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Ltryptophan's avatar

How is human sexuality coping with the advent of reason?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10884points) October 10th, 2010

The sexuality of animals is just instinctual. At some point mankind faced this. In many instances I think it still occurs for us today.

Is the human race better off sexually for having reason?

Sure, there are 6 billion of us so something must be right about it…

But one insect can have a number of young with lots of figures to it.

Reason vs. Sex


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17 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

We’re still waiting for the alleged advent of reason.

I don’t really understand your question. What does reason have to do with sex? What has it ever had to do with that?

I don’t need a reason to have sex, if that’s what you mean…

Ltryptophan's avatar

Marriage, is a good example of reasons place in sexuality. Some creatures are monogamous, sure…but only humans contract it out in a document.

If reason weren’t involved there would be no need for proposals. Human mating is full of reasoning. Not that it’s there every time, mind you.

flutherother's avatar

Humans have sex and have reason but they don’t go together very well. It is difficult to be reasonable when you have no clothes on.

Seek's avatar

I think human reason is developing quite nicely, and sexuality along with it.

We no longer burn people at the stake for having sex with people of their own biological sex, for example.
Most of us do not equate sexual activity with marriage, as was done in Bronze age Mesopotamia.
Practice of safe sex is on the rise, and teen pregnancy is on the decline (unless you live in an “abstinence-only district)

In short, we have sex because we want to, and because it feels good, but we’re also being smarter about it. That sounds very reasonable to me.

Drewseph's avatar

There are many great reasons for sex. The fact that it feels good is one of them.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@flutherother brings up an important part of this.

Clothes. The fact that you wear clothes when the weather is comfortable without them, and your neighborhood birds do not is also an activity of reason that has a lot to do with sexuality.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Sex negates reason.

Anemone's avatar

Because of reason, we can separate instinct from action. We can choose to use birth control, engage in activities which are sexually satisfying without leading to pregnancy, and so on. We can also understand that it might be a bad idea to mate with a close relative. Our reason allows us to sympathize and empathize as well, so we know logically that rape and other forcible sex is something we ought not do.

MissAnthrope's avatar

My personal view on this matter is that human reason hasn’t quite caught up to the point where it can deal with or override biological imperatives. We are getting there gradually, as @Anemone points out, with things like condoms and birth control.

@Ltryptophan – I get your example, but that is a social construct. So, yes, in the West, we wear clothes because it’s ‘proper’ to do so. But I can think of some societies where being unclothed is just as ‘proper’.

ChaosCross's avatar

People want to have sex because it is what their body tells them to do, regardless if it is right or not.

We make a reason in order to justify it.

flutherother's avatar

Human sexuality is very well developed and going strong. Human ‘reason’ is more of a myth. We think we act reasonably but we don’t. Just take a look at the world. Humans do think and we do have emotions but our thoughts and our feelings are not well integrated. I think this is a work in progress. In time we may become better, happier creatures and live in peace with the world and with ourselves but for that we need to try to be better and we need to continue to have sex.

fundevogel's avatar

I disagree with the idea that reason is somehow in conflict with sexuality. Only the most intelligent of animals have realized that sex doesn’t have to just be about reproduction.

Reason gives us more reasons to have sex :D

iamthemob's avatar


Yes, the clothing issue is more of a Western thing…but don’t you think it’s all wrapped up in sexuality?


I’m not really sure what you mean when you ask if we’re “better off” sexually because of reason.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@iamthemob we mate and have reason. Is this better than just mating like the animals so far?

iamthemob's avatar


That’s just repeating the question though – what do you mean by “better.”

Ltryptophan's avatar

Better- a comparative adjective whose subject surpasses that to which it is compared.

Above is my definition of better. I didn’t look at the dictionary, so it might not be just as webster phrases it. Regardless it is what I meant by better. Is there a more sinister concept you’re hoping to purge from me?

Maybe you think I meant better is a situation where everyone runs about raping and plundering?

Reason is a facet of men that changes our mating behavior drastically. Now there are myriad ways this occurs, some that are mentioned above. Your turn, do you find us better at reproduction or worse due to our application of reason to sexual choices?

I apologize in advance if that is insufficient, but no further explanation will be tendered regarding “betterness”. I understand if my lack of concept paralyzes your ability to answer meaningfully, and excuse you fully.

iamthemob's avatar

Reproduction is completely different from sexuality, so that’s the confusion. Our sexuality is made complex and interesting because of reason. But in terms of our ability to reproduce being affected by reason – well, our success at populating the globe has less to do with reason as applied to our ability to reproduce than with our ability to adapt the environment to our need rather than the other way around.

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