Public Affairs Quarterly (forthcoming)

Fiona Woollard
University of Southampton
This paper uses a dilemma presented by David Benatar to explore the challenges that ‘Sexual Liberals’ face in giving a satisfactory account of sexual ethics. A satisfactory Sexual Liberal account of sexual ethics must be able to fully explain the wrongness of sexual assault without implying that sexual activity should be restricted to those in love. The assumption that this is impossible may be due to mistakes in our thinking about sexual assault. However, even when such mistakes are resolved, producing a satisfactory account of sexual ethics requires Sexual Liberals to confront the significance of the sexual in human life. I describe an account of sexual desire that explains the significance of the sexual in human life without forcing us to endorse a restrictive sexual ethics.
Keywords promiscuity  sexual ethics
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