Philosophers have rightly condemned lookism—that is, discrimination in favor of attractive people or against unattractive people—in education, the justice system, the workplace and elsewhere. Surprisingly, however, the almost universal preference for attractive romantic and sexual partners has rarely received serious ethical scrutiny. On its face, it’s unclear whether this is a form of discrimination we should reject or tolerate. I consider arguments for both views. On the one hand, a strong case can be made that preferring attractive partners is bad. (...) The idea is that choosing partners based on looks seems essentially similar to other objectionable forms of discrimination. (In particular, the preference for attractive partners is arguably both unfair and harmful to a significant degree.) One can try to resist this conclusion in several ways. I consider three possible replies. The first has to do with the possibility of controlling our partner preferences. The second pertains to attractiveness and “good genes”. The last attempts to link certain aspects of attractiveness to a prospective partner’s personality and values. I argue that the first two replies fail conclusively, while the third only amounts to a limited defense of a particular kind of attractiveness preference. So the idea that we should often avoid preferring attractive partners is compelling. (shrink)
The Palgrave Handbook of Sexual Ethics is a comprehensive collection of recent research on the ethics of sexual behavior, representing a wide range of perspectives. It addresses a number of traditional subjects in the area, including questions about pre-marital, extra-marital, non-heterosexual, and non-procreative sex, and about the nature and significance of sexual consent, sexual desire, and sexual activity, as well as a variety of more recent topics, including sexual racism, sexual ableism, sex robots, and the #metoo response to sexual harassment. (...) Each chapter defends a substantive thesis about the topic it addresses and the handbook as a whole thereby provides a strong foundation for future research in this important and growing field of inquiry. (shrink)
Controversially, psychologist and public intellectual Jordan Peterson advises “enforced monogamy” for societies with high percentages of “incels.” As Peterson’s proposal resonates in manosphere circles, this chapter reconstructs and briefly evaluates the argument for it. Premised on the moral importance of civilizational sustainability, advocates argue that both polygamous and socially monogamous but sexually liberal mating patterns result in unsustainable proportions of unattached young men. Given the premises, monogamous societies are probably justified in maintaining their anti-polygamist social and legal norms. The case (...) for imposing stricter sexual norms on socially monogamous but sexually liberal societies is weaker, however, as male involuntary celibacy in those places isn’t as directly caused by male intrasexual competition, and since less intrusive social interventions are more likely to ameliorate “the incel problem.”. (shrink)
(This is a revised version of the essay for the 8th edition of The Philosophy of Sex.) Halwani address three main arguments as to why someone with sexual racial preferences (sexual preferences for or against people on the basis of their ethnic of racial belonging) might be thought racist, and argues that they all fail. He then explains the steps that need to be taken before we can conclude that someone is racist from the mere fact that he or she (...) has racial preferences. In an appendix to this revised essay, Halwani explains and criticizes all the recent essays that have been published since 2017 on this subject. (shrink)
This essay starts by discussing the definitions, and their attendant difficulties, of "casual sex," "promiscuity," and "objectification" (including whether objectification is only about treatment or can be about mere regard), and then continues to discuss the morality of casual sex and promiscuity, especially as to whether they are objectifying. Assuming a pessimist view of sexual desire and activity, the paper argues that it is nearly impossible to defend these sexual practices against the accusation of objectification, because even though casual sex (...) and promiscuity do not necessarily objectify, they likely almost always do. The essay concludes by arguing that the wrongness of objectification in these two kinds of sexual practices might not be serious, so they might be overall morally permissible. (This is a revised version from that in the 7th edition of The Philosophy of Sex.). (shrink)
This papers explains the sexual pleasure view of sexual desire, and argues that the moral evaluation of sexual pleasure depends on the moral evaluation of the sexual activity on which the pleasure supervenes. Thus, ethical talk of sexual pleasure as such, regardless of the type of activity on which it supervenes is misguided. The essay also argues that the ethics of sexual desires also depends on the sexual activities that the desires seek, but that the sexual desires and pleasures can (...) help evaluate the character of the person with those desires. The essay concludes by using this Aristotelian view of pleasure as supervening on its activities to solve a dilemma that David Benatar once raised in sexual ethics. (shrink)
This essay discusses the moral costs and benefits of sexual technology. It starts with first-wave sexual technology, such as dating apps, messaging apps, and social networks, and then discusses second-wave sexual technology, which offers users more immersive experiences, such as virtual reality and sex robots. The paper argues that, overall, such technologies provide more benefits than they incur costs. Finally, the paper discusses the rise of a new identity—digisexuality, explaining that digisexuals are people who consider sexual technology an essential part (...) of who they are, and who might forego relationships with other people. The paper argues that the development of this new identity is a good thing, and that reasons against it are not convincing. (shrink)
Relying on a sexual encounter that he had once while in graduate school, Soble explores in this essay two important and under-explored ideas in sexual ethics. The first is whether there are sexual duties to others (including, even especially, to strangers), and what the source of such duties might be. He provides good reasons, rooted in both religious and secular thought, for believing that such duties exist. The second is whether there are supererogatory sexual actions—sexual actions that go beyond the (...) demands of duty—and what conditions an act needs to satisfy in order to be supererogatory. Soble uses the sexual encounter that opens the essay to test our intuitions about these two ideas and his own arguments, and to underscore the complications involved in attempting to find secure answers as to whether some sexual acts are dutiful, done from duty, or supererogatory. (This is a revised version of the essay in the 7th edition of The Philosophy of Sex.). (shrink)
In this essay, Soble addresses the various attempts in the philosophical literature to solve the "Kantian sex problem"—people's mere instrumental use of each other (and allowing themselves to be used as such by others) during sexual activity and the diminishing of one's sexual rationality and autonomy when experiencing sexual desire. The problem won't be solved by denying Kant's account of sexuality or the validity of his Formula of Humanity, but by fashioning a sexual ethics consistent with Kant's views. Soble critically (...) discusses and rejects various proposed solutions to this problem, from behavioral and psychological internalist solutions to minimalist and extended externalist solutions. Soble also scrutinizes the writings of Kant to make sense of the passages in which Kant himself tries to solve the problem that he created. Soble concludes that Kant's restriction of sex to marriage derives as much, if not more, from the duty to protect one's own personhood from the noxious objectifying nature of sexual desire, as from the duty to protect the personhood of those whom one sexual desires and interacts with. (This is a revised version of the essay from previous editions of the book.). (shrink)
It is widely accepted that consent is a normative power. For instance, consent can make an impermissible act permissible. In the words of Heidi Hurd, it “turns a trespass into a dinner party... an invasion of privacy into an intimate moment.” In this chapter, I argue against the assumption that consent has such robust powers for moral transformation. In particular, I argue that there is a wide range of sex that harms or wrongs victims despite being consensual. Moreover, these cases (...) are not limited to those where con- sent is vitiated by background conditions. I start by calling this category of consensual sex Bad Sex. I then distinguish subspecies of this category, including psychological pressure, social coercion, and epistemically unsafe sex. I end by responding to an objection on which we should treat at least some subspecies of Bad Sex as rape. Though this alternative proposal is often motivated by ameliorative and strategic considerations, I argue that such considerations actually count against collapsing the categories of Bad Sex and rape. (shrink)
Sometimes, people who are otherwise eligible to donate blood are unduly deferred from donating. “Unduly” indicates a gap where a deferral policy misstates what exposes potential donors to risk and so defers more donors than is justified. Since the error is at the policy-level, it’s natural and understandable to focus criticism on reformulating or eliminating the offending policies. Policy change is undoubtedly the right goal because the policy is what prevents otherwise safe eligible donors from donating needed blood. But focusing (...) exclusively at the policy-level passes over a largely undiscussed question: if policy change takes time and there is an urgent need for blood now, then what should unduly deferred donors do in the meanwhile? Blood banks and federal agencies recommend that deferred donors donate their time or money until they become eligible, but blood is a non-fungible good: donated cash or volunteered time cannot replace a transfusion. Further, this request ignores that otherwise eligible donors could safely donate their blood in addition to their time and money. Here is the central question I will focus on in this paper: is a donor morally justified in lying on a questionnaire to donate blood if they justifiably believe that their blood poses no risk to a recipient and knows that honestly answering a donor questionnaire would unduly defer them from donating? (shrink)
Nancy Jecker is right when she says that older persons ought not to be ashamed if they wish to remain sexually active in advanced old age. She offers a useful account of the role that sexuality plays in supporting key human capabilities. However, Jecker assumes an exaggerated account of what sex robots are likely to be able to offer for the foreseeable future when she suggests that we are obligated to make them available to older persons with disabilities. Moreover, whether (...) older persons should be ashamed to desire sex robots—or, more importantly, whether we should be ashamed at the thought that we should respond to the sexual needs of older persons by providing them with sex robots—turns on a range of arguments that Jecker fails to adequately consider. (shrink)
This article argues that access to meaningful sexual experience should be included within the set of the goods that are subject to principles of distributive justice. It argues that some people are currently unjustly excluded from meaningful sexual experience and it is not implausible to suggest that they might thereby have certain claim rights to sexual inclusion. This does not entail that anyone has a right to sex with another person, but it does entail that duties may be imposed on (...) society to foster greater sexual inclusion. This is a controversial thesis and this article addresses this controversy by engaging with four major objections to it: the misogyny objection; the impossibility objection; the stigmatisation objection; and the unjust social engineering objection. (shrink)
“Ghosting”, the act of ceasing all communication with someone with whom you have been romantically involved, is now a normal part of modern dating. The common moral judgment of ghosting is negative, that it is a bad behavior that treats people disrespectfully, and trains up a lack of empathy and accountability in those who engage in it (Abad-Santos 2017; Guilluame 2016; G 2017; Smith 2017). These behaviors and traits are at least morally undesirable if not outright wrong, and so, consequently, (...) it isn’t permissible for anyone to ghost. But is this the whole story to be told about ghosting? In this paper, I offer quite different responses to these two questions about ghosting. Focusing here on gender identity, I claim that it is permissible for women to ghost men. This is because, I contend, women’s practices of ghosting are a justified response to men’s practices of misogyny within the context of heterosexual dating. As such, I argue that contrary to the common perception that ghosting is rude or disrespectful, it rather serves a self-protective function for women and can at times qualify as an act of resistance against women’s oppression. In this way, not only is ghosting done by women minimally permissible, it might even be considered laudable. (shrink)
Harry Chalmers argues that monogamy involves restricting one’s partner’s access to goods in a morally troubling way that is analogous to an agreement between partners to have no additional friends. Chalmers finds the traditional defenses of monogamy wanting, since they would also justify a friendship-restricting agreement. I show why three traditional defenses of monogamy hold up quite well and why they don’t, for the most part, also justify friendship-restricting agreements. In many cases, monogamy can be justified on grounds of practicality, (...) specialness, or jealousy. (shrink)
How are patriarchal regimes perpetuated and reproduced? Kate Manne’s recent work on misogyny aims to provide an answer to this central question. According to her, misogyny is a property of social environments where women perceived as violating patriarchal norms are ‘kept down’ through hostile reactions coming from men, other women and social structures. In this paper, I argue that Manne’s approach is problematically incomplete. I do so by examining a recent puzzling social phenomenon which I call (post-)feminist backlash: the rise (...) of women-led movements reinstating patriarchal practices in the name of feminism. I focus on the example of ‘raunch feminist’ CAKE parties and argue that their pro-patriarchal dimension cannot be adequately explained by misogyny. I propose instead a different story that emphasizes the continued centrality of gender distinctions in our social normative life, even as gendered social meanings become increasingly contested. This triggers meaning vertigo, a distinct form of social anxiety and the reactionary impulse at the heart of (post)-feminist backlash. Meaning vertigo both complicates the answer to Manne’s main question—“why is misogyny still a thing?”—and suggests the need and opportunity for a different kind of feminist political intervention. (shrink)
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView. Despite the acknowledgement of the moral significance of consent there is still much work to be done in determining which specific sexual encounters count as unproblematically consensual. This paper focuses on the impact of deception. It takes up the specific case of deception about one's self. It may seem obvious that one ought not to lie to a sexual partner about who one is, but determining which features of oneself are most relevant, as well as (...) the lies which it follows would be impermissible to tell, is complicated. It is argued here that deception about one's morally valenced character traits, those we think of as virtues and vices, are particularly problematic. This is true regardless of whether knowing the truth about those traits would have made a difference to one's partner's consent. Attention is then drawn to a range of types of lies that one ought not to tell. (shrink)
The combination of sex and horror may be disquieting to many, but the two are natural (if perhaps gruesome) bedfellows. In fact, sex and horror coincide with such regularity in contemporary horror fiction that the two concepts appear to be at least partially intertwined. The sex–horror relationship is sometimes connotative rather than overt; examples of this relationship range from the seduction overtones of 'Nosferatu' and the juxtaposition of nudity and horror promised by European exploitation filmmakers to the sadomasochistic iconography of (...) 'Hellraiser'. In other cases, sex and horror are balanced in a manner that thoroughly blurs the distinction between porn and horror. The sustained presence of sex-horror in film suggests that these two elements fit together and the combination is a source of pleasure (entertainment, fascination, intellectual stimulation and so forth) for many. Yet sex-horror is broadly perceived to be disturbing and these negative reactions indicate that sex-horror is a source of trepidation, moral disdain or disgust for some. Thus, it appears that sex-horror inspires directly competing responses. One might conclude that sex-horror itself is paradoxical; that it holds two directly oppositional meanings simultaneously. However, as I will illustrate in this chapter, these dual responses are not as contradictory as they might first appear to be. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to assert that any moral critique or political censorship of sexually violent imagery cannot be justified with reference to participants nor matters of taste. Rather, the present paper seeks to distinguish objectification and alienation and apply this distinction to the issue of the representation of sexual violence. Alienation is the morally problematic category because systems of domination and control determine the expressions and consumption of desires, but this means that the violence in such material (...) may well be a red herring. (shrink)
I offer an unorthodox argument for the thesis that prostitution is not just a normal job. It has the advantage of being compatible with the claim that humans should have full authority over their sexual life. In fact, it is ultimately the emphasis on this authority that leads the thesis that prostitution is a normal job to collapse. Here is the argument: merchants cannot (both legally and morally) discriminate whom they transact with on the basis of factors like the ethnicity (...) or the religion of their client; but if prostitutes are ‘sex merchants’, then they cannot (both legally and morally) discriminate whom they have sex with on the basis of these factors. Yet everyone should have the full discretionary power to refuse to have sex under any circumstances. (shrink)
Is prostitution immoral? Various philosophers have put forward arguments for thinking so, one of the most notable being that, by engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment, the prostitute instrumentalizes himself or herself. In this paper, I identify two meanings of "instrumentalize" and, with them, two versions of the instrumentalization argument for the immorality of prostitution. I then critique each version of the argument.
In this chapter I'd like to focus on a small corner of sexbot ethics that is rarely considered elsewhere: the question of whether and when being a sexbot might be good---or bad---*for the sexbot*. You might think this means you are in for a dry sermon about the evils of robot slavery. If so, you'd be wrong; the ethics of robot servitude are far more complicated than that. In fact, if the arguments here are right, designing a robot to serve (...) humans sexually may be very good for the robots themselves. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum attempts to improve the clarity of the obscure talk of feminists and conservatives about objectification in connection with sexual matters. Her discussion is a substantial improvement. However, it is inconsistent and opaque, and she continues to apply the pejorative term ‘objectification’ to activities which she herself admits are morally unproblematic and which may even be a joyous part of life. I explain the deficiencies in Nussbaum’s discussion, including the fact that she does not notice the one way of (...) objectification that seems inherently problematic, and I show that casual sex, prostitution and pornography are normally not morally problematic even while they exhibit some of Nussbaum’s ways of objectification. The term ‘objectification’ should be eschewed because it is a barrier to clear thinking. (shrink)
This essay aims to clarify the debate over same-sex unions by comparing it to the fourth-century conflict concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. Although some suppose that the council of Nicaea reiterated what Christians had always believed, the Nicene theology championed by Athanasius was a dramatic innovation that only won out through protracted struggle. Similarly, despite the widespread assumption that Christian tradition univocally condemns homosexuality, the concept of sexuality is a nineteenth-century invention with no exact analogue in the ancient world. (...) Neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality is addressed directly in Christian tradition; for this reason, the significance of older authorities for the modern debate is necessarily indirect. The dichotomy between progressive and conservative positions is therefore misguided: it is necessary neither to abandon tradition for the sake of progress nor to oppose innovation for the sake of fidelity. (shrink)
May a couple have the aim of conceiving as their primary purpose in having marital relations? In this paper, I argue against the view of Alexander Pruss that it is wrong to do this since it treats human beings as fungible in their creation when their unique features are not known to their parents. I argue that Pruss cannot separate seeking reproduction as part of a marital vocation from seeking the unknown, unspecified child who is part of what makes for (...) success in this particular area. While neither spouse should treat the other as a mere tool for having a child, success in the shared goal of conceiving, as well as the goal itself and its pursuit, is very much part of the conjugal good. Existing human beings are morally irreplaceable in the sense that they must be individually valued and respected, but we may promote the lives of unknown existing people under a ‘catch all’ description—and may also deliberately conceive new people of some unknown, indeterminate kind. (shrink)
This paper examines the changing context for sexual images and the spaces that give law meaning. The details are evident in Congressional efforts to regulate sex on the Internet and the Supreme Court’s response as well as changing contexts for encountering forbidden images from the old stag films and peep shows to the local public library and sex sites on the web. The paper is part of a larger project on seeing law and the idea that Lady Justice is blind.
In a scene from Neil Strauss’ The Game, Ross Jeffries turns his “Speed Seduction” techniques on a waitress. Jeffries evokes remembered feelings of sexual attraction in the waitress, then hypnotically “anchors” these feelings to himself. He thereby seduces her, and in a morally problematic way. To see this, consider subliminal advertising. Subliminal advertising creates consumer demand by purposefully altering motives using means that bypass rational capacities. Jeffries creates demand in the waitress for sex with him using similar means. As we (...) frown upon subliminal advertising, so should we frown upon such unsavory seduction. But it is not generally morally problematic to purposefully alter someone else’s motives to get her to do what you want. And it is not generally morally problematic to motivate someone else by bypassing her rationality. So where is the problem with unsavory seduction? Here I develop and assess one possible answer to this question. (shrink)
As concerns about violence, war, terrorism, sexuality, and embodiment have garnered attention in philosophy, the concept of vulnerability has become a shared reference point in these discussions. As a fundamental part of the human condition, vulnerability has significant ethical import: how one responds to vulnerability matters, whom one conceives as vulnerable and which criteria are used to make such demarcations matters, how one deals with one’s own vulnerability matters, and how one understands the meaning of vulnerability matters. Yet, the meaning (...) of vulnerability is commonly taken for granted and it is assumed that vulnerability is almost exclusively negative, equated with weakness, dependency, powerlessness, deficiency, and passivity. This reductively negative view leads to problematic implications, imperiling ethical responsiveness to vulnerability, and so prevents the concept from possessing the normative value many theorists wish it to have. When vulnerability is regarded as weakness and, concomitantly, invulnerability is prized, attentiveness to one’s own vulnerability and ethical response to vulnerable others remain out of reach goals. Thus, this book critiques the ideal of invulnerability, analyzes the problems that arise from a negative view of vulnerability, and articulates in its stead a non-dualistic concept of vulnerability that can remedy these problems. (shrink)
In contrast to film, theater, and literature, audiences typically sing along with popular songs. This can encourage a first-person mode of engagement with the narrative content. Unlike mere spectators, listeners sometimes imagine acting out the content when it is recited in the first-person. This is a common mode of engaging with popular music. And it can be uniquely morally problematic. It is problematic when it involves the enjoyment of imaginatively doing evil. I defend a Moorean view on the issue: It (...) is wrong to enjoy evil whether real or merely fiction. I develop my position through an examination of the controversially song "Mind of a Lunatic" (1990) by the Houston based rap group Geto Boys. (shrink)
The central argument of Ann Cahill’s Overcoming Objectification is that the concept of sexual objectification should be replaced by Cahill’s concept of derivatization in order to better capture the wrongness of degrading images and practices without depending on an objectionably narrow and disembodied conception of self. To derivatize someone is not to treat her as a non-person, but rather to treat her as a derivative person, reducing her to an aspect of another’s being. Although not perfect, Cahill’s approach advances the (...) conversation about what we should find objectionable in certain types of sexual representations and interactions by helping us to talk about sex in a way that does not start from the presupposition that physical expressions of sexuality are inherently debasing. I describe the thesis of the book, how I used it in my Philosophy and Women course, and some criticisms that I have and that arose from class discussion. (shrink)
Lars von Trier’s Antichrist (2009) has often been described as a ‘gothic’, if not straightforwardly ‘horror’ movie. While this claim could easily be challenged with regard to strict genre definitions, it is doubtless the case that the film deals very explicitly with fear, first and foremost the female protagonist’s fear of herself, which is placed at the top of the so-called ‘pyramid of fear’ drawn by her therapist/wanna-be-Saviour partner. My opinion is that Antichrist perfectly displays the horrific effects of the (...) direct embodiment, following a true love encounter, of the symbolic positions which Lacan associated with male and female sexuation. If human sexuality relies on the logic for which there is only one mythical man who is truly whole while every real woman is not wholly whole, what happens when He and She (the nameless protagonists of the movie) fully identify with such irreducible asymmetry between the sexes, its fundamental derailment from nature? They short-circuit the material singularity of a specific human animal with the abstract universality of gender. With the same move, they cannot overcome (or sublimate) the realisation that, in the female protagonist’s own words, woman is ‘evil’ – as long as she feels guilty of what man accuses her – and man is a ‘bastard’ – haunted by the phantasm of unifying purity which woman disrupts. Gynocide as male totalizing extermination of universal difference and genital self-mutilation as female reflexive hatred for the supposedly exceptional man mark the sadomasochistic extremes of the scene of the not-two, the frightening ob-scenity ( o-skené ), or off-representation, of human sexuality. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that orgasm-faking is permissible. My essay consists of three parts. First, I provide a background sketch of the psychology of orgasm-faking. Second, I argue that it is permissible. Third, I consider other arguments that might be made for the permissibility of faking it.
Sexual ethics is an important area of discussion in the contemporary ethical debates. The discussions on sexual ethics gained relevance especially in the context of the raise of Global epidemic of HIV/AIDS, which is threatening the human life at large. Trust and Responsibility form the basic pillars of any human relationship including the relation of sexual partners. The present paper discusses the place of ‘trust’ and ‘responsibility’ in the sexual ethics in the context of HIV/AIDS. It argues that only in (...) a single partner, known and long-term relationship trust and responsibility are strong and hence only by adopting such a relationship it is possible to avoid transmission of AIDS. (shrink)
I argue against Appel's recent proposal – in this JOURNAL – that there is a fundamental human right to sexual pleasure, and that therefore the sexual pleasure of severely disabled people should be publicly funded – by thereby partially legalizing prostitution. I propose an alternative that does not need to pose a new positive human right; does not need public funding; does not need the legalization of prostitution; and that would offer a better experience to the severely disabled: charitable non-profit (...) organizations whose members would voluntarily and freely provide sexual pleasure to the severely disabled. (shrink)
I argue that if we want to condemn sexual relationships between professors and students we must also condemn friendships between them. On the other hand, if we want to allow such friendships, we must condone (some) professor-student sexual relationships. My main reasons for this conclusion are, first, that the differences between close friendships and sexual relationships are more subtle than most people think — there is no clear boundary between the two — and, second, anything that would concern us about (...) the latter should concern us about the former. I will argue, further, that though there may be reasons to avoid such relationships, there is nothing about the student-professor relationship in particular that should lead us to condemn all such relationships. (shrink)
The public discourse surrounding sex and severe disability over the past 40 years has largely focused on protecting vulnerable populations from abuse. However, health professionals and activists are increasingly recognising the inherent sexuality of disabled persons and attempting to find ways to accommodate their intimacy needs. This essay explores several ethical issues arising from such efforts.
This chapter contains sections titled: Pat and Sam Who Are We Talking About? Things That Are Just Plain Wrong Friendship and Sexual Relationships Harms and Benefits of Student‐Professor Relationships Spending More Time Biased Assessment The Benefits of Friendship Avoiding Injustice Policing Pat and Sam.
It appears that spouses have less reason to hold each other to a norm of monogamy than to reject the norm. The norm of monogamy involves a restriction of spouses' aeeess to two things of value: sex and erotic love. This restriction initially appears unwarranted but can be justified. There is reason for spouses to aeeept the norm of monogamy if their marriage satisfies three conditions. Otherwise, there is reason to permit non-monogamy. Some spouses have reason to accept the norm (...) of monogamy because this will avoid reasonable hurt and prevent diversion of resourees needed to sustain the marriage. Other spouses have reason to permit non-monogamy to allow the spouses access to aspects of a well-rounded life. The choice to be either monogamous or non-monogamous ean also be non-instrumentally valuable if chosen for the right reasons. (shrink)
Guynn offers an innovative new approach to the ethical, cultural, and ideological analysis of medieval allegory. Working between poststructuralism and historical materialism, he considers both the playfulness of allegory (its openness to multiple interpretations and perspectives) and its disciplinary force (the use of rhetoric to naturalize hegemonies and suppress difference and dissent). Ultimately, he argues that both tendencies can be linked to the consolidation of power within ruling class institutions and the persecution of demonized others, notably women and sexual minorities. (...) The book examines a number of centrally canonical works, including the verse romance Eneas , Alan of Lille’s De planctu Naturae , The Romance of the Rose , and the Querelle de la Rose. (shrink)
Sexual fantasy is a non-perceptual thought that is sexually arousing. It has several paradigmatic features. The structure of a fantasy involves an agent taking pleasure in an object that is often a visual depiction of an event. The fantasy is under the agent’s control and has a semantic content. Since mere sexual fantasizing about someone respects the individual who are depicted in the fantasy, the rightness of a sexual fantasy depends on whether consequentialism is true and, if so, whether the (...) particular fantasy brings about better results an alternative activities. Sexual fantasies can be intrinsically good or bad depending on whether the pleasure is malicious and whether the fantasy contains a false statement. The vast majority are not intrinsically bad since they neither involve an unfitting attitude toward something that is itself bad nor commit the subject to a falsity. Hence, if one rejects consequentialism, then most sexual fantasies, including many of the most violent ones, are neither wrong nor intrinsically bad. (shrink)
I argue on utilitarian grounds that while traditional constraints on heterosexual activity, including the prohibition of pre-marital sex and divorce may be justified by appeal to purely secular principles, no comparable prohibitions are justified as regards homosexual activity. Homosexuality is in this respect.
In this paper, I argue that many violent sexual fantasies are not vicious. In the first part of this article, I sketch out the nature of violent sexual fantasies and note that many people regularly have them. I then argue many violent sexual fantasies are not vicious. My argument strategy is to explore what makes an attitude vicious and then to note that the vice-making feature need not be present in such fantasies and is in fact probably not present in (...) many of them. I then explore some of the implications of this finding for the nature of virtue and pornography policy. (shrink)
Confidentiality in psychological counseling is necessary if clients are to feel comfortable in revealing their darkest secrets. But this bond of trust has its moral limits. These limits are crossed in some cases in which HIV positive clients are sexually active with unsuspecting third parties. Distinguishing between Type 1 and Type 2 cases, the author shows how he has used applied ethics in drafting and defending a model rule for the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics that permits, and sometimes (...) morally requires disclosure in the former cases, but not in the latter. (shrink)
The book address three central areas of our life—care, love, and sex—from the perspective of virtue ethics. The first chapter on care argues that care should be considered a virtue and embedded within virtue ethics. The second chapter on love argues that romantic love is not a virtue as other philosophers have claimed, but that the virtues enable its best forms. And the third chapter on sex investigates Aristotelian temperance, and it argues that contrary to conservative views of the virtue (...) of temperance, there is a way to conceive of temperance that allows for sexual practices (e.g., promiscuity and casual sex) that are not confined to relationships or marriages. (shrink)
In public health and the social sciences, there is growing recognition of the role that social context plays in determining health. Frequently, social relations of inequality are among the most important features of social context identified in this work, and emphasis is placed on identifying and addressing these inequalities in order to improve health. Within the field of HIV/AIDS prevention as well, researchers have begun to look beyond individuals for an understanding of the structural causes of HIV-related risk. This research (...) demands that greater attention be paid to the social mechanisms and contextual factors that lead to HIV risk. Among these factors are law and social policy, which form a part of the context in which risk-taking occurs and which can promote both HIV transmission and prevention. On the one hand, laws limiting access to sterile injection equipment have contributed to HIV-related risk behavioxs among injection drug users. (shrink)