Critical Introduction - Old Silent Assumptions

1. The Myth of a "Natural" Human Sexuality

Treating "Deviance"
All of this also applies to the treatment of sexual deviance, although at first glance, it now appears to be more sophisticated than in the past. For example, in the most recent "progressive" therapeutic literature, the old-fashioned epithets
"perversion," "aberration," and "deviation," whose moralistic, indeed religious, origin was fairly obvious, have been replaced with the seemingly more objective term "paraphilia" (gr. para: beside and philia: love). Yet, upon closer inspection, this term is no less ideological than the others. It still assumes the existence of a "naturally" given norm - a correct "philia" which can have less admirable relatives. In fact, the relationship of this "philia" to the "paraphilias" is the same as that of the true professional or true physician to the various paraprofessionals or paramedics. The latter definitely belong to the second rank. They stand slightly below and beside the former and do not command the same respect. However, there are no sexual norms to be found in nature, and whether one particular sexual behavior is better than another, is never a scientific finding, but always a moral judgement. This means, among other things, that the current term "paraphilia" will also have to be abandoned, because there is no scientific way of determining a correct "philia". Where sexual behaviors are individually or socially unacceptable, they will have to be defined and classified on entirely different, openly stated grounds. What all of this means, in practice, is exemplified by an old controversy: The question whether homosexuality is or is not a disease.

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