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Crime against nature can be categorized as an old fashioned term to define anything outside of traditional sexual intercourse between two consenting, heterosexual adults. Crime against nature also includes bestiality, sexual intercourse with a minor, prostitution, public sex, and sodomy.
In some states, crimes against nature can result in several years of hard labor or prison. In some cases, the accused may also be fined a hefty fee. Since public lewdness is also considered as a crime against nature, this offense is often punished as a misdemeanor. In some cases, the convicted is also registered as a sex offender. Sex offender status can result in a cessation of employment or educational opportunities.
In the United States, most states lifted the ban on sodomy and same sex intercourse. However, the following nine states consider these practices as being crimes against nature: Louisiana, Idaho, Michigan, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Virginia, and Rhode Islands. Pederasty, intercourse between a man and a boy, is considered as crimes against nature.
Some theories argue that consensual acts between adults cannot be considered as a crime against nature since both adults were willing to experiment. This defense is only applicable to sexual activities that occurred in private. In some cases, the guilty person pleads for jury nullification. The defendant admits to having indulged in sexual acts that are considered unnatural or against nature, but requests clemency because of the evolution of social norms and attitudes.