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Thursday, June 1, 2017

There is no liberal right to sex with students

Maya J. Goldenberg, Karen Houle, Monique Deveaux, Karyn L. Freedman, & Patricia Sheridan
The Times Higher Education
Originally posted May 4, 2017

There is a long and distinguished history of conceptualising liberal democracy in terms of basic rights to which, all other things being equal, everyone is entitled. Sexual freedom is rightly counted among these. But should this right apply where one person is in a position of power and authority over the other? Doctors are sanctioned if they have sex with their patients, as are lawyers who sleep with their clients. Should sexual relationships between professors and students in the same department also be off limits?

Neil McArthur thinks not. As Times Higher Education has reported, the associate professor of philosophy at the University of Manitoba, in Canada, recently published a paper criticising the spread of bans on such relationships. But we believe that his argument is flawed.

The article is here.