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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses sex and the beginning of sexual activity. It develops a theory of virtue and virtue ethics which focuses more on the character of the sexual agent than on the acts the agent does. A virtuous character learned in a community of origin, it is argued, will impel a person to acts of sexual virtue and avoidance of acts of sexual vice. Three virtues are advanced as primary for virtuous sexual activity: love, justice, and chastity. Also considered is the relationship between the phenomenon of cohabitation and marriage, and nuptial cohabitation, that which is premised on the commitment to marry, is presented as a first step on a journey that will eventually end in the cohabiting couple’s marriage. The chapter concludes by proposing for cohabiting couples a period of ritual betrothal sanctioned and guaranteed by the community in which they are expected to learn virtue.

Keywords: betrothal, character, chastity, cohabitation, justice, love, sexual activity, virtue, virtue ethics

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