The gray area of sexual violations generally refers to ambiguous sexual experiences that are not readily distinguishable from rape or sex. Such experiences are describable as ambiguous or complex in a way that, to some, seems to defy existent categories of sexual experiences. This leads some feminists to approach the gray area as a puzzle that must be resolved either by understanding it as a new category, or by upholding existing rape categorization. Rather than dispelling the gray-area ambiguity by resolving (...) conceptual puzzles, I assign the gray-area ambiguity a positive analytical role by attending to it in a historical and dialectical light. By tracing histories of feminist antirape discourse, I elaborate a way of understanding the “gray area” of sexual violations, articulating it as a historical condition affecting the interpretive possibilities of our sexual experiences. Such an approach underscores the potential of the gray area to inaugurate feminist critique in virtue of its status as a historically specific yet ambiguous horizon where our experiences can contradictorily seem not-like rape, but not-like sex. (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)
This paper argues for the superiority of natural law theory over consent -based approaches to sexual morality. I begin by criticizing the “consenting adults” sexual ethic that is dominant in contemporary Western culture. I then argue that natural law theory provides a better account of sexual morality. In particular, I will defend the “perverted faculty argument”, according to which it is immoral to use one’s bodily faculties contrary to their proper end.
This paper responds to arguments that polyamorous groups or care networks do not qualify for equal treatment with marriages. It refutes the points that polyamory is inherently hierarchical or unstable, that there are too few people in such arrangements to mount an argument for recognition, that polyamory harms children, and that there are insurmountable legal and practical hurdles to network marriage. Finally, it respond to the charge that extending recognition to polyamorists will devalue the recognition of same-sex marriage.
Since the early 2000s, zombies have increasingly swarmed the landscape of popular culture, with ever more diverse representations of the undead being imagined. A growing number of zombie narratives have introduced sexual themes, endowing the living dead with their own sexual identity. The unpleasant idea of the sexual zombie is itself provocative, triggering questions about the nature of desire, sex, sexuality, and the politics of our sexual behaviors. However, the notion of zombie sex has been largely unaddressed in scholarship. -/- (...) This collection addresses that unexamined aspect of zombiedom, with essays engaging a variety of media texts, including graphic novels, films, television, pornography, literature, and internet meme culture. The essayists are scholars from a variety of disciplines, including history, theology, film studies, and gender and queer studies. Covering The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies, and Bruce LaBruce’s zombie-porn movies, this work investigates the cultural, political and philosophical issues raised by undead sex and zombie sexuality. (shrink)
Since the early 2000s, zombies have become an increasingly significant presence in popular culture. Zombies are social monsters, epitomizing aspects of social horror. What is at once central and yet strangely absent from current debates about zombies is any detailed consideration of sex and sexuality. This oversight is startling, not least since sex is arguably the most intimate form of social engagement, and is a profound aspect of human social identity. What makes the omission even more remarkable is how appositely (...) the zombie reflects socio-sexual desires and fears. Sex and love play crucial roles in numerous zombie narratives. Moreover, the undead have sex with each other and with humans in many contemporary zombie narratives. The unpalatable combination of zombies and sex is provocative, triggering a multitude of questions about the nature of desire, sex, sexuality, and the politics of our sexual behaviors. This chapter outlines the zombie’s historical development towards sex/uality, setting the context for the various approaches to sex/uality – queer and straight, romantic and pornographic – explored in contemporary zombie media. (shrink)
This encyclopedia article on the philosophy of sexuality discusses the main themes, concepts, and debates in the field, including the metaphysics (or philosophical anthropology) of sex, the morality of sexual behavior, pragmatic and utilitarian evaluations of sexuality, and sexual perversion.
This book is an introduction to philosophy of sex. The history of philosophy of sex is depicted (from Plato to Herman Schmitz) to set up the background against which the philosophy of sex by Herman Schmitz is analyzed. This leads to the discussion of topics like masturbation, the ontology of the sexed human body, and same-sex marriage.
Sexuality has captured the imagination of thinkers since antiquity. It has inspired numerous creative works and posed myriad ethical, legal, and social challenges. Unlike other references which discuss the biology of sex, this encyclopedia explores sexuality as the subject of philosophy. Through more than 150 alphabetically arranged entries on thinkers, topics, movements, religions, and concepts, the encyclopedia locates sexuality in its humanistic and social contexts.
This best-selling volume examines the nature, morality, and social meanings of contemporary sexual phenomena. Updated and new discussion questions offer students starting points for debate in both the classroom and the bedroom.
Linda LeMoncheck introduces a new way of thinking and talking about women's sexual pleasures, preferences, and desires. Using the tools of contemporary analytic philosophy, she discusses methods for mediating the tensions among apparently irreconcilable feminist perspectives on women's sexuality and shows how a feminist epistemology and ethic can advance the dialogue in women's sexuality across a broad political spectrum. She argues that in order to capture the diversity and complexity of women's sexual experience, women's sexuality must be examined from two (...) equally compelling perspectives: that of women's sexual oppression under conditions of individual and institutional male dominance; and that of women's sexual liberation, both in terms of each woman's pursuit of sexual agency and self-definition, and in terms of women's sexual liberation as a class. Loose Women, Lecherous Men sheds crucial new light on such much-debated topics as promiscuity, adultery, sexual deviance, prostitution, pornography, sexual harassment, and sexual violence against women. Her book supports a dialogue that encourages both women and men to take up a feminist perspective in exploring the meaning and value of sexuality in their lives. (shrink)
This was a public talk given in the spring of 2013 during sexual assault awareness week. I believe roughly 800 attended. The philosophy dept was NOT expecting that but at any rate, this is the gist: While there are many different motivations for raising questions about the Sexual Assault Awareness Movement, at least one motivation comes from feminist controversies about what counts as consensual sex. Historically, this controversy arose between those known as "anti-pornography feminists", and "sex positive feminists" whose proponents (...) had very different understandings of what counts as sexual autonomy for women. It is important to understand that questioning the current definitions of what counts as an instance of sexual assault does not entail an anti-feminist agenda. There is not a unified feminist front on this topic. To assume otherwise is to risk silencing victims of sexual assault even further by imposing a particular conception of sexual assault upon them that they might themselves reject. If we are to properly address sexual assault as feminists we must listen to victims of sexual assault and develop a theory of consent in tandem with victims' own understanding of that concept. (shrink)