Saturday, May 2, 2015

Marriage: Social and Biological Realities

In several previous posts, I noted the most fundamental difference between conservatism and liberalism lies in the contrast between virtue or liberty as the end or goal of any political society. Conservatism,  at least the version promoted here, envisions the end or goal of government as the inculcation of virtue or human excellence in citizens. Liberalism sees the primary goal of government as the protection of liberty.

I also noted that the inculcation of virtue, however, does not begin with the government. It begins with the family. So it is only appropriate to post some different perspectives on the family. This also will present the opportunity to make some observations on the current controversy over the controversy of same sex marriage.

Marriage constitutes part of the social reality created my human beings. Marriage, government, money, religion, schools, professional associations, and economic institutions are the most obvious constituents of the social reality of modern mankind. Marriage has been constituted in various ways in different places and human beings. As such, we can define marriage any way we want. This social reality is based, however, on a fundamental biological reality: the existence of two genders.

Over the course of four million years, biological evolution has yielded two sexes for the reproduction and rearing of offspring to perpetuate the human species. Human reproductive organs possess an evolved compatibility. The male's external reproductive organs and the female's mostly internal reproductive organs when properly functioning enable intercourse and reproduction. Although instinct does not determine human behavior the same way that it does in other species, natural tendencies involving various visual, auditory, and olfactory cues influence human mating. Facial appearance, voice pitch, and the more subtle influences of pheromones such androstadienone and copulance draw the sexes together. Sexual desire itself as a visceral urge is expressed through human sexual intercourse. These biological phenomena assist in establishing human mating generally and finding genetically advantageous mates specifically.

Some interesting and informative videos can be found here.

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Men and women have been engaging in sexual intercourse, giving birth, rearing children, and forming extensive kinship networks based upon consanguinity since the emergence of homo sapiens. Wherever humans inhabit the globe, they establish families. And wherever humans establish families, they do so through the pairing of the two genders.

One way perhaps to clarify discourse on this topic (at the expense of brevity) is to define the biological reality as the bonding, pairing, or conjunction of the sexes and the institutional reality as marriage.

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