Philosophy of Sexuality

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Jedda
Words 9578
Pages 39
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy - http://www.iep.utm.edu
Philosophy of Sexuality
Among the many topics explored by the philosophy of sexuality are procreation, contraception, celibacy, marriage, adultery, casual sex, flirting, prostitution, homosexuality, masturbation, seduction, rape, sexual harassment, sadomasochism, pornography, bestiality, and pedophilia. What do all these things have in common? All are related in various ways to the vast domain of human sexuality. That is, they are related, on the one hand, to the human desires and activities that involve the search for and attainment of sexual pleasure or satisfaction and, on the other hand, to the human desires and activities that involve the creation of new human beings. For it is a natural feature of human beings that certain sorts of behaviors and certain bodily organs are and can be employed either for pleasure or for reproduction, or for both.
The philosophy of sexuality explores these topics both conceptually and normatively. Conceptual analysis is carried out in the philosophy of sexuality in order to clarify the fundamental notions of sexual desire and sexual activity. Conceptual analysis is also carried out in attempting to arrive at satisfactory definitions of adultery, prostitution, rape, pornography, and so forth. Conceptual analysis (for example: what are the distinctive features of a desire that make it sexual desire instead of something else? In what ways does seduction differ from nonviolent rape?) is often difficult and seemingly picky, but proves rewarding in unanticipated and surprising ways.
Normative philosophy of sexuality inquires about the value of sexual activity and sexual pleasure and of the various forms they take. Thus the philosophy of sexuality is concerned with the perennial questions of sexual morality and constitutes a large branch of applied ethics. Normative…...

Similar Documents

Sexuality

...Sexuality over the years has been a very debatable topic and has lead many to different understanding based on their own ideologies as it relates to gender and sexuality. These beliefs have shaped our society as to the appropriateness of sexual behavior as it relates to masculinity and femininity. First let us look at the how sexuality was viewed in ancient times. “The origins of sexual orientation have long since been a question that scientists and psychologists have longed to find an answer. While there has recently been more and more reliable and unbiased studies done in past and present years, there are still no conclusive answers as to what makes a person hetero- or homo- sexual. Many theories have been and still are being developed on what causes different sexual orientations. They range from the way the child is brought up within his family, from inheriting specific genes, hormonal imbalances, brain “mis-wirings” and other environmental factors. Familial and environmental influence tends to be one of the most supported and believed theories of the causation of sexual orientation. Many researchers and other psychological professionals believe that whether a person becomes heterosexual or homosexual is determined and greatly influenced by the type of environment they have experienced as a child. For example twin studies have shown that “52% of the MZ co-twins of male homosexual twins were also homosexual or bisexual. For DZ male twins, this fell to 22%” (“Genetics &......

Words: 1976 - Pages: 8

Sexuality

...woman advice about “reproduction or production” and how this has affected the economic marketplace. She argues that this advice has always been given for male advantage and not for women’s needs. Another argument that she has is concerning another book written by Barry, Daly, Griffin et al. how men and woman have “collaborated to keep history mad”. She mentions that this book ignores woman, who have resisted oppression and have had struggles not to participate in “sexual arrangement”. She also mentions that “woman in every culture have undertaken the task of independence”, and for authors to say that men have shown us “self-creative humanness”, goes completely against woman who died resisting male oppression. Their argument about sexuality? Also, how the neglect of lesbianism is shown in a lot writings, including from feminist. Something else that the Author argues is how writings can marginalize lesbian’s existence as something less “natural” or as “mirror image of heterosexual relations”. The author states that many believe lesbianism exist because men have oppressed women. She suggests that heterosexuality should be studied in a political institutionalized perspective....

Words: 301 - Pages: 2

Sexuality Research

...Sexuality Research Paper Introduction: The question of sexuality is on that needs that needs thorough analysis in order to determine the implication brought about by the depiction of sex and sexuality through the use of print media. The depiction of human sexuality can be separated into two parts, male and female sexuality. These two forms vary according to the differences in the gender of the persons involved. Objective: The main objective of this paper is to study, keenly, the research methods used in two literatures, and to provide an analysis of the literatures on sexual imagery. The two literatures were compiled by different people to show how various forms of male and female sexuality are constructed in different publications. The two articles are similar because they both talk about the depiction of women in various forms of print advertisements especially in magazines. However, as Sexuality focuses mostly on the sexuality and people’s view of sex, as well as, their feelings and preferences in sex, The European Journal of Marketing, focuses mostly on the picture of women that is painted representing women as either sexual objects or feminine sexual goddesses. The European Journal of Marketing also focuses on the position of women and their sex roles in the community. In the article, the various sex roles that women play have been reviewed. It has also compared the power of women, in sex, over men, and that of men over women as well. *Fravid and Braun (2006)......

Words: 1636 - Pages: 7

Sexuality and Culture

...Sexuality and Culture Sexuality pervades various aspects of human life and culture. While most other members of the animal kingdom confine the object of sexuality to mere reproduction, humans go up to a higher level. This sets them apart from the animal kingdom. This makes human to be the highest form of nature. Sexuality is judged by practical standards. Among humans, it is not considered a weakness. Rather it is considered a most beautiful adaptive trait. While other animals have conditions for mating, like being able to mate once or twice a year only, humans on the other hand are incredibly adaptable in their mating rituals. Such cultural adaptation is indeed very typical for humans. This brings us to realize that the very essence of culture is dependent on our sense of self. As evolved organisms, humans are driven to reproduce. The drive is not merely a reaction to the environment. Rather, it is human instinct. Without sex or reproduction, the very essential presence of society, culture, art and would be non-existent for through reproduction, procreation takes place. Indeed, it is important that we understand its true meaning and why it is a part of the society. Awareness of one’s personal actions can attribute on how well a person can accept and truly understand sexuality and his culture, Understanding is always the key in accepting things that are difficult to perceive and understand. Sexuality and a person’s culture must be understood to better live a life......

Words: 373 - Pages: 2

Sexuality

...laws for women’s right to legal access to contraceptive info/devices World War II Post war back to traditional roles Baby boom began because all men were coming back from the war Televisions became a “must have” Development of penicillin to cure STI’s There was a different outlook on the war for men to have something to be excited about after war 1950’s -1970’s Alfred Kinsey published book about male and female sexuality 1960: FDA approved distribution of Enovid (1st oral contraceptive) Men are volunteering vasectomies 1973: Roe vs. Wade – abortion is legal Homosexuality no longer labeled a mental disorder 1980’s First AIDS diagnosis LGBTQ first male-male romantic kiss More Internet available for pornography and cybersex HPV vaccine 1988 Viagra approved and available In what ways are the views of sexually in the United States the same from the early 1900’s to today? How are they different? What/who are the key influences responsible for any changes in views about sexuality? What is your opinion regarding the state of sexuality in the United States today? Vulva: includes the mons pubis. Clitoris, labia majora and labia minora * Often incorrectly referred to as the “vagina” Mons pubis (pubic mound) * Pad of fatty tissue, 6 inches below naval Clitoris: center of sexual arousal -Glans clitoris= the tip - Clitoral hood = covers glans when it’s not engorged -Crura = 2 internal branches holding 2 corpora cavernosa Labia Majora: 2......

Words: 659 - Pages: 3

Sexuality

...Catholic teachings on sexual morality draw from what the Church considers to be natural law, sacred scripture and sacred tradition and are promulgated authoritatively by the Magisterium. Sexual morality evaluates sexual behavior according to Catholic standards of morality, and often provides general principles by which Catholics are able to evaluate whether specific actions meet these standards. Much of the Church's detailed doctrines derive from the principle that "sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive [between spouses] purposes".[1] The Catholic Church teaches that human life and human sexuality are inseparable.[2] Because Catholics believe God created human beings in his own image and likeness and that he found everything he created to be "very good,"[3] the Catholic Church teaches that human body and sex must likewise be good. The Church considers the expression of love between husband and wife to be an elevated form of human activity, joining as it does, husband and wife in complete mutual self-giving, and opening their relationship to new life. “The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, ‘noble and worthy.’”[4] In cases in which sexual expression is sought outside sacramental marriage, or in which the procreative function of sexual expression within marriage is......

Words: 365 - Pages: 2

History of Sexuality

...and unmistakably re-repressed" (Davis 3). Supreme Court judgment and actions taken by Congress with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy exemplify theories of sexuality and power expressed in the philosophies of Michel Foucault. Foucault was a French-born philosopher historian. He examined social institutions such as medicine, psychiatry, the prison system, and the human sciences in general. Specifically he focused on how these institutions relate to power interactions. For a time he was associated with structuralism, which is an intellectual movement in which the culture of humanity is semiotically analyzed. However he distanced himself from the structuralism movement after the 60s. He wrote on a wide array of topics from knowledge to power and discourse. He considered himself "Nietzschean" (Fox 169). In viewing his own system of philosophy this way, he rejected the postmodernist label attributed to him. In fact, he held that his work was in line with the modernity of the philosophies of Kant. In The History of Sexuality Foucault examined the role of sex and gender in power relations. This three volume series was published in 1984. In the first volume, Foucault explores the functioning of sexuality as a way to analyze the relationship between power and the science of sexuality. Foucault's History defined sexuality as "the set of effects produced in bodies, behaviors, and social relations by a certain deployment" of "a complex political technology" (127). As......

Words: 3620 - Pages: 15

Sexuality

...Sexuality Christine Y. Liberty University Intimacy The Webster-Merriam dictionary defines intimacy as “an intimate quality or state: such as emotional warmth and closeness; sexual relations; or something that is very personal and private” (Webster, 1993). Lori Gordon (2004) in her article Intimacy: The Art of Relationship writes that intimacy should involve emotional and physical closeness. When most people think about intimacy they probably think about sex but intimacy is a much deeper connection than sex. Intimacy is more of an emotional and spiritual connection as well as a physical connection. From the moment we are born we seek for a connection, a feeling of warmth from another individual “positive bonding is important from the cradle to the grave” (Balswick & Balswick, 2008). Intimacy whether sexual or non-sexual is established through a sense of “knowing” another individual, this happens through means of honest and deep communication. Christians seek a deeper connection with God through communication, they seek to feel intimate with God, to be known by their Heavenly Father; Psalms 139:23 says “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts” there is deep desire in us to be known and sought even from the One who created us. Friendships are an intimate relationship; friendships were individuals feel comfortable to talk about their inner feelings and thoughts without the fear of being judged or without guilt and shame.......

Words: 1929 - Pages: 8

Sexuality and Ethics

...Philosophy of Sexuality The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy - http://www.iep.utm.edu Philosophy of Sexuality Among the many topics explored by the philosophy of sexuality are procreation, contraception, celibacy, marriage, adultery, casual sex, flirting, prostitution, homosexuality, masturbation, seduction, rape, sexual harassment, sadomasochism, pornography, bestiality, and pedophilia. What do all these things have in common? All are related in various ways to the vast domain of human sexuality. That is, they are related, on the one hand, to the human desires and activities that involve the search for and attainment of sexual pleasure or satisfaction and, on the other hand, to the human desires and activities that involve the creation of new human beings. For it is a natural feature of human beings that certain sorts of behaviors and certain bodily organs are and can be employed either for pleasure or for reproduction, or for both. The philosophy of sexuality explores these topics both conceptually and normatively. Conceptual analysis is carried out in the philosophy of sexuality in order to clarify the fundamental notions of sexual desire and sexual activity. Conceptual analysis is also carried out in attempting to arrive at satisfactory definitions of adultery, prostitution, rape, pornography, and so forth. Conceptual analysis (for example: what are the distinctive features of a desire that make it sexual desire instead of something else? In what ways does......

Words: 306 - Pages: 2

Sexuality

...Sexuality Amber Sparks Everest University Sexuality 1.) Describe the major theories of sexuality as described in the text. Passion This is an emotional state of mind distinguished by intense physical stimulation, for example increased blood pressure and heart rate. Commitment “The third ingredient is decision and commitment. Sternberg observed that when many people speak of love, they refer more to a conscious decision than to a feeling state. Emotions come and go, but commitments based on decisions remain constant unless they are deliberately revoked” (Baumeister & Bushman, 2014). Intimacy “The second ingredient in Sternberg’s scheme is intimacy. Intimacy, in his view, is the common core of all love relationships. It refers to feeling close to the other person” (Baumeister & Bushman, 2014). This is a shared understanding, emotional closeness, and joint concern for each other’s happiness and wellbeing. 2.) Which do you believe is most valid? Explain why. Passion I do find that the definition of Passion is valid because I have felt this emotion many times. It’s like when kissing someone or having sex with someone you have lusted after or loved for a long time you get an increased heart rate and butterflies in the stomach. In my opinion, passion is something that can be found is new relationships (but does fade over time) or between those who simply need to satisfy a primal urge. I wouldn’t say this emotion is typically found in......

Words: 693 - Pages: 3

Theology of Sexuality

...Theology of Sexuality Liberty University   Abstract It sells in advertising, it one of the major draws in movies and TV dramas, it is characterized in almost every sense of living in today’s society; the it that is mostly third party spoken of is sex and sexuality. In the Christian faith, the issue of sex and sexuality is normally an abrupt address with little understanding but with many standards of do’s and don’ts. The Bible is not really discreet in the explanation of sex and sexuality as the spokespeople that speak on this subject. Sex is a topic that really matters in this society. It defines the young generation in their dress, it drives the middle age in their outlook, and it now has the elderly generation seeking medical advances to keep it going longer. How can there be an avoidance of such a topic. This paper seeks to explore the theology of sexuality by using support by biblical and theological hermeneutics, as well as ethical or normative stances on the major role that sex and sexuality play in both the person as an individual and in the institution of marriage. Keywords: sex, sexuality, theology, Bible   Theology of Sexuality One of the most private and intimate encounters in our society is sex and the display of its affection and passion. When sex or sexuality is spoken of it is normally done within the confines of the two people that are planning to engage or a group of people who have assembled with knowledge of the content of the subject that......

Words: 2987 - Pages: 12

Human Sexuality

...is the motto for the Advocates for Youth organization that has been the basis for France, Germany, and Netherlands’ philosophy on sexual health. Creating an open, safe, and informative environment has made it easier for people of all ages to feel comfortable dealing with and discussing their sexuality, as well as having sensible and realistic government policies results in overall better results when comparing teens across the Atlantic Ocean. The older generations have a responsibility to give the tools youths need to prepare them the responsibility that comes with sexuality. The younger generations have a right to know. Statistically, the United States falls behind in it’s sex education for teens, such as preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and giving more available and socially acceptable contraceptives. The rate is close to five times over the Netherlands and four to France and Germany. When it comes to teen birth rate, the United States is over seven times that of the Netherlands, and still towers over France and Germany by four to five times that. The United States’ abortion rate is two to three times that of the Netherlands and Germany. There is no secret to why the three European countries have better sexual health results than the United States (National). It’s because of their efforts to promote the idea that sexuality is a very natural part of what being a human is, and there are ways to explore it while staying safe and......

Words: 1667 - Pages: 7

Philosophy

...Assignment 1: Application of the Normative Ethical Theories * 15% of your final mark * Length: 1000 ±100 words * Submit after completing Units 1 & 2 (approximately 5 weeks into the course, according to the recommended schedule). 1. Choose ONE of the cases that appear in Units 1 & 2 of the Philosophy 333 Study Guide except Case 2. 1. However, please refer to the discussion regarding Case 2.1 in Unit 2, under the heading “Applying Normative Theories to a Moral Situation”, as an example of how to apply moral theories to a case. 2. Clearly state a professional ethics issue that pertains to the case. It is recommended that you state your issue in question form. 3. Choose TWO out of the five moral theories studied in Unit 2, but only one version of Utilitarian theory at most (e.g. not both Act and Rule Utilitarianism). 4. In essay-form[1], and in one document, apply each of the two theories to the case, focusing on your stated issue, by doing the following: a. For each theory, provide an explanation of the theories basic approach to moral evaluation and decision making. b. Ethically analyze your stated issue using each of the two theories. The idea here is to adopt the strategy of each of the theories to present what you think is a reasonable and balanced ethical analysis of your issue. In doing so, your aims are (i) to show that you understand how the theories work and (ii) to show that you can use them to express the ethical......

Words: 10819 - Pages: 44

Sexuality

...As teens face social pressures that include sexuality, and a changing , perspective on relationships, their strong social network and the guidance of familial alliances are powerful relationships that mitigate stress during this time. During adolescence, young people go through many changes as they move from childhood into physical maturity. Early, prepubescent changes occur when the secondary sexual characteristics appear. The child starts to develop physically starting as early as 10 years of age and as old as 15 years in age. Most adolescent romantic relationships do not last long (most teens are still forming their identities), first romances are practice for more mature bonds in adulthood. In fact, warm and caring romantic relationships in the teen years tend to lead to satisfying, committed relationships in early adulthood (Berk, 2005). During the teenage years sexual impulses are at their strongest (Berger, 2008). Changes in behavior occur, contrasting the childhood dislike of the opposite sex. Relationships begin to accommodate commonality and companionship, rather than sexual desire (Berger, 2008). During this period a teenager begins to explore sexuality and may begin relationships with the opposite sex. When the adolescent starts dating, balanced emotional support at home and with friends is essential (Berger, 2008). Peer support assists in the balance of emotions while they experience the positive and negative effects of teenage romance. Even though most......

Words: 419 - Pages: 2

Sex and Sexuality

...Michelle V Philosophy and Feminism Paper 2 Sex, sexually, and sexuality are terms with many meanings and many nuances. Different groups of people may view sexuality in different ways, and oftentimes do, creating even more of a varied definition to these terms. Robert Nozick, in Sexuality, tries to set up a well-developed definition and overall perspective of sexual activity. However, Nozick doesn’t take into account all of the variables involved in something so broadly practiced, yet also vary particular in nature to a person or a person’s desires. Before discussing Nozick’s shortcomings, an in depth look at his overall standpoint seems to be in order. Nozick believes that “the most intense way we relate to another person is sexually” (272). “Only in sex,” Nozick says, “is such an intense excitement shared with the object and cause of it” (272). The interactions of the partners are part of what makes sexual activity so ground-breaking to Nozick. He discusses the role of trust, which is of vital importance. He point out that only in a trusting interaction can one show their own sexual desires and vulnerabilities. Nozick also believes that sexuality is good for a person in the sense that, “it is not only the other person who is known more deeply in sex. One knows one’s own self better in experiencing what it is capable of: passion, love, aggression, vulnerability, domination, playfulness, infantile pleasure, joy. The depth of relaxing afterward is a measure of the......

Words: 1685 - Pages: 7