Promiscuity, Pedophilia, Rape, and the Significance of the Sexual

Public Affairs Quarterly 33 (2):137-158 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.

Similar books and articles

The Law and Ethics of Virtual Sexual Assault.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Barfield Enter Author Name Without Selecting A. Profile: Woodrow & Blitz Enter Author Name Without Selecting A. Profile: Marc (eds.), The Law of Virtual and Augmented Reality. Edward Elgar Press.
Sexual Ethics.Raja Halwani - 2018 - In Nancy Snow (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 680-699.
A Realist Sexual Ethics.Micah Newman - 2014 - Ratio 28 (2):223-240.
El amor y el instinto sexual en la antropología de Max Scheler.Leonardo Rodríguez Duplá - 2013 - Anales Del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía 30 (1):169-190.
Unjust Sex vs. Rape.Ann J. Cahill - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (4):746-761.
Ethics and Sex.Igor Primoratz - 1999 - Routledge.


Added to PP

861 (#15,907)

6 months
194 (#12,341)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Fiona Woollard
University of Southampton

Citations of this work

A Dilemma in Rape Crisis and a Contribution from Philosophy.Hane Htut Maung - 2021 - Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 1 (8):93.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The wrong of rape.David Archard - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):374–393.
Sex in the Head.Seiriol Morgan - 2003 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (1):1-16.
Dark desires.Seiriol Morgan - 2003 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):377-410.
No, you can't steal a kiss.Timothy Chambers - 2009 - Think 8 (21):63-67.

View all 6 references / Add more references