Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 247–269 | Cite as

Adult-Child Sex and the Demands of Virtuous Sexual Morality

  • Agustin Malón
Original Paper


This article is the continuation of a previous analysis of the usual arguments—lack of consent, exploitation and harm—used to evaluate sexual experiences between adults and children from general moral principles. It has been suggested that those arguments were insufficient to condemn all adult-child sexual experiences, and that it would be of interest to study others that come from a specific sexual morality based on a more complex and transcendent conception of human eroticism and sexual conduct. This paper develops three different arguments against adult-child sex from this perspective, a view which, while not rejecting the Kantian and utilitarian approaches, complements and transforms them with a virtue ethic that questions not only the permissibility of certain acts but also their moral desirability under this frame of reference. This helps us to clarify the scientific discourse on adult-child sex and directs us to the importance of attending to the educational dimension of this moral problem.


Children Sexual abuse Sexual morality Pedophilia Sexual consent Sex education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Human Sciences and EducationUniversity of ZaragozaHuescaSpain

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