Chapter 23 Essay Questions
1. What is the liberal position on sexual morality? Identify what you take to be the strongest challenge to the liberal position and explain the best available response that a liberal could make to that challenge.
2. Does consistency require defenders of same-sex marriage to support polygamy as well? If so, why? If not, what is the relevant difference?
3. What is the strongest argument that prostitution is immoral, and why? What is the strongest objection to this argument?
4. Explain some of the different things someone might mean by saying that a particular behavior is “unnatural.” Is homosexual sex unnatural? If so, does this give us good reason to think that it is morally wrong? Why or why not?
5. What would a society in which the relationship view of marriage was universally accepted be like, according to Gallagher? What do you think it would be like? How can we decide which view should be adopted without being able to determine for sure what effects it might have?
6. What does Halwani think objectification is, and why does he say it is uncommon in casual sex? Do you think there is a kind of objectification that is common in casual sex? Is it more or less problematic than the sort of objectification Halwani describes? Why or why not?
7. How do you think the law should respond to case of impaired sex? Is Dixon right that impaired sex should not be dealt with legally, but rather through education and moral disapproval? Why or why not?
8. Is the Antioch University policy that sexual partners must obtain explicit verbal consent to each new level of sexual activity during each sexual encounter a good moral standard for consent? Is there a better available principle for what kind of consent is adequate? Defend your answers.
9. Which of the objections to the legalization of prostitution that Nussbaum considers do you think is the strongest? Explain her response to that argument. Do you think her response is adequate? Why or why not?
10. Nussbaum argues that there is nothing per se wrong with taking money for the use of one’s body. Can you identify a principle that reveals when it is morally wrong to take money for the use of one’s body and when it is morally acceptable? Apply that principle to the case of prostitution and to some of the other bodily services Nussbaum considers.