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Traditional View of Proper Sexual Conduct

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Part I

1. Is there a traditional conception pf proper sexual conduct in our society? What is it? Critically discuss arguments favoring this traditional view. Critically discuss on what grounds the tradition can be attacked?

In our society, a code of proper sexual conduct has been established. The code has been followed by many in the past and continues to be followed presently. The Traditional View of Proper Sexual Conduct is the most extreme conservative view on sexual behavior. From here on, it will be referred to as TVPSC. The origins of TVPSC come from Greek philosophy and religion.

The influence from Greek philosophy comes from Plato and Aristotle. Plato's view stems from the Doctrine of the Forms about what is real. According to this doctrine what is considered to be real must be eternal and unchanging. Aristotle's views come from the Doctrine of Causes, stating that everything must have one, primary purpose, all other purposes are deviant.

Religious influence comes from St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Augustine adopted Plato's philosophy and formed the Sins of the Flesh. The Sins of the Flesh explains that the world of the soul is more beneficial than pleasures of the flesh. This idea helps introduce the "body taboo". St. Thomas Aquinas adopted Aristotle's philosophy and formed Naive Sexual Functionalism. Naive Sexual Functionalism says that sex has only one functional purpose and that purpose is to procreate. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, other sexual acts are wrong because they are unnatural and irrational, meaning that they don't result in procreation.

Reproduction is a fundamental element of human interaction and society across the globe. Because of it's importance, many religions have felt a need to address proper sexual conduct in humans. The TVPSC emphasizes the idea that god created human sexuality for procreative purposes only, and all other acts are forbidden. These acts include homosexual relationships and foreplay, neither of which results in procreation.

The TVPSC set restrictions one who can have sex with whom and for what purpose. The people must be adults, heterosexual and married to each other. Marriage is a commitment to a lasting, stable relationship to build a family on. They must be virgins until marriage takes place. They must be faithful to each other. Sex only takes place at night, with the lights off at all times. Sex is shared in the marital bed assuming the traditional missionary position with the man on top of the woman, leaving little room for a view. There is no foreplay leading up to the sex, only penile vaginal penetration with ejaculation may occur. Modesty must be maintained by both parties. A man cannot marry above his class and the woman cannot marry below her class. The woman and man must be of the same ethnicity and religion. Because the purpose of sex is for procreation, no contraception is used and sex is performed only during childbearing years for the woman.

The TVPSC also sets the standard of traditional gender roles. These roles must be abided by at all times. Women must have long hair, while men must maintain short hair. The man must be taller and more intelligent than the woman as well. The woman must be younger than her husband. Women must assume the role as homemaker and caregiver for the family. If she does have a job it must be in the nursing or teaching profession, still abiding by the traditional, caring roles of women. The man must be the financial provider for the wife and family. The man always initiates sex, and the woman always accommodates without any enjoyment.

The TVPSC had a very prevalent impact on society during the 1950's. The 1950's was a time of enforcing strict gender roles and the ways to behave accordingly. Religion also continued to impact people greatly during this time. Many people abided by the TVPSC and did not question it. Questioning the TVPSC would be the same as questioning god, not just sex itself.

Arguments in favor of the TVPSC come from six categories: The Deistic Defense, Pro-Nature, Anti-Nature, Social Ends and Shared Morality, Personal Ends and Critical Morality. The Deistic Defense believes one should adhere to the TVPSC because what one does sexually is god's will. The Pro-Nature argument says that the TVPSC is man's natural state. It is his natural role to procreate. The Anti-Nature arguments says that humans are naturally sinners at our core and abiding by the TVPSC will save us from our evil ways and sins of the flesh. Arguments from Social Ends and Shared Morality state that abiding by the TVPSC is the most effective way to achieve the goals shred by a social group. Those goals are to get married, to procreate, maintaining family values through child rearing,

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