Why Adultery Should Not Be a Crime. Since women are no longer considered property, adultery is no longer regarded as a crime.
Many people who cheat justify their behavior by telling themselves that their partner doesn’t really care about them and wouldn’t care if they strayed. Their actions might be justified by blaming their partner for not being affectionate enough or not showing enough interest in them.
Historically, adultery was considered a crime not for any moral reasons, but because it was seen as stealing from the owner something of value. In ancient times, women were property owned by men, and they were stolen by their husbands if they committed adultery with them.
Adultery laws have never been enforced against husbands until very recently. It wasn’t until the 20th century that they were enforced so severely, which coincides with the first realization that women weren’t property.
Adultery laws were also abolished during the Sexual Revolution when the state no longer interfered with or regulated sexual relationships between adults. Therefore, the state had no valid reason to dictate what form sexual relationships must take. In a time when the law no longer allows couples to decide WHO has sex with them, the government shouldn’t be dictating how they should have sex.
“The UN expert group on women’s human rights says adultery should not be criminalized”.
The United Nations Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice urged Governments to repeal laws criminalizing adultery that impose fines, floggings, stonings, and hangings as punishments.
“Adultery shouldn’t be considered a criminal offense,” said independent expert Kamala Chandrakirana, the head of a UN expert body responsible for identifying ways to eliminate laws that discriminate against women or are discriminatory to them in terms of implementation or impact and assisting governments in ensuring greater empowerment for women.
In a statement* made public at the end of the Group’s fifth session in Geneva, the experts recognized that adultery may constitute a civil offense in divorce cases, relating to child custody or denying alimony, among other things, depending on some traditions, customs, and legal systems.
However, Ms. Chandrakirana emphasized that adultery should not be a criminal offense and must not be punishable by fine, imprisonment, flogging, or death by stoning or hanging. She noted that in many countries, adultery is still punishable by severe penalties. In some countries, women’s testimony is valued half as much as a man’s testimony because of provisions in penal codes that treat women and men differently and impose harsher penalties on women.
In practice, maintaining adultery as a criminal offense – even when it applies to both men and women – means that women will continue to experience extreme vulnerability and violation of their human rights to dignity, privacy, and equality, given the continuing discrimination and inequalities they face.
A violation of consenting adults’ right to privacy and an infringement of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as established almost two decades ago by international human rights jurisprudence, Ms. Chandrakirana said, is the criminalization of sexual relations between consenting adults. “States parties to the Covenant are required to take into account international law developments in their domestic norms.”
A 1996 decision by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court striking down the Penal Code punishments for marital infidelity or adultery for violating women’s rights, the experts stated in their statement, reminding us that some States have remedied this violation of women’s rights. Human rights treaties like the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Constitution guarantee equality under the Constitution. A similar ruling was overturned by the Ugandan Constitutional Court in 2007 which penalized women for adultery while leaving their male partners unpunished.
For those governments that continue to criminalize adultery and impose fines, imprisonment, flogging, stoning, or hanging for convictions of adultery, we urge them to repeal any such provisions and ensure that all accused have the right to a fair trial,” she stressed.
Reasons why adultery should not be criminalized
- If people are punished for adultery, there will be very little chance of reconciliation. People make mistakes, and many couples have found happiness after going through a rough phase of adultery with the help of counseling and understanding. Punishing and jailing the person will only increase their hatred and anger.
- Families will be broken if one parent sends the other to jail. Children involved in this type of abuse suffer a lot of psychological traumas.
- It impacts people’s reputations forever if they are punished for adultery under the law. As a result, they will be labeled as cheaters and will have a hard time living a happy and faithful life.
- The law was there until recently, but there are many illegal affairs in the country. Due to this, the law couldn’t reduce the number of adultery cases.
- It is not illegal to break a contract. Experts say that it is a civil matter, the breach of a contract. According to your own statement, adultery should not be illegal.
- In any case, adultery should not be illegal. Marriage is viewed as a contract. This is a very serious contract that should only be entered into with great care. However, we also believe that what consenting adults do in their beds (or wherever they do it) belongs only to those who are in a relationship with the cheater. People shouldn’t be punished criminally for cheating, as horrendous as it may be.
Conclusion: Why Adultery Should Not Be a Crime
The punishment for adultery must be applied equally to men and women who commit it. Although the law should not interfere with personal lives, it is much better if it doesn’t. It is impossible to bring love to a life partner through fear of the law. Sending an adulterer to jail in hopes of restoring their relationship is much better than coming out of a loveless marriage.
External resource: Wikipedia