Thursday, January 05, 2017

Humanist Manifesto II on sexual conduct

SIXTH: In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized. While we do not approve of exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression, neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults. The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered “evil.” Without countenancing mindless permissiveness or unbridled promiscuity, a civilized society should be a tolerant one. Short of harming others or compelling them to do likewise, individuals should be permitted to express their sexual proclivities and pursue their lifestyles as they desire. We wish to cultivate the development of a responsible attitude toward sexuality, in which humans are not exploited as sexual objects, and in which intimacy, sensitivity, respect, and honesty in interpersonal relations are encouraged. Moral education for children and adults is an important way of developing awareness and sexual maturity.

Interestingly enough, Humanist Manifesto III didn't include anything like this. 

2 comments:

bmiller said...

"neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults"

Leaving this phrase out is especially interesting. I don't think the omission means they want to start prohibiting behaviors, so maybe it's the "consenting adults" part that's troubling to them.

jdhuey said...

I would say that one shouldn't read too much into the absence of a paragraph on sexuality. HM II had seventeen points; HM III has 6. HM III is just greatly streamlined.