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Faculty Seminar | Contextualizing Corrective Rape in an era of Transformative Constitutionalism in India


Conference Hall, Ground Floor, Training Centre, NLSIU


Wednesday, January 3, 2024, 4:15 pm

In this week’s faculty seminar, Sharon Singh will be presenting on her paper titled “Contextualizing Corrective Rape in an era of Transformative Constitutionalism in India” on Wednesday, 3rd January, 2024. Dr. Debangana Chatterjee will be the discussant.


The discourse on homosexuality is underscored by the conception of social identities being inherently antagonistic. Definition wise, corrective rape refers to rape perpetrated against lesbians by straight heterosexual men with the intent of ‘curing’ their homosexuality but fundamentally speaking, apart from the curative intent element, corrective rape includes ingredients of being a hate crime based on a combination of gender-based violence and homophobic violence. It is also viewed as a form of sexual punishment for violating the traditional gender representation. Traditionally, corrective rape referred to commission of rape against lesbians but presently the scope of the term also includes commission of rape against any such individual who does not conform to the conventional typology of sexual identity. The intersectionality between patriarchy, heteronormativity, heterosexism, homosexuality and heterosexuality helps in understanding why homosexuals in general, and lesbians in particular are more prone to discrimination and violence. Targeted violence against homosexuals is underscored by a variety of factors, patriarchy being the chief cause of the violence against lesbians. The adoption of any technique which is aimed at curing homosexuality is in direct conflict with an individual’s right to bodily autonomy, right to dignity and right to equality. The preambular language of the Indian Constitution embodies these cardinal values and over the last decade, the judicial discourse on the rights of homosexuals has also gathered momentum such that it has encouraged a more progressive and inclusive State policy on this front. The theory of transformative constitutionalism has ushered in a positive change yet human rights violations of homosexuals continue unabated. For such inhuman practices to cease against homosexuals and for acceptance to flourish, beyond procedural and legal changes, value modification through social change is of vital importance.