Posts Tagged medical ethics

When We Thought Men Could Have Abortions and Other Problems with Outdated Biology

One of the reasons that masturbation was seen as uh, problematic, in the Catholic Church is based in outdated biology.

Back in the good ol’ days where the medical world thought women were simply incubators for fetuses, it was a widely understood truth that men carried the life.  Men were seen as the carriers of the human embryo and women were simply airports and incubators for deposit and growth.

Because the fertilization process was not understood, masturbation was seen as the equivalent to having an abortion, thus the strong teachings against it.  Once the sperm left the shaft, it was seen as human life hitting the ground.  Or temple floor.  Or pillow.  And it died.  LIFE died with masturbation.

Even though it’s 2012 and our medical advancements have clearly surpassed the black and white facts of the birds and the bees, including the joining of the egg and sperm, not all of religious teaching and legislation reflect these medical breakthroughs.  Now that we know that there is such a thing called fertilization, and women are much more than just warm containers for zygotes, it would behoove our society to think before we put addendums and amendments which date us back to the time where men’s sperm was seen as the mailman for new life.

And, hey, I’m not advocating for your teenage son to masturbate without delay or conscience.  Nor am I saying that sperm isn’t important, but let’s reserve the word “sacred” for the actuality and fullness of life, not just body fluids.  To reject common biology and reducing/twisting the definition of humanity to just men’s sperm or just women’s eggs leads us down paths that often result in feverish gender essentialism and dangerous mentalities regarding reproductive health.  Or, simply put: misinformed or uneducated opinion regarding health and sexuality that makes its way into law harms reduces, oppresses, and harms women.

We can do better than this.

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