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Sexual Perversion Essay

825 words - 4 pages

Nagel’s Sexual Perversion
Regine Apeah
Ryerson University
Nagel’s Sexual Perversion
Regine Apeah
Ryerson University

The idea of sexually perverse acts can only be understood after grasping the concept of sexual desires amongst humans. Nagel (1969) mentions that like hunger, sexual desire has its characteristic object a certain relationship with something in the external world; sexual desire is a feeling about other people. The object of sexual attraction is a particular person that has features that make them attractive (Nagel, 1969). For example when different people are attracted to a person for different reasons, it’s ultimately because of the person. It’s ...view middle of the document...

5). “Reflexive mutual recognition” is when desires are reciprocated by both parties involved, without mutuality sexual perversion arises (Nagel, 1969, p.12). Examples of sexual perversion include sex with animals, children and inanimate objects as they do not go past the first stage. Inanimate objects have no awareness, animals and children can be aware, but they are not able to cognitively recognize they are the source of arousal and reciprocate the desire (Nagel, 1969). Exhibitionism is also perverse because one is only concerned about attracting attention to oneself by displaying one’s genital in public; there is only one party involved, which is being aroused. An act that could not be considered sexually perverse is homosexuality. Nagel suggests that there is no reason for thinking homosexuality is a perversion, as it fulfills reflexive mutual recognition the same as heterosexuals, it is just that one is being aroused by someone with a similar body as their own (Nagel, 1969). As sexual perversions are psychological and not physiological sterility, miscarriage, contraception and abortion are not sexual perversions (Nagel, 1969).
Nagel was criticized by different philosophers such as Robert Solomon. Solomon was in agreeance with Nagel on certain things, but he states that Nagel’s analysis is both cautious and competent, he doesn’t mention sex this is only inferred, this is empty content (Solomon, 1974). Based on the idea of empty...

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