Contemporary Moral Problems Exam II

Klepper unlike kant says that there are some

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Klepper, unlike Kant, says that there are some instances of prostitution that are morally okay. A person may be treated as a mere means not only through deceit and coercion, but anytime a person is treated as an object and not as an intrinsically valuable moral subject. And it is the intention that is immoral, it does not matter if the act was carried out successfully or not. Robin West Feminist view. Argues that if sex is consensual, but not really wanted by the woman, it harms the woman. The overemphasis on the importance of consent supports the continued ignoring of this unhappy instance in which consent is achieved, but the sex is not really wanted. The radical feminist argument that all sex is rape also trivializes the harms that women face when sex is consensual. West says that many women consent to sex even when they don’t really want it. This could be done to keep the man happy, simply because she sees it as her duty, or so she can remain financially dependent upon the man. Women who continue to have undesired but consensual sex have real injuries in 4 ways: 1) Injuries to their self-assertion 2) Injuries to their sense of self-possession 3) Injuries to sense of autonomy 4) Injuries to sense of integrity
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18 When we consent to unwanted penetration of our bodies, we are “giving ourselves” and thus view ourselves as being “for others” rather than for ourselves. Our bodies no longer feel like they belong to us. Injuries to your autonomy occur when you have sex with someone because you actually depend upon them either economically or however else. Injuries to our sense of integrity occur when we have this unwanted sex and tell our partner that we enjoyed it and it was great. These 4 harms are circular and self-reinforcing. The greater the likelihood that the woman does not notice these harms, the deeper the injury. Many people disagree with this view simply because any suggestion that transactions that people freely consent to are actually harmful, are always met with skepticism. The “exchange theory of value” states that if I exchange A for B voluntarily, then I must be better off after the exchange than before since I agreed to it. However, this view makes it impossible to create a value judgment that some voluntary exchanges are in fact harmful. Therefor, the legal-academic exchange theory of value makes it difficult to argue the position that voluntary and informed sex can be in fact harmful. The harms that women sustain from consensual but undesired sex are downplayed in part because of the pleasure that men reap from sex, which is morally okay. Liberal feminists believe that “rape” should include nonconsensual sex. This effort is wonderful, however, it has a consequence of celebrating consensual sex and therefore overlooking the possible harms of consensual sex.
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  • Spring '08
  • LEON
  • Homosexuality, Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior

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