In the debate over the morality of premarital sex there are two main sides; one being the liberals and one being the conventionalists. Liberals reject the ideas that suggest premarital sex is immoral. In opposition, conventionalists would say that sex before marriage is totally unacceptable. Both sides propose a variety of arguments that defend their viewpoints on premarital sex and the moral issues that entail.
Before we jump in head first, we need to define marriage. Some say that marriage would constitute a ceremony in which a man and woman become legally committed to one another. Others, such as author, Vincent Punzo, would disagree by saying people “may be morally married without having engaged in a marriage ceremony (Punzo, V. C.
, 2002, 169) .” This difference causes arguments between conventionalists and has created a gray area in this moral issue. Liberals believe that premarital sex is permissible as long as it “doesn’t conflict with a well-established moral rule or principle (Punzo, V. C. , 2002, 160) .” For example, as long as no one is physically or mentally harmed, a premarital sexual experience would be ok. They would consider sex with a minor as being immoral because of the psychological effects that it could cause. Or a rape would be considered immoral, because of the physical and mental harm that would come about.
... or even both sides of a marriage, is bored with their sex lives. Premarital sex offers many benefits but there are ... experience which can be used during the marriage, but if taken lightly, premarital sex has devastating consequences, both psychologically and ... she does not regret having sex before marriage. One major factor encouraging the acceptance of premarital sex is the mass media. However ...
Another example would be sex that wasn’t consensual. A boy who takes advantage of a drunken girl at a party would be considered as having immoral sex because she was not at a mental state in which she could make a rational decision. So in the liberal’s point of view, as long as it doesn’t break any major moral rules or principles, most premarital sex is morally suitable. For example, if a man goes to a club and meets a woman that he finds sexually attractive, and they both consent to sex, then there is nothing wrong with it. This is especially true to liberals considering that one of the three factors of motivation in everyone’s lives is the sexual motive. They agree everyone is born with certain hormones that cause sex to be a huge motivational factor in many of the decisions we make.
The liberal’s views are also evident in the way they go about sexual education in schools. They support comprehensive sex education, starting for children as early as kindergarten (Schatz, 2002).
Their programs would focus heavily on the straight facts with “great emphasis on contraceptives and safe sex (Schatz, 2002) .” On the other hand, conventionalists don’t think its proper to introduce sex to children at such an early age or emphasize contraception to such a great degree. Rather, they would promote abstinence and the idea of resisting sex as the most productive methods. Conventionalists clearly have a different prospective when it comes to premarital sex. Vincent Punzo, a conventionalist, would argue that premarital sex is immoral for a number of reasons.
Sharing problems and prospects of historical existence with another person is marriage, in Punzo’s point of view. So he does not agree that a ceremony distinguishes marriage. His definition of premarital sex is that of pre-commitment sex. If the sex is between two people who have no previous commitment to one another, then they are committing premarital sex. This sex without commitment separates the physical and mental aspects of sex by only focusing on the physical. “Their union is not simply a union of organs, but is as intimate and as total a physical union of two selves as is possible of achievement (Punzo, V.
... has the authority to refuse to authorize a same-sex marriage from the impossibility of reproduction rather than from any ... for their civil right to have a (same-sex) marriage. This particular case points out that the right to ... discrimination on the account of sex. It is now apparent how the law defined a marriage. Legally it is considered ... Same Sex Marriages There are so many factors that may affect ...
C. , 2002, 165) .” Yet many conventionalists would even disagree with Punzo in saying that anything outside of legal marriage is wrong. In other words, conventionalists believe physical sharing involves physiological sharing, and that sex is more complete and satisfying when on both levels. Punzo would say that premarital sex is wrong because it is only “in the moment”, and doesn’t require the sharing of historical existence.
Punzo also states that “people participating in premarital sex are treating sexual arrangements such as ordinary contracts. The human body has thus been treated as any object or commodity, which human beings exchange and haggle over in their day-to-day transactions (Punzo, V. C. , 2002, 167) .” Another popular belief that conventionalists have is based on the idea that it reflects social utility.
The whole idea, which begins with sex in marriage alone (SIMA), creates a “domino” effect that is supposed to lead to a more stable society. This is accomplished by basing the idea of SIMA as creating stronger bonds between the husband and wife. These stronger bonds create a more stable family life, which promotes proper upbringing of children, and leads to a more stable society. In a poll taken in 1997, under 50% of people in the U.
S. said they thought it was morally wrong for a couple to have a baby outside of marriage (Myers, D. G. , 2001).
And interestingly enough, “in the United States, about half of ninth- to twelfth-graders report having had sexual intercourse (Myers, D. G.
, 2001, 453) .” But it isn’t just family values that affect the rates of sexual intercourse in young people. Cultural impacts have a lot to do with it also. In fact, rates are much lower in Asian and Arab countries, and even among North Americans of Asian descent (Myers, D. G. , 2001).
Plus, “since 1960, the percentage of babies born to unmarried Canadian, British, and American women – one-third of whom were teens – has more than quintupled (Meyers, D.
... as religious, I know the discouragement of having premarital sex. It's not just the immorality that these ... repetition of words to imply that these people are having sex over and over again without any guilt. ... to the 'lovers' by introducing them as people who have sex without being in love by saying, "These ... looking back on this poem. Are these the people we are supposed to respect? The only difference ...
G. , 2001, 453) .” Yet the rate in Japan has stayed completely the same (Meyers, D. G. , 2001).
It seems as though no matter how many valid arguments conventionalists come up with to dispute premarital sex, there is something in our society, culture, or physiological makeup that is causing people – especially those that are young – to sway towards the view that premarital sex is somehow morally justifiable. References Punzo, V.
C. (2002), Morality and human sexuality. Social Ethics: Morality and Social Policy, 164-169. Schatz, J. (2002), Home page: web > Myers, D. G.
(2001), Myers in modules. Sexual motivation, 453-454.