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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which explains that the period from ca. 1250 to the promulgation of King Christian Vs Norwegian Law in 1687 was marked by substantial legislative and judicial continuity in regards to extramarital sexuality and the manner in which it was criminalised and punished, as well as the position of women within the law. The chapter concentrates on three problems. Firstly, it analyses to which degree the post-Reformation laws against sexual crimes represented new legislation or were based on principles already established by medieval legislation. Secondly, it looks more closely at punishment for sexual crimes, comparing the period after the Reformation with the medieval period. Thirdly, it concludes with a discussion about the view that as a result of the enhanced status of marriage after the reformation women who had pre- or extra-marital sex were in a worse position than their medieval counterparts.

Keywords: Norwegian legislation; sexual crime



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