Book Describes Six Views on Human Sexuality
This article is a bit theoretical but I think one can get the gist of the six views.
It also illustrates the potential conflicts that can occur if two people in a relationship have differing views. This is important for recovering alcoholics, addicts and co-dependents who often have difficulty recognising other peoples motives and emotions.
Human sexuality can be viewed from six perspectives or “lenses,” says Dr. Caroline J. Simon. In more than 20 years of teaching classes in sexuality, however, she noticed that most books described only two of them.
So Dr. Simon wrote Bringing Sex into Focus: the Quest for Sexual Integrity.
Six ways that people tend to understand sexuality today include:
- The Covenantal (or Pledge) View. Sex forges a permanent bond between two people. It is a life-uniting act that should occur only within marriage.
- The Procreative View. The purpose of sex is to produce offspring. Thus sex must be heterosexual, genital, and “embrace the hope of fruitfulness.”
- The Romantic View. Sex should be reserved for those who are deeply in love. Loveless sex is not appropriate. People should be sexually faithful as long as love lasts.
- The Plain Sex View. Cultural constructs linking love and sex are outmoded. Sexuality is best seen as a desire for intensely pleasurable physical activity. It should be based on mutual consent so “no one gets hurt.”
- The Power View. The desire is to possess another while avoiding being objectified by another. Power dynamics are at the root of the link between sex and violence.
- The Expressive View. Sexuality is central to human flourishing. Sexual restraint is unnatural but sexuality should be used without hampering the empowerment of others.
Most discussion of sexuality, Dr. Simon found, present only the procreative point of view, which is the official position of the Church, and the secular plain sexality view. But all six views are present in society. Two of them, the covenantal and procreative, are lenses with recognizably Christian influences. The other four have no religious ties.
In practice, people may not view sexuality from a single lens, Dr. Simon notes. Or they may not know when people are using a lens different than their own.
“Rival views of how sex matters in our pluralistic society often mean that there are few shared understandings, conventions or rules of engagement,” she says. “It is little wonder that there is so much pain arising from misunderstanding and so many disappointed expectations in the sexual realm.”
“Yet the six sexual lenses can be more than mutually exclusive rivals. The perspectives converge when the pledge lens is taken as the central organizing lens. This brings sexuality into focus, allowing the covenantal view to be enriched by what these other lenses reveal.”
“Many times people’s sexual behavior causes problems for them and pain for others. Much of this damage is neither malicious nor intentional. People often simply don’t foresee consequences or understand the effect they are having on others. Lack of sexual integrity will fog our moral vision about sex.”
Bringing Sex into Focus features chapters on marital sexuality, virginity and chastity, flirtation and seduction, homosexuality, casual sex and sex as a commodity.
Adapted from a press release; Book Describes Six Views on Human Sexuality
|Bringing Sex into Focus: The Quest for Sexual Integrity|