Adultery

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In some East Asian countries or regions, including Korea and Taiwan, adultery continues to be a crime. In the Philippines, adultery (defined as consensual sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man who is not her husband) and a related act of concubinage (a man cohabiting with a woman who is not his wife), are considered crimes under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. Adultery is not a crime in China mainland, but constitutes grounds for divorce.

In Pakistan, adultery is a crime under the Hudood Ordinance. The Ordinance sets a maximum penalty of death, although only imprisonment and corporal punishment have ever actually been imposed.[citation needed] The Ordinance has been particularly controversial because it requires a woman making an accusation of rape to provide extremely strong evidence to avoid being charged with adultery herself. A conviction of a man for rape is only possible with evidence from no less than four witnesses. In recent years high-profile rape cases in Pakistan have given the Ordinance more exposure than similar laws in other countries.[41] Similar laws exist in some other Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

In Indian law, adultery is defined as sex between a man and a woman without the consent of the woman's husband. The man is prosecutable and can be sentenced for up to five years (even if he himself was unmarried) whereas the married woman cannot be jailed.[42] Men have called the law gender discrimination in that women cannot be prosecuted for adultery[43] and the National Commission of Women has criticized the British era law of being anti-feminist as it treats women as the property of their husbands and has consequentially recommended deletion of the law or reducing it to a civil offense. The Government is yet to act.[44] Extramarital sex without the consent of one's partner can be a valid grounds for monetary penalty on government employees, as ruled by the Central Administrative Tribunal.[45]

In Southwest Asia, adultery has attracted severe sanctions, including death penalty. In some places, such as Saudi Arabia,[46] the method of punishment for adultery is stoning to death. Proving adultery under Muslim law can be a very difficult task as it requires the accuser to produce four eye witnesses to the act of sexual intercourse, each of whom should have a good reputation for truthfulness and honesty. The criminal standards do not apply in the application of social and family consequences of adultery, where the standards of proof are not as exacting.[citation needed]

Europe

Most European countries have decriminalized adultery. Adultery is not a crime in most countries of the European Union, including Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Greece or Sweden. In some Southern-European countries,[citation needed] adultery can lead to the so called vendetta, which is illegal (with penalties up to life sentence), but carries reduced sentences.

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