Human Sexuality a Person Essay

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The Babylonians saw their sexuality as a practice within their religion -- the "[Babylonian] impersonal provision of sex is conceived in terms of the promotion of nature's fecundity" (Shrage). Medieval French society regarded prostitutes as sought-after ladies, where they became "eligible for marriage, and were desired by men for wives" (Shrage). In a more current study, Shrage mentions a New Guinea tribe called the Etoro that practices a type of "breast-feeding" ritual -- where infants are fed semen for the children's nutritional benefit. Society today, however, would probably find all three acts highly abominable. Sexual activity and prostitution are frowned-upon in public context. It is evident within the words used by society itself to label men and women by relating them to their sexual activeness. A person is either a "homosexual, bisexual, whore, virgin, [and/or] pervert," among other derogatory insults with regards to the person's sexuality (Shrage). A person is no longer a person because he or she has been labeled something less; and here the person becomes an object. Thus high levels of sexuality are heavily frowned upon, to the point where anyone working in the pornographic industry becomes the "bad guy."Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Human Sexuality a Person Largely Assignment

This societal banishment of pornography, however, is not unreasonable. Sexual practices are a matter of significant cultural differences between societies, and Shrage points out that the views of "our" society do not match the views of those she mentioned. There is no respect lost after the French courtesans have left their natural "employments," because they are still treated as part of society; the Babylonians made sex impersonal due to the act of spiritual and religious faiths, of superstitions that far transcend the concrete (their bodies did not deter from their belief of soul and salvation); and the Etoro are confined to their traditional beliefs, that their children's rite of healthy passage is through insemination. What, then, are the ethical and moral reasoning that brought forth the industry of pornography? Where are the traditional beliefs, the ingrained roots of displaying the acts of sex so vividly imagined and portrayed?

It is in these sexual practices that we see the true objectification of individuals. Pornography is the "subordination of women…dehumanized as sexual objects, things or commodities"; it is the "distribution of power, about domination and subordination"; and it is a "form of hate speech/literature…[that] lies about or defames women" (Garry). Pornography is part of the major reason for the sexual views of society. This industry allows the acceptance of women as individuals who have no objections to being beaten, raped, and repeatedly subjected to sexual abuse. Men view them as sexual conquests, through their actions and their vocabulary. Women see themselves as merely sexual beings, pieces of meat to be had and paid for. Yet for what price can woman (or man) sell her (or his) body as an object for the merest amounts of degrading screen-time? Surely there is still the moral implication of respect that women deserve; "all woman are full-fledged people," and treating them as slabs of meat that can periodically be "pounded" goes against all of these beliefs (Garry).

Nussbaum dutifully lists the ways to "treat a person as a thing," and they all relate to the dehumanization of said person. Individuals become objects, and when people see them as such, then they are free to do as they will: to beat them like slaves, to maim and murder them like vermin, to repeatedly abuse them sexually through words or actions. Even moral and ethical grounds would have to concede to the matter that the process of objectifying a thinking being brings along the idea that the being is no longer a person.

Works Cited

Garry, Ann. "Sex, Lies, and Pornography." Ethics in Practice. 2nd Ed. H. LaFollette. Blackwell Publishing, 2002.

Nussbaum, Martha C. "Objectification." Philosophy and Public Affairs. Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 249-291. Blackwell Publishing, 1995.

Shrage, Laurie. "Should Feminists Oppose Prostitution?" [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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