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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 2002

David Gilboa
Pages 55-67

Premarital Sex and Exploitation in a Liberal Society

Unimpressed by the exhortations of previous generations, our modern society accepts premarital sex. Advisably? In an attempt to answer this question, I shall make three related points, drawing on findings from evolutionary psychology and bargaining theory. First, premarital sex is potentially exploitative. Second, to allow premarital sex is not merely to extend a certain freedom, but indirectly to compel women to practice premarital sex, hence effectively to foster their exploitation. Third, some of the measures taken to combat the sexual exploitation of single women can make matters worse, as the implementation of these measures tends to increase rather than decrease the level of the exploitation.

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