In what ways and to what extent should cultural background be taken into consideration in response to legal problems? The first book-length study of the topic, The Cultural Defense provides a comprehensive overview of the debate surrounding the admissibility of cultural evidence in the courtroom. Documenting an extraordinary range of cases in which individuals have attempted to invoke a cultural defense, this book provides an in-depth look at the complexities of invoking cultural arguments in the diverse bodies of law under which the cases fall. Cases considered include homicide and rape prosecutions, child abuse cases, drug use cases, the treatment of animals, and custody battles. Disputing current practices, Renteln contends that the cultural defense should, in both criminal and civil matters, be given formal recognition.