ADULTS’ PERSONAL SEXUAL DECISIONS: People (adults) are wise enough to take decisions for themselves – personal decisions. Whom I choose to marry or have sex with (as an adult) should be my own decision. Laws that seek to set limitations are just not fair to minority sexual taste.
RESPONSE: We don’t live in isolation. Our everyday decisions, actions and inactions have effects not just on ourselves but on many other people. This is the primary inspiration of laws. Almost every law is ultimately aimed at eliminating the negative effects of one’s decisions/actions on other people – or bringing such effects to the barest minimum so as to foster coexistence of all. For this sake, even our most basic right to life has a limit – society can choose to terminate your life if your very existence constitutes a great threat to others. Depending on the degree of the negative impact of your choices, society may call that choice a felony, crime, misdemeanor, etc with attendant repercussions.
Sometimes, society is okay with many options available to an individual, thus, it assumes an indifferent position on them. This is where personal choices come in.Personal choices are only applicable when society does not frown on available choices.
UNTIL, SOCIETY PERMITS A CERTAIN CHOICE, THAT CHOICE CANNOT BE YOUR PERSONAL CHOICE IN THAT SOCIETY.
That is why I can choose to vote anytime between 7 A.M. and 5 P.M. on elections day but I cannot take a personal decision to go vote at 5 A.M.or 7 P.M.
The effects of our actions on others are multidimensional. They could be physical, medical, sociocultural, psychological, etc. It’s often easy to observe and even quantify the physical and medical effects an individual’s actions has on others. That’s why you won’t contemplate on a law to legalise rape even if I’m diagnosed
with a mutation that causes me to do so. But, the social and psychological effects are difficult to observe and quantify. Subjectivity becomes the game and a researcher/observer who is not highly informed about the sociocultural nature of a society might find it hard to understand the logic behind some of their laws.
Why at all should a southpaw strive over and over to salute with the right arm? Why must he (the left-handed) receive your Xmas gift with the right hand? (But, I’m pretty sure that will be his last time tasting of your charity if he uses the left.) The reason is simple because using the left for such things has a negative social effect on others as it is associated with disrespect, ungratefulness, etc. So it is simply unacceptable. Yes, it’s a genetic inclination, but, it’s
unacceptable and could even merit punishment before some kings.
This has been the case with homosexuality, polygamy, dress codes, etc. Well, the anus was NOT designed to take phalli – married men (too) take note. But a lot of the impacts of homosexuality are sociocultural! They’re difficult to measure. A person could consider it acceptable, trivial or unthinkable depending on
Come to think of it, Africans who detest homosexuality cannot fathom why the West (with its many millionaires) frowns on polygamy. They also quiz: why must government determine how many women I marry? Aren’t the couples adults? Isn’t marriage their personal decision? Isn’t polygamy a marital orientation? If these people had the power of the dollar, this article wouldn’t be on homosexuality, haha.
Join me in the Final Part (5) as we look at the evolution of societal norms.
Thank you very much.
Isaac Ofori Ampong