Melissa Murray • 17 Oct 2013


In her response to Innocence Interrupted: Reconstructing Fatherhood in the Shadow of Child Molestation Law (101 Calif. L. Rev. 609), Professor Melissa Murray compares contemporary criminal child molestation statutes to Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, the all-observing watchtower that normalizes expectations of constant state surveillance. Arguing that the enforcement of child-molestation laws creates a near-constant sense of surveillance and encourages male and female caregivers to regulate their own behavior by adopting  the identities favored by the state, Professor Murray illustrates how such well-meaning statutes may, in fact, perpetuate outdated gender stereotypes.