Once you've written nearly 700 posts, you begin to see patterns you never really appreciated. For example, I just realised that I've written quite a bit about the philosophy of sex (broadly construed). In doing so, I've covered a number of controversial debates and issues. These include: the permissibility of pornography; the criminalisation of prostitution; the punishment of rape and sexual assault; and the ethics of sex in virtual and robotic worlds.
Anyway, I thought it might be useful to group together everything I've written on the topic in this one post. I think it makes for some interesting reading. I've divided this up by theme, starting with the basic views on the ethics of sex, and then moving into more specialised debates. I haven't included the numerous posts I have written on the ethics of same-sex relations. There's another index-post that will give you links to them.
1. Introduction: General Issues in the Ethics of Sex
- Sex by Raymond Bellioti (Part One and Part Two) - An overview of historical and contemporary views on the ethics of sex. Written in the very early days of this blog.
- On Benatar's Two view of Sexual Ethics - A look at David Benatar's classic paper which argued that a casual attitude toward sex implies that there is nothing particularly wrong about rape and child sexual abuse. I tried to resist Benatar's conclusions.
2. The Ethics of Pornography
- The Ethics of Pornography (Part One, Part Two) - My review of Andrew Altman's defence of pornography and the "right to be turned on".
- Pornography and Speech Acts (Part One, Part Two) - Certain feminist authors have argued that pornography silences and subordinates women. These two posts try to make sense of that argument in terms of speech act theory.
- Should pornography be considered "speech"? (Part One, Part Two) - Pornography is often protected under the general right to free speech. But some have argued that pornography isn't really a form of "speech". With the help of Andrew Koppelman, I take a look at their arguments.
- Does pornography falsely construct women's natures? (Part One, Part Two) - Catherine MacKinnon famously argued that pornography falsely constructs women's natures. Again, using the tools of speech act theory, these two posts try to make sense of that claim (with the help of work done by Mary Kate McGowan).
3. Prostitution and the Ethics of Commercial Sex
- The Ethics of Prostitution (Part One, Part Two, Part Three) - An overview of the major arguments for and against the legalisation of prostitution. Based on a paper by Ole Martin Moen.
- Prostitution and the Argument from Sexual Autonomy - My analysis of an attempt to defend the criminalisation of prostitution by arguing that legalisation would compromise sexual autonomy.
- Prostitution and the Ethics of Sexual Labour - A pdf handout for a class I taught on the topic of prostitution.
4. Criminal Law: Rape, Sexual Assault and Incest
- Should Incest be Decriminalised? (Part One, Part Two, Part Three) - Consensual adult incest is criminalised in many parts of the world. Does it deserve to be? I look at an argument for decriminalisation by Vera Bergelson.
- Some notes on consent and sexual offences (Part One, Part Two) - In many jurisdictions, the absence of consent is crucial to a charge of rape. But what does it take to consent to sexual relations and how can sexual consent be undermined?
- On Rubenfeld and the Riddle of Rape by Deception - My analysis and critique of Jed Rubenfeld's controversial article on rape by deception. Rubenfeld argued that rape law should not be premised on consent and the right to sexual autonomy. Instead, it should be based on the right to self-possession and bodily autonomy.
- Yes means Yes: The Case for Affirmative Consent Standard in Sexual Offences - Does exactly what the title suggests: tries to present the argument for the use of affirmative consent standards in the law of sexual offences. I'm not sure if the argument is fully persuasive, but I've never seen it clearly set out so that's what this post tried to do.
5. Robotic and Virtual Sex
- The Ethics of Robot Sex - A general overview of the issues raised by the creation of advanced sex robots.
- Will sex workers be replaced by robots? (A Precis) - A brief summary of my paper on the topic of sex work and technological unemployment. I try to argue -- contra others -- that sex work may be one of the few areas that is resistant to technological unemployment.
- Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee - A longer, more academic, paper on the above. Also includes an argument for the basic income guarantee.
- The Gamer's Dilemma: Virtual Murder and Virtual Paedophilia (Part One, Part Two) - Should virtual forms of child sexual abuse be illegal? These two posts look at an argument from Morgan Luck claiming that we have inconsistent attitudes toward virtual murder and virtual paedophilia and that we need to do something to resolve this inconsistency.
- The Ethics of Virtual Rape - My analysis of Stephanie Patridge's argument against the permissibility of virtual rape.
- Robotic Rape and Robotic Child Sexual Abuse: Should they be criminalised? - A longer academic article I wrote about whether the use of robots that cater to rape fantasies or pedophiliac tendencies should be criminalised.