Sexual Ethics Flashcards Preview

Philosophy and Ethics > Sexual Ethics > Flashcards

Flashcards in Sexual Ethics Deck (12)
Loading flashcards...

Premarital Sex

- Refers to sex before marriage
- Traditional Christian teaching is that sex before marriage is a sin. Sex before marriage can be seen as undermining Christian marriage and demonstrating a lack of moral discipline


Adrian Thatcher

- Points out the long tradition of ‘betrothal’ as the key point of commitment rather than the marriage ceremony

- Traditionally sexual relationships were permitted after after betrothal - but betrothal was considered seriously binding, unlike modern cohabitation


Extramarital Sex

- Refers to sexual relationships where one or both partners are married to someone else

- Christian teaching is firmly against this (Adultery) - this is forbidden in the Ten Commandments

- The Catholic Church teaches that sex is exclusively for married couples.


SE & Natural Law

- Premarital and extramarital sex are wrong, according to natural law, because they are not consistent with the flourishing of human society in bringing up children in stable families

- Natural Law can be seen as a good approach to issues of premarital and extramarital sex as it give clear rules rather than leaving people to make decisions in the heat of the moment


SE & Situation Ethics

- Each situation should be considered in the context of its own circumstances, and the most loving course of action should be determined and followed

- Fletcher uses issues of sexual ethics to illustrate his view that there should be not be absolute rules, with examples of women having sex with a prison guard in order to secure her freedom



SE & Utilitarianism

- Mill argued that people should be protected from unnecessary legislation and should be free to behave how they wish unless it causes harm to others

- could be used by utilitarians to justify premarital and extramarital sex and homosexuality

- Mill argued that marriage can sometimes reduce women to the status of slaves.


SE & Kantian Ethics

- People should not treat each other as a means to an end, which rules out exploitative and non-consensual sexual relations

- In the kingdom of end the commitment of marriage would be respected

- Kant emphasised the importance of promise-keeping and truth-telling, which suggests secret extramarital sex would be unethical



- attraction between same sex
- Christianity has traditionally opposed homosexuality


Homosexuality - Natural Law

- wrong
- cant bring new life
- CC seen it as a sin
- Pope Francis - there is no ground for considering same sex relationships


Homosexuality - Situation Ethics

- most loving outcome
- does not give rules about homosexuality
- might be difficult to apply to issues of homosexuality if the needs of other people as well as the needs if the couple are considered


Homosexuality - Kantian Ethics

- does not lead to one clear answer
- could argue treating everyone with dignity must mean homosexual relationships should be regarded as equal


Homosexuality - Utilitarianism

- cause happiness to those in them
- some argue homosexual relationships cause harm to rest of society as they undermine marriage as a stable social institution