Dr. Brendan Shea
Date Rape by Lois Pineau
According to Pineau (1989), date rape is sex without consent but does not involve
physical injury. She refutes that the requirements by courts that physical injury is the key proof
that someone has been raped. Her argument regarding this is that women are sexually
provocative and always asking for it while men cannot control their sexual desire. Pineau
dismisses these sex myths. She also argues that the contractual sexual model should be replaced
with a communicative model. With a communicative model, she says that a man cannot assume
that a woman has consented for sex (Pineau, 1989). If the man makes the assumption of consent
under contractual model and goes ahead to engage in sex with a woman, then that is rape. In this
essay, I write the arguments that Louis Pineau makes and answer two potential questions which
Pineau asserts that there is minimum legal protection for a woman who was sexually
assaulted by a stranger during a casual date. The reason for this is that it is not easy to
substantiate the lady’s claims that she did not give in to the sexual advances from the man. She
further argues that even when it is clear that the lady resisted and protested the sexual act, the
courts usually fail to interpret this as withholding sex by her. Instead, the courts use the myth that
when a woman says ‘no,’ she actually mean ‘yes.’ It is believed that when a woman protests sex,
she is just pretending (Pineau, 1989). This is why it is not easy to prove in the current court
system that the man is culpable.
Pineau says that when faced with rape allegations, most men defend themselves against
the accusations saying that the woman asked for it (Pineau, 1989). She reasons against the
arguments made that provocation from a woman and the uncontrollable nature of a man are the
main reasons why date rapes happen. According to her, women need to be able to be provocative
without fearing that they will be assaulted. Pineau points out the absurdity of these arguments.
Her reasoning is that women also need to have pleasure in sex and that they cannot get it from
being date raped. Thus, women do not enjoy being raped as some people would suggest.
Regarding the inability for men to control themselves when they are past a certain point in the
sexual process, Pineau says that there is no human desire that is uncontrollable.
In her arguments, Pineau explains that a sexual contract cannot be likened to other legal
and binding contracts. In these contracts, one can go to court and make a claim if one party is in
breach of the contract. However, this is not the case with a sexual contract which does not have
the moral obligation to fulfill it.
Two Expected Questions and their Answers
Is Pineau arguing that date rape is wrong? No. her objective is to demonstrate that the
system that courts use to judge rape accusations are prejudiced towards the victim. Why do the
courts require physical injury evidence to prove that rape took place? Courts believe that for a
woman to claim that she was raped, there must have been aggression from the man, which
usually leads to physical injury.
Pineau, L. (1989). Date Rape: A Feminist Analysis. Law and Philosophy, Vol. 8, No. 2, 217-243.
Ethics: Exam 1
Due Date: Tuesday, 2/21/2017, 11:30 PM
Here are the guidelines for Exam 1.
1. The questions are listed below. You should only answer THREE of them (not all of them!).
2. Each essay should be between 500 and 1000 words. I won’t penalize you for going over, though I will stop reading at
around 1,000 words, unless you’ve provided convincing evidence that you *need* the extra words to make your point.
3. Direct quotes from the book or handouts can be cited simply as (page number or handout name). If you choose to
use outside resources, please use a standard citation style (such as APA, MLA, or Chicago), and provide a full citation.
In general, no more than 15% of your paper should be quotes.
4. Please don’t use the words or ideas of others without proper attribution. Please see the syllabus for details on the
policy regarding plagiarism and academic integrity. I regularly use www.turnitin.com to check for plagiarism or
5. Since the goal of the exam is to demonstrate how well you understand the material, you should try to use your own
words/examples. Essays that simply reproduce the handouts will not receive good grades.
6. Please submit your exam as a SINGLE MS WORD file to the D2L assignment folder. Each essay should start on a
Answer THREE of the following questions. If you’ve already written on these topics (in discussion boards or essays for the
class), it’s fine to reuse what you wrote. However, I do expect that you will make an effort to revise and improve earlier work.
1. Pretend you are teaching the allegory of the cave to a group of 12-year-olds. Use simple, clear words and examples
they can relate to in order to explain both the structure of the allegory and “what it means.” In your explanation, be
sure to include each of the following parts: the shadows, the puppets, the fire, the objects in the world outside, and
2. In recent years, there have been a number of prominent political acts aimed at changing laws (see MLK handout for
some examples). Do a little research, and choose one particular political movement that interests you. Describe it in 12 paragraphs, making sure to say what law/policy was being challenged, and how those seeking to change the law
responded. Now, consider how MLK (in “Letter for Birmingham Jail”) and Plato (in “The Crito”) might evaluate it.
3. Carefully describe the Euthyphro dilemma (the dilemma that arises from claiming “Morally good actions are those
God loves”) in your own words. Then, explain what you think the best response is for theists (e.g., people who believe
4. Argue for a yes/no answer to the following claim: “Morality relative to culture.” Be sure to incorporate what you’ve
learned from James Rachels’ reading. I’d also encourage you to bring in real-life examples of what this might mean
(the review question on the handout has some sample issues).
5. Argue for a yes/no answer to the following claim: “Any rational person ought to be an egoist.” Be sure to incorporate
what you’ve learned from James Rachels’ reading. Again, use examples where appropriate.
6. Is lying always immoral? In your answer to this question, please explain and analyze Kant’s claims that lying is wrong
because it treats people as mere means and/or lying isn’t “universalizable.”
7. Use utilitarian ethics to evaluate a state or federal law/policy. Some ideas might include gun control laws, health care
reform, environmental protection, college funding, a decision to go to war, or whatever. (This may be require a little
outside research) In your answer, you should be sure to (a) explain what exactly utilitarianism is, and how utilitarians
approach these sorts of problems, (b) identify both benefits and costs of the policy/law in question.
a. Note: You don’t necessarily need to solve the problem here. Instead, you just want to show that you
understand how utilitarianism works.
8. In 2-3 paragraphs, explain the basic ideas of Aristotelian virtue ethics. Now, apply it to your own life: pick a moral
virtue you want to improve at, and explain how Aristotle might advise you to approach this.
9. Explain the argument of Lois Pineau’s “Date Rape” in a way that might be understandable to a high school freshmen.
Consider at least two questions the students might have, and provide answers to them.
Exam Grading Rubric
Each essay is worth TEN points, and the whole exam is worth 30 points. Your grade will depend on how well you do each of
1. How well are you able to explain the relevant course material? (Very important)
2. To what extent can you make an (evidence-based) argument for a thesis? (Very important)
3. To what extent do your paper’s structure (e.g. intro/body paragraphs/conclusion) and language (e.g. grammar,
style) make it easy for a reader to follow? (Important to the extent that they impact the two criteria above)
The grading criteria are as follows:
No answer submitted, or evidence of plagiarism.
Significantly below minimal requirements, in terms of content (e.g., doesn’t address the question
at all), or word count.
Fails to meet minimal requirements in terms of content (e.g., addresses a related question) or
word count. Essays that simply report what you “believe” or “feel,” without providing an
argument may receive this grade.
Meets minimal requirements in terms of both content (it clearly addresses the assigned question)
and word count. However, there may be some significant errors or omissions when it comes to
the explanation of relevant class material, or providing a detailed response to the question.
Fully meets both content and word count requirements, and provides satisfactory explanations
of relevant arguments and concepts from class. There are no major errors in argumentation or
Goes significantly above the minimal requirements. The essay’s treatment of course material
shows a full mastery of the relevant content, and provides a creative, well-thought out response
I will grade essays in the order they are submitted (first-come, first-serve). Grades go up in whole-number increments (there is
Tips on Writing Philosophy
Philosophy essays can be a bit different from other sorts of writing. Here are some general tips:
1. You should have an introduction that concisely introduces the topic, and a thesis sentence that clearly states your
position. Philosophy papers often begin with theses of the form “I will argue X because Y.”
2. When discussing tough ethical or philosophical issues, avoid phrases like “I feel,” “I think,” or “I believe.” Part
of taking these issues seriously involves granting that one’s actions and beliefs have consequences for other people,
and that (for this reason) they need to be defended with the sorts of arguments and reasons that these other people
could actually accept. For this reason, appeals to your own emotions, religious beliefs, etc. are generally (though not
3. Pretend you are writing to an intelligent and interested (but relatively ignorant) 12-year-old who doesn’t know
anything about the subject (rather than your philosophy professor). This means you’ll need to write clearly, explain
new concepts, and offer interesting, memorable examples. A significant portion of your grade will be based on your
ability to explain the arguments/concepts we’ve been studying using your own words and examples.
4. Your essay should have multiple paragraphs, each of which has a clear topic sentence that clearly relates back to your
thesis. When writing philosophy, it’s easy to get “off topic.” So, always ask yourself: is this paragraph helping me
provide evidence for my thesis? If the answer is “no,” it should be cut or revised.
5. You should always consider possible objections to your thesis. Ask yourself: “How would a smart, well-educated
opponent respond to my argument?” In some cases, this might be a real author who you can cite; in other cases, you’ll
have to play your own “devil’s advocate.”
6. The conclusion should help the reader appreciate the way your argument fits into the “big picture.” For example,
what exactly do you take yourself to have shown? How does this relate to similar cases? What might be the “next ste”
of this argument, if you had more time and space?
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