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Extreme Sex and Sexual Rights - Exploring the Boundaries of Sexual Liberalism

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Best Papers Session, Congress of the European Federation of Sexology, Porto 2010.

Best Papers Session, Congress of the European Federation of Sexology, Porto 2010.

Published in: News & Politics

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  • 1. Extreme Sex And Sexual Rights Exploring the Boundaries of Sexual Liberalism Tommi Paalanen Moral and Social Philosophy University of Helsinki Picture: Qumma Art
  • 2. Three kinds of extreme1: Marketing phrase of porn extreme, kinky, bizarre, bdsm…2: Stretching limits physical, psychological challenging conventions3: Emotional response personal limits, disgust impression of extremity
  • 3. Fourth kind: The LawFinland (2004) Production or distribution of violent pornography: • includes physical markings of an assault, ie. whipping or sticking with needles (FBFC)Great Britain (2009) Possession of extreme pornography: • pornographic • grossly offensive, disgusting or obscene • portrays in an explicit and realistic way acts that are life threatening or can result in serious injury
  • 4. Ethical assessmentEthical principlesOnly prevention of harm to otherscan justify restricting one’s autonomy (J.S.Mill)MisconceptionExtreme porn laws target works of fiction Actual sexual violence is already criminalized Confusion between personal revulsion and moral acceptance No harm present
  • 5. Necrobabes
  • 6. Halloween (1978)
  • 7. ConclusionsLaws that criminalize sex practices(or their depictions) are not justified,if they do not have a direct connectionto prevention of harm. In liberal democratic countries the purpose of law is not to shape citizens’ sexual preferences Policies and laws based on revulsion or impressions violate sexual rights of people with atypical sexual desires