Regulating Human Sexuality

11/01/2011 06:45 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016
  • Aaron Anson Inspirational self-help speaker and author, 'Mind Your Own Life: The Journey Back to Love'

The effects of man attempting to regulate human sexuality is evident in our gender-biased laws governing income taxes, marriage licenses, passport applications, social security, rights of survivor benefits, etc. I took these rights for granted when I adhered to societal rules and regulations and validated my heterosexuality by marrying a woman, against my most natural inclination. In doing so, I created more havoc in an already dysfunctional society, by adding my subsequent divorce to an already alarming statistic. Had I accepted my own inherent instinct of being gay to begin with, I could have averted the embarrassment I heaped upon my unwitting wife and our children. The absurd insistence that we embrace one of two molds the government has chosen for us concerns even those who identify as heterosexual.

I've had female friends ask me point-blank whether I thought their husband or significant other was gay. Conversely, guys have asked me if I suspected that their wife or partner was a lesbian. In some cases, their suspicions later proved to be well-founded. Although suspicion alone is not reason enough to identify someone as gay, these questions call for an honest discussion about our human sexuality. First, we must stop pandering to political and religious rhetoric that purports to know all the answers but doesn't ask the more perplexing question: who establishes, and therefore has authority to regulate, the boundaries of human sexuality?

Traditionally, these moral barometers have been determined for us by our religion seeking to explain the incomprehensible. If we subscribe to the belief that God or nature has that authority, then why spend an exorbitant amount of time forcing dogmas and unproven beliefs on others, or implementing discriminatory laws and practices to validate refutable ideology? Those relying heavily on taught interpretation of Biblical scripture tend to avoid mention of scriptures that directly conflict with their half-baked belief. Many others accept the rhetoric of politicians and religious leaders who understand the intricacies of human sexuality no more than they do the complexities of the human eye. Ignoring discrepancies, or repeating passed-down tenets, does not add validity to an already unrealistic conviction.

Our varying sexual behaviors across the board are nothing new. Whether asexual, bisexual, homosexual or heterosexual, our moral compasses for acceptance are established only by the beliefs we've agreed to embrace. In fact, if we lived in a country with polygamist practices such as group marriages, this subject might hardly be a discussion. But our beliefs about moral sexuality are based mostly on what's taught to us, usually through religion, and usually before being fully aware of the complexities of our own human sexuality.

Still, complex questions remains unanswered: How does one demystify human sexuality? Although governmental and societal laws are broken by infidelity, are any laws of human nature broken? The tendency to use religion as a crutch has been impotent at best.

Consider this: there are intersex children born each year with a sexual anatomy that does not fit into our definitions of male and female. Their ambiguous genitalia cannot be defined as male or female, while at the same time, it is both. But the fact that we do not comprehend the intricacies of nature is no reason to ignore or diminish the significance of its factual existence and the magnificence of nature. It aggravate matters further to have ignorant government policies that establish gender-biased laws that regulate marriage, partner health benefits, and tax breaks intended to assist only those who fit into the government's interpretation of sexuality. Where does our acceptance of the interpretations of others begin and end?

A vital step in the right direction is to acknowledge that our human sexuality is perplexing at best and cannot be legislated by a government, regulated by rules, or explicated by a religion. Superficial answers further complicate these phenomena with false comprehension of mastery. I contend that we have made the mistake of looking to government and religion once again to set parameters that govern something ungovernable. In doing so, we leave the most valuable element out of the equation: the vast resources of our own mind, and its ability to reason for us. The fact that governments and institutions set rules does not automatically align them with the laws of nature or human sexuality. All these entities take a role in our existence after our inception into the universe. Quite simply, a government or religion cannot govern something over which it has no control to begin with: the magnificent intricacies of our human sexuality.

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