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More than thirty years ago, commentators noted that "there is doubtless no subject on which one can obtain more definite opinions and less definite knowledge" than in the area of the sentencing of sex offenders.1 The literature is no less deficient today. There are numerous assertions to the effect that sex offenders receive draconian penalties2 while certain feminist theorists maintain that sex offenders receive overly lenient treatment.3 In both cases, however, the unanswered question is, "In relation to what?"

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This document was originally published in The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology by Northwestern University, Copyright restrictions may apply.

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