Gender-Neutral Laws in India

  • Priya Nandan
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  • Priya Nandan

    Student at Law College, Uttaranchal University Dehradun, India

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Brownmiller (1975) opines that only men can coerce women into having sex. Sreekumar (1992), in his research paper highlighting the issues of under-trial prisoners in India, points out that homosexual gang rape was common in Indian prisons. Agens (2002), in her article within the Seattle Journal of Social Justice, expresses concern that gender-neutral rape law would open up avenues for inflicting even greater trauma and humiliation to an already marginalized section of women and hence defeat the very purpose of reform. Novotny (2003), in her article within the Seattle Journal of Social Justice, Expresses concern that gender-neutral rape laws would cause negative consequences for female victims of rape and calls it a backlash against feminism. People Union for Civil Liberties (2003), in its study of Kothi and hijra sex workers in Bangalore, has concluded that human rights violations against the transgender community are widespread, and laws protecting them are urgently required. Assuming that only women and no other identities are often dominated by persons in powerful positions is incorrect. We all know that coercive sexual activity with men by men is roofed under Section 377 of the IPC, as carnal intercourse goes against the order of nature. one among the questions I seek to deal with during this paper is- why coercive men on men intercourse can’t be covered by the rape law? There must be a distinction between coercive and consensual homosexual sexual activity. The Law Commission of India, in its 172nd report, has recommended that the rape law must be gender-neutral. It’s argued that the principles of equality before the law and equal protection of rights enshrined as fundamental rights in our Constitution must be applied to the present situation also. Clear, it is often said that only a gender-neutral rape law would end in equal protection of all identities. However, we must not forget the realities of the society we sleep in. It can’t be denied that the foremost vulnerable section of the population is women. There have been concerns that a gender-neutral rape law, both for the perpetrator and therefore the victim, may open up avenues for inflicting greater trauma and humiliation on women already marginalized and thereby would defeat the very purpose of the law.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 1, Page 2370 - 2381


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