FORNICATION

FORNICATION

fornication, n.

1. Voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons. ? Fornication is still a crime in some states, such as Virginia.

2. Hist. Voluntary sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman. ? At common law, the status of the woman determined whether the offense was adultery or fornication ¡ª adultery was sexual intercourse between a man, single or married, and a married woman not his wife; fornication was sexual intercourse between a man, single or married, and a single woman. Cf. ADULTERY. [Cases: Criminal Law 45.40; Lewdness

1. C.J.S. Criminal Law ¡ì 7.10; Lewdness ¡ì¡ì 2¨C9.] ¡ª fornicate, vb.

¡°Fornication was not a common-law crime but was made punishable by statute in a few states as a misdemeanor.¡± Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 455 (3d ed. 1982).


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