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Sex, Lies, and Consent

Ethics 123 (4):717-744 (2013)

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  1. Consent and Deception.Robert Jubb - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (2):223-229.
    Tom Dougherty has recently defended the claim that all deception that is consequential for sex is seriously wrong. This discussion piece argues that deception does not have to seriously undermine consent and that when sexual deception is seriously wrong, that may not only be to do with its relation to consent. In doing so, it defends distinguishing between the seriousness of deceptions, whether these are sexual or in other areas of life, and so defends what Dougherty calls the lenient view.
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  • In Defense of the Lenient View.Peter Schaber - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1695-1702.
    This paper deals with the wrongness of having sex with someone without her valid consent. There are good reasons to think that deception about deal-breakers invalidate consent to sex and that acting without valid consent wrongs the consenter. Tom Dougherty argues that it is always seriously wrong to deceive another person into sex by deceiving her. We should on his view therefore reject the view that doing so is in certain cases only a minor wrong. It will be argued here (...)
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  • Bad Sex and Consent.Elise Woodard - forthcoming - In David Boonin (ed.), Handbook of Sexual Ethics. Palgrave.
    It is widely accepted that consent is a normative power. For instance, consent can make an impermissible act permissible. In the words of Heidi Hurd, it “turns a trespass into a dinner party... an invasion of privacy into an intimate moment.” In this chapter, I argue against the assumption that consent has such robust powers for moral transformation. In particular, I argue that there is a wide range of sex that harms or wrongs victims despite being consensual. Moreover, these cases (...)
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  • Rethinking the Wrong of Rape.Karyn L. Freedman - forthcoming - Philosophical Issues.
    In their well-known paper, John Gardner and Stephen Shute (2000) propose a pure case of rape, in which a woman is raped while unconscious and the rape, for a variety of stipulated reasons, never comes to light. This makes the pure case a harmless case of rape, or so they argue. In this paper I show that their argument hinges on an outdated conception of trauma, one which conflates evaluative responses that arise in the aftermath of rape with the non-deliberative (...)
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  • Coerced Consent with an Unknown Future.Tom Dougherty - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):441-461.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 103, Issue 2, Page 441-461, September 2021.
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  • Presupposition and Consent.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2020 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 6 (4):Article 4.
    I argue that “consent” language presupposes that the contemplated action is or would be at someone else’s behest. When one does something for another reason—for example, when one elects independently to do something, or when one accepts an invitation to do something—it is linguistically inappropriate to describe the actor as “consenting” to it; but it is also inappropriate to describe them as “not consenting” to it. A consequence of this idea is that “consent” is poorly suited to play its canonical (...)
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  • The Ethics of Virtual Sexual Assault.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter addresses the growing problem of unwanted sexual interactions in virtual environments. It reviews the available evidence regarding the prevalence and severity of this problem. It then argues that due to the potential harms of such interactions, as well as their nonconsensual nature, there is a good prima facie argument for viewing them as serious moral wrongs. Does this prima facie argument hold up to scrutiny? After considering three major objections – the ‘it’s not real’ objection; the ‘it’s just (...)
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  • Is Visiting the Pharmacy Like Voting at the Poll? Behavioral Asymmetry in Pharmaceutical Freedom.Jeffrey Carroll - forthcoming - HEC Forum:1-20.
    Jessica Flanigan argues that individuals have the right to self-medicate. Flanigan presents two arguments in defense of this right. The first she calls the epistemic argument and the second she calls the rights-based argument. I argue that the right to self-medicate hangs and falls on the rights-based argument. This is because for the epistemic argument to be sound agents must be assumed to be epistemically competent. But, Flanigan’s argument for a constitutionally mandated right to self-medicate models agents as epistemically incompetent. (...)
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  • Moral Risk and Communicating Consent.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2019 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 47 (2):179-207.
    In addition to protecting agents’ autonomy, consent plays a crucial social role: it enables agents to secure partners in valuable interactions that would be prohibitively morally risk otherwise. To do this, consent must be observable: agents must be able to track the facts about whether they have received a consent-based permission. I argue that this morally justifies a consent-practice on which communicating that one consents is sufficient for consent, but also generates robust constraints on what sorts of behaviors can be (...)
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  • Why, and to What Extent, is Sexual Infidelity Wrong?Natasha McKeever - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (3):515-537.
    Sexual infidelity is widespread, but it is also widely condemned, yet relatively little philosophical work has been done on what makes it wrong and how wrong it is. In this paper, I argue that sexual infidelity is wrong if it involves breaking a commitment to be sexually exclusive, which has special significance in the relationship. However, it is not necessarily worse than other kinds of infidelity, and the context in which it takes place ought to be considered. I finish the (...)
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  • Sexual Consent and Lying About One’s Self.Jennifer Matey - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):380-400.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView. Despite the acknowledgement of the moral significance of consent there is still much work to be done in determining which specific sexual encounters count as unproblematically consensual. This paper focuses on the impact of deception. It takes up the specific case of deception about one's self. It may seem obvious that one ought not to lie to a sexual partner about who one is, but determining which features of oneself are most relevant, as well as (...)
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  • How to Think About Rape.Kimberly Kessler Ferzan & Peter Westen - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (4):759-800.
    From the American Law Institute to college campuses, there is a renewed interest in the law of rape. Law school faculty, however, may be reluctant to teach this deeply debated topic. This article begins from the premise that controversial and contested questions can be best resolved when participants understand the conceptual architecture that surrounds and delineates the normative questions. This allows participants to talk to one another instead of past each other. Accordingly, in this article, we begin by diffusing two (...)
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  • Sex By Deception.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I will use sex by deception as a case study for highlighting some of the most tricky concepts around sexuality and moral psychology, including rape, consensual sex, sexual rights, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, and disrespectful sex. I begin with a discussion of morally wrong sex as rooted in the breach of five sexual liberty rights that are derived from our fundamental human liberty rights: sexual self-possession, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, sexual dignity and sexual privacy. I then argue (...)
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  • Lies, Control, and Consent: A Response to Dougherty and Manson.Danielle Bromwich & Joseph Millum - 2018 - Ethics 128 (2):446-461.
    Tom Dougherty argues that culpably deceiving another person into sex is seriously wrong no matter what the content about which she is deceived. We argue that his explanation of why deception invalidates consent has extremely implausible implications. Though we reject Dougherty’s explanation, we defend his verdict about deception and consent to sex. We argue that he goes awry by conflating the disclosure requirement for consent and the understanding requirement. When these are distinguished, we can identify how deceptive disclosure invalidates consent. (...)
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  • The Law and Ethics of Virtual Sexual Assault.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Marc Blitz & Woodrow Barfield (eds.), The Law of Virtual and Augmented Reality. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Press.
    This chapter provides a general overview and introduction to the law and ethics of virtual sexual assault. It offers a definition of the phenomenon and argues that there are six interesting types. It then asks and answers three questions: (i) should we criminalise virtual sexual assault? (ii) can you be held responsible for virtual sexual assault? and (iii) are there issues with 'consent' to virtual sexual activity that might make it difficult to prosecute or punish virtual sexual assault?
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  • Beliefs, Hopes, and Deal Breakers in Research Consent: Dissecting Mathews, Fins, and Racine on the Therapeutic Misconception.Kenneth A. Richman - 2021 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (2):384-389.
    In an earlier Dissecting Bioethics contribution, Debra J. H. Mathews, Joseph J. Fins, and Eric Racine challenge standard ways of thinking about the therapeutic misconception in the context of consent for research participation. They propose that instead of demanding “rational congruence” between how researchers and participants conceive of a given protocol, we should accept a less stringent standard of “reasonable coherence.” While Mathews, Fins, and Racine (MFR) provide some important insights, their proposal needs refinement. There is room for a wide (...)
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  • Incoherent Abortion Exceptions.M. Scarfone - forthcoming - Journal of Social Philosophy.
    There has recently been an expansion of anti-abortion measures in the United States. Within these various measures there is a divide over certain exceptions: some States permit abortion for pregnancies caused by rape while other States do not. This paper explores the underlying moral justification for such exceptions. I argue that within the dominant moral framework for reproductive ethics these exceptions are incoherent by their own lights. But this is not a defense of an exceptionless anti-abortion position. Rather, because the (...)
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  • Sexual Perversion: A Liberal Account.Jessica Begon - 2019 - Journal of Social Philosophy 50 (3):341-362.
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  • Sex Crimes and Misdemeanours.Campbell Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1363-1379.
    How wrong is it to deceive a person into having sex with you? The common view seems to be that this depends on the nature of the deception. If it involves something very important, such as your identity, then the wrong done is very serious. But if it involves something more trivial, such as your natural hair colour, then the wrong seems less great. Tom Dougherty rejects this view. He argues that sexual deception is always seriously wrong. In this paper, (...)
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  • Deceptive Sexual Relations: A Theory of Criminal Liability.Matthew Gibson - forthcoming - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies.
    Many common law jurisdictions criminalise penetrative and non-penetrative deceptive sexual relations. Often, they prohibit that conduct under their principal sexual offences, namely rape, sexual/indecent assault etc. This article challenges that practice via two linked processes: criminalisation and fair labelling, respectively. First, it argues that, whilst deceptive sexual relations are equally harmful to a victim’s right to sexual autonomy as the relations proscribed by the principal sexual offences, they represent a different wrong. Secondly, it contends that this view entails the creation (...)
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  • Social Autonomy and Family-Based Informed Consent.James Stacey Taylor - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (5):621-639.
    The Western focus on personal autonomy as the normative basis for securing persons’ consent to their treatment renders this autonomy-based approach to informed consent vulnerable to the charge that it is based on an overly atomistic understanding of the person. This leads to a puzzle: how does this generally-accepted atomistic understanding of the person fits with the emphasis on familial consent that occurs when family members are provided with the opportunity to veto a prospective donor’s wish to donate after she (...)
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  • Against the Autonomy Argument for Mandatory GMO Labeling.Jonathan Herington - 2018 - Public Affairs Quarterly 32 (2):85-117.
    Many argue that consumers possess a “right to know” when products contain ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms, on the grounds that it would protect consumer autonomy. In this paper, I critically evaluate that claim. I begin by providing a version of the “consumer autonomy” argument, showing that its success relies on ambiguities in the notion of autonomy. I then distinguish four approaches to autonomy and articulate the circumstances under which they would support active disclosure of a product property. I (...)
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  • Deception and Consent.Tom Dougherty - 2018 - In Peter Schaber & Andreas Müller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent. Routledge.
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  • Misleading by Omission: Rethinking the Obligation to Inform Research Subjects About Funding Sources.Neil C. Manson - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (6):720-739.
    Informed consent requirements for medical research have expanded over the past half-century. The Declaration of Helsinki now includes an explicit positive obligation to inform subjects about funding sources. This is problematic in a number of ways and seems to oblige researchers to disclose information irrelevant to most consent decisions. It is argued here that such a problematic obligation involves an “informational fallacy.” The aim in the second part of the paper is to provide a better approach to making sense of (...)
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  • Permissible Secrets.Hugh Lazenby & Iason Gabriel - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):265-285.
    This article offers an account of the information condition on morally valid consent in the context of sexual relations. The account is grounded in rights. It holds that a person has a sufficient amount of information to give morally valid consent if, and only if, she has all the information to which she has a claim-right. A person has a claim-right to a piece of information if, and only if, a. it concerns a deal-breaker for her; b. it does not (...)
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  • Intention and Sexual Consent.Hallie Liberto - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):127-141.
    In this paper I first argue that we do not need to intend all the features of X in order to consent to X. I will present cases in which agents intend to consent to gambles, and intend to consent to have sex with people under certain descriptions, de re, rather than de dicto. Next, I argue that deception – even deception about features of a sexual act that qualify as “deal-breakers” for a participant – might not always have the (...)
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  • Could There Ever Be an App for That? Consent Apps and the Problem of Sexual Assault.Danaher John - 2018 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 12 (1):143-165.
    Rape and sexual assault are major problems. In the majority of sexual assault cases consent is the central issue. Consent is, to borrow a phrase, the ‘moral magic’ that converts an impermissible act into a permissible one. In recent years, a handful of companies have tried to launch consent apps which aim to educate young people about the nature of sexual consent and allow them to record signals of consent for future verification. Although ostensibly aimed at addressing the problems of (...)
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  • Can Libertarians Get Away with Fraud?Benjamin Ferguson - 2018 - Economics and Philosophy 34 (2):165-184.
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