, indecent assault etc. has become too common.
Sexual offences :: Reality
A study of sexual offences in one of the America States reveal that almost 88 percent of the school-going girls between the age of fourteen and eighteen had sex-experience before attaining puberty. Another survey in U.S.A. concluded that in one out of every five or ten marriages today the bride is already pregnant. Depicting the picture of modern sexy-civilization in United States, the Life International of October 23, 1961 rightly observed that “a couple goes for a date and wake up to find they have been married although they cannot remember why and where…..” by quoted in Parapurnanand Varm’s : Crime, Criminology and Convict Page 107.
Looking to the psychological aspect of sex indulgences, Dr. Albert Ellis has expressed a view that he is against putting any ban on any type of sexual behaviour, not even open prostitution by males of females. He observed that discouragement of sex pleasures and dispensation of cohabitation as disgusting and revolting may lead to neurotic loss of feeling and enjoyment in normal sex which may result into fatal consequences. However, it would not be correct to subscribe to this view of Dr. Albert Ellis in the Indian sub-continent.
Like any other western country, the sex delinquency in Indian sub-continent has also recorded an upward trend in recent decades. Despite repressive socio-legal measures to control sex crime, the ‘permissive’ trend of the modern Indian sub-continent society is causing obstruction for prosecution and punishment of sexual-offenders. These sexual offences, therefore, have thrown a great challenge before the criminal justice administration.
Md. Shahnewaz Zwaki Advocate The Supreme Court of Bangladesh (High Court Division).