Social constraints on sexual consent

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 21 (4):393-414 (2022)
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Abstract

Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Volume 21, Issue 4, Page 393-414, November 2022. Sometimes, people consent to sex because they face social constraints. For example, someone may agree to sex because they believe that it would be rude to refuse. I defend a consent-centric analysis of these encounters. This analysis connects constraints from social contexts with constraints imposed by persons e.g. coercion. It results in my endorsing what I call the “Constraint Principle.” According to this principle, someone's consent to a sexual encounter lacks justificatory force if they are consenting because withholding consent has an adverse feature, they are entitled to withhold consent without it being the case that withholding consent has this adverse feature; and it is not the case that the consent-giver has sincerely expressed that, out of the options that are available to their sexual partner, they most prefer to go through with the sexual encounter in the circumstances.

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Tom Dougherty
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory.Marilyn Frye - 1983 - Trumansburg, NY: The Crossing Press.

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