Legal Sex


173 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-385-17415-2





Reviewed by P.F. McKenna

P.F. McKenna was librarian at the Police Academy, Brampton, Ontario.


The authors of this work are both lawyers with clear professional interests in the field of public health. They have produced a book that examines the law in Canada as it relates to certain matters classed under the general rubric of sex. Since sex is defined very broadly by the authors, we are exposed to a discussion of the law in Canada as it affects abortion, artificial insemination, obscenity, prostitution, venereal disease, and a variety of other sexually oriented topics. Reference is made to particular legal cases in order to illustrate how the law actually operates in individual instances. A number of the topics are treated at some length in order to show the conflict between the legislators’ desire to protect the moral standards of citizens and the strong conviction that the law should reflect the changing values of a society.

As a brief discussion of the ways in which Canadian courts and legislators have dealt with a number of very complex social issues, this book will be of interest to the general reader. It is by no means a serious contribution to the scholarly literature on law and human sexuality. Also, the book has certain flaws, which should be noted. First, the listing of only twelve additional readings in an area so diverse, so interesting, and so well covered does little to assist the interested reader in pursuing the topics discussed. Also, the index created for this work is too brief, and I found it to be somewhat inconsistent. Thirdly, there is an error in the book which perhaps betrays the authors’ haste in its production. The CRTC is not known as the Canadian Radio and Television Commission. April 1, 1976, witnessed the formation of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.

This book is interesting as a kind of checklist of key social issues which contemporary lawmakers must confront, but it does not provide much substance or guidance.


Rozovsky, L.E., and F.A. Rozovsky, “Legal Sex,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 25, 2024,