Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Research Proposal on Sexuality

Research Proposal on Sexuality

Sexuality and its moral and philosophical aspects
In this research proposal the problem of sexuality, love and sexual ethics is discussed. At the beginning definitions to the notions of love and sexuality are given and compared. Then on the basis of this definition, sexual ethic is defined and briefly analyzed. Finally, a brief comparison and contrast of such notions as natural – unnatural, moral - immoral, legal – illegal, normal – abnormal sexuality is given.


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Sexuality always played an important role in the life of human beings through all the history of mankind. As any other part of human life sexuality has its own role and is a constituent part of human life. At the same time this aspect of human life does not refer to those which are thoroughly studied. Actually it has become an object of serious scientific analysis not so long time ago.  As a result, there may be found some gaps in this field which ht contemporary science has to fill. At the same time sexuality is not only a purely scientific question. It has another side, namely moral or ethical side. It is not a secret that for quite a long time in Europe as well as in many other countries of the world, and in some parts of the world the situation remains unchanged even now, everything that could be related to sexual behavior of human beings had been a strict taboo.  

Naturally, such a situation could not last forever and the human society developed, consequently relations between people developed and transformed accordingly. As a result, many problems have become discussible and studied, among them aroused the problem of sexuality and its different aspects.

However, very often some people mix up such notions as love and sexuality. Though it seems quite natural that after a long period of if not ignorance than lack of attention to the problem of sexuality, such notion is mixed up with a more widely spread notion as love is. In order to make all things clear it would be better to clearly define both notions on which this paper is focused on. So, as for sexuality it is not so easy to give a universal definition appropriate for different situations but still an attempt to do it has to be done. For instance, some specialists (Smith)4 define sexuality as the properties that distinguish organisms on the basis of their reproductive roles. In such a context sexuality should be interpret as a condition of being characterized and distinguished by sex. On the one hand such a definition gives the general idea about sexuality but still seems to be insufficient. Probably, this notion may be enlarged and it is necessary to add that sexuality also includes sexual activity and sexual behavior as its constituent part.

So, that is a definition that may be given to sexuality but what is love then. This notion seems to be rather abstract and individual that creates some problems with the definition of this word. It is also has to be taken into consideration that there are a lot of stereotypes about this notion. But what may be distinguished quite clearly and that makes love different from sexuality is the fact that love rather refers not to physical but to spiritual aspect of human life. It may be defined as an intense feeling of affection, usually on the interpersonal level. Taking into consideration both definitions it possible to say that love is mainly feelings while sexuality is the means of expression and realization of these feelings.  

Thus, as it has been already said sexuality refers to human behavior and an extremely important point here is the fact that in any social group behavior of individuals tends to be regulated somehow. At this respect sexual behavior is not an exception. Consequently, sexuality and sexual behavior are usually submitted to some social and moral norms that are common for a definite society they exist in. Such regulations engender sexual ethics, which is intended to work out a kind of codes of sexual behavior for members of a social group. Traditionally, key points of sexual ethics suggest or in certain cultural circumstances require a proper sexual behavior. For instance, traditionally, sexual ethic suggests that in sexual activity neither individual proceed to the next level of sexual activity without obtaining the permission of the other individual. Very often, particularly in western countries, or more precisely in western cultures, the main principle governing sexual behavior is as follows: whatever one feels comfortable with and whatever one agrees with is morally acceptable (Smith, 1996:241)5.

Thus, it is obvious that there are certain moral ethical norms that regulate sexual activity, sexual behavior of people in different societies. As a result a set of notions that correspond to certain ethical norms appeared such as natural, normal, moral, legal sexuality, etc. On the other hand, any violation of moral or ethical norms result in an antisocial sexual behavior or in unnatural, abnormal, illegal sexuality or any other kind of sexuality that do not correspond to existing ethical norms. However, very often sexual ethic is supported by some legislative regulations which provide a normal order within the society.
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