Feminist critiques of the social sciences are based on the assumption that because the social sciences were developed for the most part by white, middle-class, Western men, the perspectives of women were ignored. This book offers an approach for integrating gender-related content into the social work curriculum. The distinguished contributors discuss the shortcoming of dominant knowledge, address the pressing need for a gender-integrated curriculum, consider the pedagogies consistent with the implementation of an integrate curriculum, address specific areas in social (...) work education, assessing content, and assumptions, and discuss strategic issues for the implementation of curricular knowledge. (shrink)
Unjustifiable assumptions about sex and gender roles, the untamable potency of maleness, and gynophobic notions about women's bodies inform and influence a broad range of policy-making institutions in this society. In December 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit continued this ignoble cultural pastime when they decided Everson v. Michigan Department of Corrections. In this decision, the Everson Court accepted the Michigan Department of Correction's claim that “the very manhood” of male prison guards both threatens the (...) safety of female inmates and violates the women's “special sense of privacy in their genitals” and declared that sex-specific employment policies for prison guards is not impermissibly discriminatory. I believe that the Court's decision relies on unacceptable (and offensive) stereotypes about sex, gender and sexuality and it significantly undermines Title VII's power to end discriminatory employment practices. (shrink)
Are we in a post-feminist era? Has the term, feminist, grown out of its resisted stance? What from today's standpoint is an appropriate concept of feminist philosophy? And is it not the case that all people thinking democratically must share its central concern? In Feminist Philosophy , internationally acclaimed philosopher Herta Nagl-Docekal discusses and critiques the theories of today. Her study ranges across philosophical anthropology, aesthetics, philosophy of science, the critique of reason, political theory, and philosophy of law. Feminist Philosophy (...) confronts the entire field with the problem of the hierarchical relations of the sexes. Throughout her work, Nagl-Docekal affirms the importance of feminist thought as she presses for new approaches to common problems. (shrink)
In this article I put forward three lines of argument. Firstly, the current debate on trafficking in human beings focuses narrowly on exploitation in the sex industry. This has produced a stand-off between moralists and liberals which is detrimental to developing strategies to combat trafficking. Moreover, this narrow focus leads to missing out the large numbers of women who are trafficked into other industries. It also masks some of the root causes of trafficking. In this article I therefore compare (...) the practice of trafficking for prostitution with forced labour in other industries in order to show that the sole focus on trafficking for prostitution is detrimental to the efforts to combat trafficking. This analysis is based on recent research and reports on its methodology as well as its outcomes. Secondly, I relate these findings in the article to the agenda for the women's rights debate. The women's rights literature has looked separately at the sex industry and labour migration. In the light of our research outcomes, it makes sense to have a much more intimate exchange between these areas, in order to discern the central role of root causes like globalization, patriarchy and other forms of discrimination. Thirdly, whereas a dichotomy between universalism and particularism has produced its own trenches in this field, I propose a balanced approach which addresses all forms of violence againstwomen, including the central area of exploitation of migrant women in any sector or domestic context. (shrink)
This paper explores the psychological phenomena of sex stereotypes and their consequences for the occurrence of sex discrimination in work settings. Differential conceptions of the attributes of women and men are shown to extend to women and men managers, and the lack of fit model is used to explain how stereotypes about women can detrimentally affect their career progress. Commonly-occurring organizational conditions which facilitate the use of stereotypes in personnel decision making are identified and, lastly, data (...) are provided demonstrating the way in which affirmative action programs and practices can act to promote the stereotyping of women suggesting, that rather than being a remedy for sex discrimination, such programs might in fact be another contributor to the problem. Conclusions focus on the importance of attending to the role sex stereotypes play in hindering women's career progress when procedures to combat sex discrimination in organizations are designed and implemented. (shrink)
This paper examines the problem of selecting a number of candidates to receive a good (admission) from a pool in which there are more qualified applicants than places. I observe that it is rarely possible to order all candidates according to some relevant criterion, such as academic merit, since these standards are inevitably somewhat vague. This means that we are often faced with the task of making selections between near-enough equal candidates. I survey one particular line of response, which says (...) that we should allow our choice of borderline candidates to be guided by non-relevant criteria such as gender-balancing. I argue that this would not, as commonly objected, be a case of sex discrimination if it is to be applied either in favour of men or women. Nonetheless, I argue that such policies are problematic because they violate the demand for publicity, which is required for legitimacy and to assure everyone that discrimination has not in fact taken place. Instead, I suggest that, if we are concerned to avoid discrimination, there may be a case for using lotteries as tie-breakers, not on grounds of fairness but to prevent taint of bias. (shrink)
This paper describes how anticipated age discrimination in the form of disparate treatment induces behavior that in effectconstitutes gender discrimination. Potential employers often exhibit a common pattern of behavior that acts to discriminate against older workers entering a specific workplace. Women, at a decision-making point early in their lives, are aware of this pattern of discrimination. They perceive that it is important for them to establish their careers before they have a family because it will (...) be more difficult for them to enter the work force at a later age and excel at their careers. This anticipated age discrimination disparately impacts women, resulting in gender discrimination. (shrink)
Discrimination due to gender and sexual orientation tends nowadays to be prohibited under international human rights instruments, as well as under the national laws of many countries that express their commitment to defending human rights. Nonetheless, as the work of Amnesty International has shown, violence againstwomen (whatever their sexual orientation), gay men, trans-gendered and transsexual persons remains an appallingly constant phenomenon, both in countries that have an official commitment to fighting these forms of discrimination and (...) in those that do not. Violence is inflicted by private actors as well as - in many countries - by state officials, and is often justified by reference to local customs and moral values. -/- These essays, based on the 2002 Oxford Amnesty Lectures, seek to explore some of the inter-connections between human rights, gender, and sexuality. Many difficult questions are considered. How do we understand and categorize human rights abuses related to a person's sex or sexual orientation, for example? Are these distinctive types of abuse, or are they both examples of the social enforcement of 'traditional' gender roles? Does their inclusion within the remit of human rights abuses require us to refine what we mean by human rights? What weight, if any, should be given to demands made in the name of particular religious and cultural traditions which seek to restrict the rights of women and sexual minority groups? What role does the law have to play in combating these types of discrimination? And how far have we come, and how far have we left to go, in the quest for a world in which discrimination based on sex and sexual orientation is a thing of the past? -/- The essays in this collection - written by internationally distinguished authors from a wide variety of disciplines - are united in their belief that it is a serious human rights violation unjustly to penalize people because of their sex or sexual orientation. However, they adopt a wide variety of approaches to their subject-matter, and tackle the questions raised in very different ways. In consequence, they make important contributions to academic and practical debates about human rights, gender and sexuality. -/- The Oxford Amnesty Lectures is an internationally renowned lecture series that seeks to promote discussion about human rights, whether in theory or in practice. (shrink)
Linda LeMoncheck introduces a new way of thinking and talking about women's sexual pleasures, preferences, and desires. Using the tools of contemporary analytic philosophy, she discusses methods for mediating the tensions among apparently irreconcilable feminist perspectives on women's sexuality and shows how a feminist epistemology and ethic can advance the dialogue in women's sexuality across a broad political spectrum. She argues that in order to capture the diversity and complexity of women's sexual experience, women's sexuality (...) must be examined from two equally compelling perspectives: that of women's sexual oppression under conditions of individual and institutional male dominance; and that of women's sexual liberation, both in terms of each woman's pursuit of sexual agency and self-definition, and in terms of women's sexual liberation as a class. Loose Women, Lecherous Men sheds crucial new light on such much-debated topics as promiscuity, adultery, sexual deviance, prostitution, pornography, sexual harassment, and sexual violence againstwomen. Her book supports a dialogue that encourages both women and men to take up a feminist perspective in exploring the meaning and value of sexuality in their lives. (shrink)
Experience clearly suggests that most legal philosophers and ethicists are not surprised to be told that liberal states cannot permissibly prohibit same-sex marriage (henceforth: SSM). It is somewhat less clear just what the appropriate liberal strategy is and should be in defense of this thesis. Rather than try to defend SSM directly, I shall proceed indirectly by arguing that SSM prohibitions are indefensible on liberal grounds. Initially, I shall consider what I take to be the most powerful liberal argument (...) class='Hi'>against SSM prohibitions and account for my reservations about it. Then, I shall propose an alternative argument with roots in constitutional law that since SSM prohibitions do not survive liberal scrutiny, they must be rejected. (shrink)
In 1990 the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became federal law with the express purpose to “establish a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discriminationagainst individuals with disabilities."l The act includes separate titles prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public services, transportation and public accommodations. Since it prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in both public and private services and programs, in health care “it applies to programs (...) provided by the government, benefits provided by employers, and services pro- ”2 vided by physicians.Moreover, the ADA defines disability broadly to include “any.. (shrink)
Recent arbitration and human rights boards of inquiry cases involving discriminationagainst pregnant employees are reviewed. A comparison is made between remedies available under each procedure. It is suggested that the human resource managers review their policies and procedures relevant to this issue to ensure that they do not have the effect or intent of discriminating against pregnant employees.
Traditional disciplinary guidelines are inadequate to address some of the ethical dilemmas that emerge when conducting research on violence againstwomen and girls. This article is organized according to the ethical principles of respect for persons, privacy and confidentiality, justice, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. In the article, I describe dilemmas involved in cross-cultural research, research on children, informed consent, voluntariness, coercion, deception, safety, mandated reporting, and dissemination. In the article, I include examples from qualitative and quantitative studies in many (...) nations. I also offer suggestions for researchers and institutional review boards. (shrink)
I argue that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as an organization and through its individual members, can and should be a far greater ally in the prevention of violence againstwomen. Specifically, I argue that we need to pay attention to obstetrical practices that inadvertently contribute to the problem of violence againstwomen. While intimate partner violence is a complex phenomenon, I focus on the coercive control of women and adherence to oppressive (...) gender norms. Using physician response to alcohol use during pregnancy and court-ordered medical treatment as examples, I show how some obstetrical practices mirror the attitudes of abusive men insofar as they try to coercively control women's behavior through manipulation and violence. To be greater allies in the prevention of violence againstwomen, obstetricians should stop participating in practices that inadvertently perpetuate violence againstwomen. (shrink)
Using the scope of justice perspective (Deutsch in J Soc Issues 31(3):137–149, 1975 ; Opotow in Conflict, cooperation, and justice: essays inspired by the work of Morton Deutsch, 1995 , J Soc Issues 52:19–24, 1996 ), we examined whether and how the relationship between perceived discriminationagainst minorities at work (i.e., racial minorities and females) and citizenship behavior toward minorities can be modified by personal value for diversity. Based on a survey of 173 employees, unexpectedly, we found a (...) negative relationship between perceived discriminationagainst minorities at work and citizenship behavior toward minorities. However, consistent with our expectations and the scope of justice, we found that the negative relationship was attenuated for those high in personal value for diversity. (shrink)
Does feminism give a much-needed voice to women in a patriarchal world? Or is the world not really patriarchal? Has feminism begun to level the playing field in a world in which women are more often paid less at work and abused at home? Or are women paid equally for the same work and not abused more at home? Does feminism support equality in education and in the military, or does it discriminate against men by ignoring (...) such issues as male-only draft registration and boys lagging behind in school? The only book of its kind, this volume offers a sharp, lively, and provocative debate on the impact of feminism on men. Warren Farrell--an international best-selling author and leader in both the early women's and current men's movements--praises feminism for opening options for women but criticizes it for demonizing men, distorting data, and undervaluing the family. In response, James P. Sterba--an acclaimed philosopher and ardent advocate of feminism--maintains that the feminist movement gives a long-neglected voice to women in a male-dominated world and that men are not an oppressed gender in today's America. Their wide-ranging debate covers personal issues, from love, sex, dating, and rape to domestic violence, divorce, and child custody. Farrell and Sterba also look through their contrasting lenses at systemic issues, from the school system to the criminal justice system; from the media to the military; and from health care to the workplace. A perfect book to get students thinking and debating, Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A Debate is ideal for courses in gender studies, sociology, psychology, economics, feminist philosophy, and contemporary moral issues. It is also compelling reading for anyone interested in the future of men and women. (shrink)
In recent years a number of oppressed groups have campaigned vigorously for equality. The classic instance is the Black Liberation movement, which demands an end to the prejudice and discrimination that has made blacks second-class citizens. The immediate appeal of the black liberation movement and its initial, if limited, success made it a model for other oppressed groups to follow. We became familiar with liberation movements for Spanish-Americans, gay people, and a variety of other minorities. When a majority group— (...) class='Hi'>women—began their campaign, some thought we had come to the end of the road. Discrimination on the basis of sex, it has been said, is the last universally accepted form of discrimination, practiced without secrecy or pretense even in those liberal circles that have long prided themselves on their freedom from prejudice against racial minorities. (shrink)
In this article, we discuss the relationships between discrimination, harassment, and the glass ceiling, arguing that many of the factors that preclude women from occupying executive and managerial positions also foster sexual harassment. We suggest that measures designed to increase numbers of women in higher level positions will reduce sexual harassment. We first define and discuss discrimination, harassment, and the glass ceiling, relationships between each, and relevant legislation. We next discuss the relationships between gender and sexual (...) harassment, emphasizing the influence of gender inequality on sexual harassment. We then present recommendations for organizations seeking to reduce sexual harassment, emphasizing the role that women executives may play in such efforts and, importantly, the recursive effects of such efforts on increasing the numbers of women in higher level positions in organizations. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to further the case, made in recent years by Eva Gothlin, that readers interested in a philosophical return to Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex have good reason to heed Beauvoir's appropriation of central concepts from Heidegger's Being and Time. I speculate about why readers have been hesitant to acknowledge Heidegger's influence on Beauvoir and show that her infrequent though, I argue, important use of the Heideggarian neologism Mitsein in The Second Sex makes inadequate sense (...) apart from an appreciation of the fundamental role played by her appropriation of Hegel's master-slave dialectic in that book. I suggest a way to square Beauvoir's Hegelian claim that human beings are fundamentally at odds with one another with her Heideggerian view that we are also all ontologically with one another. Finally, I sketch out a way of interpreting Beauvoir's employment of certain concepts from Hegel and Heidegger in the service of understanding, hence beginning to overcome, women's oppression. (shrink)
Globalization has consequences for the religious sphere, but it does not constitute a break with the previous situation. It constitutes rather an acceleration of a process begun with the birth of nation-states. The impact of the values of modernity is general, since even those in power, whatever their tendency, invoke values of democracy, progress, freedom and justice, whereas submission is what was required of subjects. Nevertheless, people today look to religion for fixed reference points, because of the brutal transition from (...) the Middle Ages to the 20th and 21st centuries, and because modernity is not a endogenous phenomenon. Islam then is playing the role of bulwark against western hegemony. It is also instrumentalized both by the powers that be and by the oppositions, all of whom give themselves over to displays of one-upmanship over fidelity to Islam. Does Islam then maintain its relevance in the context of globalization? The fact is that the bases on which social relations are now founded no longer permit discrimination on the ground of sex or religion, and that there is a loosening of the grip of traditional ritualism and that more and more Muslims are looking for an understanding of the faith that is freed from old-fashioned dogmas. These new givens are being demonstrated particularly when it comes to the exercise of power and the condition of women. As a result, traditional conceptions are destined to evolve, particularly concerning the status of the Koran, the growing awareness of the historical process that made the Koran into a juridical code, the archetype that has been stuck to the person of the Prophet, and the alienation that consists in the sacralization of every human act. (shrink)
We show through analysis of personal advertisements that age preferences for a homosexual or lesbian partner are similar to differences found between men and women in age preferences for a opposite-sex partner. Such data call into question the claim by Kenrick & Keefe (1992) that the sex differences in age selectivity in mate selection are governed by reproductive strategies.
Many women today prepare for a big meeting by reading a stack of folders and applying lipstick. They order their male colleagues around, then wait for those same men to help them on with their coats. They have higher-status jobs than some of the men they date, yet they never call men socially or ask them out. What's going on? Why such seemingly contradictory behaviors? Have women completely failed feminism--or has feminism failed them? In The Lipstick Proviso , (...) Karen Lehrman--hailed by the New York Times as the "sharpest" of the new feminist thinkers--shows that women today are failing neither feminism nor themselves. Rather, they've entered a new stage of feminism, one in which the personal is not political, differences between the sexes need to be respected, and courtship, chivalry, and the nuclear family don't have to be jettisoned just because they existed before the sixties. Thirty years after the women's movement liberated women from narrowly defined roles, Lehrman argues, we are finally beginning to see which traditionally feminine behaviors are more deeply rooted in biology and which are more heavily influenced by culture. Lehrman asserts that the result--whatever it is--will not undermine feminism as long as women still retain equal rights, opportunities, and responsibilities. Dispensing with the outdated notion of sisterhood, Lehrman offers women a "lipstick proviso": women don't have to sacrifice their complex individuality in order to be equal. As the first book to move beyond a critique of orthodox feminism, The Lipstick Proviso sets a radically new course for the future of the women's movement. While there's still much political work to be done, Lehrman argues that women should now focus on the personal sides of their lives. Women can't rightly be called autonomous if they stay with abusive or even emotionally challenged lovers; say "yes" to sex when they really mean "no"; overeat or undereat to hide their sexuality. With wit and grace, Karen Lehrman offers in The Lipstick Proviso a way to complete the feminist revolution, and clearly establishes herself as the definitive voice of the next generation of feminism. (shrink)
In The Bodies of Women , Rosalyn Diprose argues that traditional approaches to ethics both perpetuate and remain blind to the mechanisms of the subordination of women. She shows that injustice againstwomen begins in the ways that social discourses and practices place women's embodied existence as improper and secondary to men. She intervenes into debates about sexual difference, ethics, philosophies of the body and theories of self in order to develop a new ethics which (...) places sexual difference at the very center of meaning. Diprose analyzes attempts in both feminist and non-feminist ethics to recognize the role of sexual difference. She critiques biomedical discourses whose descriptions mask a constitution and regulation of "the body." Drawing on insights from continental philosophy and feminist theory, The Bodies of Women includes critical readings of Hegel, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and Foucault as well as productive engagementwith contemporary feminist scholars such as Irigaray, Cornell and Young. What emerges is a unique approach to the ethics of sexual difference which both locates and subverts mechanisms of sexual discrimination. (shrink)
Feminist critics of the stigmatization of prostitution such as Martha Nussbaum and Sybil Schwarzenbach argue that the features of the practice do not, or at least need not, differ essentially from those of other more respected sorts of labor. I argue that even the least degraded forms of the current practice of prostitution remain objectionable on feminist grounds because patrons demand a semblance of sexual self-expression that engages discriminatory beliefs about women's sexuality.
Living in a culture of violence againstwomen leads women to employ any number of avoidance and defensive strategies on a daily basis. Such strategies may be self protective but do little to counter women’s fear of violence. A pervasive fear of violence comes with a cost to integrity not addressed in moral philosophy. Restricting choice and action to avoid possibility of harm compromises the ability to stand for one’s commitments before others. If Calhoun is right (...) that integrity is a matter of standing for one’s commitments then fear for safety undermines integrity. This paper extends Calhoun’s view through arguing that integrity further requires resiliency to protect one’s commitments. My account shows that self-defense training is a key source of this resiliency because it cultivates self-confidence. The practical point is that self-defense training directly counters fear and other passive responses to violence that undermine integrity. The theoretical significance is that violence againstwomen is a social condition threatening integrity. Hence, integrity requires self-protection for more socially minded reasons than moral theorists have previously recognized. (shrink)
Hannah Arendt says that "violence is nothing more than the most flagrant manifestation of power." Given this definition, one might expect that violence takes many forms. Numerous writers have, in fact, applied violence to more than direct bodily harm. Within philosophy, Newton Garver, for example, has developed a typology of violence that includes overt and covert forms, as well as personal..
Ethical decisions are contextualized in the dialectic of a multidimensional system, including situation, setting, culture, and generation. There may be further gaps between the ethical considerations of professionals and folk values. The experience of promoting equal opportunities in Hong Kong illustrates some of these challenges. Whereas the rule of law under a Western legal system advocates human rights, the traditional emphasis on harmony and preference for balancing in conflict resolution underlie the gaps in the interpretation of these ideals. The case (...) of the Hong Kong secondary school places allocation system highlights the conflicting perspectives of law, gender stereotypes, psychological knowledge, as well as ethical principles of justice and fairness in promoting equal opportunities in educational assessment and placement. The cultural perspective highlighted in this case illustrates the complex contexts of ethical decisions. (shrink)
The Neuroethics Affinity Group of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) met for the third time in October 2007 to review progress in the field of neuroethics and consider high-impact priorities for the future. Closely aligned with ASBH's own goals of recruiting junior scholars to bioethics and mentoring them to successful careers, the Neuroethics Affinity Group placed a call for new ideas to be presented at the Group meeting, specifically by junior attendees. One group responded with the idea (...) to probe a new direction for neuroethics focused on the neuroscience of gender differences. In the spirit of full disclosure, two of the authors are a student (Chalfin) and fellow (Murphy) of the program I formerly directed at Stanford University. The third (Karkazis) is junior faculty there. The intellectual ownership of the ideas in the report below, however, are entirely theirs. Like lit torches in a juggling act, there are many directions this project can go. The report is a snapshot of these authors' first iteration of the concept of women's neuroethics. Many thanks are extended to participants of the ASBH Neuroethics Affinity Group meeting whose enthusiasm and feedback was immensely helpful in shaping the concept and moving it ahead. - Judy Illes, Editor AJOB-Neuroscience. (shrink)
Abstract This paper argues for an integration of moral education and sex education curricula. In such an integration, the primary values that would be taught would not be those relating to specific sexual behaviour but those relating to the general treatment of human beings, suggesting that sex that involves coercion or exploitation as well as sex that causes harm is wrong. Sex educators must take as their goal the prevention of abuse, not by placing responsibility on girls to avoid victimisation (...) but by teaching boys how to express themselves sexually in moral??that is, considerate and respectful??ways. The paper discusses differential gender role socialisation and why integration of such material must be a part of every sex education curriculum. The paper also discusses how physical pleasure is not only a biological phenomenon but one that is culturally constructed, the discussion of which would be important to sex education. Finally, teaching about fantasy as well as sexual ?deviance? (in terms of the moral behaviours discussed above) may be the most important aspect of sex education to prepare or retrain boys to be ?good? sex partners rather than perpetrators of abuse. (shrink)
: Before women could become visible as philosophers, they had first to become visible as rational autonomous thinkers. A social and ethical position holding that chastity was the most important virtue for women, and that rationality and chastity were incompatible, was a significant impediment to accepting women's capacity for philosophical thought. Thus one of the first tasks for women was to confront this belief and argue for their rationality in the face of a self-referential dilemma.
Somerville, Margaret Same-sex marriage creates a clash between upholding the human rights of children with respect to their coming-into being and the family structure in which they will be reared, and the claims of homosexual adults who wish to marry a same-sex partner. It forces us, as a society, to choose whether to give priority to children's rights or to homosexual adults' claims. This problem does not arise with opposite-sex marriage, because children's rights and adult's claims with respect to marriage (...) are consistent with each other. (shrink)
This book examines the role of the female and the feminine in Plato's philosophy, and suggests that Plato's views on women are central to his political philosophy. Morag Buchan explores Plato's writings to argue his notions of the inferior female and the superior male. While Plato appears to allow women equal opportunity and participation of political life in the Ideal State in The Republic , his motivation rests on masculine ideals. Women in Plato's Political Theory examines issues (...) including women's relationship to men, to reproduction, to rational thought and politics in Plato's work, and addresses more generally the problem of sexual identity in philosophy. This book is an important contribution toward a wider interpretation of Platonic philosophy. (shrink)
This study discusses the results of a survey of 1,800 articles published in American medical journals from 1985--1996. The study finds 9% of these articles reported research that uses only male subjects to examine medical conditions that affect both sexes; the ratio of research on female to male conditions among these articles was greater than 5:1; but 76.5% of the articles reported research that includes both male and female subjects. The study also discusses evidence that sex biases against (...) class='Hi'>women (and men) are decreasing. This study also offers some possible psychological, institutional, medical, and economic explanations of the sex biases in medical research published in American journals, and discusses some policy implications of sex biases in medical research. The study concludes by urging others to conduct more empirical research on sex biases in medical research. (shrink)
The Fair-Start Defense justifies affirmative action preferences as a response to harms caused by race- and sex-based discrimination. Rather than base a justification for preferences on the traditional appeal to self-esteem, I argue they are justified in virtue of the effects institutional discrimination has on the goals and aspirations of its victims. In particular, I argue that institutional discrimination puts women and blacks at an unfair competitive disadvantage by causing academic disidentification. Affirmative action is justified as (...) a means of negating this unfair disadvantage. (shrink)
Pressuring someone into having sex would seem to differ in significant ways from pressuring someone into investing in one’s business or buying an expensive bauble. In affirming this claim, I take issue with a recent essay by Sarah Conly (‘Seduction, Rape, and Coercion’, Ethics, October 2004), who thinks that pressuring into sex can be helpfully evaluated by analogy to these other instances of using pressure. Drawing upon work by Alan Wertheimer, the leading theorist of coercion, she argues that so long (...) as pressuring does not amount to coercing someone into having sex, her consent to sex answers the important ethical questions about it. In this essay, I argue that to understand the real significance of pressuring into sex, we need to appeal to background considerations, especially the male-dominant gender hierarchy, which renders sexual pressuring different from its non-sexual analogues. Treating pressure to have sex like any other sort of interpersonal pressure obscures the role such sexual pressure might play in supporting gender hierarchy, and fails to explain why pressure by men againstwomen is more problematic than pressure by womenagainst men. I suggest that men pressuring women to have sex differs from the reverse case because of at least two factors: (1) gendered social institutions which add to the pressures againstwomen, and (2) the greater likelihood that men, not women, will use violence if denied, and the lesser ability of women compared to men to resist such violence without harm. (shrink)
This essay critically examines economist and philosopher Amartya Sen's writings as a potential resource in religious ethicists' efforts to analyze discriminationagainst girls and women and to address their well-being and agency. Delineating how Sen's discussions of "missing women" and "gender and cooperative conflict" fit within his "capability approach" to economic and human development, the article explores how Sen's methodology employs empirical analysis toward normative ends. Those ends expand the capability of girls and women to (...) function in all aspects of their society. It concludes with a discussion of ways to engage Sen's work within religious ethics. (shrink)
This study replicates and extends previous work by Oppenheimer and Wiesner [1990, Sex discrimination: Who is hired and do employment equity statements make a difference? Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, Personnel and Human Resources Division], and examined the effects of minority qualifications on hiring decisions, the effects of employment equity directives when minority candidates are less qualified and the effects of different types and strengths of employment equity directives on hiring decisions. (...) The results indicate that when employment equity is in place, people are increasingly more likely to hire underrepresented group members, to the extent that they are more qualified. Men appear to be treated in a positively biased manner, and are more likely to be hired when they are less qualified. Women are less likely to be hired when they are under-qualified, and in the absence of employment equity directives or when there is a suggestion that women are underrepresented. Moreover, when employment equity directives are strengthened, there appears to be a subtle backlash for women but not for men. (shrink)
Africa, before European colonization, knew no other form of legal system outside customary arrangements. Based on secondary sources and a primary survey conducted between 2009 and 2010 on the situation of women and land rights in anglophone Cameroon, this paper examines the grounds for discrimination in customary laws againstwomen's rights to land in the context of legal pluralism, and discusses the implications of this custom of gender discrimination. In drawing from Cameroon as an exemplar, (...) it concludes that the strong influence and impact of customs on current land tenure systems have global implications on women's land rights, food security and sustainable development, and that gender equality in land matters can be possible only where the critical role of ethics is recognized in pursuit of the economic motive of land rights. (shrink)
Despite tremendous advances in neuroscience, the topic “brain, sex and gender” remains a matter of misleading interpretations, that go well beyond the bounds of science. In the 19th century, the difference in brain sizes was a major argument to explain the hierarchy between men and women, and was supposed to reflect innate differences in mental capacity. Nowadays, our understanding of the human brain has progressed dramatically with the demonstration of cerebral plasticity. The new brain imaging techniques have revealed the (...) role of the environment in continually re-shaping our brain all along our lifetimes as it goes through new experiences and acquires new knowledge. However, the idea that biology is a major determining factor for cognition and behavioral gender differentiation, is still very much alive. The media are far from being the only guilty party. Some scientific circles actively promote the idea of an innate origin of a gender difference in mental capacities. Experimental data from brain imaging, cognitive tests or genetics are often distorted to serve deterministic ideas. Such abuse of “scientific discourses” have to be counteracted by effective communication of clear and unbiased information to the citizens. This paper presents a critical analysis of selected examples which emphasize sex differences in three fields e.g. skills in language and mathematics, testosterone and financial risk-taking behavior, moral cognition. To shed light on the data and the methods used in some papers, we can now—with today’s knowledge on cerebral plasticity—challenge even more strongly, many false interpretations. Our goal here is double: we want to provide evidence against archaic beliefs about the biological determinism of sex differences but also promote a positive image of scientific research. (shrink)
This paper argues that, if we are committed to a Pro-choice stance with regard to selective abortion for disability, we will be unable to justify the prohibition of sex-selective abortion (SSA), for two reasons. First, familiar Pro-choice arguments in favour of a woman’s right to select against fetal impairment also support, by parity of reasoning, a right to choose SSA. Second, rejection of the criticisms of selective abortion for disability levelled by disability theorists also disposes, by implication, of the (...) key objections to SSA, as developed, most notably, by feminists. The paper, then, consists of a conditional defence of SSA, under which SSA should be available, and protected by a right, if selective abortion for disability is. Opponents of SSA might respond by conceding additional restrictions on selection against disabled fetuses. It should become clear throughout the paper, however, that any such new restrictions would be unacceptably onerous for women. (shrink)
Representing the best popular and scholarly contributions to transgender/ sex studies, and with their mutual concern with female-to-male sex and gender crossing (among other topics), these three books mark an important shift in scholarship on gender and sexuality. Trans studies has reached a level of autonomy and sophistication that firmly establishes it as a field with its own theoretical and political questions. Of course, connections to feminist and queer theory are still very apparent in these texts, and all three authors (...) are committed—to varying degrees—to reading trans identities against the backdrop of male dominance and heteronormativity. It’s no longer enough, however, for feminist readers to dismiss the projects of trans theorists and activists as epiphenomenal to feminist discourses or even queer theory, or to view trans studies as an optional extra in discussions of sex and gender. These books represent the best arguments against this position, and thus offer a new challenge to the inclusivity, scope, and terms of “women’s studies.”. (shrink)
This is a bold and controversial feminist, philosophical critique of postmodernism. While providing a brief and accessible introduction to postmodernist feminist thought, Enlightened Women is also a unique defence of realism and enlightenment philosophy. The first half of the book covers an analysis of some of the most influential postmodernist theorists, such as Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler. In the second half Alison Assiter advocates a return to modernism in feminism. She argues, against the current orthodoxy, that there (...) can be a distinction between "sex" and "gender". For students trying to pick their way through the maze of literature in the area of postmodernist feminism, Enlightened Women is a concise guide to contemporary thought - as well as a radical contribution to the debate. (shrink)
Four issues relevant to sex differences in human aggression and violence are considered. (1) The motivation for play and serious aggression in children and juvenile animals is different. Consequently, the evolutionary explanations for each may be different. (2) Sex differences in intrasexual aggression may be due to effects of the attacker or the target. There is evidence that both males and females are more physically aggressive against males and less physically aggressive against females. The evolutionary explanation for each (...) component of the sex difference in intrasexual aggression may be different. (3) Aggression and violence are defined. The former is the attack, and the latter is the consequent injury or death. The evolutionary explanation for each may not be the same. (4) Most men and women are neither physically aggressive nor criminally violent. The evolutionary explanations of sex differences in aggression and violence should take this polymorphism into account. (shrink)
In this article I argue that clients who purchase commercial sex from forced prostitutes should be strictly liable in tort towards the sex-slaves. Such an approach is both normatively defensible and doctrinally feasible. As I have argued elsewhere, fairness and equality demand that clients compensate sex-slaves even if one refuses to acknowledge that fault is involved in purchasing sex from a prostitute who might be forced. In this article I argue that such strict liability could be grounded in the tort (...) of conversion, and not only (as argued elsewhere) in battery. Since the quintessential experience of sex-slaves is that of being treated as chattels, the appropriate legal response is to allow them to benefit from the strict liability imposed on those who interfere with an owner’s dominion over his property. Accordingly, sex-slaves should be viewed as both subjects and objects. As subjects they can sue clients for the violation of their sexual autonomy manifested by their treatment as objects. This approach is both advantageous to sex-slaves, in the sense it affords them protection that might not otherwise exist, and fair, since the ultimate response to the objectification of sex-slaves by clients should be to afford the former a proprietary-based claim against the latter. I further explain why my approach is not problematic on conceptual grounds, anti-commodification sentiments or feminist concerns with the symbolic message of my solution: that the law treats women as property. (shrink)
This paper develops a new account of Beauvoir's “Hegelianism” and argues that the strand of contemporary interpretation of Beauvoir that seeks to represent her thought in isolation from that of Jean-Paul Sartre constitutes a betrayal of the philosophy of recognition that she derives from Hegel. It underscores the extent to which Beauvoir influenced Sartre's Being and Nothingness and shows that Sartre and Beauvoir both adapted Hegel's ideas and agreed in rejecting his optimism.
: In this essay, Miriam argues for a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach to the radical feminist theory of sex-right and compulsory heterosexuality. Against critics of radical feminism, she argues that when understood from a phenomenological-hermeneutic perspective, such theory does not foreclose female sexual agency. On the contrary, men's right of sexual access to women and girls is part of our background understanding of heteronormativity, and thus integral to the lived experience of female sexual agency.
The purpose of this article is to argue in favor of a private employer’s right to discriminate amongst job applicants on any basis he chooses, and this certainly includes unlawful characteristics such as race, sex, national origin, sexual preference, religion, etc. John Locke and many after him have argued that people have natural rights to life, liberty, and property or the pursuit of happiness. In this view, law should be confined to protecting these rights and be limited to prohibiting other (...) people from transgressing those rights. The law should not hinder an employer’s ability to discriminate, any more than it should compel people to marry against their wishes. These laws generally emerge from a moral perspective that people think should be imposed on everyone else. But those who don’t welcome those morals are in effect being coerced to abide by them against their will; this is unethical. Finally, it will be argued that the free market has mechanisms by which discrimination will, be rendered powerless to harm its victims. (shrink)
A transgender man legally married to a woman has given birth to two children, raising questions about the ethics of assisted reproductive treatments (ARTs) for people with cross-sex identities. Psychiatry treats cross-sex identities as a disorder, but key medical organizations and the law in some jurisdictions have taken steps to protect people with these identities from discrimination in health care, housing, and employment. In fact, many people with cross-sex identities bypass psychiatric treatment altogether in order to pursue lives that (...) are meaningful to them, lives that sometimes include children. Cross-sex identification does not render people unfit as parents, because transgender identities do not undercut the ability to understand the nature and consequences of pregnancy or necessarily interfere with the ability to raise children. Moreover, no evidence suggests that being born to and raised by transgender parents triggers the kind of harm that would justify exclusion of trans-identified men and women from ARTs as a class. The normalization of transgender identities by the law and professional organizations contributes, moreover, to the need to reassess pathological interpretations of cross-sex identities, and trans-parenthood puts those interpretations into sharp relief. (shrink)
Campbell's evolutionary explanation of women's typically lower rates of interpersonal aggression is plausible, but some supporting evidence requires scrutiny. Women may not commit less interpersonal violence than men against small children. Women are more vulnerable than men in same-sex encounters. The link between dominance and reproductive success for males is less secure than was once thought.