Contemporary Sexual Ethics

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Contemporary Sexual Ethics

Contemporary sexual ethics drastically oppose norms that have been established since the foundation of our country. If a scientist studying animal forms and behavior is asked what sex is for in the life of animals he will answer that it clearly exists for the purposes of reproduction. The built-in focus of sex as a natural activity is outside the individuals who do it. That is why sex is the most important thing in social life of animals. Human beings are definitely animals, but we are more complicated than other animals. Humans understand the meanings of their actions and give them meaning of depth; other animals are incapable of realizing that. The central significance of sex in human life is similar to its significance in the life of other animals. The facts about sexual differentiation show that it exists for reproduction only. Such differentiation is required for neither sexual pleasure nor for sex understood purely as a means of expressing affection. Luke Gormally says, “The connection between human sexual activity and having children is not one we invent; fertilization is a natural step of normal intercourse. Unless we deliberately make our sexual activity non-generative, either by doing something beforehand, or by doing something afterwards” (Gormally, “Contraception and Catholic Ethics“).

In the late 1940s and early 1950s when researcher Alfred Kinsey published his research on American’s sex lives, he was bitterly attacked from all sides. Now 58 years later, American attitudes have softened and research on sexual habits has continued. For the first time in history, a scientific nationwide

survey reveals what really happens in America’s bedrooms. The survey, Sex in America, designed by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, asked 3,432 questions about the romance that exists in stable relationships, the sex lives of singles, the amount of sex that is forced on women, and the likely size of the gay population. Most American’s have sexual intercourse six or seven times a month versus 50 years ago when people had sexual intercourse twice a month, if at all. Being a homosexual is slowly becoming more socially accepting. The survey found that just 2.8 percent of men and 1.4 percent of women say they are gay. When the question is broader, 10.1 percent of men And 8.6 percent of women either identify themselves as gay, say they have had a sexual experience with someone of the same gender or claim to be physically attracted to the same sex. Based on what was learned in the survey, there will not be a widespread breakout of AIDS in the heterosexual population. The survey also shows just how strongly societies “bedroom rules” affect bedroom behavior. Not only does society constrain what we do and with whom we do it, but social dictates affect what we think about and find arousing. The survey authors say, “American’s sex lives, in large part, follow social scripts that influence everything from, what is happening when potential sex partners encounter each other casually, to what they find alluring in each other, and to their reactions to the impulses those encounter stir. For example, when males listen to the story of a woman entering a room, removing her clothes, a man entering the room and various activities occurring, they will often

be sexually aroused if the man is her boyfriend. But the same script will not arouse them if the man is her doctor” (Schrof 2) When instances of rape are not included, research in the survey suggests that men actually engage in unwanted sex more than women.

Clinicians say that men complain about their inability to control the timing of ejaculation, and both sexes report problems with desire. Twenty years ago, people with those kinds of problems were automatically assumed to have mental problems. “Today the pendulum has shifted to the other extreme, where everything from timing of ejaculation to...
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