Monday, March 2, 2020

A Defence of Sexual Inclusion (Preprint)

Random and unrelated image

I'm almost reluctant to share this. I have a new paper coming out in the journal Social Theory and Practice later this year. The paper looks at whether we, as a society, should care about the problem of sexual inclusion and whether, if we do, this means that we should recognise the existence of rights to sexual inclusion. I argue, tentatively, that we should care about it and that it is not absurd to suppose that this supports such rights.

Although I think the position I defend in the paper is fairly modest, and, I hope, sensible, I'm conscious of the fact that some people are going to think it is ridiculous or controversial or dangerous because it engages with some tricky aspects of social justice (feminism, misogyny, disability rights theory etc). Given this, I hope that people read the full paper and engage with the arguments offered therein; I hope that people don't comment on or dismiss it on the basis of what they think it says based on the abstract or some third party summary.

I would also add, for what it is worth, that this paper was blind reviewed by two people. The first reviewer commented very favourably on the paper (probably the most positive comments I have received from a peer reviewer) but did note that the subject matter may prove controversial. The second reviewer was less favourable (though still recommended publication) but observed that the paper was much less controversial than I seemed to think. In fact, they suggested that the paper be revised to downplay its controversial nature.

So I'm not sure what to think about it as a result. Is it controversial and/or sensible? Or neither? Or what?

Title: A Defence of Sexual Inclusion
Journal: Social Theory and Practice
Links: Official (not yet); Philpapers; Researchgate; Academia 
Abstract: This article argues that access to meaningful sexual experience should be included within the set of the goods that are subject to principles of distributive justice. It argues that some people are currently unjustly excluded from meaningful sexual experience and it is not implausible to suggest that they might thereby have certain claim rights to sexual inclusion. This does not entail that anyone has a right to sex with another person, but it does entail that duties may be imposed on society to foster greater sexual inclusion. This is a controversial thesis and this article addresses this controversy by engaging with four major objections to it: the misogyny objection; the impossibility objection; the stigmatisation objection; and the unjust social engineering objection.


  1. Sounds like an argument in favour of enforced prostitution, trafficking and rape to me. I'm very surprised any journal would publish this horrific misogyny.

  2. "I'm conscious of the fact that some people are going to think it is ridiculous or controversial or dangerous because it engages with some tricky aspects"

    OH BOY, THE FIRST COMMENT. that didn't take long. and hey, prostitution is fine when it is legalized and regulated. it leads to less abuse.

  3. I don't think this is controversial. Didn't you watch "40 year-old Virgin"? When any social group becomes aware that one of it's members isn't getting laid, they collectively work to find them a partner. Blind dates. Matchmakers. This does not require legislation, or anything else. Just make sure everyone you know is - well, listen to Bob Seeger in "Night Moves." They were gettin' their share.