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Social Brown Bag: What is Consent? Law vs. Moral Psychology

Roseanna Sommers, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Michigan
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
12:00-1:20 PM
4448 East Hall Map
Consent plays a pivotal role in many everyday moral judgments, yet little is known about public perception of consent. In this research, I examine people’s moral intuitions about whether consent has been granted under circumstances involving compromised autonomy. Results indicate that people largely regard cases involving deception as consensual, while they largely regard cases involving coercion or incapacitation as nonconsensual. I further show that people assign moral weight to consent obtained by deception: they view such consent as legitimating or justifying otherwise impermissible behavior. The "folk conception" of consent contradicts most prevailing philosophical and legal accounts of consent, which treat deception as consent-defeating. The lay theory, however, aligns with one highly controversial legal doctrine: the distinction between “fraud in the factum” and “fraud in the inducement.” While this common-law doctrine has been roundly criticized, it finds support in our intuitive moral psychology. Please note that this talk will discuss nonconsensual sex.
Building: East Hall
Event Type: Presentation
Tags: brown bag
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Psychology, Social Psychology