Policy Watch Seminar: Robert S. Taylor

Religious Conservatives and Safe Sex

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May 30, 2012
from 12:10 PM to 01:00 PM


273 Social Sciences and Humanities

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Religious conservatives have frequently opposed public-health measures designed to combat sexually-transmitted diseases among minors, including sex education, condom distribution, and HPV vaccination. In this paper, I hope to clear up what I take to be a misunderstanding on the part of religious conservatives: even if we grant their premises about the nature and source of sexual norms, the wide-ranging authority of parents to enforce these norms against their minor children, as well as the potential sexual-disinhibition effect of the above public-health measures, their opposition to these measures cannot be justified. In fact, their belief system, properly interpreted, should lead them to back such measures and thereby reach a broad policy consensus with others regarding teenage sexual health.

R_TaylorRobert S. Taylor is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Davis. He specializes in analytic political philosophy and the history of liberal political thought. He has recently published a book entitled Reconstructing Rawls: The Kantian Foundations of Justice as Fairness and has written many articles on Kant, Mill, Rawls, autonomy, and self-ownership.

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Institute of Governmental Affairs

University of California, Davis
360 Shields Library
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616


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