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Rethinking the Reasonable PersonAn Egalitarian Reconstruction of the Objective Standard$
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Mayo Moran

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247820

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247820.001.0001

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Culpability and the Objective Standard: The Sexual Assault Debate

Culpability and the Objective Standard: The Sexual Assault Debate

(p.232) 7 Culpability and the Objective Standard: The Sexual Assault Debate
Rethinking the Reasonable Person

Mayo Moran

Oxford University Press

The feminist debate on objective standard for the reasonable person may seem perplexing. On one hand, the use of objective reasonableness standards in cases like self-defence and provocation gives rise to serious equality concerns. In contexts like provocation and self-defence, some feminists have advocated abandonment of such standards in favour of more subjectivised measures. However, the recent history of provocation where these arguments seem to have held some sway casts doubt on the desirability of such a response on equality grounds. And feminist critiques in the field of sexual assault put into yet sharper relief the dangers of such a solution. This chapter looks at the concepts of objectivity and culpability of inadvertence in the sexual assault debate, along with three theoretical accounts of culpable inadvertence: the avoidability-based account, the customary account, and the indifference account.

Keywords:   culpability, inadvertence, objective standard, sexual assault, self-defence, equality, avoidability, indifference, objectivity, feminism

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