Linda LeMoncheck introduces a new way of thinking and talking about women's sexual pleasures, preferences, and desires. Using the tools of contemporary analytic philosophy, she discusses methods for mediating the tensions among apparently irreconcilable feminist perspectives on women's sexuality and shows how a feminist epistemology and ethic can advance the dialogue in women's sexuality across a broad political spectrum. She argues that in order to capture the diversity and complexity of women's sexual experience, women's sexuality must be examined from (...) two equally compelling perspectives: that of women's sexual oppression under conditions of individual and institutional male dominance; and that of women's sexual liberation, both in terms of each woman's pursuit of sexual agency and self-definition, and in terms of women's sexual liberation as a class. Loose Women, Lecherous Men sheds crucial new light on such much-debated topics as promiscuity, adultery, sexual deviance, prostitution, pornography, sexual harassment, and sexual violence against women. Her book supports a dialogue that encourages both women and men to take up a feminist perspective in exploring the meaning and value of sexuality in their lives. (shrink)
Introduction -- Part I: Love -- What is love? -- Romantic love -- The basis of romantic love -- Love and morality -- Part II: Sex -- What is sex? -- Sex, pleasure, and morality -- Sexual objectification -- Sexual perversion and fantasy -- Part III: Marriage -- What is marriage? -- Controversies over same-sex.
Contemporary understandings of nature, or what is ‘natural’, are increasingly subject to debate in our bio-technological age. In this article, I argue that ideas about nature and biology bear a largely unacknowledged relation to normative ideas about sex in western science and philosophy. By examining the concepts of nature and sex in the writings of prominent 18th-century thinkers such as Kant, Rousseau, Burke and Linnaeus, I try to show that in response to the withdrawal, absence or ‘death’ of God (...) that characterizes the Enlightenment worldview, the desire to control sexual expression emerges as a key feature of scientific, aesthetic and philosophical systems of knowledge. Moreover, this desire shapes the concept of nature in such a way that it becomes amenable to the specifically 19th-century figuration of modern biological science. (shrink)
The background -- Projects; the significance of sex and love; secret pictures; sexual pluralism -- A history of the philosophy of sex and love -- The ancients; medieval philosophy; modern philosophy; the twentieth century; contemporary philosophy -- Sex -- Sexual concepts -- Analytic questions; sexual activity; sexual desire; social constructionism; polysemicity (polysemy); sexual sensations -- Sexual perversion -- St. thomas aquinas; problems with natural law; psychological perversion; psychiatry and perversion; a conceptual framework -- Sexual ethics -- (...) Contraception; beyond natural law; immanuel kant; contemporary kantian philosophy; utilitarianism; sadomasochism; love -- Sexual politics -- Consent, again; pedophilia; prostitution and marriage; marital rape; compulsory heterosexuality; pornography -- Love -- Varieties of love -- What is love?; love and value; eros and agape; evaluating and assessing love; the fine gold thread; concern and benevolence; union -- Features of love -- Tangles in theories of love; exclusivity; uniqueness; irreplaceability; constancy; reciprocity -- Sex, love, and marriage -- Pauline marriage; the links; sex and love; the death of desire; saving marriage; reasons for monogamy; reasons for marriage -- Gender -- Women and men; gender and sex surveys; heterosexual failure; gendered sexuality; gendered love. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to undertake an in-depth conceptual and ethical analysis of African philosophy of sex and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa by taking the Oromo of Ethiopia as an example. The continent with just 10% of the world’s population is home to over 70% of the world’s HIV/AIDS infection. HIV/AIDS is a social, economic, demographic and moral problem as well as a health care issue. Some scholars hypothesise that the unique nature of African sexuality, sexual (...) promiscuity, the prevalence of other ailments, and the unique nature of the viral subtypes (known as clades) are the major reasons for Africa’s AIDS prevalence. However, there is little substance to their hypotheses. As of today there is no sound explanation for the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Africa. So far the HIVintervention has largely focused on behaviours, systems and structures which are visible without fully taking into account culture, values, norms and traditions which are invisible but have a strong influence on visible aspects of individual behaviours and societal structures. Thus, this issue requires further research into people’s philosophy of sex and indigenous moral values. This study and the contributions of many scholars have shown that Africans have a diverse spectrum of sexual behaviour ranging from the very restrictive to the permissive. Although some ethnic groups have developed a profound philosophy of ex that can curb the expansion of HIV/AIDS, there have been some sexual and religious norms and expectations in Africa that have contributed to the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS. Social, economical, and political forces have also shaped the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This paper thus suggests that global fight against HIV/AIDS should go beyond a narrow focus on the behavioural and biological, and consider broader structural and underlying factors such as poverty, homelessness, widespread sex work, rural to urban migration, instability, a high rate of unemployment, unequal gender relations, harmful traditional practice and global injustice that have facilitated the spread of HIV/AIDS. African governments should involve the local people and civil society organisations in the fight against HIV/AIDS by using a wide range of participatory methodologies and culturally sensitive advocacy strategies. This study thus suggests that a multi-faceted approach is needed to deal with the challenges of the 21st century and address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our world. This study relies on literature review, interviews and personal observation. (shrink)
The Marquis de Sade's books have been censored in many countries. He is notorious for his forbidden novels like The 120 Days of Sodom and Justine, Juliette . The Marquis de Sade has long been considered the archetypal pornographer. The Philosophy of the Marquis de Sade challenges these traditional interpretations by reading de Sade and his books philosophically. Airaksinen examines de Sade's claim that in order to be truly happy and free we must perform evil acts. The Sadeian hero (...) leads a life filled with perverted and extreme pleasures such as rape, murder, stealing and blasphemy. This Sadeian hero creates impossible situations and contradictions which lead to the tearing apart of reality. Through this gap he or she can discharge and experience the ultimate pleasures of disappearing into a void. Thus, Airaksinen argues that Sade is a philosopher on a performative level of evil, pain and perversion. Secondary sources on de Sade such as Hobbes, Erasmus and Brillat-Savarin are analyzed as are contemporary studies on de Sade's life and work. This book is of immense value to all those interested in de Sade and his work and who may not have been able to complete readings of his long, violent and repetitive texts. (shrink)
This book traces the genealogy of ideas of reason, self and sexuality in the West, opening the way to a richer and more diverse understanding of sexual experience. Western philosophy and religion have distorted and continue to distort our experience of sex and love through three far-reaching constellations of reason, self and sexuality. Thinkers like Plato, Aquinas and Kant helped to fashion an ascetic ideal of reason hostile to bodily pleasures and sexual diversity. By contrast, philosophical hedonism advocates a (...) less demanding conception of rationality and defends sexual pleasure. But this approach of thinkers like Hume, Bentham, La Mettrie and de Sade is still one-sided and limiting. A third constellation, Romanticism avoids the limitations of both forms of rationalism, but in the name of a religion of love and passion that ultimately threatens the integrity of the self. In Reason and Sexuality in Western Thought, a richer understanding of sexual experience is traced to a dissident philosophical tradition. In their different ways Montaigne, Spinoza, Hegel and Kierkegaard, Marcuse and Foucault contribute to a more holistic, multi-layered and open conception of reason, sexuality and the self. This book will be essential reading for all students of philosophy and gender studies. (shrink)
Context: Josef Mitterer has become known for criticizing the main exponents of analytic and constructivist philosophy for their blind adoption of a dualistic epistemology based on an alleged ontological difference between world and words. Judith Butler, who has developed an influential model of (de)constructivist feminism and has been labeled a linguistic constructivist, has been criticized for sustaining exactly what, according to Mitterer, most modern philosophy fails to acknowledge: namely that there is no ontological difference between objective facts beyond (...) language and the discourse about these facts. Problem: In the scholarly discussion on non-dualism, two main questions have been raised: Where does Mitterer’s basic consensus, i.e., the starting-point description, come from? and: What does it mean, to say that further descriptions change their object? Method: Comparative analysis of the core concepts of Mitterer’s and Butler’s work in the context of the history of ideas. Results: Butler’s conception of a performative production of objectivity through discursive and non-discursive iterated practices can be interpreted as an illustration of Mitterer’s claim that descriptions change their object. The problem of where Mitterer’s starting-point descriptions come from can be solved by adopting Butler’s concept of culturally inherited practices. (shrink)
Imaginary Bodies is a collection of essays that offer a sustained challenge to traditional philosophical notions of the body, sex and gender. Moira Gatens explores alternative positions to dualism by exploring psychoanalytic, Foucaultian and Spinozist notions of embodiment. The book traces a largely neglected geneaology of philosophers from Spinoza, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault and Deleuze and sets this tradition against that of the Enlightenment. What emerges are new ways of thinking those aspects of life which Gatens calls "imaginary." Confining herself to (...) neither philosophy of "the subject" nor an ahistorical philosophy of "the body" at the expense of broader ethical and socio-political issues, Gatens shows the many connections between theories of bodies politic and the (sexed) individual. She compellingly, lucidly, and trenchantly engages with the ethical, legal and sexual relations between men and women which are placed in its proper historical and political context. (shrink)
This book is an introduction to philosophy of sex. The history of philosophy of sex is depicted (from Plato to Herman Schmitz) to set up the background against which the philosophy of sex by Herman Schmitz is analyzed. This leads to the discussion of topics like masturbation, the ontology of the sexed human body, and same-sex marriage.
Neuroscience research examining sex/gender differences aims to explain behavioral differences between men and women in terms of differences in their brains. Historically, this research has used ad hoc methods and has been conducted explicitly in order to show that prevailing gender roles were dictated by biology. I examine contemporary fMRI research on sex/gender differences in emotion processing and argue that it, too, both uses problematic methods and, in doing so, reinforces gender stereotypes.
This absorbing and accessible book provides an analysis of the principles, policy and practice of sex education. Utilizing unpublished research, the authors critically examine sex education within the growing discourse on the teaching of values and citizenship education.
: Before women could become visible as philosophers, they had first to become visible as rational autonomous thinkers. A social and ethical position holding that chastity was the most important virtue for women, and that rationality and chastity were incompatible, was a significant impediment to accepting women's capacity for philosophical thought. Thus one of the first tasks for women was to confront this belief and argue for their rationality in the face of a self-referential dilemma.
While most Chaucer critics interested in gender and sexuality have used psychoanalytic theory to analyze Chaucer's poetry, Mark Miller re-examines the links between sexuality and the philosophical analysis of agency in medieval texts such as the Canterbury Tales, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and the Romance of the Rose. Chaucer's philosophical sophistication provides the basis for a new interpretation of the emerging notions of sexual desire and romantic love in the late Middle Ages.
This book is a study of post World War II feminist theory from the viewpoint of intellectual history. The key theme is that the social construction of gender has its origins in the feminist theorists of this period. This paradigm is a key foundational element to both second and third wave feminist thought. It will focus on the five key scholars of the period: Komarovsky, de Beauvoir, Mead, Klein and Herschberger. This has been a somewhat overlooked period in the development (...) of feminist theory and philosophy and Tarrant makes a compelling case for it (the fifties) being the turning point in the study of gender. (shrink)
Discover the truth about sex in the city (and the country). Mapping Desire explores the places and spaces of sexuality from body to community, from the "cottage" to the Barrio, from Boston to Jakarta, from home to cyberspace. Mapping Desire is the first book to explore sexualities from a geographical perspective. The nature of place and notions of space are of increasing centrality to cultural and social theory. Mapping Desires presents the rich and diverse world of contemporary sexuality, exploring how (...) the heterosexed body has been appropriated and resisted on the individual, community and city scales. Editors David Bell and Gill Valentine have brought together contributors with a wealth of approaches to ways in which the spaces of sex and the sexes of space are being mapped out across contemporary culture. Among the many sexual geographies covered are: Lesbians at home and on the streets; gay men on fantasy islands; bisexual identities; The heterosexualization of the workplace; bachelor farmers and spinsters; surveillance and sexuality; prostitution; queer politics; sexual citizenship, and the transformation of intimacy. The book is divided into four sections: cartographies/identities; sexualized spaces: global/local; sexualized spaces: local/global; sites of resistance. Each section is separately introduced. Beyond the bibliography, an annotated guide to further reading is also provided to help the reader map their own way through the literature. Mapping Desire will be a valuable and accessible travelogue of information for anyone interested in social, cultural and political geography, lesbian and gay studies, cultural studies, or simply those who want to find out more about the sexual landscape of contemporary society. Contents: Part I: Cartographies/Identities; Resolving Riddles: The Sexed Body, Julia Cream ; Locating Bisexual Identities: Discourses of Bisexuality and Contemporary Feminist Theory, Clare Hemmings; Of Moffies, Kaffiers and Perverts: Male Homosexuality and the Discourse of Moral Order in the Apartheid State, Glen Elder; Femme on the Streets, Butch in the Sheets (a Play on Whores), Alison Murray; Body Work: The Performance of Gendered and (Hetero)Sexualized Identities in City Workplaces, Linda McDowell; Part II: Sexualized Spaces: Global/Local; Whenever I Lay My Girlfriend That's My Home: The Performance and Surveillance of Lesbian Identities in Domestic Environments, Lynda Johnston and Gill Valentine; The Lesbian Flaneur, Sally Munt; Fantasy Islands: Popular Topographies of Marooned Masculinities, Gregory Woods; Sexuality and Urban Space: A Framework for Analysis, Lawrence Knopp; Part III: Sexualized Spaces: Local/Global; "And She Told Two Friends...": Lesbians Creating Urban Social Space, Tamar Rothenberg; Trading Places: Consumption, Sexuality and the Production of Queer Space, Jon Binnie; Bachelor Farmers and Spinsters: Gay and Lesbian Identities and Communities in Rural North Dakota, Jerry Lee Kramer; (Re)Constructing a Spanish Redlight District: Prostitution, Space and Power, Angie Hart; Part IV: Sites of Resistance; "Surveilliant Gays": HIV, Space and the Construction of Identities, David Woodhead; Sex, Scale and the "New Urban Politics": HIV-Prevention Strategies from Yaletown, Vancouver, Michael Brown; "Boom, Bye, Bye": Jamaican Ragga and Gay Resistance, Tracey Skelton; The Diversity of Queer Politics and the Redefinition of Sexual Identity and Community in Urban Space, Tim Davis; Perverse Dynamics, Sexual Citizenship and the Transformation of Intimacy, David Bell; Guide to Further Reading; Bibliography. (shrink)
This book offers a clear introductory overview of the concept of gender. It places gender in its historical contexts and traces its development from the Enlightenment to the present, before moving on to the evolution of the concept of gender from within the various stances of feminist criticism, and recent developments in queer theory and post-feminism. Close analysis of key literary texts, including Frankenstein , Paradise Lost and A Midsummer Night's Dream , shows how specific styles of literature enable reflection (...) on gender. (shrink)
In The Bodies of Women , Rosalyn Diprose argues that traditional approaches to ethics both perpetuate and remain blind to the mechanisms of the subordination of women. She shows that injustice against women begins in the ways that social discourses and practices place women's embodied existence as improper and secondary to men. She intervenes into debates about sexual difference, ethics, philosophies of the body and theories of self in order to develop a new ethics which places sexual difference at the (...) very center of meaning. Diprose analyzes attempts in both feminist and non-feminist ethics to recognize the role of sexual difference. She critiques biomedical discourses whose descriptions mask a constitution and regulation of "the body." Drawing on insights from continental philosophy and feminist theory, The Bodies of Women includes critical readings of Hegel, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and Foucault as well as productive engagementwith contemporary feminist scholars such as Irigaray, Cornell and Young. What emerges is a unique approach to the ethics of sexual difference which both locates and subverts mechanisms of sexual discrimination. (shrink)
Abstract: This essay explores recent trends and major issues related to gay and lesbian philosophy in ethics (including issues concerning the morality of homosexuality, the natural function of sex, and outing and coming out); religion (covering past and present debates about the status of homosexuality and how biblical and qur'anic passages have been interpreted by both sides of the debate); the law (especially a discussion of the debates surrounding sodomy laws, same-sex marriage and its impact on transsexuals, and whether (...) the law should be used to enforce morality); scientific research into the origins of homosexuality (including discussion of arguments against such research); and metaphysics (especially the question of whether homosexuality is socially constructed during particular times and in particular cultures, or whether sexual orientation is an essential trait cutting across times and cultures). (shrink)