Because women's bodies are in no way analogous to food.

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The interesting question is why we, as people who think ourselves to be generally concerned about inequality, in fact treat food charity so differently from sex charity. Yes there are differences between food and sex, but those differences don't very clearly explain our differing treatment of inequality.

The "obvious" answer is that, while we're concerned about equality, we're also concerned about other "moral" values. ( http://tinyurl.com/ydp3sdj ) Actually, neither food relief nor sexual entitlements are much based on Equality. Food stamps have more to do with Unity than Equality; sex in our culture is governed mostly by Proportionality.

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Since somebody resurrected this post from the grave where it belongs, I'll add my 2 cents:

"Why do we, as a society, provide food stamps for the hungry but not sex stamps for the celibate?"

Short answer: there is no demand for that.

Long answer:

How would a sex stamp work? Presumably it would be a voucher that could be used to pay a licensed prostitute in for their services.

But given that prostitution is generally available and legal or quasi-legal in most places, what would celibate people need a voucher for? Many of them would be already wealthy enough to afford a the services of a prostitute if they wanted to. Those who couldn't afford a prostitute, would probably have more urgent needs to satisfy, thus if you gave them vouchers they would probably try to sell them.

To put in another way, if instead of handing out sex stamps you just handed out their monetary value to celibate people, how would they spend it? Probably not on prostitutes.

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I wondered that before. Concluded that it is either too unpleasant to even think about or nobody wants to tell the next generation of women how bad it is.

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Wha..? Weirdest post I've seen in a while. Seriously, you speak, and I quote word for word: "From a Darwinian perspective" and yet you have trouble understanding why rape would be viewed much, much more negatively than, say, food theft? The wha?

Well , "from a Darwinian perspective" it should be easy enough to understand why a female wouldn't want to have sex "out of charity" with a low reproductive value male. Her entire genetic future could be compromised by mating with a low value male, most likely her children from that mating would inherit the undesirable phenotypes or look of the male in question. Ensuring that they in turn will be limited to low desirability or unattractive partners thus reducing *her* chance of long term genetic success.

From a Darwinian perspective mating with a reproductive lesser male is one of the worst thing that can happen, even more so if she is in her reproductive prime herself and desirable (since she has more to loss than a women in her menopause for example in terms of reproductive interests).

And that's just from a Darwinian perspective. From a biological or sexual pov, mating with unattractive partners or partners we find ugly if you will is umm...not something to be excited about :/ Ugly men = crap sex basically and no I'm not talking from personal experience lol Pretty much all my past sexual partners have been gorgeous, one was even a male model at one point (not international notoriety mind you, mainly shaving commercial for men things like that). Lol sorry for the slight derail, sounds like stealth bragging when I read it again :p

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Its interesting that the vast majority of rapes are committed by family close friends teachers church leaders ecetera. Women and men are at risk men are more often at risk from other men although we did have the Letearnou scandal. I would agree that rape is completely alien to the experience of sex in a committed relationship. Or even sex in a relatively new relationship thats consensual. Food is clearly a more important need than sex. And while sex can be a commidity in a sense in a capitalist society i suppose that it is more of a sevice. As Erin said its not grown or harvested. While men do tend to have a stronger sex drive than women there are women that are not getting any either. it's sad to think that some people never get the chance to experience that wonderful part of life. i think I would be open minded to the idea of 'charity sex' though id hope it would be more like an ongoing relationship than a one time thing. To be completely honest there was a time when I was very lonely and i visited prostitutes a few times. It doesn't leave you happy but its still addictive. You never find what you are looking for and end up feeling bad. You use her but in a way she uses you too. its not the worst thing in the world by any means but I don't advise it

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There seems to be something fundamentally different in the way we view our person and property external to us.

I suggest we would not feel as much pity for a man who was dying of kidney failure and tore into another person and removed one of his kidneys to put in himself (even if it resulted in both men surviving) as we would for the food thief.

The other thing to keep in mind is marginality - a starving person is very very near death and has no option but to eat immediately or die. Someone who cannot get a woman to consent to reproduce likely has many more years of fertility in which to attempt it, and there are options besides the use of force to spread his genes (sperm banks, artificial insemination, etc.).

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Wendy, Erin, Paul, Nick, and others: thanks. This analogy made me livid-- not just because rape is a sensitive subject (but thanks for patronizing us, Robin-- apparently we were all just too emotionally damaged at the mention of rape to handle your superior logical arguments), but because the analogy had holes you could drive a truck through.

I don't know about everyone else, but in my moral universe, judgments are based on the tangible cost inflicted, not on the hypothetical advantage gained. I dispute the idea that we heap uniformly more condemnation on crimes against the person than on crimes against property. I'd let someone punch me in the face if it would keep him from stealing my laptop. I'm not sure where the line is-- would I let someone break my finger?-- but rape is quite obviously not your everyday crime against the person. Like others, I'm having a very difficult time imagining a property crime that inflicts the same type of injury-- from physical, emotional, AND evolutionary standpoints.

In addition, I think it's important to consider that the person who steals food knows that he will satisfy his biological need immediately by consuming it. The person who commits rape does not, however, know that his genes will be continued (not that his crime would be excusable, either, if he were certain to produce offspring). Would anyone make a serious argument that there is a moral difference between raping a fertile woman and raping an infertile one?

While I have nothing but my own speculation, I also agree with the poster who suggested that institutionalizing an "inalienable right to have sex" by creating a sex-charity program would entitle people to make inappropriate sexual demands of others and consequently would create a more hostile, sexually aggressive environment, particularly for women. It follows that an inalienable right to have sex should include an inalienable right to REFUSE sex (which I like to think we already have). So where is the redress if the right to have sex is violated? By violating someone else's right to refuse sex? "Honey, I have a headache." "Do me, or I'm going to take you to court!"

The discussion (with a few notable exceptions) has also been rife with the assumption that men suffer the effects of sexual deprivation more than women do. Give me a break. Women enjoy and crave sex just as much as men do.

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@Anon:A woman forcing a man into sex is nigh-on physically impossible. She could of course violate him in various ways, but these mostly don't even resemble sex.

Well, it sounds logical, doesn't it? But, let's go to the video tapes: see this. These devices became very reliable in the late '80's. Sensation is unchanged, orgasm unchanged, female sensation unchanged, and for the most part, appearance unchanged, and Medicare pays for them. And yes indeed, it is quite possible for a woman (or a group of women) to rape a man, and to continue for as long as they choose. The kinder ones will offer the occasional bread and water to the victim. I have performed this operation thousands of times, and when it comes to sex, it's difficult to imagine all the things people will do. I do know of a patient whose girlfriend started out with what she represented as "bondage", but then invited several of her friends to take part without his consent. On the other hand, I know of quite a few men (usually much older than the woman) who eventually fell asleep, while the partner continued for another hour or more. Who says this isn't a sophisticated blog?

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Are you some kind of idiot?

Of course they are viewed differently. Women aren't property or goods to be bargained with or to sedate men's sexual desires.

The implication that not having sex is the same as starvation is disgusting too. Unfortunately for us, if you never have sex again you'll still live.

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And mine is merely that the oversight is more regrettable on an academic blog, particularly themed as it is, than it would otherwise be.

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My point is only that not realizing the message one is sending to some, privileged or not, moral failing or not, is not remotely the same as "mak[ing] a statement on [one's] view of women."

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With regards to that, I would imagine that for a University-backed blog that seeks to overcome bias, one would think for a good while before deciding on a header image. If the possibility of this one being taken in a way compatible with some of the poster's ideas hadn't occurred to him, then it's more likely a result of privilege than being misunderstood.

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Keep in mind the header graphic of male Odysseus being tormented by female sirens makes quite a statement on the view of women by the author to newcomers when combined with the original post.

I think it much more likely that it never crossed their minds that it could be taken as saying something about women. It certainly never occurred to me until now. Male privilege, maybe, but still there's a HUGE difference between not realizing someone might take you to mean X, and actually meaning X.

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Since sex drive is itself notoriously not necessarily targeted at potential breeding partners

True, but it remains the case that there's a general tendency for people to find the best potential breeding partners more attractive. But I grant that there are significant exceptions.

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...also, only insofar as that "genetically-based drive for domination" must be expressed by forcing someone into sex, rather than any other way to show dominance.

Granted. I intended to include that idea in the "rape which results from..." phrase.

Only insofar as that "genetically-based drive for domination" is aimed specifically at females of reproductive age.

Since sex drive is itself notoriously not necessarily targeted at potential breeding partners, I'm less sure that the drive for domination need be "aimed specifically at [potential breeding partners]" -- certainly not more so than sex drive itself.

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