Should We Biochemically Enhance Sexual Fidelity?

Robbie Arrell
Monash University
In certain corners of the moral enhancement debate, it has been suggested we ought to consider the prospect of supplementing conventional methods of enhancing sexual fidelity (e.g. relationship counselling, moral education, self-betterment, etc.) with biochemical fidelity enhancement methods. In surveying this argument, I begin from the conviction that generally-speaking moral enhancement ought to expectably attenuate (or at least not exacerbate) vulnerability. Assuming conventional methods of enhancing sexual fidelity are at least partially effective in this respect – e.g., that relationship counselling sometimes successfully attenuates the particular vulnerability victims of infidelity feel – then presumably the case for supplementing conventional methods with biochemical methods turns, in part, on the claim that doing so will better promote attenuation of victim vulnerability. In this paper I argue that on a sufficiently sophisticated conception of what this vulnerability consists in, biochemical methods of enhancing fidelity will not expectably attenuate victims’ vulnerability. Moreover, when combined with conventional methods, biochemical methods will predictably tend to undermine whatever attenuation conventional methods expectably promote in that respect. Thus, I conclude that couples committed to saving their relationship following an instance of sexual infidelity have reason to prefer conventional methods of enhancing sexual fidelity sans biochemical methods to conventional methods plus biochemical methods.
Keywords Love drugs  Sexual Fidelity  Moral Enhancement  Bioenhancement
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DOI 10.1017/S1358246118000462
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Moral Enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.

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