CENSORED: Debate about the definition and use of the word “heterosexual”

Sunday, December 2, 2012, 3:49 PM

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Heather wrote:“All bodies are heterosexual”

Michael wrote: “I’m sorry, but David is right on this issue. A body cannot heterosexual, but interests can be. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of heterosexual in English is 1892, and it meant “Characterized by a sexual interest in members of the opposite sex.”

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Heather replied: I’m sorry, but both you and David are wrong. Having heterosexual sex does not require an interest in the members of the opposite sex. A person with a homosexuality problem – and who is thus incapable of having a normal interest in members of the opposite sex – can have heterosexual sex and can even carry out heterosexual reproduction. This is because their bodies are heterosexual and they are equipped for heterosexual reproduction.

To underscore the above, heterosexual reproduction is impossible without heterosexually-designed bodies and a heterosexual biological functioning of these individuals (unless you intervene with artificial procedures which still replicate the natural heterosexual reproduction ones).

Dictionary definitions related to complex phenomena as sexuality are often reductionist, incomplete, and easily distorted.

This is a great example. Human sexuality covers an entire universe of elements, and heterosexuality is this entire universe of elements, which go far beyond a simplistic notion of “sexual desire,” referring to psychological, physical, ideological/cultural, social or behavioral interactions between women and men.

“Heterosexual” is the adjective related to this entire universe of human (hetero)sexuality – which you and David apparently don’t like recognizing very often in terms of its complexity or of its biological realities.

The concept of “human SEXUALITY” is not equal to “sexual orientation.” “Heterosexual ORIENTATION” is one thing, “heteroSEXUALITY” is much, much more complex and encompassing.

Thus, the adjective “heterosexual” cannot be restricted to simply meaning desire, if “sexual” also does not simply refer to desire.

More reductionists definitions of “sexual orientation” exist, meaning just “sexual desire,” but they are often useless and misleading, or used in such ways.

If a person’s biology is designed for heterosexual sex and reproduction, we can certainly say that their bodies are heterosexual, in the sense that they have a heterosexual reproductive apparatus and functioning (which will normally entail heterosexual behaviors).

In conclusion, every person is born heterosexual. One does not need to be born an adult – as David claims – in order to be heterosexual. All that is required is to be part of the human species, which is a heterosexual species. True hermaphrodites don’t exist in the human species, and intersex individuals have congenital defects.

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Chairm wrote:
December 7th, 2012 | 2:31 pm

David Nickol, your use of the word, bigotry, is a departure from the defniition you cited from the dictionary. Yet you rely on your peculiar useage.

Heather is usin heterosexual in a way that gets at the root of the issue of sexual a

Heather has used the word, heterosexual, in a way new to your thinking. She pointed out the two-sexed nature of humankind and of human sexuality. Our bodies are designed for mating, man and woman, and this is so even as the human being develops bodily and mindfully into adulthood. Just as we are bipedal even as the young child crawls on all fours. The difference is that human mating joins two mature adults, one of each sex (of course).

Sexual attraction between man and woman, and its volitional fulfilment, is in accord with the two-sexed nature of humankind. Volitional, not because of variations possible in obkects of sexual attraction, but because the subject is, by nature, a creature of reason and moral conscience, that is to say a human being.

Is sexual behavior possible without mutual consent? Yes. Is that in accord with the nature of human sexuality? No. Likewise it is possible for experienced sexual attraction to venture afield and to manifest against the nature of humankind.

Our bodies are not mere costumes or machines that we use to serve our minds. We are both mind and body, of course. So, as Heather put it, we are born with bodies sexually oriented man to woman and woman to man.

This is so no matter the subject’s contrary will, just as volition is in our nature, even contrary the subject’s acting or feeling or desiring otherwise. Each human being is the subject who experiences the choice, urge, want, need, behavior. Acting in accord with our nature means taking into account the subject’s volition as well as that of the object (another human being) and that person’s equal dignity as a fellow member of humankind. To act otherwise is to act against oneself and against the other person.

Just as the individual person is neither mind-only nor body-only, it is wrong for that individual (the subject) to treat another individual (the object of one’s choice, desire, need, behavior) as less than oneself. To do so would be to go against the nature of humankind.

Humankind is oriented man to woman and woman to man. Sexually, yes, and more.

The notion of “homosexual or bisexual or heterosexual orientation” does not describe the nature of human sexuality; it does describe a range of possibles but not the complete range of possible sexual attractions that human beings are capable of experiencing.

To the extent that “heterosexual” means sexual attraction between man and woman, it merely describes the sexual nature of humankind. Some people might act against that nature, but that does not alter it.

When volition is not manifested in a sexual act, for instance, whether this involves one or two persons or one or two sexes, that does not alter the volitional nature of humankind and thus of human sexuality. Acting contrary to the nature of humankind and human sexuality with or without mutual volition can not alter the volitional nature of humankind and of human sexuality.

Using the word, heterosexual, to desvribe the nature of humankind is reasonable. Using other terms like homosexual or bisexual to describes variances or anomalies is also reasonable. The latter is juxtaposed with human nature but does not alter human nature.

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Heather: “To underscore the above, heterosexual reproduction is impossible without heterosexually-designed bodies and a heterosexual biological functioning of these individuals (unless you intervene with artificial procedures which still replicate the natural heterosexual reproduction ones)”

Michael wrote:
December 7th, 2012 | 7:27 pm

You’re making your argument more difficult than it needs to be by making up new uses for words when you could simply use the English language. No one talks about “heterosexual reproduction” in the way you do. People say instead “sexual reproduction.” Bodies are not “heterosexual”; they are “sexed,” male and female.

Let me reword your sentence, and maybe you’ll understand: “sexual reproduction is impossible without sexually-designed bodies and a sexual biological functioning of these individuals (unless you intervene with artificial procedures which still replicate the natural sexual reproduction ones).”

Notice that this sentence makes complete sense and would be accepted in any biology textbook. There’s no reason for use the word “heterosexual” when the word “sexual” works just as well, is the traditional choice, and doesn’t confuse the issue.

What do you think you gain by bending the language into knots the way you do?

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Michael wrote: Let me reword your sentence, and maybe you’ll understand: “sexual reproduction is impossible without sexually-designed bodies and a sexual biological functioning of these individuals (unless you intervene with artificial procedures which still replicate the natural sexual reproduction ones).”
Heather replied:
December 8th, 2012 | 5:07 am

Michael,

Apparently you are unaware that various types of sexual reproduction exist. I see that it is breaking news to you that hermaphrodite reproduction exists – it is sexual, but it is wrong to characterize it as heterosexual. In your paragraph above, we can’t know if you are talking about heterosexual or hermaphrodite or homosexual reproduction.

“In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.

Many taxonomic groups of animals (mostly invertebrates) do not have separate sexes. In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both partners can act as the “female” or “male”.”

Contrary to your claim, heterosexual reproduction and hermaphroditic reproduction are not the same, even though they are both sexual. Neither is homosexual reproduction the same as heterosexual reproduction.

Thus your example would not be accepted in any biology text that was explaining the difference between the various types of sexual reproduction or in any context where it was necessary to explicit that the reproduction in question was heterosexual (involving opposite sexes or male-female mating) – and not of any other kind.

Let me explain a little bit more: “Sexual” is not interchangeable with “heterosexual” in every reproduction context as you insist.

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Michael wrote: “Let me reword your sentence, and maybe you’ll understand: “sexual reproduction is impossible without sexually-designed bodies and a sexual biological functioning of these individuals (unless you intervene with artificial procedures which still replicate the natural sexual reproduction ones).”

Heather replied: And just underscoring how silly your claim is, you’ve just stated above that two men could reproduce, since they both have “sexually designed” bodies and a “sexual biological functioning” of their bodies. Yet they can’t. And no, your claim that two men could reproduce would not be accepted in any biology textbook.

I hope that you can finally understand what the issue is and that your very limited understanding of the term “heterosexual” is not shared by many other people, including the most basic biology books on various types of reproduction.

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Heather wrote (CENSORED):

Many people talk about “heterosexual reproduction” in the way I do. I am not making any argument more difficult, just explaining how wrong your claim is and how little you know about the use of the term “heterosexual reproduction.” It appears, further, that you are incapable of doing a simple search on the term before posting here.

Information on Fish Reproduction
www.lookd.com/fish/reproduction.html
At least three modes of reproduction–heterosexual, hermaphroditic, and parthenogenetic–are found in fishes.

Heterosexuality – Encyclopedia of Sex and Sexuality
sexuality-encyclopedia.com/dr-ruth/Heterosexuality
23 Sep 2007 – In strictly biological terms, heterosexual reproduction has a number of advantages, the principal one being that it allows for greater variability in…

EvC Forum: Asexual to Heterosexual Reproduction
www.evcforum.net/dm.php?control=msg&t=16757
30 Nov 2012 – In teaching the processes of Meiosis and Meitosis, and where did division of genders come, I am at a loss.

Heterosexual
www.mahalo.com/heterosexual/
Amongst humans and many other species on earth heterosexual reproduction is the only method of species reproduction.

http://h-net.msu.edu/
Can anyone please suggest articles or books that discuss how the US nation
is imagined as constituted through heterosexual reproduction (and how laws
and social custom bolster that image)?

Artificial Life Universe Containing Heterosexual Reproduction and …
adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1993SPIE.2204..141R
by R Rich – 1993 – Cited by 1 – Related articles
Artificial Life Universe Containing Heterosexual Reproduction and Communication.

No Heterosexual Sex Allowed – Television Tropes & Idioms
tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NoHeterosexualSexAllowed
… caused worldwide food wars; eventually, they eliminated heterosexual reproduction altogether and employed cloning to perpetuate (and change) the species

Against Reproduction: Where Renaissance Texts Come From …
books.google.com › … › European › English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
… consider the limits of using heterosexual reproduction to think of textual creation.

On Homosexual Reproduction
differences.dukejournals.org/content/23/1/101.abstract
by V Rohy – 2012 – Related articles
In this phobic view of gay etiology, then, homosexuality is a dangerous idea that proliferates more successfully than heterosexual reproduction.

Heterodoxy Magazine
www.clonerights.com/hetrodoxy.htm
“HETEROSEXUAL REPRODUCTION IS NOW OBSOLETE”. Gay Clones. By Christopher Rapp Heterodoxy*.

Queer (y) ing Georgic: Utility, Pleasure, and Marie-Antoinette’s …
muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth-century_studies/…/30.3casid.html
by JH Casid – 1997 – Cited by 5 – Related articles
It justifies and glorifies patriarchally-organized and controlled agricultural production and heterosexual reproduction as the necessary bases for family and for …

Sexuality & Modernity: Victorian Sexuality
www.isis.aust.com/stephan/writings/sexuality/vict.htm
The prostitute, homosexual and the solitary masturbator emerged as entities posing the greatest threat to heterosexual reproduction, bourgeois morality…

and

a dictionary definition of HETEROSEXUAL
1
a : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward the opposite sex
b : of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between individuals of opposite sex
2
: of or relating to different sexes
— het·ero·sex·u·al·i·ty noun
— het·ero·sex·u·al·ly adverb
………

These are but a few examples of thousands of examples in published articles, comments, and books.

Your limited, reductionist, and outdated understanding of the word “heterosexual” apparently never evolved past the only 19th_century version of the term that you are familiar with.

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Heather wrote (CENSORED):
To the FT censors: what goal do you want to achieve by censoring links to documents mentioning “heterosexual reproduction”?

Is censoring a mention of them on this blog going to help you mislead people about the term more effectively?

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John Howard wrote:
December 8th, 2012 | 11:49 am

Heather, two men could try to reproduce, but it would be unethical and they should not be allowed to try.
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Heather wrote (CENSORED):

With the high level of censorship going on on FT concerning many, many posts that criticize the normalization of homosexuality, good luck with that.

You have seen who is allowed to take up 80% of the bandwidth here, haven’t you? Everyone else must be mostly silenced.

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3 thoughts on “CENSORED: Debate about the definition and use of the word “heterosexual”

  1. I had continued the exchange regarding the objections the two commenters had over your use of the word, heterosexual, in terms of reproduction and in terms of the human body. It turns out that they objected to their own dictionary’s entry on the word, heterosexual, and they objected to the science of reproduction for life on planet earth.

    • Hi Chairm!

      “I had continued the exchange regarding the objections the two commenters had over your use of the word,”

      I know, I saw that you did, but I couldn’t comment further! Not that I would have needed to, because you completely dismantled Michael’s ridiculous insistence that “heterosexual” only refers to desire, etc. Well done! Since I copied my censored posts here, you just gave me an idea, I should copy your replies too (later). That way, if anybody comes to read only my blog, they’ll have entire access to your reply. You are a very good communicator and debater.

      I was just thinking today, that although it’s good to post on my blog and on others, it might be a good moment for me to try writing letters to the editors of newspapers and other publications regarding these topics. I wish I could work full-time on social conservative issues, so much needs to be done!

  2. Pingback: Three quick posts into one: another sexual orientation change study; privacy and democracy; another exchange with a dysfunctional and petty LGBT (man with a transsexual problem) | Reflections, Reflections by Alessandra

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