Logical and Spiritual REFLECTIONS
Book 6.No to Sodom
Chapter 4.The biological role of sex
Advocates of homosexuality claim it is something “natural”, pointing out that some bonono monkeys do it. Is that a valid argument? Are these people bonono monkeys? Or are bonono monkeys their spiritual guides? Do they mean that because some bonono monkeys are pedophiles, humans should be so too? Closer to home: could we argue that because some people murder, we should all do so? Obviously not! Ethics is never based on what people (or animals lower than them) actually do or don’t do; it is about what they as rational volitional beings preferably should or shouldn’t do.
Since the issue of homosexuality is one concerning sex, we should begin our analysis of the subject by considering the biological role of sex. Heterosexual sexual activity is primarily intended forreproduction, so as to perpetuate the species. This is evident and undeniable when we consider our anatomy and behavior. Man penetrates woman; he ejaculates sperm that (usually) fertilizes her egg; this eventually gives birth to a new human being.
If the sex act was just for pleasure, comfort or love, we might have had the same sort of sex organs, but they would not have been instrumental in transmitting genetic material. These features of our reproductive system would have been absent. Gene transmission is evidently the main function of our sex organs, and any alleged additional value of sex – as a means to erotic pleasure, comfort or love – can only be incidental.
Another important biological observation to make is that we have a stronginstinct or driveto engage in sex. That is to say, we commonly experience strong feelings in our sex organ, and elsewhere in our body and mind, which influence us to pursue sex. The matter is not left open to our occasional free choice for the fun of it; no, our body and mind are programmed to push us to engage in sex often or even as often as possible.
We can easily see why such a conatus would exist. Its biological function is to encourage actual, frequent coitus, followed by reproduction, so that the species has a maximum chance of continued existence.
The physical pleasure of sex must be viewed in this context; it is intended to entice and incite us to sex. Without the reward of pleasure, we would be less likely to engage in sex; and if it promised us only pain, we would avoid it altogether. The same reasoning can be applied to other motives commonly given for sexual pursuits: that it is psychologically comforting or provides an opportunity for bonding (i.e. love) between human beings. These are mental and even spiritual pleasures, which likewise encourage and reward us for sex.
Moreover, it is biologically valuable for couples to stick together after their sexual encounters, because this ensures that the children they eventually give birth to are taken care of, i.e. this maximizes the chances of survival of the species.
From such biological considerations, we can easily conclude that the sexual orientation programmed into us by nature is necessarily heterosexual. Our normal, natural tendency is heterosexual, whether we are a man or a woman. This is clear from the anatomy of our sex organs and our emotional drives, and from the scientific explanation of their biological role.
Note that this conclusion is not solely based on statistics, i.e. on enumerating what proportion of humans are heterosexual, although statistics can also be appealed to, to confirm that most people have this orientation.
They also point to hermaphroditic snails. But in this case, the physiological differences with humans are so pronounced, the argument is not even worth considering. These “same sex” snails are naturally designed to reproduce together, whereas human homosexuals are not. It is as absurd as arguing that men may or ought to scatter their seed on the ground, since trees do it! Whereas tree seeds can grow from the ground into new trees, it is not the case with human sperm.
Incidentally, it is worth pointing out that the practice of homosexuality by some bonono monkeys does not imply that such practice is natural and normal even for that species of anthropoid. For, granting that these animals are a higher species (and they are genetically, anatomically and on the evolutionary scale, very close relatives of humans), we can safely say that they have a high degree of volition (almost as high as humans, except that their cognitive powers are evidently less rational). In that case, it is appropriate to speak of bonono monkeys as making some free choices, and therefore as being subject to non-verbal considerations of good and bad. The phenomenological given of homosexuality in that species does not tell us whether or not bonono monkeys are conscious of “doing wrong” when they engage in such acts (or whether other members of their species might or not find it objectionable). Thus, the argument put forward in defense of such acts among humans, with reference to the behavior of some monkeys, is just a smoke screen to evade the issue.