On Sexual Obligation and Sexual Autonomy

Hypatia 28 (1):122-141 (2013)
Abstract
In this paper, I try to make sense of the possibility of several forms of voluntarily undertaken “sexual obligation.” The claim that there can be sexual obligations is liable to generate worries with respect to concerns for gender justice, sexual freedom, and autonomy, especially if such obligations arise in a context of unjust background conditions. This paper takes such concerns seriously but holds that, despite unjust background circumstances, some practices that give rise to ethical sexual obligations can actually ameliorate some of the problems caused by such background conditions. Similarly, despite a surface appearance that sexual obligation and sexual autonomy are in tension, this need not be the case. By understanding how practices and conventions regulate the way such obligations can arise, this paper shows how supporting the possibility of sexual obligation can actually facilitate individual efforts to achieve sexual autonomy
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    G. E. M. Anscombe (1978). Rules, Rights, and Promises. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 3 (1):318-323.

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