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Sex And Relationships (OCR exam board)


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Sex And Relationships (OCR exam board)

  1. 1. Sex and Relationships What you need to know for the exam
  2. 2. Natural Law • Apparent good: having sex within marriage find out infertile • Wrong: having sex in marriage when you know you are infertile • Real Good: sex within marriage and procreate • Doctrine of double effect = good intention, bad outcome predicated but un - avoided = using contraceptive pill to help menstrual cycle not to stop conception. Aquinas four examples 1) “The sin of self abuse” = masturbation 2) “Intercourse with a thing of another species” = bestiality 3) Acts with a person of the same sex = homosexuality 4) Acts in which “the natural style of intercourse is to be observed” This became the view of catholic church
  3. 3. Utilitarianism • Consented to • Often called libertarian= consenting adults do as they want and protects their freedom of choice • This does not mean free love however because of the consequences: unwanted pregnancies, HIV, STI’s and broken hearts all = pain • Looks at emotions involved (unlike other theories) – deceit, lying, • Does homosexuality harm society and cause unhappiness for majority who may be opposed to same sex relationships? • Allows for most sexual behaviours that do not harm others or cause great social harm e.g. child molesters • ‘Harm principle’ is important e.g. extra marital affairs cause harm long term • Praises safe sex. • John Stuart Mill: sex is “a principle of perfect quality, admitting no power or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other.”
  4. 4. Kant • Extra marital sex and homosexuality cannot be universalised (first formation of the categorical imperative) • Do not treat people as a means to an end: rape, pornography • Marriage is about equal rights • Sex within marriage is about union and sexual enjoyment not just procreation. • Kant's example of universalizability is ‘lying promise’ extra marital sex is similar to making a lying promise to your partner • Kant takes a more contractual approach: relationships about the individuals – can develop character through contact. Sex morally permissible if consummated with total and voluntary consent - no force. Sex in minors wrong, do not truly have free will.
  5. 5. Virtue • Looks at sex from individual viewpoint • Sexual practises make a person more virtuous – e.g. developing intimacy, commitment • Enduring values of love, honesty, loyalty, friendship and mutual pleasure • Michael Slote – ethics of care in relationship for yourself and your significant other. • Implies tolerance • Accepts that we are responsible for our moral choices • Find balance in our sexuality and in our relationships • Extramarital sex – implies an excess • Extramarital sex explained through bad pattern of behaviour
  6. 6. Christian • Liberal Christians: quality of relationship gives it moral value. Bible can be interpreted differently e.g. in case of homosexuality and creation. • Situation Ethics: Joseph Fletcher – unconditional love – agape. Golden rule – treat others as you would like to be treated Jack Dominion • Passionate and compassionate love • Catholic psychologist • Takes modern day church views on sex and discusses them • Sees sex as a personal expression • Sign of recognition of each other • If relationship is permanent and loving, sex before marriage is acceptable. X Mainstream churches reject this view X He believes Christians have made sex trivial by bringing in reproduction, however is reproduction trivial?
  7. 7. The Churches • The Anglican church is facing serious splits over issue of ordination of gay people • Gene Robinson ordained bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 • Openly gay man with partner of 15 years • Serious condemnation of this from other parts of Anglican communion
  8. 8. Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa “We reject them [homosexuals], treat them as pariahs, and push them outside our church communities, and thereby we negate the consequences of their baptism and ours. We make them doubt that they are the children of God, and this must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy. We blame them for something that is becoming increasingly clear they can do little about.” (1996)
  9. 9. Mel White, evangelical Christian minister • “I am gay. For the past eight years… I have been in a loving, monogamous relationship with another gay man…My homosexuality is as much at the heart of what it means to be Mel White as your heterosexuality is at the heart of what it means to be Jerry Falwell.” • (Mel White in a letter to Jerry Falwell, another evangelical minister who had written an anti- homosexual letter) • “Like hundreds of thousands of your fellow Christian Americans, I spent 25 years trying to be an “ex-gay”…Repeatedly I was counselled, exorcised, electric- shocked, medicated and prayed for…Now I have accepted my sexual orientation as a gift from my loving Creator. Finally, as our Saviour promised, the truth has set me free to be a productive, responsible Christian gay man.”
  10. 10. Strengths and Weaknesses of the approaches to Sex and Relationships
  11. 11. Evaluation of Natural Law Is an unnatural act always wrong if it is mutual and consented to? Is what is natural always right? What about sexual abuse within marriage? Illogical to say that an infertile couple cannot have sex – what about love, commitment, connection? Aquinas was celibate (excuse: acceptable for minority called to serve God) Can masturbation and homosexuality not be argued to be natural? Is it natural to only have one partner and a monogamous relationships if sex is centred purely on reproduction? Leiser: To condemn people for using their sexual organs for pleasure e.g. elderly couples cannot reproduce, reveal prejudices and irrational taboos of society. Natural Law unsound. Liberal Christians argue that God makes every man and woman so if they are homosexual then it is nature =good. Otherwise suggests God creates disordered humans = not God of classical theism if lets humans suffer. Without contraception world over populated and spread of STI’
  12. 12. Evaluation of Utilitarianism  Emphasises the importance of pleasure within a relationship  Allows sexual freedom and choice  Emphasized importance of consent  Emphasized importance of equality and sharing pleasure and love mutually  Realistic – allows for contraception and safe sex  Flexible and subjective so can be applied to individual situations X Hard to apply hedonic calculus to specific situations X Mill says that sex is a lower pleasure but don't humans experience sex differently from animals – sex is more important e.g. love X Teleological – cant always predict outcomes X Do emotions’/ passion cloud our judgement?
  13. 13. Evaluation of Kant Emphasizes the importance of equality and not treating others as a tool for our own pleasure Recognised the importance of pleasure within a marriage Sexual relations always recognise other person as free – never means to an end – Peter Vardy X Ignores the importance of emotions within a relationship X Just because something cannot be universalised does not mean it is wrong. There would be no variation.
  14. 14. Evaluation of Virtue Subjective – importance of individual views and choices Sexual relationships help to become better people X Virtues are very subjective X What is the Golden mean in a relationship do you not need passion which may be seen as an excess? X Is sex wrong if it does not help one become virtuous?
  15. 15. Evaluation of Christian  Bible provides rules and laws to live life by  Provides absolute guidelines  Part of a community of belief  New testament can be applied subjectively to individual cases  Situation Ethic emphasizes love and commitment While Church advocates tolerance and understanding it approves of discrimination against homosexuals Outdated views that differ from society e.g. women roles B.A. Robinson says liberal Christians believe in civil rights but if human rights are for all then ordination, marriage for gays as well. Within whole of Christianity, Bible is selectively used (Gareth Moore)
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