The Changing Concepts of Sex, Love and Family

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The changing concepts of sex,
love and family

Love, sexuality and family are three interrelated concepts that have had dramatic changes over the millennia. From the bestial, yet necessary act of sexual intercourse, through the complicated and often not understood feeling of love we end up with the smallest social unit that comprises society – the family. The interpretations of love, sex and the structure of family have always varied through the centuries, but no matter how, they have always remained as a foundation in the human life. The strongest binding force to ever connect the living species, including humans, is love. Love, whether romantic or just the necessity for another being, is at the basis of human nature and the way he interacts with others. There are many manifestations of love. Aristotle describes all love as philia which also includes friendship and affection. Nevertheless, there is no concrete definition of love, besides that it is a complex pattern of attention, perception, evaluation and feeling. There is a difference between love out of our own concord or out of duty. A mother could love her baby by default or because she chooses to. However, duty is the natural care for one’s well being. Hence, love is devoid of any such care, and is in fact the emotional attitude towards that person. In all forms of love one loves another for his own sake. The only distinction is the reason why the other is loved. According to Aristotle, one seeks himself in a friend; he looks for his “mirror of the soul”. According to Nakhnikian, such love is not true because by loving the other’s similarities, he, in fact, loves himself. One is simply using the other as an instrument for the love of himself. True love should not expect returns and has no requirements. I concur with Nakhnikian in that love should be selfless, because that is when the one uses it as an end as Kant would say. If one could benefit from that love, he is using it and therefore the person...
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