Women, Sexual Asymmetry, and Catholic Teaching

Christian Bioethics 19 (2):150-171 (2013)
Women and men are biologically and reproductively dissimilar. This sexual distinctiveness gives rise to a “sexual asymmetry”—the fundamental reality that the potential consequences of sexual intercourse are far more immediate and serious for women than for men. Advocates of contraception and abortion sought to cure sexual asymmetry by decoupling sex from procreation, relieving women from the consequences of sex, and thus equalizing the sexual experiences of men and women. But efforts to suppress or reject biological difference have not relieved women of the consequences of sex and the vulnerabilities of pregnancy, even as they have further relieved men. Although secular feminist responses to biological difference have served to exacerbate sexual asymmetry, Catholic teaching on abortion, sex, and marriage—even contraception—provides an authentically pro-woman cultural response
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DOI 10.1093/cb/cbt013
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