“Sexuality is the instinct that directs the individual to the objectives of the species.
Eroticism is sexual pleasure for its own sake and not as a means of procreation.”
de Rougemont, Love in the Western World
Andrew Mullins’ review of Rabbi Shimon Cowen’s Homosexuality, Marriage and Society (News Weekly, July 2, 2016) gives considerable attention to evidence against the gay lobby’s case that homosexuality is a “normal variant”, with a genetic basis, of human sexuality, and therefore as valid as heterosexuality. That is, it is natural, not learned.
I would like to point out that in the world of nature, of mammalian reproduction in particular, it is an aberration that defeats the function of the evolved complex of drives and behaviours innately programmed to enable sexual reproduction (using the genes of two individuals) of the species.
Sexual reproduction means, by definition, two sexes (in the more primitive, asexual reproduction there are no sexes). Our two sexes therefore, axiomatically, evolved, exist, only for the purpose of species reproduction. Copulation involving two males is not sexual despite involving the sex organs of the participants. It should more accurately be called homoeroticism.
The “reason” for sexual intercourse is species reproduction, which homoeroticism has no part in. It is not a normal variant of it, in nature’s terms, but a futile perversion that if it replaced sexual intercourse would result in species extinction.
As to a genetic basis to homosexuality, only genetic mutations that do not preclude reproduction, like webbed toes or colour blindness, will survive over time. A mutation that determined copulation with one’s own sex would be bound to be bred out. It is more like the “acquired characteristics” of the superseded Lamarckian theory, which cannot be passed on genetically.Consider eating, another natural function composed of drive (hunger) and behaviour (ingestion). But to serve its purpose it must be directed at “food”. If a person ate only gravel, or grass, or an artificially food-flavoured nutrition-free substance, we could hardly call this a normal variation of human eating behaviour. Yet such behaviour is to eating what same-sex eroticism is to sex. The individual would soon die, just as homosexuality means extinction of the homosexual’s genetic line.
A friend of mine explained his change from heterosexuality to homosexuality in his twenties: with women, he said, you usually have to put in a certain amount of courtship work, but with men that isn’t needed. Homoeroticism was much more readily available and so took over, although not really preferred. And so he missed out on family life, which he later felt as a personal tragedy.
This sounds very like Oscar Wilde’s “I allowed pleasure to dominate me”, quoted by Cowen.
Our physical and emotional pleasures are nature’s rewards for doing our necessary survival work, just as our drives impel us to act. Hunger drives us to acquired food, and eating gives pleasure. But with the ease of advanced civilisation, it is all too easy to gratify our hunger, and we need ritual restraint to control them and to recognise the “sin of gluttony” and its attendant evils.
There is pleasure in hard physical and intellectual work, and in the relaxation and sense of accomplishment that follow them. The addictive shopper seeks these rewards without having put in the real work of creation.
Brain science is beginning to reveal the secrets of nature’s rewards for essential behaviour; and drug abuse reveals the destructive horrors of “cheating” nature, obtaining its rewards instantly by chemical means instead of performing nature’s tasks to earn them.
Of such, and not a “normal variant”, is homoeroticism: stealing the reward for the begetting and joint raising of children.