In this essay, I will analyse and compare the arguments of Michael Levin and John Corvino, on homosexuality, where Levin is against homosexuality and Corvino defends homosexuality. This topic serves as great importance as homosexuality is a controversial topic, globally, thus, addressing arguments for and against it, captures the attention of many in a societal setting.
I will begin with Michael Levin who claims that there is a “prudential reason” to deject homosexuality, “because it leads to unhappiness”. However, he does not claim that all homosexuals will be unhappy, but rather that homosexuals have a higher chance of being unhappy compared to heterosexuals.
However, Levin, takes in account that homosexuals do not have the choice of who they are attracted to, thus, he states that “we cannot blame them”. But, he further explains that people should still view homosexuality as a “misfortune” and that people should act to decrease its occurrence.
Levin, further explains that homosexuals misuse their sexual organs and that this act is “unnatural” as homosexuality “is based on an evolution theory”. His arguments begin by explaining the functions of the sexual organs, as he argues that the natural function of the penis is to insert semen into the vagina and not into a man’s anus. He further explains that evolution selects for creatures who mostly enjoy using their sexual organs, “according to their natural function” as well as that, human males, mostly enjoy heterosexual sexual activity, more than homosexual intercourse.
His central argument of his thesis is that homosexuality is abnormal. He further argues that homosexuality leads to laziness as he explains that “people who exercise are using their muscles according to their natural function, and will be, mostly happier as a result.” Levin quotes further evidence of his argument: “the evidence is the fact that homosexuals are, by and large, and for the most part, less happy than heterosexuals.” He believes that his theory clarifies this information well. In summary, Levin views homosexuality as abnormal and disagreeable. Not because it is “sinful” or hinders the evolution development or “weakens society”, but his main argument is that there is a misuse of genitals, regarding homosexual intercourse, as he states that the genitals of a person has a specific function and the misuse of genitals has a high possibility to relate to unhappiness in a person.
My contrasting argument is by John Corvino, who defends homosexuality. He argues that homosexuality can be recognised as “goods of love, happiness, pleasure, etc.” factors, of which, heterosexuals can apprehend and appreciate.
Corvino, argues against Levin’s idea of the misuse of the genitals, as Corvino explains that each body part can be used in many ways, for example, the natural function of the ears is not to hold a pair of glasses in place, therefore “it should not be immoral to use body parts to express love or giving or receiving pleasure.” Corvino also supports his argument and defends his views by claiming that even if there is a development of statistical findings that show that there is a higher percentage of depression and suicide amongst homosexuals. These statistics does not mean or show that homosexuality causes depression and suicide, but rather it could mean that that because of the ill treatment towards homosexuals in society, this can increase the depression rates within a societal setting, prominently.
Corvino, focuses on the Prima Facie argument for homosexuality. He takes an example of a homosexual couple, who gets stuck in traffic, owing to the bad weather. The couple therefore shared a romantic moment, whilst stranded in the car. Corvino, highlights the positives of this situation. Firstly, the moment shared was pleasurable. Secondly, the situation sparked communication between the two, allowing the couple to express affection and love. Thirdly, the situation increased their physical intimacy for each other thus, increasing “their emotional intimacy.” Lastly, there were no undesirable features noticed or mentioned. The Prima Facie argument elucidates that “homosexual behaviour realizes concrete goods without bad consequences, therefore any behaviour that promotes good without malicious intent or negative consequences, is prima facie morally justified.”
However, Corvino explains that “society accepts heterosexual behaviour to be morally right, thus, sexual activity that is morally acceptable for heterosexuals is also morally permissible for homosexuals.” He further justifies his defence for homosexuality by explaining that there is an importance in the pleasure of procreating with the person they love. Therefore, it is wrong to claim that homosexuals never lead to procreation.
In conclusion, I have analysed both, Levin and Corvino’s arguments, against and the defense, of homosexuality. Personally, I find Corvino’s argument, which defends homosexuality, to be more persuasive. His findings and ideas justify his arguments to a certain extent, in an open-minded way of thinking, thus he brings relevant aspects that backup his ideologies, as well as causing people to question Levin’s argument, which is against homosexuality. Heterosexuals and homosexuals, both produce love, intimacy and pleasure, thus, there is no moral reasoning to treat the two differently.