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Offences and DefencesSelected Essays in the Philosophy of Criminal Law$
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John Gardner

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239351

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239351.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 March 2020

The Wrongness of Rape

The Wrongness of Rape

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Wrongness of Rape
Source:
Offences and Defences
Author(s):

John Gardner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239351.003.0001

This chapter considers why rape is a moral and legal wrong. It confronts and rejects the suggestion that rape is wrong because of the bad experience of being raped. It also confronts and rejects the suggestion that rape is wrong because it infringes the ownership rights of the raped person over her own body. The failure of these accounts are used to develop and defend the view that rape is wrong as the sheer use of another human being, as a denial of the status of subject and its substitution with the status of object. A two-stage view is developed according to which rape shares its objectifying aspect with prostitution, pornographic depiction, etc., but differs from these other activities in the way in which it relates to the rights of the person who is objectified. Some of the implications of this view for the law are explored at the end of the chapter.

Keywords:   criminal law, harm, self-ownership, objectification

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