Sex-negativity


Sex-negativity

Sex-negativity is a term ascribed to the philosophy that attaches a negative or conservative meaning to the human sexual act. Its opposite is sex-positivity.

Philosophy

To some advocates of the philosophy of sex-positivity, sex-negativity "is" the traditional and still dominant view of sex in Western culture. According to these advocates, traditional religious views of sex define traditional Western values in relation to this subject. However, most organized religions in the history of the world have had at least some restrictions on sex, often demanding the obligatory initiation of force or violence to prevent or punish forbidden sex acts.

To those who are sex-negative, also known as antisexualist, prude, puritan, Victorian, and prohibitionist, sex is often seen as the root of all evil, or else as something too sacred to allow casual or irreverant exercise of. They see the minds, souls, and bodies of people as belonging to God (or gods), or else, to their spouses, families, communities, nations, civilizations, or humanity as a whole.

Some proponents of sex-positivity claim that under the Western, Christian tradition, sex is seen as a destructive force except when it is redeemed by the saving grace of procreation, and sexual pleasure is seen as sinful. Sexual acts are ranked hierarchically, with procreative marital heterosexuality at the top of the hierarchy and masturbation, homosexuality and other sexualities that deviate from societal norms closer to the bottom. Medicine and psychiatry are said to have also contributed to sex-negativity, as they may, from time to time, designate some forms of sexuality that appear on the bottom of this hierarchy as being pathological (see Mental illness). Rubin, Gayle (1984). "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality". In Carole S. Vance (Ed.), "Pleasure and Danger: exploring female sexuality", pp. 267–319. Boston (Routledge & Kegan Paul). ISBN 0-7100-9974-6] However, Western societies which predate Christian influence, such as ancient Greece, have often endorsed forms of sexuality that strongly conflict with Christian beliefs. For instance, Socrates, certainly not the most libertine of the Greek writers, supports homosexuality:

Let no one whom he [a soldier] has a mind to kiss refuse to be kissed by him while the expedition lasts. So that if there be a lover in the army, whether his love be youth or maiden, he may be more eager to win the prize of valour.Plato, "Republic", translated by Benjamin Jowett. line 8823]

An emerging chorus of voices from sex-positive theorists who are people of color has provided an important contribution to the movement, giving substance to the power analysis of sex-positivity at the intersection of race/culture, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, and spirituality. Farajaje-Jones (2000) highlighted the connection between white supremacist ideology and what he termed "erotophobia" saying:

The fear of the erotic and of its power, has therefore played a powerful role in shaping institutionalized White supremacy's vision of what it means to be African, to be Black. African is wild, hot, savage, beastlike, libidinal, primal; in short, the African is the very embodiment of all that the dominating culture sees as evil and in need of being policed and controlled. (p.331)Farajaje-Jones, E. (2000). In K. Kay, J. Nagle, & B. Gould (Eds.), "Male Lust: Pleasure, Power, and Transformation" (pp. 327-335). New York: Harrington Park Press.]

Criticism

Some advocates of relational views of human sexuality claim that sex-positivists have invented sex-negativity as a "Straw man argument" against which they can assert a sex-positivity.Fact|date=November 2007 In this view, human sexuality is regarded "only" as an expression of love between two people. Thus, from this perspective, pornography, masturbation, and other aspects of sex-positivity are regarded as "perversions"; i.e. degradations of human sexuality with a tendency to destroy romantic love and promote "heartless" physical hedonism. Morality in Media, a prominent advocacy organization in the Anti-pornography movement, articulates this viewpoint:

"The pornography business takes the beauty of real love and converts it into soulless, commercialized slime. The porn-fighters protect healthy sexuality with the key ingredients of love, tenderness, commitment, and the privacy of intimate moments." cite book |last= Queen |first= Carol |title= Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture |year= 1997 |publisher= Cleis Press |location= Pittsburgh |isbn= 1-57344-073-6 ]

ee also

* Antisexualism
* Force-initiation
* Moralism
* Prudery
* Sexualism
* Victimless crime
* Sex-positive

References


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