Prussian Reproduction, Proper Function and Infertile Marriages

  • David B. Hershenov University at Buffalo
Keywords: Alexander R. Pruss; proper function; health; infertility; marriage


Alex Pruss argues that romantic love is a basic form of human love that is properly fulfilled in sex oriented towards reproduction. As a result, homoerotic sexual activity cannot obtain the proper consummation and therefore involves misunderstanding the other person’s nature and the possibility of union with them. Although same-sex sexual activity may feel like a consummation of romantic love, it is wrong to generate such a false experience in oneself or another. Presented is an apparent dilemma for Pruss’s thesis suggesting that either both postmenopausal homosexuals and postmenopausal heterosexuals ought to be allowed to marry for their romantic love is not dysfunctional despite not being oriented towards reproduction, or that matrimony is inappropriate for both groups. I suggest avoiding the dilemma in either of two ways that would allow Pruss to distinguish the infertility of homosexual couples from the infertility of post-menopausal women.


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