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New Book by Professor Sherry Colb Explores Critical Legal Issues Behind Lurid Headlines About Pregnancy, Sex, and Gender

April 05, 2007 – 
Fertility clinic mix-up. Infanticide. Date rape. Frozen embryo adoption. Male circumcision as gender violence. For Sherry Colb, Professor of Law and Judge Frederick Lacey Scholar at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, such talk-show topics provide an important opportunity to reflect on some of the thornier issues that arise when intimate aspects of our lives intersect with the law. In When Sex Counts: Making Babies and Making Law, her new book from Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Professor Colb eagerly dissects some of the most complicated – and some of the strangest – headline-grabbing cases and identifies reproduction and a woman’s capacity for pregnancy as central to many of them.

The result of her provocative analysis, says Harvard Law professor Randall L. Kennedy, is a book of “both journalistic verve and scholarly rigor . . . that makes advanced thinking about complex controversies nicely accessible to the general reader.” From considering whether date rape is a less serious harm than stranger rape to asking if a court can order a deadbeat dad to stop having children, Professor Colb’s 36 essays demonstrate bold and nuanced thinking about legal and public policy matters in which gender may be an essential consideration. 

A regular columnist for FindLaw’s Writ, an online source of legal commentary, Professor Colb has been a member of the Rutgers–Newark faculty since 1995. Her primary scholarly interest is in criminal constitutional law. She teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Mental Health Law.

Professor Colb earned her A.B. in psychology from Columbia College summa cum laude and her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. She worked as a law clerk, first to Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then to Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court.