Gay Basics Richard Mohr Analysis

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According to Richard Mohr’s, Gay Basics: Some Questions, Facts, and Values, “many people think society’s treatment of gays is justified because they think gays are extremely immoral.” To evaluate this claim, different senses of “moral” must be distinguished. This sense of morality is a descriptive one- every society has a morality; when something is descriptively moral, it is nowhere near enough to be considered normatively moral. “So consistency and fairness require that we abandon the belief that gays are immoral simply because most people dislike or disapprove of gays or gay acts, or even because gay sex acts are illegal” (Mohr, 201).

If popular opinion and custom are not enough to ground moral condemnation of homosexuality, perhaps
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Compulsory heterosexuality was originally written in part to “challenge the erasure of lesbian existence from so much of scholarly feminist literature, an erasure which I felt (and feel) to be not just anti-lesbian, but anti-feminist in its consequences, and to distort the experience of heterosexual women as well,” Rich states in Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence (1980). The assumption made by Rossi, that women are “innately” sexually oriented only toward men, and that made by Lessing, that the lesbian is simply acting out of her bitterness toward men, are by no means theirs alone; these assumptions are widely current in literature and in the social sciences. (Rich,…show more content…
Sexual essentialism is the “idea that sex is a natural force that exists prior to social life and shapes institutions” (Rubin, 149). The most important one is “sex negativity.” Western cultures generally considered sex to be this dangerous, negative force and most Christian tradition found sex to be inherently sinful. Basically, it was assumed that the genitalia was “much lower and less holy than the mind, the ‘soul,’ the ‘heart,’ or even the upper part of the digestive system” (Rubin, 150). The fallacy of the misplaced scale is a corollary of sex negativity. The hierarchical valuation of sex acts include “fetishism, sadism, masochism, transsexuality, transvestism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and pedophilia” (Rubin, 151). The domino theory of sexual peril is basically the fact that a line seems to stand between sexual order and chaos. “It expresses the fear that if anything is permitted to cross this erotic DMZ, the barrier against scary sex will crumble and something unspeakable will skitter across” (Rubin, 152). The lack of a concept benign sexual variation states that “variation is a fundamental property of all life, from the simplest biological organisms to the most complex human social formations. Yet, sexuality is supposed to conform to a single standard” (Rubin,
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