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Sexuality

Post by Red Aegis on Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:02 pm

In another thread, it was brought up that some people view promiscuity as an immoral taboo. I do not see how this could be true, given that promiscuity only affects those who participate in it. One argument that was brought up was that promiscuity could be a cause of an externality, in sociological terms a collective phenomenon within a society caused by individual-level behaviors. This externality, which has yet to be proven, also has yet to be proven negative. The implication that I picked up was that promiscuity causes or is caused by the objectification of women or men, either way, evidence is required. It is true that some individuals do objectify the other (or same) sex when they do engage in such activities; however, that is not necessarily the case. To assume that such behavior is always motivated by such an attitude is wrong and unfounded. Even if it was caused by such an attitude, does that make it wrong or just distasteful? It may be animalistic, bane, and even mean but does that make it wrong? Is it something that force can be justified to use in quashing the matter? That is what it means to call promiscuity 'abhorrent' or immoral. I disagree.

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Re: Sexuality

Post by Celtiberian on Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:15 pm

Red Aegis wrote:In another thread, it was brought up that some people view promiscuity as an immoral taboo. I do not see how this could be true, given that promiscuity only affects those who participate in it.

It's true because sexually promiscuous people are viewed negatively by virtually every culture which has been studied. Women, in particular, hold a negative view of the promiscuous members of their own sex, as well as the opposite sex. According to the anthropologist Warren G. Kinzey, "Promiscuity does not normally occur in any human society," though "polygyny and polyandry taken together are much more frequent than monogamy" [Kinzey, Warren G. The Evolution of Human Behavior: Primate Models, p. 106 (emphasis provided)]. An exception occurs when sex is incorporated into certain tribal rituals, in which case atypical sexual behavior is sometimes tolerated.

Unlike the evolutionary psychologists, however, I don't believe sexual mores are entirely innate. I believe they are a combination of genetic and environmental factors (with the latter possibly eclipsing the former). Nevertheless, even if it could be argued that sexual promiscuity is "normal," it would be committing the naturalistic fallacy to justify it solely for that reason. In my opinion, the benefits conferred onto populations with more sexual restraint outweigh the costs.

One argument that was brought up was that promiscuity could be a cause of an externality, in sociological terms a collective phenomenon within a society caused by individual-level behaviors. This externality, which has yet to be proven, also has yet to be proven negative.

I never claimed that promiscuity is the cause of any discernible externality, but rather that individual interactions of any variety can lead to negative externalities.

The implication that I picked up was that promiscuity causes or is caused by the objectification of women or men, either way, evidence is required. It is true that some individuals do objectify the other (or same) sex when they do engage in such activities; however, that is not necessarily the case.

I think one would have to be living in a state of denial to believe our increasingly promiscuous culture hasn't also exacerbated the objectification of women. It obviously isn't exclusively promiscuity which has led to this, but rather all manner of hypersexualization (advertising, the sex industry, etc.). However, I cannot offer any compelling evidence to substantiate this claim as it's impossible to measure the extent of objectification across time and place. I'm aware of no large scale, peer reviewed studies which could settle the matter one way or another—though I doubt it could even be conclusively determined anyway, due to the problem of overdeterminism.

To assume that such behavior is always motivated by such an attitude is wrong and unfounded.

No one is arguing that it "always" is. I would, however, argue that women are engaging in sexually promiscuous behavior more frequently than they otherwise would be, due in large part to the cultural pressures which currently exist wherein social status is bestowed onto women who are less restrained with their sexuality. (I suggest reading Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture for more on this.)

Even if it was caused by such an attitude, does that make it wrong or just distasteful?

I believe it's both. As a socialist, I loathe exploitation, of which objectification is an integral aspect.

It may be animalistic, bane, and even mean but does that make it wrong?

"Wrong" is a subjective notion. Humans determine what is or isn't wrong by establishing some sort of utilitarian criteria (which varies according to material conditions). Chattel slavery, for example, was deemed wrong, so society decided to legislate against it. Promiscuity, in my opinion, shouldn't be restricted by force, but neither should it be celebrated. Once we transcend market relations and economic exploitation, I suspect we will witness a corresponding decrease in promiscuity, as sex will no longer be a vehicle by which to make money.

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Re: Sexuality

Post by Red Aegis on Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:43 pm

Your argument stating that cultures frequently disapprove of promiscuity is an argumentum ad populum and should not be admitted as evidence for the "abhorrantness" of promiscuity.

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Re: Sexuality

Post by Celtiberian on Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:57 pm

Red Aegis wrote:Your argument stating that cultures frequently disapprove of promiscuity is an argumentum ad populum and should not be admitted as evidence for the "abhorrantness" of promiscuity.

I brought it up because you specifically wrote that you didn't see how promiscuity could be considered an "immoral taboo." I demonstrated that it is considered taboo, regardless of whether you consider the taboo to be logical or not. In other words, I was making a positive claim, not a normative one.

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Re: Sexuality

Post by Red Aegis on Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:20 pm

I have no idea what you're saying then, other than you think that having a lot of sex is icky. To be serious, what are you saying in simple terms?

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Re: Sexuality

Post by Celtiberian on Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:09 pm

Red Aegis wrote:I have no idea what you're saying then, other than you think that having a lot of sex is icky.

First of all, sexual promiscuity isn't a matter of having sex frequently, but rather doing so with a relatively high number of strangers. Secondly, it's not that I find it especially "icky," but that I feel humanity should aspire to social relations which transcend our more animalistic, base nature. Using another human being for nothing more than your own sexual gratification is ignoble and certainly shouldn't be celebrated in a civilized society.

To be serious, what are you saying in simple terms?

My post was quite clear. I stated that I believe (1) the benefits conferred onto populations with more sexual restraint outweigh the costs; (2) our increasingly sexualized culture is exacerbating objectification; (3) with socialism's ascendancy sexual promiscuity will likely decrease; and (4) despite whatever criticisms may be leveled against it, promiscuity should not be curtailed via state action.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Sexuality

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:58 pm

I'm not convinced of all that but they're nowhere near intractable differences. I see where you're coming from much better now.

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Re: Sexuality

Post by elysium on Wed May 22, 2013 6:57 pm

I think the chemical angle is interesting here, and that women risk not getting the right chemical mix, and men risk getting more addicted, based on their respective bio-brain chemistry. Women need a certain amount of oxytocin to bond with their partner, which has been found to be in depleted levels, with frequent, indiscriminate sex. If she is self-aware or has read findings on this,then it might be an inhibition for her, but since there are mostly pockets of individuals, and locales, and little in the way of community, I don't think it would be viewed as taboo, per se, but rather that most people would be dismissive of these individuals, if that's something they didn't want to engage in. http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/high-on-fidelity



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Re: Sexuality

Post by Leveller on Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:38 am

My view is that pratice of sexuality in whatever form, including promiscuity, like all acts that are not harmful to those other that the actor, are not to be considered crimes- as something to be punished. But I also think that there is nothing wrong in restricting such actors for the benefit of society and themselves. I base this view with the notion that liberty is right of a person proportionally to their mental capacity. I suppose this notion is universal, and that's why we can all agree that restriction of liberty is proper in the cases of children and the mentally impaired. Such restrictions could legitemately, and IMO should, be implied is cases like promiscuity and similar. Take for example drugs. If someone gets drugged, he doesn't harm someone else by being drugged per se, and therefore should not be criminalized for being such, but it is not be expected that he be treated the same as a sober person, just like children should not be treated the same as adults. Also, solicitating such acts, like doing drugs in public or selling drugs are obviously not acts that concern only the actor, but are social acts, that are therefore proper subject to social regulation. The same with alcohol, promiscuity and similar things.

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Re: Sexuality

Post by CherryBomb on Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:31 pm

Bourgeois hypocrisy must be confronted and there must be equal sexual relations between men and women, free of double standards, objectification, and exploitation, but that doesn't mean I believe in endorsing promiscuity. Promiscuity inevitably causes jealousy, damages comradely relations, and can hinder emotional development. Sex has entered every domain, in a very real way, sex has replaced religion as the "opiate of the masses". This sexual hypnosis is an obstacle to class consciousness and solidarity. I think that sexual passions must not be alarmed too often, especially among the youth, and people should exercise restraint, sexual energy is a powerful force that can be sublimated into creativity and production.

Of course, we don't want a society of Monks and Nuns, either. Humans are not like animals that only have sex for reasons of procreation. Sexuality must be separated from procreation and persons must possess sexual autonomy. Monkish asceticism displays contempt for procreation and is in that sense no different to promiscuity.



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Re: Sexuality

Post by Leolion on Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:00 pm

CherryBomb wrote: Sex has entered every domain, in a very real way, sex has replaced religion as the "opiate of the masses". This sexual hypnosis is an obstacle to class consciousness and solidarity. I think that sexual passions must not be alarmed too often, especially among the youth, and people should exercise restraint, sexual energy is a powerful force that can be sublimated into creativity and production.

If we didn't have an ad version to sex and sexuality we probably wouldn't be attracted so much by sex.

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