Date of publication: 2017-08-30 08:02
Egyptology student Caroline Seawright points us toward the rather lurid History Channel segment on the erotic papyrus above, which calls the pictures “full on pornography” and “one of the most shocking sets of images in the whole of antiquity.” Against a perception of ancient Egyptians as “buttoned-up and repressed,” the video, and Seawright, detail the ways in which the culture reveled in a stylized ritual sexuality quite different from our own limited mores.
Conceptual philosophy of sexuality is concerned to analyze and to clarify concepts that are central in this area of philosophy: sexual activity, sexual desire, sexual sensation, sexual perversion, and others. It also attempts to define less abstract concepts, such as prostitution, pornography, and I would like to illustrate the conceptual philosophy of sexuality by focusing on one particular concept, that of "sexual activity," and explore in what ways it is related to another central concept, that of "sexual pleasure." One lesson to be learned here is that conceptual philosophy of sexuality can be just as difficult and contentious as normative philosophy of sexuality, and that as a result firm conceptual conclusions are hard to come by.
In human history, the very concept of 'having' a 'sexuality' is modern, and is not universal across human cultures 67 . It results from the modern desire to catalogue and index human behaviours. There have been times and places where there was no sexuality: people had sexual encounters with other people, in different ways in different situations, and there simply was no worry about 'sexuality'. "The ways in which different cultures and different time periods have made sense of erotic pleasures and dangers vary widely", says the sociologist Veronique Mottier 68 .
8775 Throughout history, the standards society has set for the ideal body have varied greatly (especially those pertaining to the ideal female body). [.] In Renoir's time, beautiful women were overweight by today's standards. Even in the 6955s and 6965s, the feminine ideal was considerably heavier than it became in the 6975s, 6985s, and 6995s. [. A] large percentage of women [.] although of normal weight, perceive themselves as fat. [.] As society's negative attitude about fat became stronger, the prevalence of eating disorders increased. 8776
8775 Up to this point, wherever religious neurosis has appeared on earth we find it tied up with three dangerous dietary rules: isolation, fasting, and sexual abstinence. 8776
I would prefer to say that the couple who have lost sexual interest in each other, and who engage in routine sexual activities from which they derive no pleasure, are still performing a sexual act. But we are forbidden, by Gray's proposed analysis, from saying that they engage in nonmorally bad sexual activity, for on his view they have not engaged in any sexual activity at all. Rather, we could say at most that they tried to engage in sexual activity but failed to do so. It may be a sad fact about our sexual world that we can engage in sexual activity and not derive any or much pleasure from it, but that fact should not give us reason for refusing to call these unsatisfactory events "sexual."
A human foetus - like other animals, too - starts out with no particular gender. Although it (probably) has a set of chromosomes that determine genetic sex, the translation of these genes into physical reality is a complicated and tedious affair. % (more than one in a hundred) of us are intersexual 76 .
The body-image of a female, important to female psychology, is damaged and harmed by the prevalence of soft porn in popular culture. Where cultural options do provide more holistic and sensible depictions of women in film and elsewhere, these are rarely the forms chosen by the who become addicted to the simpler and more shallow women that the soft porn industry supplies us with.
Robert Gray is one philosopher who has taken up this line of ordinary thought and has argued that "sexual activity" should be analyzed in terms of the production of sexual pleasure. He asserts that "any activity might become a sexual activity" if sexual pleasure is derived from it, and "no activity is a sexual activity unless sexual pleasure is derived from it" ("Sex and Sexual Perversion," p. 66). Perhaps Gray is right, since we tend to think that holding hands is a sexual activity when sexual pleasure is produced by doing so, but otherwise holding hands is not very sexual. A handshake is normally not a sexual act, and usually does not yield sexual pleasure but two lovers caressing each other's fingers is both a sexual act and produces sexual pleasure for them.
Conservatives say that porn is unhealthy, damaging and causes crime, and misogyny. Liberals say that unnatural suppression of natural desires causes all those things. Feminists pour scorn strongly on the sexual objectification of women that occurs in porn and say the result is misogyny and deep sexual confusion of males and females. Clearly caution must be taken when evaluating such views, as the porn industry is large and old, and if such negative effects really were apparent, questions must be asked as to why society is not as broken as these ideas predict.
Television promotes an anti-human attitude and sexuality in Western culture. We have developed into a society where mass marketed media causes us to be biased towards overly thin women. This is bad for the self esteem of all normal sized girls, and causes an obsession with an appearance that is basically unhealthy and unnatural. The fitness and health of our bodies affects our mental health too. It does harm to our society. People yearn (for social reasons) for a body type that is unhealthy.
Ending employment discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity (The federal ENDA bill)
Title IX religious exemptions, religious colleges, and discrimination against the LGBT community
Studies and polls about transgender persons:
"Current research suggests that maintaining an active interest in sex and other aspects of life helps prevent the onset of senility and other problems in older individuals" 7