Hastings Women’s Law Journal


The following are excerpts of Chapter 1: Social Science and Psychological Influences in Law and Chapter 14: The Right of Adolescents to Make Significant Medical Decisions—The Abortion Example from the forthcoming textbook, Psychological Problems, Social Issues, and the Law.1 The authors wrote the textbook, in part, to address the question: “When law and psychology intersect, can and how do we fully consider the potential ramifications of the social science beyond the confines of this one case?”2 The editors of the Hastings Women’s Law Journal selected and adapted the ensuing passages of the authors’ work as an illustration of answering that question within a specific context. The passages from Chapter 1, in Section I of this Article, demonstrate that while social science and the law share characteristics and the law often relies on social science, the two fields are almost innately at odds. The passages from Chapter 14, in Sections II and III of this Article, exemplify how this dynamic plays out in a controversial area of both law and social science. The original content has not been changed but has been reformatted for law review publication by Zachary Sanderson.