1st Edition

The Ethics of Sex An Introduction

By Neil McArthur Copyright 2022
    322 Pages
    by Routledge

    322 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Ethics of Sex: An Introduction systematically and comprehensively examines the ethical issues surrounding the concept of sex. It addresses important questions such as:

    • How can we approach questions of sexual ethics in a philosophical way?
    • Must we give affirmative consent to all sexual activity, and what would be the impact of implementing an affirmative consent standard into law?
    • Can our dating preferences ever be considered a form of discrimination?
    • Is BDSM sex compatible with feminism?
    • Should we promote monogamy as the best way to live?
    • Is it harmful to have a relationship with a robot?
    • Should sex work be decriminalized?
    • Is there a right to sex?

    Including discussion questions and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter The Ethics of Sex is the perfect philosophical introduction to the perennially topical issue, and ideal reading for students taking courses within the fields of applied ethics, sociology, law, religion and politics.


    1. Sexual Ethics in the History of Philosophy

    2. Meeting, Dating, and Having Sex

    3. Consent

    4. Commitment and Marriage

    5. Sex and the Law

    6. Sex and Technology

    Conclusion: Philosophical Principles for Debating Sexual Ethics.



    Neil McArthur is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba, Canada. In addition to his academic work, he writes regularly about sexual ethics and LGBTQ+ issues for the media. His work has appeared in VICEThe Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Time, and Fast Company. He has also written for film and theatre.

    'This book systematically and comprehensively examines the ethical issues surrounding the concept of sex. ... Each chapter is rich in breadth and depth of discussion, especially the chapter on consent, and each has a "Questions for Discussion" section. The book would be ideal as a textbook for courses on sexual ethics. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals; general readers.' - J. A. Kegley, CHOICE