Philosophy of Love and Sex
|TAMUCC||Philosophy of Love and Sex||Don Berkich|
|Philosophy||Daily Page for 06-26-12||Assignment|
Though we may sometimes speak as though sexual activity is most pleasurable between friends, we do not teach each other to treat our sexual partners as friends. Middle-class children, whom I take to be our cultural models, are instructed from the earliest possible time to ignore their sexual feelings. Long before intercourse can be a central issue, when children are prepubescent, boys are instructed to lunge for a kiss and girls are instructed to permit nothing more than a peck on the cheek. This encouragement of miniature adult sexual behavior is instructive on several levels.It teaches the child that courting behavior is rarely spontaneous and rarely something which gives pleasure to the people involved-that is, it is not like typical playing with friends. It gives the child a glimpse of how adults do behave, or are expected to behave, and therefore of what is expected in future life and social interactions. Importantly, boys are instructed not to be attentive to the claims of girls with respect to their desires and needs. And girls are instructed not to consult their feelings as a means of or at least a check on what behavior they should engage in.Every American girl, be she philosopher-to-be or not, is well acquainted with the slippery-slope argument by the time she is ten. She is told that if she permits herself to become involved in anything more than a peck on the cheek, anything but the most innocent type of sexual behavior, she will inevitably become involved in behavior that will result in intercourse and pregnancy. And such behavior is wrong. That is, she is told that if she acquiesces to any degree to her feelings, then she will be doing something immoral.Meanwhile, every American boy is instructed, whether explicitly or not, that the girls have been given this argument (as a weapon) and that therefore, since everything that a girl says will be a reflection of this argument (and not of her feelings), they are to ignore everything that she says. Girls are told never to consult their feelings (they can only induce them to the edge of the slippery slope); they are always to say "no." Boys are told that it is a sign of their growing manhood to be able to get a girl way beyond the edge of the slope, and that it is standard procedure for girls to say "no" independently of their feelings. Thus, reasonably enough, boys act as far as one can tell independently of the explicit information they are currently receiving from the girl.
Foa's article was published in 1977. Is Foa's assertion that western society adopts the Rape Model of Sex true today? If so, what should be done to change it? If not, what has changed since 1977? Regardless, given our discussions on these topics, is there, in light of all we've studied this semester, a defensible model of sex that should be taught to girls and boys? If so, how do you justify it? If not, why not? Please answer these questions in no more than two pages.