PHIL-203-02 Social Ethics

Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date



Aesthetics | Comparative Philosophy | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Feminist Philosophy | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Philosophy | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Women's Studies

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

In our current age of “hook-up cultures” and premarital sex, the issue of sexual morality in our society is one that must be addressed. As the younger generations become sexually active at earlier times in their lives, we need to discuss appropriate views of sexual activity and the moral limitations of sexual acts. Conventional sexual morality will tell us that sex outside of marriage is immoral. Another sexual ethic might claim that sex without love is not morally permissible. However, in today’s changing and ever more liberal society, it is important for us to come to terms with a new view of sexual morality that allows more freedom and flexibility between individuals.

Many philosophers will agree on the idea that our bodies are not our property. Instead, they view our physical bodies as parts of who we are as individuals, not to be bought and sold at random, but rather to be respected and treated as parts of ourselves as persons. However, one can make the contractarian argument that both legally and morally speaking, our bodies are in fact our property and that when it comes to sexual morality, voluntary and informed consent is required for morally permissible sexual acts, but decency is not.


2nd Place Winner, 2016