본문 바로가기
  • Home

Sexual Crimes and Punishments in the Late Joseon Period -A Comparative Analysis on The Great Ming Code and the Heumheum sinseo-

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2023, (89), pp.185-225
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.089.06
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : April 2, 2023
  • Accepted : April 21, 2023
  • Published : May 31, 2023

PARK, SOHYEON 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article investigates how the regulations of sexual crimes in The Great Ming Code (Da Ming Lü) were actually applied in Joseon society and how the code affected the notions of sexual crimes and punishments and the formation of gender ideology with much focus on Book 25 “Committing Fornication” [Fanjian] of Chapter 6 “Laws on Penal Affair” in The Great Ming Code. The “Committing Fornication” section consists of 10 articles, from Article 390 Committing Fornication to Article 399 on human trafficking. First of all, the “Committing Fornication” section, which is highly concerned with female chastity, applies the same regulations to fornication with consent [hejian], which refers to consensual extramarital sexual intercourse or adultery, and forcible fornication [qiangjian] indicating rape. In addition, it forbids various sexual offenses such as incest, and extramarital sexual intercourse between master and slave, and other sexual violations based on differences in social status, and regulates punishments on each sexual offense. This article also examines a number of legal cases contained in the Heumheum sinseo (Towards New Jurisprudence) by Jeong Yak-yong in order to make a detailed analysis on how the regulations of The Great Ming Code were applied in late Joseon society and what is the difference between late imperical China and the late Joseon dynasty in the actual application of the law. In particular, the focus lies in the legal cases relating to sexual offenses in the section “Uiyul charye” containing the Qing Chinese legal cases and the “Sanghyeong chuui” section containing the penal cases of the period during the reign of King Jeongjo (r. 1776~1800), because a comparative legal analysis between Qing China and late Joseon society is completely possible through a close reading of the cases. As a result, this article sheds light on the fact that the legal authorities of both Qing and the late Joseon dynasty tended to expand ethical analyses beyond the regulations of sexual offenses defined in the code by stressing Confucian gender norms and female chastity.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.