EditorDavid Boonin (Colorado)
Felicia Nimue Ackerman (Brown)
Neera Badhwar (Oklahoma)
Francis Beckwith (Baylor)
David Benatar (Cape Town)
Elizabeth Brake (Arizona State)
John Corvino (Wayne State)
Robert George (Princeton)
Lori Gruen (Wesleyan)
Dale Jamieson (NYU)
Christopher Kaczor (Loyola Marymount)
Eva Feder Kittay (Stony Brook)
Eric Mack (Tulane)
Elinor Mason (Edinburgh)
Jan Narveson (Waterloo)
Tommie Shelby (Harvard)
Nancy Sherman (Georgetown)
Saul Smilansky (Haifa)
Bonnie Steinbock (SUNY Albany)
Heather Widdows (Birmingham)
note for contributorsInformation about submitting material to What's Wrong? can be found here.
search this site
Category Archives: sex and gender
A discussion of the free expression issues raised by the proposal here.
Professor Hallie Liberto (University of Connecticut) has kindly given What’s Wrong? permission to reprint the following letter, which she sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday. The letter is in response to the CDC fact sheet on “Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Women’s Health” that can be found here.
December 6, 2016
To Whom it May Concern,
I notice that the CDC reports that risks of rape and sexual assault are heightened by the use of alcohol. The direct quote is this,
“Sexual Assault: Binge drinking is a risk factor for sexual assault, especially among young women in college settings. Each year, about 1 in 20 college women are sexually assaulted. Research suggests that there is an increase in the risk of rape or sexual assault when both the attacker and victim have used alcohol prior to the attack.”
This may be so. However, why not report that the risks of domestic abuse, murder, violent non-sexual assault are also heightened by alcohol consumption (both by the victim and the perpetrator)? These things are also true.
By singling out rape/sexual assault on your website, and failing to mention other crimes more common among intoxicated persons, the CDC does the following:
1. It suggests that sexual assault is an alcohol-induced misfortune, rather than a crime. Note that everything else under “Other Health Risks” is a misfortune but not a crime (e.g. cancer, risks to the heart and liver).
2. It suggests that victims of rape, but not victims of other crimes, bear responsibility for what happened to them. After all, they are not being warned against alcohol because of the heightened risk of domestic abuse.
Please take this passage (the one I quoted above) down from your fact sheet on Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Women’s Health, listed under “Other Health Concerns.”
Assistant Professor Hallie Liberto
University of Connecticut
What’s Wrong? is grateful to Rivka Weinberg (Scripps College) for the following original contribution.
What’s Wrong with Selecting for Maleness or White Skin?
Prenatal genetic diagnosis and implantation makes it possible to screen embryos for specific genes or traits and then implant only the embryos with the desired genes or traits. This process has been used to select for gender, for bone marrow compatible with a sick sibling in need of a bone marrow transplant, and to select non-deaf or deaf embryos. Eventually, it might be possible to select for specific traits such as blue eyes or athleticism. Is anything wrong with any uses of PGD? And, if so, what’s wrong?
Nathan Nobis, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Morehouse College, kindly contributed the following piece to What’s Wrong? Professor Nobis is the author of many articles and book chapters on topics concerning ethics and animals (e.g., vegetarianism, experimentation) and the ethics of abortion, an unpublished 2003 essay on the relations between these topics, and a review of a recent book on these topics’ intersections, which inspired this essay. What’s Wrong? is grateful to Professor Nobis for permission to publish this original piece here.
Abortion and Animal Rights: Does Either Topic Lead to the Other?
by Nathan Nobis
Should people who believe in animal rights think that abortion is wrong? Should pro-lifers accept animal rights? If you think it’s wrong to kill fetuses to end pregnancies, should you also think it’s wrong to kill animals to, say, eat them? If you, say, oppose animal research, should you also oppose abortion?
Some argue ‘yes’ and others argue ‘no’ to either or both sets of questions. The correct answer, however, seems to be, ‘it depends’: it depends on why someone accepts animal rights, and why someone thinks abortion is wrong: it depends on their reasons.