Sexual Behavior and Critics of Consent Theory

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Over (here) at The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf has in interesting take on whether consent is an appropriate litmus test for measuring ethical sexual behavior. Unfortunately, the article’s title — The Ethics of Extreme Porn: Is Some Sex Wrong Even Among Consenting Adults? — is overly sensational and not especially illuminating of the article’s content.  To be fair, he does start with an evaluation of some pornography, but his subject is sexual behavior of all kinds.

Here is an excerpt:

[Critics of consent] seem to imply (but may or may not believe, were it to come up directly) that consent as a cultural lodestar is a shameful moral abdication, indicative of an age where other, much more important norms have been abandoned. As I see it, the emphasis on consent in today’s sexual morality isn’t decadence. However incomplete, it is a historic triumph. And growing reverence for consent would gradually make our culture radically more moral.

A good read.

-Bridget Crawford

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