February 9, 2018
The Red Lounge, Stanford Faculty Club

What the Law Assumes About Women

In this Flourishing Society Dinner, Professor Helen Alvare explored areas in which the law has expressed opinions about the nature of women and their familial and sexual relationships.

Time & Location

February 9, 2018
The Red Lounge, Stanford Faculty Club
439 Lagunita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305, USA


Legal systems are built on certain assumptions about the nature of the human person and her relation to the common good. When these assumptions are challenged, contentious legal, political, and cultural debates often arise. Perhaps nowhere is this most evident than in U.S. family and reproductive law, wherein the underlying anthropological assumptions about women and their relationship to men have been hotly contested in recent decades. In this Flourishing Society dinner lecture, Helen Alvaré, Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School, explored U.S. law’s anthropology of women, highlighting areas in which the law has--not always intentionally, never fully, but always significantly--expressed opinions about the nature of women and their familial and sexual relationships. She critiqued areas of the law that suffer from a flawed understanding of women, pointing the way towards a more just and humane legal system founded on a more accurate anthropology of women.




Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

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