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Sex and Values: Spirituality, Religion, and sex - Research Paper Example

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Sex is a problem in most religions. The body has the motivation to engage in sex, but the mind is in conflict with this urge due to the development of beliefs about the morality of sexual contact. Animals do not have this urge to regulate the morality of sex…
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Sex and Values: Spirituality, Religion, and sex
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Download file to see previous pages They have sex under instinct, creating relationships like some animals such as wolves and eagles that mate for life or others who have sex indiscriminately for the purpose of procreation. Human beings, however, are the only creatures that are known to apply the concept of morality to sexual contact. The concept of belief lies outside the scope of natural instinct, but human beings apply morality and belief in ways that are not imaginable to other creatures. The mind of the human being is far more complex, which has left human beings vulnerable to their own imaginings, developing constructions of the world in which morality places restrictions in ways that no other animal endures. Sexual intercourse is a means through which procreation occurs. The desire and pleasure that accompanies the idea of the sexual experience is in conflict with the asceticism with which most religions place morality and values into the sexuality of human existence. However, it is through these beliefs that control was placed on procreation, creating structures through which human beings developed patterns of creating progeny. Patriarchal systems came into play so that males could own the procreative powers of women. Women were bought and sold because of their value as procreating vessels. The system became viable because in the past the value of procreation was based on the knowledge of who had fathered a child. One of the first places to have the discussion about the psychology of belief as it relates to controls that come from assigned values and religious construction is within philosophy. Thomas Aquinas discusses the teleological value of the parts of the human body. It was his use of Aristotelian teleological ethics through which he came up with a number of consequences that are related to the telos of genitalia. This breaks down to the following: contraception is against the natural purpose of sex, masturbation is a misuse of the genitalia as it is outside of the scope of its purpose, homosexuality is evil because it uses the genitalia for a purpose that cannot result in procreation, and sex cannot be engaged in for the purpose of expressing an emotion because this is not the purpose for which genitalia were created (Vardy, 1998). Aquinas took the natural use of sex organs and placed them into an ethical framework which extracted the unique properties of human sexuality from the biological purpose. The fascinating problem with these assumptions is that it controverts the nature of human sexuality as nature designed it to exist. It would seem a simple process in which the reward for seeking to procreate is pleasure, and that seeking that pleasure is a natural occurrence. However, psychological approaches to sexuality show that it may not be quite that simple. There are two basic approaches to sexuality that should be discussed before looking at the problem of religion as it applies to sexual activity. The first approach is through the social construction of reality. This approach suggests that sexuality is constructed through the rituals that are applied to sexual behavior as well as the language that is used to define it. Baumeister (2008) writes that “Applied to sex, this approach has emphasized that sexuality is largely something that is learned and shaped by culture, socialization, and situational influences” (p. 2). This approach uses the idea that there are differences in sexual practices in different cultures, thus it is a constructed rather than an instinctual act which has exploded importance in human life due to the way in which language and social behaviors have emphasized its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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