Cesare Lombroso’s international heritage in the debate on prostitution and female degeneration, from positivist criminology to anti-determinist decriminalization
The Department of Education Science – Roma Tre University, with John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, is sponsoring the international conference “The delinquent, the prostitute, the normal woman”. Cesare Lombroso’s international heritage in the debate on prostitution and female degeneration, from positivist criminology to anti-determinist decriminalization.
The development of neuroscience, in the last fifteen years, has favored a revival of biological determinism, by establishing strict interconnections between human behavior and bio-genetic factors. This approach has strongly fed a rediscovery of Lombroso’s theories.
The Conference aims at examining a specific leit-motiv of Lombrosian theory, namely, the biological predestination of women to prostitution, deviancy and delinquency. One of the scientifically most fragile leit-motivs in Lombroso’s anthropological speculation, even among the most solid in the collective imagination and international public debate, either culturally and politically.
This process would reveal one of the most striking expressions of the social tensions which characterize socio-economic modernization, in Italy and in Europe, from the end of the XIX century to the interwar period, preceding the uneven decriminalization of the postwar period.
The Conference aims at investigating, in relation to this theme and in different national contexts, (pseudo) scientific production, its press dissemination and consequent legislative translation in different States legal systems.