Morality and Sexy Scientists

by Luke Muehlhauser on July 22, 2010 in Ethics,Guest Post

(series index)

The ethical theory I currently defend is desirism. But I mostly write about moraltheory, so I rarely discuss the implications of desirism for everyday moral questions about global warming, free speech, politics, and so on. Today’s guest post applies desirism to one such everyday moral question. It is written by desirism’s first defender, Alonzo Fyfe of Atheist Ethicist. (Keep in mind that questions of applied ethics are complicated and I do not necessarily agree with Fyfe’s moral calculations.)

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I have been asked to weigh in on this discussion that began when Luke posted pictures of 15 “sexy scientists“. This was a collection of photographs of 15 scientists that Luke apparently finds attractive.

A number of objections have been raised to this post. Or, more specifically, as a desirist has it, Luke has been condemned for an action that exhibits desires that people generally claim to have reason to inhibit. Granting that he acted so as to fulfill his desires (given his beliefs), the complaint is that his act is best explained as being motivated by desires that people gnerally have reason to inhibit.

Either that, or his actions demonstrate that certain desires (concerns) were absent and a person appropriately sensitive to such things (having the right desires) would not have performed the act in question.

Sexism

First, I would like to dismiss the claim that the list is sexist. In doing so, I do not want to be interpreted as saying that there is nothing morally objectionable in such a list, but that any morally objectionable qualities would not fit under the label of “sexism”.

To be sexist, in the morally objectionable sense, is to jump to unwarranted conclusions about the qualities of a person based on gender.

If you lock the doors on your car when you see black people around, you are racist. You are making a judgment based on skin color when there is no logical inference to be made from “skin color” to “propensity to commit a violent act.”

Even if there is a statistical correlation, this does not justify the act. Depending on how we cut the social pie, each of us can be fit into a million different subcategories. Of those subcategories, we all belong to a category that is statistically more likely to commit a crime than alternative categories.

The decision to pay attention to skin-color-and-crime statistics is as arbitrary and discriminatory as the decision to pay attention to “second digit on one’s social security number and crime.” There might, by chance, be a huge statistical correlation here, but it would provide no justification for evaluating a given individual based on the second digit of his social security number.

If somebody wants to claim sexism in a morally contemptible sense of the term, then I challenge them to identify the quality that Luke has said that all women share based solely on their gender.

Now, there is one position in my life that I hold that no male is qualified to fill, and that is the role of spouse. When seeking a spouse, I could have easily put up a sign that said, “No male need apply for this position.”

Yet, I would suggest that this does not make me sexist in the morally contemptible sense of the term. Being biologically heterosexual is not a moral crime – it is not a desire the people generally have any reason to condemn so that “heterosexuality” ceases to exist. Of course, since morality is only concerned with malleable desires, condemning heterosexuality would not make sense in that respect either.

Lists

In reading through some of the claims made about Luke’s postings, a few of them seem to be entirely without merit. A large set of these are claims that claim that Luke is making a statement with this list that is not coming from Luke, but from the person criticizing the list.

I happen to remember that Luke recently posted another list – a list of his favorite (top 10) blogs. Without passing judgment on Luke’s tastes, there are a lot of things that could be said about such a list that simply are not true.

One thing to note is that it would be absurd to suggest that the fact that Luke put my blog on that list that he is saying that I have no value apart from my blog writing. Anybody who attempted to defend such an absurd position would likely have been laughed off of the forums. Yet, there are people who make the equally absurd claim that by calling these scientists “sexy” one is endorsing or supporting the idea that these women should be viewed as having no value independent of their appealing physical characteristics.

Similarly, anybody who saw Luke’s list on the best blogs would readily grant that Luke is expressing his values (tastes, desires), and that another person with different values would have certainly come up with a different list. He might prefer blogs where the author can add a bit of (intentional) humor to the blog – unintentional humor still being entertaining but seldom being taken as a mark of quality.

Nobody would think to come up to Luke and challenge the fact that the list represents his tastes and values and claim that the list is somehow illegitimate unless it contains members who appeal to interests Luke does not have.

The only legitimate claim to make about somebody who puts a particular name on a particular list are claims that “the list maker is claiming that the items on the list contain the qualities that define the list.” His claims may be false. However, one is bearing false witness against him if one claims that he is claiming that the items on the list have a quality that is not used to define the list and is not a valid inference that can be drawn from the fact that one has the qualities used to define the list.

If one thinks that being identified as “attractive to Luke” and “a scientist” is somehow degrading then one has to be making the claim that “degrading” is a valid logical or material implication of the premises “is a scientist” and “is attractive to Luke.”

The Value of Sex

The last point above leads to a possible explanation of what is going on in some cases. We have been raised in a culture that views sex as degrading. For a woman to have value she must be “pure” and “innocent”, which means disassociated from the corrupting concept of “sex”. To identify a woman as “sexy” is to tarnish her in some way.

Some of the arguments drawn on to criticize Luke are attempts to try to give some type of rationalization to those attitudes. Given the “feeling” of corruption we have learned to associate with the concept of sex, we then hunt around for some sort of explanation that would account for this corruption.

When we cannot find an actual reason to call having an association with sex corrupting or degrading, we make something up, or we assert that it is one of those basic facts that are “self-evidently” true.

They are only “self-evidently” true to those who have learned particular sentiments and then use those sentiments as evidence of what is true.

Sex is a natural act, neither inherently good nor bad. It is something we have a strong desire for. We have a theory that does a superb job of explaining and predicting not only the existence but the strength and general direction of those desires – a theory called ‘evolution’.

Condemning Good Desires

However, there is more to be said on this subject.

At this point, I would like to introduce an implication of desirism that often goes unnoticed – the possibility that people might have many and strong reasons to condemn what is fundamentally a good desire.

Praise and condemnation are to be used to promote a desire that tends to fulfill other desires, and to inhibit a desire that tends to thwart other desires. However, this praise and condemnation does not take as its starting point the “pure value” of the desire in question. It considers how strong the desire is compared to how strong the desire should be.

Let me provide an example. Evolutionary theory and observation supports the thesis that humans have an evolved tendency to care for their children. Some evolutionary theorists make the mistake of claiming that this proves that we have an evolved moral sense. They ignore the question that, if compassion for one’s children is an evolved sentiment, why do we praise those who have it and condemn those who do not?

The reason is that, even though nature has given us an evolved disposition to care for our children, nature has not made this desire as strong as it should be. We have reason to make the desire stronger than that which nature provides – and we use praise and condemnation to change the strength of that desire from what nature otherwise provides.

But what if nature gives us a desire that is too strong? It is so strong that, even though it tends to fulfill other desires, it also tends to lead to acts of violence. It also tends to lead to the spread of sexually transmitted disease and to add stress to relationships that, without this stress, would have been mutually desire-fulfilling for all involved.

If the desire’s strength is at a level where it is causing harm, then people generally have reason to reign in that strength – to either weaken it or to channel it in directions that they do not naturally have. We condemn sex without consent, and without protection, and in a way that betrays promises that one has made and that others have decided to depend on in making their plans.

Praise and condemnation are then applied to reign in or mold this desire for sex in order to eliminate or reduce some of its more desire-thwarting manifestations.

In other words, we may have good reason to reign in and control the desire for sex insofar as it motivates violence, deception, and destructive behavior such as that which leads to the spread of disease.

Violence

As a matter of social fact, the desire for sex naturally has such strength in men that women live in fear of violence. This is such an obvious fact that anybody not aware of it may be accused of intellectual negligence. Anybody who is aware of it and doesn’t care to expose women to greater risk may also be accused of negligence.

There is a certain amount of risk with posting the identity of a woman in a sexual contest in that one cannot trust that those who receive the image in that context is not somebody prone to violence.

There is a moral difference here between the person who voluntarily accepts that risk and those who do not. To voluntarily enter into such a context is to give consent to be in that context.

I mentioned earlier that Luke created a list of blogs in which mine is on the list. There is a sense to be made of the fact that my religious claims put me at some risk of violence, and that Luke increased that risk by exposing that fact to a wider audience. However, since I voluntarily created and maintain the blog in a public forum, then Luke can trust that I have volunteered to take that risk and need not ask my consent to present my views to a wider audience.

Perhaps Luke believes that there is such a low risk that, even though he has the appropriate level of concern, that concern when matched against the probability of harm generates little reason not to include that person on the list.

Note that, in probability analysis, the value of a lottery ticket that has a 1:1,000,000,000 chance of paying $1,000,000 is equal to 0.01 cents.

I think this underestimates the degree that women are subject not only to stranger-rape, but date-rape, sexual harrassment, stalking, and the like. I hold that there is an obligation not to participate in those elements of our culture.

If an employer of a large company were to post, “The president’s list of sexiest secretaries” on the company bulletin board, this may not in itself be considered an act of violence. However, there is at least reason to worry that the list would contribute to a corporate culture in which female employees would face an increased risk of violence from other employees.

Furthermore, I think that the boss posting the list of the ten sexiest secretaries would not only put those on the list at risk of mistreatment, but also women in general, and that a properly motivated person would have to be concerned about that mistreatment as well.

The question of whether such a post would contribute to the types of mistreatment mentioned, and how much, are empirical questions. We would need to consult experts in social science research to determine the actual answer. If I were to insist that I knew what the answer to this question was, the rational person would be justified in wondering whether I was reporting something that I knew to be the case, or something that my sentiments caused me to adopt because, if true, it would then justify those sentiments.

I want to make it clear that I am not talking about logical entailment here. I am not saying that such a post implies the mistreatment of women. My concern here is with cause of effect (material, as opposed to logical, implication).

So, I will admit that I do not know, but the possibility that such a post would contribute to the mistreatment of women is something that the person with good desires would be worried about.

There are some things I wanted to say about objectification. However, given the length of this post, I think I will hold off until next week.

- Alonzo Fyfe

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Haukur July 22, 2010 at 5:26 am

Note that, in probability analysis, the value of a lottery ticket that has a 1:1,000,000,000 chance of paying $1,000,000 is equal to 0.01 cents.

Wouldn’t it be 0.1 cent?

There might, by chance, be a huge statistical correlation here, but it would provide no justification for evaluating a given individual based on the second digit of his social security number.

That’s extraordinarily unlikely and maybe something of an abuse of the word ‘might’.

The decision to pay attention to skin-color-and-crime statistics is as arbitrary and discriminatory as the decision to pay attention to “second digit on one’s social security number and crime.”

Do you mean to say that any skin-color-and-crime statistics that may exist are as coincidental as the hypothetical social security number statistics? Is it unacceptably discriminatory to note that underprivileged people are more likely to resort to desparate measures?

Even if there is a statistical correlation, this does not justify the act. Depending on how we cut the social pie, each of us can be fit into a million different subcategories. Of those subcategories, we all belong to a category that is statistically more likely to commit a crime than alternative categories.

No rational agent would arbitrarily pick one such category and fixate on that to the exclusion of others. If statistics show that blerbs, fnaks and korrocks are more likely than average to commit crime while polters, qwerties and cynts are less likely than average to commit crime then a rational agent wouldn’t think “Oh no, that person is a fnak! I’d better lock the doors.” Instead s/he would think: “That person is a fnak but also a cynt and a polter so not particularly likely to rob me. I’m keeping the doors unlocked.”

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MKandefer July 22, 2010 at 6:00 am

Haukur,

“Do you mean to say that any skin-color-and-crime statistics that may exist are as coincidental as the hypothetical social security number statistics? Is it unacceptably discriminatory to note that underprivileged people are more likely to resort to desparate measures?”

I took it to mean that the skin color had nothing to do with causing the individuals to commit crimes, but that other factors also true of people of certain skin color might, such as typically having lower socio-economic status. It doesn’t seem to be the case that there is a plausible mechanism in play between one’s skin color, and committing crimes. There appears to be one between lower socio-economic status, the psychological distress present in such a situation, and the crimes that may result. One could argue that skin-color can lead to discrimination, which in turn causes distress, which in turn causes the crimes, such as civil disobedience. However, here the cause is not the skin color, but discrimination.

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marc July 22, 2010 at 6:21 am

Whatever else you say, these two sentences are contradictory:

You are making a judgment based on skin color when there is no logical inference to be made from “skin color” to “propensity to commit a violent act.”

Even if there is a statistical correlation, this does not justify the act.

If you accept that there’s a statistical correlation, then you have to accept that it’s valid to make an inference. If a sports team has been playing and winning (correlation), then there’s a better chance of them winning the next game (inference). If you disagree with this, please tell me your Betfair username.

ET Jaynes discusses it at length in “Probability Theory: The Logic of Science”.

The moral statement:

Even if there is a statistical correlation, this does not justify the act.

Might still be valid, but it can’t be justified by stating that the inference is illogical. Really you need to be saying something like:

Whilst the inference between skin colour and criminal activity is statistically valid, we are prohibited from acting upon it due to our various moral concerns. We believe that each person should be treated as an individual, and therefore should not be held accountable for inferences caused by his membership of a group that he had no choice in joining. We accept these beliefs cause us to throw away valid information, however we believe that this is a price that is entirely worth paying for the preservation of the dignity of the individual.

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Eric July 22, 2010 at 6:29 am

“Evolutionary theory and observation supports the thesis that humans have an evolved tendency to care for their children. Some evolutionary theorists make the mistake of claiming that this proves that we have an evolved moral sense. They ignore the question that, if compassion for one’s children is an evolved sentiment, why do we praise those who have it and condemn those who do not?”

Could it be that for members of a group to praise and condemn certain actions for the benefit of that group is an evolved trait as well?

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antiplastic July 22, 2010 at 6:30 am

“Granting that he acted so as to fulfill his desires (given his beliefs), the complaint is that his act is best explained as being motivated by desires that people gnerally have reason to inhibit.”

Ah, the return of The Generally People. I was wondering when they’d weigh in.

I’ve seen some complaints from specific people on this issue, and some responses from some specific people, but those Generally People can be pretty persuasive.

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Haukur July 22, 2010 at 6:33 am

marc puts it well.

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Eneasz July 22, 2010 at 7:13 am

antiplastic

“Granting that he acted so as to fulfill his desires (given his beliefs), the complaint is that his act is best explained as being motivated by desires that people gnerally have reason to inhibit.”

Ah, the return of The Generally People. I was wondering when they’d weigh in.

Snarky, but a bit weak. Very passive-aggressive. Why not engage the issue? Are you asserting that when Luke was widely condemned for his actions this is evidence AGAINST the proposition that people generally have reasons to inhibit his motivating desire(s)? Or is your complaint that Alonzo implicitly asserted that those who don’t much care about violence against women are a minority? Are there other ways to interpret your objection that I’m not seeing?

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Sal Bro July 22, 2010 at 8:20 am

[T]he complaint is that his act is best explained as being motivated by desires that people gnerally have reason to inhibit. Either that, or his actions demonstrate that certain desires (concerns) were absent and a person appropriately sensitive to such things (having the right desires) would not have performed the act in question.

More accurately, the complaint is that Luke
exhibited desires that are very frequently displayed by heterosexual white American males and largely condoned by the society in which he lives;attributed these desires to natural tendencies, rejecting empirical evidence suggesting that they are more likely the product of social conditioning that has occurred within a position of privilege in a patriarchal society;exhibited his desires in a manner, consistent with privilege, that denied the objects of his desire autonomy, subjectivity, and representation as unique, complex individuals;and has prioritized arguing about #2 (whether/why his desires are justifiable) over trying to resolve #3 (results of his actions on his desires).

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Sal Bro July 22, 2010 at 8:46 am

Also, I call b.s. on these claims related to evolution:

We have a theory that does a superb job of explaining and predicting not only the existence but the strength and general direction of [sexual] desires – a theory called ‘evolution’.

Please support the underlined claims with empirical evidence. Also, please clarify what you mean by “general direction”–I’m really hoping you aren’t implying heterosexuality, here, because that’s just false.

even though nature has given us an evolved disposition to care for our children, nature has not made this desire as strong as it should be.

Could you please explain your basis for “should” and how this has anything to do with evolution? There are countless species that have persisted for eons without caring for their offspring. Most of the plant kingdom comes to mind.

As a matter of social fact, the desire for sex naturally has such strength in men that women live in fear of violence.

Again, empirical evidence does not support the claim that the strength of men’s desire is a byproduct of nature rather than social conditioning. Also, please provide evidence showing that sex identity is related to sexual desire, or that men generally have higher desire than women.

This is such an obvious fact that anybody not aware of it may be accused of intellectual negligence.

Please accept my application for negligence.

So many of the premises on which you build your argument are demonstrably false that I cannot accept whatever conclusions you draw from it. I’m not even really sure what those conclusions are.

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mkandefer July 22, 2010 at 8:50 am

Sal Bro said,

“More accurately, the complaint is that Luke exhibited desires that are very frequently displayed by heterosexual white American males.”

He’s guilty, but hardly a a reason to claim immorality, and unnecessary to prove it.

“and largely condoned by the society in which he lives;”

So, are same sex marriages. Cultural relativism doesn’t make for very reasonable arguments for moral beliefs.

“attributed these desires to natural tendencies, rejecting empirical evidence suggesting that they are more likely the product of social conditioning that has occurred within a position of privilege in a patriarchal society;”

I haven’t seen Luke reject much out of hand, do you have support for this claim?

“exhibited his desires in a manner, consistent with privilege,”

When?

“that denied the objects of his desire autonomy, subjectivity, and representation as unique, complex individuals;”

True, but as pointed out before, this doesn’t upset people in other graphical depictions with the same properties.

“and has prioritized arguing about #2 (whether/why his desires are justifiable) over trying to resolve #3 (results of his actions on his desires).”

I don’t think this is the case. He’s invited a philosopher of ethics to point out why his desires cause negative consequences, see this quote below:

“In other words, we may have good reason to reign in and control the desire for sex insofar as it motivates violence, deception, and destructive behavior such as that which leads to the spread of disease.”

As you and others have argued previously, Luke’s post might have done so by allowing individuals to undertake destructive behaviors like; stalking, sexual harassment, or discrimination through employment.

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mkandefer July 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

Er, my mistake one one point. I thought you were saying Luke’s actions weren’t largely condoned. Apologies.

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Sal Bro July 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

mkandefer,

My statement:

More accurately, the complaint is that Luke exhibited desires that are very frequently displayed by heterosexual white American males and largely condoned by the society in which he lives

is a statement of fact to which I did not attach a value judgment.

I haven’t seen Luke reject much out of hand, do you have support for this claim?

Posted by: lukeprog | July 18, 2010 7:35 PM on Pharyngula:

BTW, my views of what is visually attractive in a woman is biologically standard. A taste for a 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio is not a cultural product. It is a cultural universal. Same goes for large tits and shiny hair.

Desirable waist-hip ratios range from 0.6 to 0.9 depending on cultures, so 0.7 is not a “universal”. Breast size preferences also vary. I haven’t been able to find evidence for “shiny hair” as being universal, but shiny hair preferences assume hair that is not extremely curly.

The “exhibited his desires in a manner consistent with privilege” part occurred when he “denied the objects of his desire autonomy, subjectivity, and representation as unique, complex individuals” when he is a male and his subjects are 13/14 female. Again, I say “consistent with” (correlation) and, thus far, have not claimed “due to” (causation).

True, but as pointed out before, this doesn’t upset people in other graphical depictions with the same properties.

I’m trying not to repeat myself in every post, but I’ll add it again: When he denied “the objects of his desire autonomy, subjectivity, and representation as unique, complex individuals” this reinforced gender stereotypes that are regularly used against women and result in/occur because of oppression, which separates this example from other graphical depictions.

I don’t think this is the case…Luke’s post might have done so by allowing individuals to undertake destructive behaviors like; stalking, sexual harassment, or discrimination through employment.

My key word was “prioritized”. Pontificating on the possible causes and end results, while leaving the post up even though he and others acknowledge that it may have negative effects, when the post could just as easily be taken down and then replaced if and when Luke decides it’s harmless — that indicates a priority on pontificating over reducing the acknowledged risk of harm.

To clarify, I am not trying to personally attack Luke or others here. I don’t condemn him as being a morally reprehensible person, and I don’t ignore that this whole discussion started out with a pretty ordinary list that could have appeared just about anywhere. That doesn’t make the list right, though, and since he seems to be interested in finding out what’s right, I’m along for the ride to see what happens.

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Sal Bro July 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

In light of Luke’s apology, I’m now dropping the subject.

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other eric July 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm

thanks for this post, alonzo. and for finally convincing luke.

i’m dropping it too, but first i want to put out this shit-ton of writing that i was doing on the subject, mostly as an aid for a conversation i was having with my girlfriend.

it’s crazy long and a complete mess (moral arguments and calculations are not at all my forté, neither is formatting), but at least it’s numbered so it can easily be refuted/added to. maybe this has all been stated already, but i hope there are some novel points in there.

anyway…

Premises:

P1: A man’s public expression of positive judgment of a woman’s sex appeal without her express invitation sends the following social messages:

P1a: It socially signals that he has taken pleasure in viewing her as a sex object
P1b: It urges others to take pleasure in viewing her as a sex object
P1c: It signals that he is in a position that grants him the power to provide these judgments and that he views his judgment as a benefit to her
P1d: It urges others to view the woman as in need of judgment and to provide their own judgment
P1e: it signals that his judgment has either been invited somehow by the woman’s actions or that his judgment has value independent of the woman’s need or desire to hear it.

P2: Sending these social messages has these results:

P2a: it satisfies the man’s desire to attempt to appear powerful and authoritative while also potentially transferring any negative response attention away from the judge and onto the judged woman
P2b: it satisfies the man’s desire to express his thoughts openly and without censorship
P2c: it informs the woman that the man finds her sexually desirable and that he feels that his right to express this outweighs any potential desires on her part to be free from his judgment

P3: While viewing women as sex objects, heterosexual men see the woman as nothing more than a collection of parts that the man can and should act upon. If a man is mentally unbalanced or morally weak and if the woman is sexually unavailable, he can find this train of thought to encourage actions or emotional states such as (but not limited to): rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse, stalking, depression, and misogyny.

P4: it puts her under greater scrutiny from others, which can result in a raised level of stress due to unwanted attention

P5: Publicly judging women’s sexuality has a long pan-cultural history that has provided these cultures with a vast number of stereotypes. The occurrence of a public judgment of a woman’s sexuality works to reinforce these stereotypes in the minds of an audience. These stereotypes include (but are not limited to):

P5a: The cultural standards by which our culture judges a woman’s beauty are correct and these standards are determined by men.
P5b: A woman’s primary purpose and value is reproductive.
P5c: The value of a woman is increased if she conforms to our culturally held standards of beauty.
P5d: A woman cannot be both beautiful and intelligent/competent.
P5e: Attractive women use their attractive qualities to manipulate others.
P5f: Attractive women know they are attractive.
P5g: Attractive women want to be told that they are attractive.
P5h: Attractive women invite sexual attention by virtue of their attractiveness.
P5i: Attractive women are more sexually promiscuous.

P6: it increases the likelihood that this woman, and other women who are deemed to be “sexy”, will be associated with these stereotypes, which can lead to the following outcomes:

P6a: she will be seen as more attractive and desirable by men and will be more aggressively sexually pursued
P6b: she will be viewed by women as a greater threat to their own sense of sexual value and will likely be a target of negative attention and actions from these women as a result
P6c: she will be viewed as less intelligent
P6d: she will be condemned if she has failed to live up to the culture’s stereotyped reproductive standards
P6e: her successes will be attributed to sexual manipulation of others, rather than her own competence
P6f: she will be judged as more sexually promiscuous, which people will extrapolate to judge her greater moral character
P6g: people will feel more validated in commenting on her appearance
P6h: she will be seen as smug and prideful about her appearance regardless of how she behaves
P6i: people will assume that she places great value on her appearance

P7: it increases the strength of stereotypes within a culture, which can lead to the following outcomes:

P7a: people are more confident in their culture’s standards of beauty and feel more validated in their judgment of others when it conforms to cultural standards
P7b: people who do not fit the culture’s standards of beauty may either reaffirm that they have failed the portion of social existence that is a beauty contest and that they are objectively not beautiful, or increase their attempts to conform to these cultural standards which may lead to unhealthy or questionable behaviour such as (but not limited to): eating disorders, cosmetic surgery, over-exercising, sexual risk-taking

Conclusion:

C1: The results generated from a man’s public expression of positive judgment of a woman’s sex appeal without her express invitation are mostly bad and desire-thwarting.

C2: They put the woman that is the subject of the judgment, and women in general, at greater risk of physical, emotional, and professional harm.

C3: They do not offer any positive results that could not have been generated by waiting first for the woman’s invitation to judgment.

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Chris July 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Hey Alonzo,

You wasted your time, and Luke’s. He apologized without bothering to address any of your argument- essentially negating your conclusion without bothering to explain which of your premises he rejects. Philosophical rigor gets left by the wayside when there are whiny, offended people around, I guess. Too bad; I used to think that Luke had intellectual integrity, too.

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Erika July 23, 2010 at 6:43 am

Thanks for your thoughts Alonzo!

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Prairie Nymph August 17, 2010 at 7:55 am

Other Eric-
your comment was very well worded. May I have your permission to repost it? Do I credit you as Other Eric or do you prefer another name?

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