MALE AND FEMALE: THE SEXUAL SIGNIFICANCE
Because human sexuality participates in the mystery of the human person,
the last word on this subject can never be said. Moreover, precisely
because it is so rich in intelligibility that its meaning can never be
fully exhausted by any one person or group of persons, it is only
reasonable to expect that there will be differences of opinion concerning
it, differences that are not only complementary but, quite frequently,
contradictory. Still this does not mean that we do not really know anything
at all about the meaning of human sexuality.1 My purpose here will be to
develop an understanding of human sexuality and of the significance of the
fact that the human species is sexually differentiated into male and
female. This understanding is, in my judgment, true; and while it is open
to ever deeper and richer development, its truth is of critical importance
to human persons and human societies.
Before reflecting on the meaning of human sexuality, however, I want to
make some brief observations about the significance of being human and to
show why a grasp of what it means to be human is centrally important in
evaluating any understanding of human sexuality.
To be a human being is to be, first and foremost, a being of moral worth or
person, a bearer of transcendent value, the subject of a dignity and a
sanctity that ought to be recognized by others and protected by society.
This proposition, I believe, can be defended philosophically on the grounds
that a human being, i.e., a living member of the human species, is a being
radically different in kind from other kinds of living beings of which we
have experience, and that membership in this species is, therefore, of
crucial moral significance, conferring a status on a human being that is
not enjoyed by other beings that we know.2 Religiously, this proposition is
rooted in the belief that a human being is a living image or icon of God
Himself, a "word" uttered by God, the created "word" that His Uncreated
All human beings are by virtue of their membership in the human species
beings of moral worth or "persons."3 Included in this species are many who
are "not" consciously aware of themselves and capable of relating to other
selves in a "meaningful" way. Still all of these human beings are beings of
moral worth, "persons," and as such equal in dignity and value.
To be human, then, is to be a person. But the human person is not a spirit
person; it is a "bodied" person, an animal person. A human person is a
living human body, and so long as we have within our midst a living human
body we have present to us an irreplaceable, priceless human person. The
developing living human body within a pregnant woman is a person, not a
mass of genetic materials; a comatose, but still living human body, is a
person, not a "living vegetable."
Since human persons are body persons, they are inevitably sexual persons.
In creating human persons, God created a biological species of a unique
kind, but a species sexually differentiated into male and female. To be a
human person, therefore, is to be a sexual being. There are no asexual
members of the human species; rather all of us are either male or female. I
believe that any true understanding of human sexuality must take seriously
the bodily character of our personhood, recognizing that our bodies are not
subpersonal tools of a "conscious subject" distinct from them but are
rather integrally personal dimensions of our existence.4
"Sexuality," Pope John Paul II reminds us, "is by no means something purely
biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such.5
The fact that one human person is a "male" and that another is a "female"
is not something merely incidental to their being, a matter of sheer
facticity, a purely biological "given" that the person is called upon to
"transcend."6 "Maleness and femaleness" are not mere anatomical differences
but are different modes of "being" human. A man and a woman are different
not only anatomically and culturally but psychically and ontologically. One
contemporary writer, Mary Rosera Joyce, puts it this way:
"Man and woman are different in the very depths of their
existence. Their more apparent anatomical differences are not .
. . mere attachments to their common human nature; differences
in the body are "revelations" of differences in the depths of
their beings.... The idea that sex is biological only is a
serious affront to the unity of the human person."7
Another contemporary, Pope John Paul II, expresses this by saying that male
and female "are, as it were, two 'incarnations' of the same metaphysical
solitude/that man, male and female, is as a unique being in creation/
before God and the world--two ways, as it were, of 'being a body' and at
the same time a man, which complete each other."8
This truth about human persons, although difficult to express clearly and
unambiguously, is crucial, for it shows that human persons are not sexless
intelligences but are rather irreplaceable and unrepeatable men and women
of flesh and blood. A human person is not an immaterial substance or
subjectivity that simply happens, as the authors of the CTSA report on
human sexuality put it, to be "embodied in either a male or a female
bodystructure."9 Rather a human person is a bodily being whose person is
that of a male or female, a sexual being.
Men and women, therefore, differ not only physically and anatomically but
metaphysically. They sense differently, they feel differently, they think
differently, they love differently.10 This deeply rooted difference between
male and female is perhaps the reason, as George Gilder, Stephen Clark,
Lucius Cervantes and others have so richly documented,11 why a woman more
easily discovers her sexual identity in being herself and why a man must go
out of himself in deeds to establish his sexual identity.
It is particularly important to realize that our sexuality is not to be
identified with our sexual organs. Our sexual organs are indeed integrally
personal and are not simply tools that persons use, now for one purpose and
now for another.12 Still, these organs, though revelatory of our being as
men and women, do not exhaust our sexuality, our maleness and femaleness.
Our sexuality, in other words, is not only genital but is a modality or
dimension of our existence as sentient, affective, body persons who are
capable of coming into possession of ourselves as sexual beings through
acts of understanding and of love.
What this means is that sexuality--and with it our sexual desires and
powers--is not in and of itself integrative. Rather it needs to be
integrated within ourselves by the virtue of chastity, which Pope John Paul
II describes as precisely the aptitude to master the movements of sexual
desire or concupiscence, so that we can thereby come into possession of
ourselves as sexual beings and not become possessed by desire.13 A human
person is capable of becoming fully himself without expressing himself in
acts of genital coidon. It is not, in short, necessary to experience orgasm
in order to be fully male or fully female.14
The claims made in the foregoing paragraphs are, in my judgment, true. Yet
they need to be substandated, and the evidence in support of them needs to
be marshaled and developed. This I hope to do in the following reflections.
One of the most important sexual differences is that the male can never
become pregnant (and knows so), whereas the female can (and knows so), and
she can become pregnant not by taking thought but by taking into her body
the body person of the male and receiving from him his seed. At the same
time, one of the most important similarities between the male and the
female is that they both need to touch others and to be touched by others.
They need to do so because they are body persons. They also dread offensive
touches, invasions of their privacy, violations of their body person. They
can reach out and touch others in many different ways, but there is one
sort of touch that is unique and by its very nature bears on differences
between male and female, and this is the touch of genital coition.
This is a unique sort of touch for two special reasons. It is unique,
first, because it involves a way of touching significantly different for
the male and the female. She can not, in the act of genital coition enter
into the person of the male, whereas he can personally enter into her, and
she is uniquely capable of receiving him. What this indicates, as Robert
Joyce has noted, is that in the male sexuality is a giving in a receiving
sort of way, whereas in the female sexuality is a receiving in a giving
sort of way.15 This way of touching is unique, second, because it can and
sometimes does lead to the female's becoming pregnant, a bearer of a new
human life.16 This touch, in short, is unique because it is unitive and
The facts noted in the foregoing paragraph support the view that human
sexuality includes, somewhat differently for each sex, affective and
genital dimensions. These two dimensions are inseparably linked in the
"one" human person, a sexual being who is either male or female. Moreover,
the genital component is both a way of being affectionate (unitive) and the
only way in which males and females can be life-giving (procreative)."
Today many people believe that the fundamental "human" and "personal"
significance of our sexuality is its affective component, in particular its
coital-genital union, and that its procreative component is simply a
biological function. These people, among them a number of prominent
theologians, propose therefore an ideology of affectionate, relational,
creatively interpersonal, and nonprocreative sex.18 Their understanding of
human sexuality can properly be called "separatist," for they sever the
bonds between the unitive/amative/affectionate dimension of human sexuality
and its procreative dimension, deeming the former alone as personal and
human and the latter as merely a biological function, of itself subpersonal
in character and of human and personal significance only when consciously
willed and chosen.19
In company with many others, including George Gilder, Paul Ramsey, and,
significantly, Popes Paul VI and John Paul II,20 I believe that this
separatist ideology is a serious misunderstanding of the significance of
our existence as sexual persons. There is something of paramount human
significance in the fact that one special kind of touch, the touch of
coital sex, not only requires for its exercise a difference between male
and female but also expresses in its own inherent dynamism an intimate,
exclusive sharing of life and love. Moreover, this touch, open to the
transmission of life, is capable of communicating that life and that love
to a new human being, a new body person of priceless and irreplaceable
The generating of a new human life is not an act comparable to the making
of a table or a car; it is not an act of "reproduction"--as many of the
advocates of the separatist understanding prefer to call it--and it is not
this sort of an act because a human person is not a product inferior to its
producers but rather is a being equal in dignity to and one in nature with
its parents. A human person is the image or word of God, and like the
Uncreated Word a human person is to be begotten, not made. Furthermore, the
newly formed and developing human person is one of the most helpless and
dependent of all beings. The best way--God's plan for human beings, as the
Church has consistently taught21--to provide this new human person with the
love it needs to develop the powers it possesses is to give it a mother and
a father who are willing to share their life and love with a being who
comes into existence through the same act whereby they express their own
deep, intimate, and exclusive love for one another.
Thus, despite the current ideology of nonprocreative relational sex, we
find that sex takes on a new centrality and depth in relation to our
capacity to share life with a new generation of human persons. Our power to
do this, our procreative power, is thus by no means subpersonal or
subhuman, a mere biological function. It is, rather, a significant human or
personal power inherently and intimately linked to our very being.22 As
Pope John Paul II has put it, human fertility "is directed to the
generation of a human being, and so by its nature it surpasses the purely
biological order and involves a whole series of personal values."23
It is now necessary to examine more closely the significance of our
sexuality as affectionate, passionate beings, who long to touch and be
touched by others. Among the ways in which we can touch another person, the
genital sexual touch is, as we have already seen, unique. In and through
it, the man and the woman are able to manifest what John Paul II has termed
the "nuptial meaning of the body," that is, its meaning as a gift from God,
an expression of His life and love and a reality that is, of itself, open
to life.24 It is, moreover, not just any kind of life and love that is
meant to be shared through this deeply personal deed; through this act each
comes to "know" the other and to be "known" by that other in a unique way.
The kind of love meant to be expressed by this sexual touch is aptly called
"spousal" or "wedded" love, a love different in kind from ordinary
friendship love the kind of love we are meant to extend to all.
This love, so richly described in "Gaudium et Spes," the Pastoral
Constitution on the Modern World of Vatican II, in Pope Paul VI's
encyclical "Humanae vitae," and in the writings of Pope John Paul II both
prior to and subsequent to his election as Pope,25 will be taken up at more
length in Chapter 3, below. Here I would like to note how this love is
analyzed by the philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand and by the psychologist
Erich Fromm. Von Hildebrand says that spousal love "aspires to a union
which extends much further than that of simple friendship, filial love, or
parental love. It desires bodily union.... Spousal love aspires to the
bodily union as a specific fulfillment of the total union, as a unique,
deep, mutual selfdonation."26 Spousal love, obviously, is the kind of love
intended to characterize the love between man and woman in marriage, the
kind of love symbolizing and inwardly participating in the love of Christ
for His bride the Church.
It is important to note, however, that Von Hildebrand says that spousal
love "aspires to" a unique and total self-donation. He recognized that
spousal love, as an aspiration or desire, can and does arise in persons who
are not married, and who, possibly, can never become married because of
tragic circumstances. His point is that spousal love is the kind of love
that is ordered to marriage, promised in marriage, and meant to
characterize marriage. Indeed, as we shall see in Chapter 4, it is marriage
itself that makes spousal love, as an actuality and not merely as an
aspiration and desire, possible.
It is instructive, in my opinion, to note that this notion of spousal love
seems to be precisely the type of love to which the psychologist Erich
Fromm refers when he speaks of "erotic" love and distinguishes it from all
other kinds of love. For Fromm erotic love is a distinct type of friendship
love and its difference arises from its "exclusive" character, a character
that needs to be carefully and properly understood. The exclusivity of
erotic love is by no means a type of jealous possessiveness, nor does it
mean that erotic or spousal love for one particular, unique person excludes
warmth, affection, and friendship love for others. Fromm puts it this way:
"In erotic love there is an exclusiveness that is lacking in
brotherly love and motherly love. The exclusive character of
erotic love warrants further discussion. Frequently the
exclusiveness of erotic love is misrepresented as meaning
possessive attachment. One can find two people "in love" with
each other who feel no love for anybody else. Their love is, in
fact, an "egoism a deux".... They have the experience of
overcoming aloneness yet, since they are separated from the rest
of mankind, they remain separated from each other and alienated
from themselves; their experience of union is an illusion.
Erotic love is exclusive, but it loves in the other person all
of mankind, all that is alive. It is exclusive in the sense that
I can fuse myself fully and intensely with one person alone.
Erotic love excludes the love of others only in the sense of
erotic fusion, full commitment in all aspects of life--but not
in the sense of deep brotherly love."27
There is, then, a very special kind of human love, one that is thematically
sexual in character, aptly termed "spousal" or "conjugal" love. It is
"this" kind of love, one that is exclusive yet nonpossessive, that gives
human significance to the genital sexual touch, to the act of human
coition. It is important to see why.
Earlier I stressed that our sexuality includes both affective and genital
components--and in saying this there was no intent to sever the two; far
from it, for the genital dimension of our sexuality is intended to be an
exceptionally intimate mode of expressing affection, of touching and being
touched by another human person. As males and females, we can reach out in
friendship to touch all of the persons with whom we live. But, as men and
women who lovingly and intelligently order our lives, we are to reach out
and to touch in genital sexuality only that person with whom we will share
conjugal or spousal love. There are many reasons why this is true and why
this truth has much to tell us about ourselves and our existence as sexual
beings; I shall now attempt to explore some of these reasons.
We body persons are unique among the living beings of our experience not
only in our capacity to share and communicate life and love to others but
also in our vulnerability and in our ability to wound others. We are the
most woundable of animals, and in sharing our person (and this is precisely
what we "are" doing in acts of coition, of genital touching) we are
exchanging vulnerabilities, we are risking our lives--and we are risking
the life of the person with whom we are sharing our own.
Life entails risks, of course; but the person who seeks to come into
possession of himself and to integrate his sexual humanity does not risk
his life or the life of another irreplaceably precious human person
wantonly. We are, in brief, to come into possession of ourselves and not
let ourselves become possessed by our desires. And precisely because of our
vulnerability we should choose to touch another and to be touched by
another in the act of genital coition only when, together, we are ready to
share spousal love; for it is only this kind of love that rightly respects
the intrinsic worth, the unique irreplaceability, and vulnerability of the
I realize that at times there may be tender and affectionate acts of
genital coition between persons who are unable to give each other spousal
love. Fornication need not be brutal. Nonetheless the tenderness and
affection present are so not because those engaging in such actions are
unmarried, but despite the fact. And there is present an element of
tragedy, of poignant sadness, and this precisely because something of
crucial human significance that ought to be present is missing: the ability
to give spousal love, an ability that is made possible only by the covenant
of marriage. But because of this the action in question is deprived of what
ought to be integral to it, and this deprivation of the good that ought to
be present makes it evil. "Bonum ex integra causa, malum ex quocumque
Moreover, and this is something that cannot be concealed from the human
mind, even in this contraceptive age, genital coition is genital: that is,
it, possesses a procreative dimension, one rooted in the procreative
sexuality of male and female. The act whereby a man and a woman can express
and are meant to express in a unique way the special kind of friendship
known as spousal love is an act that is open to the transmission of life.
It is an act that of its own inner dynamism is open to the generation of a
new human person, a child who has the right to be wanted, to be touched, to
be given a home where he can take root and to be loved. The
affective/unitive and genital/procreative dimension of human sexuality are,
as Pope Paul VI stressed in "Humanae vitae," inseparably connected.28
The touch of genital sexuality, the "sex act," is a touch that is meant to
participate in the love-giving and life-giving covenant of God's awesome
plan for Man, whom He created "male and female." The touch of genital
coition is fitting, appropriate, and of truly human significance only
within the covenant of marriage, a human reality inwardly receptive to the
covenant of God's grace, a reality that has indeed been integrated into
this convenant by the redemptive death and resurrection of Christ. Within
the reality of marriage, which is, as the Fathers of Vatican II teach,
"rooted in the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent" and an
image of and participation in "the loving covenant uniting Christ with the
Church,"29 this touch itself becomes a covenantal and sacramental reality.
Everything said in this chapter is summarized by Pope John Paul II in
"Familiaris Consortio," and it is fitting to conclude this chapter with
this passage from his inspiring apostolic exhortation:
"Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to
one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to
spouses, is by no means something purely biological, but
concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is
realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of
the love by which a man and a woman commit themselves totally to
one another until death. The total physical self-giving would be
a lie if it were not the sign and fruit of a total personal
self-giving, in which the whole person, including the temporal
dimension, is present: If the person were to withhold something
or reserve the possibility of deciding otherwise in the future,
by the very fact he or she would not be giving totally.
This totality which is required by conjugal love also
corresponds to the demands of responsible fertility. This
fertility is directed to the generation of a human being, and so
by its nature it surpasses the purely biological order and
involves a whole series of personal values. . .
The only "place" in which this self-giving in its whole truth is
made possible is marriage, the covenant of conjugal love freely
and consciously chosen, whereby man and woman accept the
intimate community of life and love willed by God himself, which
only in this light manifests its true meaning. The institution
of marriage is not an undue interference by society or
authority, nor the extrinsic imposition of a form. Rather it is
an interior requirement of the covenant of conjugal love which
is publicly affirmed as unique and exclusive in order to live in
complete fidelity to the plan of God, the creator."30
1. On this question see the development by Bernard Lonergan of the
distinction between categorical and transcendental questions and of the
movement, within the human person, from experience to understanding to
critical reflection and responsible action. His thought on this matter is
briefly summarized in the first chapter of his "Method in Theology" (New
York: Herder and Herder, 1972).
2. See the important book by Mortimer Adler, "The Difference of Man and the
Difference it Makes" (New York: Meridian Books, 1968).
3. The term "person" is a philosophical one, and many contemporaries use it
in the sense of an entity aware of itself as a self (e.g., Michael Tooley,
"Abortion and Infanticide," "Philosophy & Public Affairs" 2 (1972) 37-65.
Such an understanding of "person" excludes a great number of human beings.
The term in its Boethian sense, namely as an individual of a rational
nature, is applicable to all members of the human species. In the sense of
a "being of moral worth," person is, in Christian faith and, in my
judgment, in philosophical truth, a predicate of all members of the human
species. For a good philosophical study of person" and of the reasons why
all human beings, including tiny unborn ones, are persons and must be
recognized as such, see Robert Joyce, "When Does a Person Begin?" in "New
Perspectives on Abortion," ed. Thomas Hilgers, David Horan, and David Mall
(Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1981), pp. 345-346.
4. Pope John Paul II has developed, both as pope, and prior to his election
as pontiff, as Karol Wojtyla, a magnificent understanding of the human
person as a bodily being. See in particular his "The Acting Person"
(Boston: Riedel, 1979) and his Wednesday conferences on the body, sex, and
marriage. The first cycle of his talks on this subject have been published
under the title "The Original Unity of Man and Woman: Catechesis on
Genesis" (Boston: St. Paul Publications 1981). A fine summary of his three
cycles of addresses on this subject is provided by Richard M. Hogan, "A
Theology of the Body," "Fidelity" 1.1. (December 1981) 10-15, 24-27. The
integral humanism of Pope John Paul II, like that of St. Thomas Aquinas, is
in striking contrast to the dualistic view of man so common today, one that
separates the person from the body and regards persons simply as conscious
subjectivities attached to bodies.
5. Pope John Paul II, "Familiaris Consortio," n. 11.
6. The attitude that sex is simply bodily and that the body is subhuman, a
matter of sheer facticity, is, of course, Gnostic and Manichean in its
roots. It is despite all the talk about the centrality of sex and the
reality of the body the view evidenced in the report, "Human Sexuality: New
Directions in American Catholic Thought" by Anthony Kosnik et al. (New
York: Paulist, 1977). See in particular p. 84, where the authors of this
work speak of the facticity of our bodily structure, a facticity that we,
i.e. the personal subjects, are to transcend. For further criticism of this
view, so widespread in our culture, see the booklet I co-authored with John
Harvey, O.S.F.S., "On Understanding 'Human Sexuality'" (Chicago: Franciscan
Herald Press, 1977); see also Chapter One of my "Sex, Marriage, and
Chastity: Reflections of a Catholic Layman, Spouse, and Parent" (Chicago:
Franciscan Herald Press, 1981).
7. Mary Rosera Joyce, in the book co-authored with her husband, Robert,
"New Dynamics of Sexual Love" (Collegeville, Mn.: St. John's University
Press, 1970), pp. 34-35. Although I agree with the Joyces that sexuality is
a being-ful difference and is by no means simply anatomical or even
psychological, I believe that it is rooted in our being as corporeal,
bodily entities who must touch others physically in order to communicate
and share life. If we were to use Aristotelian categories, I would suggest
that sexuality is an entitative habit, modifying the entire being of male
and female. Male and female are not, of course, different "species," but
their differences are entitative in that they permeate their being I fear
that the Joyces' view, if pushed, would make male and female "different in
species." Despite my concern over this aspect of their work, I believe that
their phenomenological analyses of the differences between male and female
are superbly insightful and of tremendous value. Roben Joyce has further
developed the ideas he and his wife set forth in this book in his "Human
Sexual Ecology" (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1980).
8. Pope John Paul II, "Marriage: One and Indissoluble in Genesis," in "The
Original Unity of Man and Woman," p. 79.
9. Kosnik et al., p. 84.
10. On this question see the following: Stephen C. Clark, "Man and Woman in
Christ" (Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1980), in particular the initial chapter
of Part Two; Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse, "Male and Female Sexuality Compared,"
in her "Homosexuality: A Symbolic Confusion" (New York: Seabury, 1977), pp.
62-76, and her essay. "On the Differences Between Men and Woman," in "Male
and Female: Christian Approaches to Sexuality," ed. Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse
and Urban T. Holmes, III (New York: Seabury, 1976), pp. 3-16.
11. See George Gilder, "Sexual Suicide" (New York: Quadrangle Books, 1973;
reprint, New York: Signet, 1975), in particular chapters I and 2. See also
Carle Zimmermann and Lucius F. Cervantes, "Marriage and the Family: A Text
for Moderns" (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1956), pp. 137-292 (By Cervantes). It
is interesting to note the similarity between the debates going on today
and those that took place in the late 1940's and 1950's about the
differences between men and women. On reading Cervantes (published in 1956)
and then on reading Gilder (who is reacting to the rhetoric of such
militant feminists as Germaine Greer, Susan Brownmiller et al.) and also in
reading Clark (see note 10) (who is reacting to the claims of Rosemary
Reuther, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza et al.) one has the experience of
12. This is the view definitely set forth by Joseph Fletcher. See in
particular p. 211 of his "Morals and Medicine" (Boston: Beacon Press,
1960). It is also the view set forth, in my judgment, in the so-called
majority report of the papal commission on the regulation of births. See
the text of this report in "The Birth Control Debate," ed. Robert Hoyt
(Kansas City: National Catholic Reporter, 1968) and the critique of this
report in my "Sex, Love, and Procreation" (Chicago: Franciscan Herald
13. For discussion of the virtue of chastity see Karol Wojtyla (Pope John
Paul II), "Love and Responsibility" (New York: Farrah, Straus, Giroux,
1981), pp. 143-173; also my "The Nature and Meaning of Chastity" (Chicago:
Franciscan Herald Press, 1976); and Albert Ple, O. P., "Chastity and the
Affective Life" (New York: Herder and Herder, 1965), truly a superb work.
14. It ought to be evident I believe, that our Lord Jesus Christ was a
fully sexed male and that His Blessed Mother was a fully sexed female.
15. On this see Robert Joyce, "Human Sexual Ecology," Chapter 5.
16. For a development of this idea see below, Chapter 8.
17. It remains true to say that human procreativity is possible only
through the "spousal" touch of sexual coition even in this age of
artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, etc. As will be shown in a
later chapter, when married persons engage in in vitro fertilization and
other modes of laboratory generation of human life their capacity to do so
is not rooted in their being as spouses but simply in the fact that they
are producers of gametic cells. Such generation of human life is not a
procreative act but is rather one of reproduction.
18. Exponents of this view include, among others, the following: Michael
Valente, "Sex: The Radical View of a Catholic Theologian" (New York: Bruce,
1970); Robert and Anna Francoeur, "The Ethics of Man Made Sex," in "The
Future of Sexual Relations," ed. Robert and Anna Francoeur (Englewood
Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. 1973); Kosnik et al., "Human Sexuality;" John
McNeill, "The Church and the Homosexual" (Kansas City: Sheed, Ward, McMeel,
1977). A very sophisticated and urbane presentation of this view so
widespread today is given by Ashley Montagu in the first chapter of his
"Sex, Man, and Culture" (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1969).
19. For further criticism of this view see Chapter One of my "Sex,
Marriage, and Chastity."
20. Pope Paul VI, "Humanae vitae;" Pope John Paul II, "Familiaris
Consortio," nn. 28-35; Gilder, "Sexual Suicide," Chapters One and Two; Paul
Ramsey, "Fabricated Man" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971), Chapter
One. While Professor Ramsey is clearly opposed to the dualistic,
separatistic understanding of human sexuality, he does, unfortunately,
accept contraception. He uses an argument similar to one of the arguments
developed by the authors of the "majority report" namely, the distinction
between the marriage as a whole and individual acts within the marriage, an
argument that is quite specious. For a critique of this argument see
Chapter Four of my "Sex, Marriage and Chastity." Nonetheless, Ramsey
definitely rejects and submits to penetrating criticism the dualism and
separatism so dominant today and reflected in the works cited in note 18.
21. It is always to "God's plan" that the Church refers in speaking of
marriage and the sexual order. This is constantly reaffirmed in the
magisterial documents and runs like a refrain through Pope Pius XI's "Casti
Connubii," the paragraphs devoted to marriage in "Gaudium et Spes," Pope
Paul VI's "Humanae vitae," and Pope John Paul II's "Familiaris Consortio."
22. For a development of this idea, see below, Chapter 3, "Fertility
Awareness and Sexuality."
23. "Familiaris Consortio" n. 11.
24. On this see in particular Pope John Paul II's Address of January 9,
1980 "The Nuptial Meaning of the Body," in the "Original Unity of Man and
Woman," pp. 106-112.
25. "Gaudium et Spes," nn. 49-50; Pope Paul VI, "Humanae vitae" n. 9; Karol
Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), "Love and Responsibility" pp. 73-100;
"Familiaris Consortio," nn. 18-27.
26. Dietrich von Hildebrand, "Man and Woman" (Chicago: Franciscan Herald
Press, 1965), p. 18.
27. Erich Fromm, "The Art of Loving" (New York: Harper and Row, 1965), p.
28. Pope Paul VI, "Humanae vitae," no. 13.
29. "Gaudium et Spes," nn. 49-52.
30. "Familiaris Consortio," n. 11.