Morality and sin, these two terms are associated with the term Sexual Deviance which is the act of being deviant from the norms and standards of the society in terms of what they believed is right in terms of sexual activities. Many speculations exist because of different perspectives towards this issue. As stated in the work of J. H. Gagnon (1968), the view about sexual deviance evolves around the definition of mental health and emotional disturbance. There are numerous sexual activities that is deviant from what we know as normal and because of this there is high chance of risk to cause dangerous outcomes that could possibly lead to death if we do not acknowledge this problem. In connection with this, death is considered as one of the concerns of the study of Bioethics because their responsibility doesn’t just stop from giving importance in the beginning of life but also how it ends. This field focuses on how medicine and science agrees to certain decisions which purpose is to give importance to the lives of all the members of society. Opposing views in terms of importance bioethics can be visible through utilitarianism because according to C.D. Kay, (1997), it fails to acknowledge human rights and huge possibility that violence are committed and still be considered for the sake of the greater good. With all of these concepts having inter-related issues that clashed with each other, this paper aims to determine the connection of sexual deviances to death, bioethics and utility to better understand why certain phenomena occurs.
Sexual deviances and death come hand in hand in few situations and some of these are rooted from fetishes. Fetishism is a sexual deviance that substitutes something as its target for the person to express their sexual urges. As reported in NBC news (2015), there was an instance wherein an individual engage into a fetish act of using sex toys as to gratify himself, in the news, the man died because of choking into his sex toy. Due to airway obstruction which is one of the main functions that keeps an individual alive. . Death as explained by S. F. Malamed (2015) happens when breathing and heartbeat already came to an end and these are considered as two important factors to sustain human life since it depicts the final physical state of the person and therefore determines the vital functions of the body. Sexual deviance can cause death if one is not cautious enough when it comes to doing sexually deviant behaviour. As mentioned by M.C. Kearl (2019), it was reported by cardiovascular specialist that there is a possibility that people engaging in sexual activities are predicted to have complications in the heart because of increased blood pressure and pulse rate during the sex itself and this is prone to those who are having rough sex and sadomasochism. If this problem continues to worsen, then death might definitely occur because of lack of discipline.
Life and health are what Bioethics struggle to justify together with human values and rights to life and health. According to G.K. Pike (2013), This field is very particular and meticulous with regards on how appropriate certain developments in healthcare institutions are, and with the term “developments” in encompasses different issues such as in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy. Sexual deviance of homosexuality plays a huge role in the development of surrogacy because in this generation where homosexuals are somehow accepted by the society, these couples also demand things that only man and woman can produce, and that is no other than a child. They started to demand to experience of having their own child that is why they contribute a lot to what we call surrogacy. As defined by the Center of Bioethics and Culture (2011), surrogacy is when a woman agree to have their bodies used and undergo pregnancy in return for the payment that they received. This issue causes several arguments and debates in the field of bioethics because they are the ones who are morally responsible with this problem for it involves not just the health and human rights of the women but also the child that is being conceived and born. This also makes the biological process of pregnancy into a business transaction just to provide for the needs of the woman.
Justice and individual rights are two of the main issues that are being faced by the concept of utilitarianism. In this, what is considered ethical is the one that produces the greatest good. With this, issues regarding sexual deviance particularly “gang rape” became controversial for different parties. If we will be following the concept of “the greatest amount of good for the greatest number” then the act of gang rape may be considered because we are talking about quantity of the involved and those who received the benefit out of the action. However, it does not really make sense if we let this particular case pass because according to RationalWiki.org (2019), if we were to talk about the pleasure gained by the rapists, we cannot conclude that it outweigh the pain and trauma experienced by the victim and even if it does, the act is not reasonable still because they could also achieve the same level of happiness(pleasure) without having to harm another individual. On the other side, there is what we call rule utilitarianism, which conforms to a rule that leads to the greatest good. If we sided with this, then the act of gang rape is obviously unethical and wrong for it is against the law because rape is a sexual deviance violates human rights and dignity of a person. Regardless of the type of utilitarianism, this issue remains crucial for it tackles about human values.
Sexual deviance is a sensitive issue because it is within the topics of morality and human values. With this, bioethics is correlated because this is a field of study that explains on how medicine and science come together to generate developments that prioritize the health of an individual. Since some practices of sexual deviances violates some of the ethical standards that concerns about the health of the people involved, bioethics also seeks to give interventions if any of these deviant sexual behaviors comes to a point that it becomes dangerous for the well being of the individual. Death is connected with bioethics because one of the core concerns of this study involves how a life ends as well, it gives the field of bioethics their sense of responsibility since the sexual deviance serves as an awareness that the health of those who engage in this are in danger and must develop a way to somehow lessen the harm that sexual activities may cause. Utilitarianism are then related in terms of using the definition of “greater good for the greatest number” to bioethics because this field of science aims to develop possible advancement in medicine and science for the good of all the members of its society and to serve justice to the human rights to health and life.
- Gagnon, J.H. (1968). Sexual Deviance in Contemporary America. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/1037807?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents.
- Kay, C.D. (1997). Notes on Utilitarianism. Retrieved from http://sites.wofford.edu/kaycd/utilitarianism/.
- NBC NEWS (2013). Owner of Killer Bear Chokes to Death on Sex Toy. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43744222/ns/us_news-weird_news/t/owner-killer-bear-chokes-death-sex-toy/#.Uk8w3haYW2x.
- Malamed, S.F. (2015). Medical Emergencies in Dental Office. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/clinical-death.
- Kearl, M.C. (2019). Sex and Death, Connection of – World, Body, Life, Cause, Rate, Time, Human. Retrieved from http://www.deathreference.com/Py-Se/Sex-and-Death-Connection-of.html.
- Pike, G.K. (2013). What is Bioethics?. Retrieved from http://www.bioethics.org.au/Resources/Resource%20Topics/Bioethics%20Default.html
- The Center for Bioethics and Culture (2011), Surrogacy: A 21st Century Human Rights Challenge. Retrieved from http://www.cbc-network.org/issues/making-life/surrogacy/.
- RationalWiki.org (2019). Talk: Utilitarianism. Retrieved from https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Talk:Utilitarianism.