Moral values in medical disguise

Critical Introduction - Old Silent Assumptions

1. The Myth of a "Natural" Human Sexuality

Moral values in medical disguise
As any historian of science knows, therapeutic techniques and therapeutic goals have changed rather drastically in the course of time. Yet, their underlying assumption has always remained the same: Both the encouragement and the suppression of masturbation merely served to restore the "natural" sexual response which, in turn, was essential to the patient's health. The fact that this kind of reasoning can lead to such different and even contradictory therapies gives us a first hint at some serious flaw in its premise. This flaw is the questionable character of the concept of "naturalness" as employed here.
What the various therapists called "natural" was actually a moral value in medical disguise. In reality therefore, they did not follow "nature" but, rather, their own moral convictions. It could not have been otherwise, because the belief in a "natural sexuality" is not, and cannot be, based on scientific insight. It is essentially and unavoidably ideological.

[Course 5] [1. "Natural" Sexuality] ["Dysfunctions"] [Masturbation] [Disguised Values] [Therapy] [Treating "Deviance"] [Homosexuality]