Philosophy of Sexuality

Philosophy of Sexuality

Philosophy of Sexuality

Philosophy of Sexuality

Synopsis

This text offers a broad range of topics relating to the philosophy of sexuality. These include: morality; adultery; sex and gender differences; romantic love; gender-based speech; marriage; family and parenthood; feminism; and others.

Excerpt

The term sexuality is used in the title of this book in preference to sex because it includes more than sex. It is not meant as a euphemism, but as a word that suggests a comprehensive aspect of life that is important throughout life. Social and psychological elements are as important as the biological in understanding what it is to be a male or female human being. Sexual acts and relationships are important parts of sexuality, but they have their richest meanings and bring their greatest rewards in terms of contexts far wider than the bedroom. This book does not minimize the importance or the joy of physical sex, but it seeks to understand it in the context of life in its totality.

I see as the major parts of a philosophy of sexuality the nature of sexuality and sexual ethics. Following a historical survey of the limited philosophical work on sexuality before this century, two chapters consider specifically the nature of sexuality. Chapter 2 stresses the need to understand sexuality in its social and psychological aspects, not just as a biological phenomenon. Not all psychological and social interpretations of sexuality are adequate, however; some are one-sided and incomplete. Difficulties in some social and psychological interpretations of sexuality are explored, along with recognition of what can be learned from these images of sexuality. Seeing sex in terms of manipulation, for example, does not do justice to all that sexuality can be in a person's life, but recognition of the element of manipulation in sex is part of a comprehensive view of sex. The concept of sexual relationships as a kind of communication is insightful, but the limitations of this image of sex are recognized. Although seeing sexuality as simply . . .

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