On the Essence of Sexual Offense, from the View of Prejudice-Emotion and Autonomy
Since the civilization began, the sexual offenses came to the world, and have always caught our attention and brought about our emotion. It’s for sure that the sexual offenses should be stopped, but the fact is that we always have problems when dealing with specific cases which involve grey areas that make a perfect judgment impossible. Therefore, the scholar discussion has never got down after it rose. It seems that, from the view of regulation and practice, the society has certain images in mind for sexual offenses, and these images could be considered a sort of prejudice because they do not always have scientific basis. Notwithstanding, could it be possible that the popular images have something as the essence of sexual offenses we’ve never noticed or recognized? From the interview we discover that the essential harm for the sexual offense victim is the feeling of fear, disgust and shame, which is caused by behaviors connected with “sex”, and compared the customary term “sexual autonomy”, these feelings tell more about what kind of harm the sexual offenses really impose on the victims. However, the grey areas are still not clear yet. If we can all accept the fact that the feelings are actually not more than emotions, and the emotions are definitely subjective, how can we convict a crime solely depending on them? If so, the intimacy between people could fall in total uncertainty. To solve this problem, we need the concept of “valid consent” to decide whether the behavior constitute a crime, and the concept of “power” to examine the validity of consent. However, power exists in all the human relationships, and with its dynamic relationship with the strength of autonomy, the validity of consent got more sophisticated. In spite of that, we still give a simple conclusion, that is: the validity of consent depends on whether the victim was aware of that he will regret his decision. The essential harm of sexual offense and the judgment of the validity of consent mentioned above are not only the issues to be coped with in this thesis, but are also the cores in scholar discussion of sexual offense. How to put these ideas in practice is another question, but at least they could be the foundation of communication. Keywords: Sexual Offense, Prejudice, Essence, Emotion, Fear, Disgust, Shame, Consent, Power, Autonomy.
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