The overarching importance of sexual consent is that it enables an individual to retain control independence, and above all their dignity. In modern society, the definition of sexual consent has become blurred as the frequency of casual sex increases. Therefore, individuals justify lying to lure a woman or man to have a sexual encounter with them. The majority of the predators rationalize their actions by highlighting that a given there was no force involved the partner was a willing participant. Dougherty terms hiding one’s intentions to a potential partner to achieve a sexual end as deception. He argues that deception undermines the victim’s ethically valid consent making it immoral.
Every person has a range of acceptable behaviors that they condone. When a person alters their behavior to present a false image to a potential sexual partner, they are being deceptive. The individual thus consents to sex with the altered version of the person. The false pretexts are meant to hide any possible deal breaker that may compromise one’s sexual ambitions. The deal breakers are aspects of a potential sexual partners’ character, behavior, or appearance that may cause one participant to withdraw their sexual consent. For instance, a man may have a preference for women with blue eyes but the lady in question places eye contacts to conform to his tastes. The man is unduly deceived. Supporters of the lenient thesis imply that the small behavioral alterations such as falsifying one’s profession or putting eye contact are inconsequential. Their argument is flawed given their behavior change steals the person’s control over the use of his or her body. To emphasise the point, Dougherty likens deception to convincing a person to allow a Great Dane into their property while in reality the dog is a Chihuahua. The fraud is increased by the deceiver’s knowledge of property owner’s dislike for Chihuahuas. If the property owner was aware of the breed of dog would in his property he would have refused his or her consent. Similarly, if Chloe, who has been lured into having sex with Victoria after the latter claimed she is environmentally conscious, would have done the same upon discovering Victoria’s lack of interest in conservation.
The degree of guilt of undermining morally valid consent is attached to their knowledge of a person’s deal breakers. Often the deal breakers may be unclear making the perceived offender ignorant. In the case of rape, arguments have arisen claiming that the brutality of the crime matches the level of harm suffered by the victim. The argument is convincing depending on the definition of harm. Harm surpasses physical pain as rape transcends violent sex. For instance, a person who has sex with an unconscious person while taking the necessary preventative measures to prevent physical pain is still a rapist. The individual has not given him his or her consent. Similarly, the victim is left with emotional scarring years after the event even though the physical pain is absent. In the same way, a victim of deception is giving sexual consent without full awareness. Sexual consent is only morally valid when there is full disclosure between all parties involved. To Kant, rape in ethical terms involves using fellow human as a means of sexual satisfaction at their expense. Immanuel Kant claims that sexual partners should be in agreements on the goal of their sexual encounter.
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