Juveniles, mentally ill, women, constitute-in different ways-the principal ‘exceptions’ (which confirm the rule) for the criminal justice system. They are exceptions with separate histories, especially as regards the institutions and knowledges through which they have been constructed and to whose care they have been delegated (though in all three cases a relevant role is and has been played by the institutions and knowledges of psychology and psychiatry). They nevertheless have in common precisely this: that they make evident how modern law (and rights) arise historically, are constructed by and pertain predominantly to the male, adult citizen, to whom is attributed the full capacity to distinguish good from evil and to orient his behaviour as a consequence. These three characteristics are clearly interconnected. Only to the adult male is attributed the type of rationality which has become the paradigm of rationality in general, being constructed on the experience and interests of (certain) male adults.