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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

The Big Q Blog

Sleeping Around

Is there anything inherently wrong with having multiple partners?

It was halfway through Mike's senior year. His grades were up. His friends were close. He was particularly involved in both the skiing and triathlon clubs. However, he recently got into a discussion with his friend Jason that continued to bother him.

Because Mike was both outgoing and good looking, there were a lot of girls interested him. Although he didn’t want any kind of relationship with them—and he told this fact to every one he started to become intimate with—he enjoyed fooling around with a lot of them. Sex was fun for Mike, and as long as he was safe about it, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with the number of partners he had.

His friend, however, disagreed. After calling Mike a man-whore, Jason said, "Isn't sex supposed to be more than just sleeping with any girl who shows an interest in you? And what about the girl's feelings? Shouldn't they be considered?"

Where do you stand on this issue and why? Would you feel any different if Mike were Michelle?

Here are some resources:

A Framework for Ethical Decision Making

Casual Sex in College

No Hooking Up, No Sex for Some Coeds

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