Authors
Patricia Marino
University of Waterloo
Abstract
It is now a platitude that sexual objectification is wrong. As is often pointed out, however, some objectification seems morally permissible and even quite appealing—as when lovers are so inflamed by passion that they temporarily fail to attend to the complexity and humanity of their partners. Some, such as Nussbaum, have argued that what renders objectification benign is the right sort of relationship between the participants; symmetry, mutuality, and intimacy render objectification less troubling. On this line of thought, pornography, prostitution, and some kinds of casual sex are inherently morally suspect. I argue against this view: what matters is simply respect for autonomy, and whether the objectification is consensual. Intimacy, I explain, can make objectification more morally worrisome rather than less, and symmetry and mutuality are not relevant. The proper political and social context, however, is crucial, since only in its presence can consent be genuine. I defend the consent account against the objection that there is something paradoxical in consenting to objectification, and I conclude that given the right background conditions, there is nothing wrong with anonymous, one-sided, or just-for-pleasure kinds of sexual objectification.
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DOI 10.1080/00201740802166643
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References found in this work BETA

Objectification.Martha C. Nussbaum - 1995 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (4):249-291.
Consent to Sexual Relations.Alan Wertheimer - 2006 - Law and Philosophy 25 (2):267-287.
Plain Sex.Alan Goldman - 1977 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (3):267-287.

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Citations of this work BETA

Should We Campaign Against Sex Robots?John Danaher, Brian D. Earp & Anders Sandberg - 2017 - In John Danaher & Neil McArthur (eds.), Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Prostitution, Disability and Prohibition.Frej Klem Thomsen - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (6):451-459.
Philosophy of Sex.Patricia Marino - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (1):22-32.

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