Cudd, Ann E., and . Enforced Pregnancy, Rape, and the Image of Woman

1990, Philosophical Studies, 60 (1-2): 47-59.

Summary: In this essay, Cudd argues that enforced pregnancy constitutes a group harm against women, harming even women who are not forced to carry a fetus to term against their will. In this essay, she develops a theoy of group harm, arguing that forced pregnancy constitutes a similar sort of group harm as rape. Ultimately, she claims that both rape and enforced pregnancy constitute a group harm via degredation of a class (women) and an individual harm via the individual negative effects caused by enforced pregnancy.

Comment: This text serves as a good introduction to the idea of a group harm. Further, it would fit well in a class that covers the ethics of sex, sexual violence, pregnancy, or abortion. If you plan to utilize this reading in the context of a biomedical ethics course covering abortion, it would be helpful to have first covered other classical readings on the topic (Marquis and Thomson, at least).

Miller, Sarah Clark, and . Moral Injury and Relational Harm: Analyzing Rape in Darfur

2009, Journal of Social Philosophy, 40 (4): 504-523.

Abstract: Rather than focusing on the legal and political questions that surround genocidal rape, in this paper I treat a vital area of inquiry that has received much less attention: the moral significance of genocidal rape. My aim is to augment existing moral accounts of rape in order to address the specific contexts of genocidal rape. I move beyond understanding rape primarily as a violation of an individual’s interests or agential abilities. The account I offer builds on these approaches (as well as on a pluralist approach), by arguing that rape, as a moral injury, negatively affects the very human dignity of victims. My account also emphasizes the relational harm that marks genocidal rape.

Comment: This paper offers a compelling argument about the harm of rape as a means of inflicting genocidal violence, via an analysis of the widespread rapes in Darfur. While the text does not concern itself with the legal aspects of rape as a crime against humanity, it would lend itself well to a course concerning crimes against humanity, international criminal law, or the ethics of war. Additionally, it could be taught within the context of a course that discusses what sort of harm rape constitutes.

Pineau, Lois, and . Date Rape: A Feminist Analysis

1989, Law and Philosophy 8 (2): 217-243.

Abstract: This paper shows how the mythology surrounding rape enters into a criterion of reasonableness which operates through the legal system to make women vulnerable to unscrupulous victimization. It explores the possibility for changes in legal procedures and presumptions that would better serve women’s interests and leave them less vulnerable to sexual violence. This requires that we reformulate the criterion of consent in terms of what is reasonable from a woman’s point of view.

Comment: This text provides an overview of the the legal status of "date rape" in the US. It would fit well in a class covering the idea of mens rea and/or actus reus - such as a class on philosophy of law. It would also be of use in a class covering the concept of consent, rape and sexual violence, or the meaning of being 'reasonable.'