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Homosexuality as a controversial topic


1. What makes an activity, desire or pleasure sexual? Can we give a non-circular definition here?

2. Critically assess the different definitions of ‘perversion’ that have been offered. Are any of these definitions correct or helpful? (Answer with reference to two or more of Nagel, Solomon, Goldman and Scruton)
3. Is sex without love somehow morally deficient?
4. What is sexual objectification? Under what circumstances (if any) might it be morally permissible?
5. Is prostitution morally permissible? Answer with reference to at least two competing moral viewpoints (e.g. liberal, Marxist, radical feminist, consequentialist, virtue ethicist, Kantian) on the topic.
6. Is masturbation morally permissible? Answer with reference to at least two competing moral viewpoints (e.g. Natural Law, consequentialist, virtue ethicist, Kantian) on the topic.
7. Is pornography morally permissible? Answer with reference to at least two competing moral viewpoints (e.g. liberal, Marxist, radical feminist, consequentialist, virtue ethicist, Kantian) on the topic.
8. Is homosexuality morally permissible? Answer with reference to at least two competing moral viewpoints (e.g. Natural Law, consequentialist, virtue ethicist, Kantian) on the topic.
9. Should same-sex marriage be legalized? Explain your answer with reference to arguments that have been offered for and against by philosophers.

Homosexuality is the state of sexual desire or conduct towards a person or persons of the same sex. Homosexuality is something which is romantic and has attracted sexually to the same sex discrimination of he/she looks, with the feeling that there is nothing in the world more important than the one the person is enjoying his/her movements with. Homosexuality is somehow recorded as a controversial topic and as a different theorists have given their different viewpoints. However, a judgement on the immorality by the divine sources is flawed; it runs contrary to building modern intellectual structure and makes it difficult to predict what actions are wrong and what are right. On medical basis homosexuality is a neurotic disease which has a high tendency to overwhelm the whole personality. It is caused because of psychological disease. The immorality of homosexuality is decided on the grounds of consequentiality, where evaluation is based on general happiness and the amount of suffering it causes (Haiderl, 1999). Rationally, every that act which increase the level of personal happiness should be morally permissible and acts which bring suffering should not be morally permissible.

 Homosexuality is the persist pattern of romance, emotions and sexual attraction in terms of compatibility with the people of the same sex. The most common terminology used in homosexual people is “gay” for males and “lesbian” for females. The major factors used for defining homosexuality include sexual behavior, attraction and sameness. So all these factors work together in harmony There are chances that a life partner who is first attracted towards opposite sex may may later on be attracted towards a person of the same sex. So applying labels is not an accurate way to describe one sexual ability (George, 1997). Nicholas Tonti Filippini, one of the Australia’s leading voices in the debate on same sex marriage, claims that in some countries, the law doesn’t make any discrimination among people with same sex marriages. As per such laws, everyone is free to make their choices. Children are a production of heterosexual relationships and such marriage creates children's rights. The hard fact with homosexual holders is that they cannot produce their own children and the children either comes from a previous relationship or by some surrogacy or technical measures. Therefore a complex array of parental relationship is set up of the birth mother, genetic, gestational (Nicholas Tonti, 2011). There are many arguments made by controversial assumptions of mixed feelings of homosexuality about the facts, that it is good or bad for the society. But decisions are made for the average person's satisfaction of discrimination and not necessarily on the basis of laws (A Schopenhauer, 1966)

Medical basis of homosexuality

The Ruse is a philosopher of science who made contributions to the history and analysis of philosophical with biological science and contributed to give epistemological causes of homosexuality. Just like him, the viewers of same sex marriage have different views of union between two women and two men. Thus, this proposal denies the truth of physiological, psychological and biological differences between women and men. Human race, growth and development of the child are affected by this kind of relationship. Such types of relationships are less strong, less stable and less valuable as viewed by their friends and family. So this has an adverse effect on their health and well beings and society, including level of high mental disturbance in such couples. (Michael Ruse, 1990).

Violates morality of Natural Law

Aristotle the father of natural law classified the act of homosexuality as existence of both forms made up of male and female. The relationship between human beings is not just a marriage. It is the bonding which relies on human nature and thus ruled by natural law. The fundamental rule of law is to the strive for good done and elude the evil, as the law is immutable and universal it is applied to the entire race of human, equally (Hinton, 2003). Therefore sexual activity which violates the natural law should be properly governed. If homosexuality is morally permissible, it will end the humanity of preserving the genetics or species. This disturbs the natural law. This fact cannot be denied that for normal growth of a child, it should have mother and father both, but with homosexuality, child always faces difficulties in his bringing up by homosexual couples. This leads to the weakening of the overall personality development of the youth (Robin, 2006).

Morality on virtue ethics

Virtues are acquired qualities which are potential for the state of character and mind on the basis of moral and intellectual values. The question arises, is homosexuality immoral according to virtual ethics? According to the theorists of virtue ethics, if anything is wrongly considered as immoral, then the only result is the guilt. As per this theory, if there are reasons for considering anything as the right, at the same time there are reasons for considering it as wrong. People who don’t wear their helmets may cause serious harm to themselves, but it can’t be said that their action is immoral (Aranzadi, 2013). Virtually and ethically, living in a free city and in a free nation, there should be no restriction on the people and their thoughts. Major ethical theories are not philosophically wrong and are as follows (Simson, 1997):

Utilarianism states that morality is achieved and guided on ground of actions. If such action brings happiness its best it should be maximized, but if it brings sadness, then it should be minimized on the benefit of cost analysis. Homosexuality does not cause any major harm to the person's sadness, but it’s true that it causes unprotected sex (Lewis, 2005). Utilitarianism doesn’t make a difference on emotions or encourage egoism. As per this theory, it is wrong to punish or harm others to benefit yourself. To have a moral decision acceptable there is a need to take the right decision procedure to produce good results at higher level without any bad results (Mucciaroni, 2011).

Philosophical and ethical perspectives

Categorical Imperative directs that an act of an individual should be logical and rational, so that rationality can be practiced with others also. Homosexual behavior comes up with this law by just having a sex on personal enjoyment without disrespecting or hurting anyone. If the sexual act between men and women is accepted, then it should also be be permissible for the same sex with the same reasons of enjoyment. To have an action morally permissible on the basis of the categorical imperative is that the action in the same situation should be rationally appropriate for each and everyone. If they get the satisfactory actions, then that action is morally permissible (Kriz, 1997).

Aristoelian ethics, virtue has two parts, which states that an individual’s personhood flourishing is the only goal that they promote and second that make habits in a way to achieve personal happiness. For action to be morally permissible in this ethics consideration is given only to the sensitivity of the situation for personal happiness. Like fighting or harming is something bad and immoral, but if it’s in a self defense than its satisfactory (Mooney, 2008).

Stoic ethics, virtue agreed that our character, thoughts are important element for our reasons and beliefs. An irrational thought gives a wrong emotion and a rational thought gives a right emotions. Hence, any kind of sexual behavior can cause appropriate or inappropriate beliefs. As sex is a beautiful thing in the world and allow ourselves to be pleasured. Stoic theory gives the thought of all types of sufferings by judging irrational values. There is belief that homosexual behavior is perfectly virtuous in all senses. Stoic ethics, virtue is an ethics on true moral thoughts which brings an appropriate emotions and actions (O’Brien, 2005)


By the argument, views, laws and virtues it is concluded that according to the ethical theories homosexuality is morally permissible. To accept it as something like a slippery slope argument which relies on the fact that one occurrence may lead to another. To achieve homosexual morally, just make strong ethical standards through which they govern our society and lives with it without any discrimination. Changes to the natural law and ethics if necessary, will make decision difficult to accept for possibilities. This may be rewarding for someone and hard for others to accept. Such homosexual people may insist for their rights more openly by feeling less shame about their sexual attractions and their lives. What is needed is the family of love and acceptance to avoid their physical and mental health problems. According to Utilitarianism this act is morally permissible if its results are more beneficial with less harm.

 Many philosophers found ethical virtues useful as they help to make decisions about right and wrong for various actions. It is generalized that its harm to not consider personal happiness of others if they are rational to avoid their mental and physical illness. These theories help a lot to strengthen the rational behaviors and evaluated the beliefs to make strong bonding of human life and emotional response to motivate us to promote the values for good life

Consequentiality and evaluation of moral permissibility

Eskridge, William N.,, Jr 1997, "A jurisprudence of "coming out": Religion, homosexuality, and collisions of liberty and equality in American public law", The Yale law journal, vol. 106, no. 8, pp. 2411-2474.

George, R.P. 1997, "Public reason and political conflict: Abortion and homosexuality", The Yale law journal, vol. 106, no. 8, pp. 2475-2504.

Haider-Markel, D. 1999, "Morality policy and individual-level political behavior: The case of legislative voting on lesbian and gay issues", Policy Studies Journal, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 735-749

 Same-sex Marriage | Marriage Laws - Nicholas Tonti-Filippini2011-09-06

 The metaphysics of sexual love - A Schopenhauer, EFJ Payne1966

Haider-Markel, D. & Joslyn, M.R. 2008, "BELIEFS ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF HOMOSEXUALITY AND SUPPORT FOR GAY RIGHTS: AN EMPIRICAL TEST OF ATTRIBUTION THEORY", Public opinion quarterly, vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 291-310.

Homosexuality: a philosophical inquiry - Michael Ruse1990

Heinze, J.E. & Horn, S.S. 2009, "Intergroup Contact and Beliefs about Homosexuality in Adolescence", Journal of Youth and Adolescence, vol. 38, no. 7, pp. 937-51.

Kriz, L. 1997, "Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics", Library Journal, vol. 122, no. 11, pp. 76.

Lewis, G.B. & Brooks, A.C. 2005, "A Question of Morality: Artists' Values and Public Funding for the Arts", Public administration review, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 8-17.

Mooney, C.Z. & Schuldt, R.G. 2008, "Does Morality Policy Exist? Testing a Basic Assumption", Policy Studies Journal, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 199-218.

Mucciaroni, G. 2011, "Are Debates about "Morality Policy"' Really about Morality? Framing Opposition to Gay and Lesbian Rights", Policy Studies Journal, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 187-216.

Murphey, D.D. 1994, "Homosexuality and the principles of a free society", The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 105.

O'Brien, J. 2005, "A Sociology of Religion and Homosexuality", Contemporary Sociology, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 462-465.

Robin, B.K. 2006, "The Deep Structure of Law and Morality", Texas Law Review, vol. 84, no. 4, pp. 877-942

Simson, M., Stuttaford, G. & Zaleski, J. 1997, "One Nation, After All: What Middle-Class Americans Really Think About God, Country, Family, Poverty, Racism, Welfare, Homosexuality, Immigration, The Left, The Right, and Each Other", Publishers Weekly, vol. 244, no. 52, pp. 44.

Tijsseling, A. 2010, "Lost Intimacies. Rethinking Homosexuality under National Socialism. Gender, Sexuality, Culture, Vol. 4.]", International Review of Social History, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 532-534.

Aranzadi, J. 2013, "The Natural Link Between Virtue Ethics and Political Virtue: The Morality of the Market", Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 118, no. 3, pp. 487-496.

Crossan, M., Mazutis, D. & Seijts, G. 2013, "In Search of Virtue: The Role of Virtues, Values and Character Strengths in Ethical Decision Making", Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 113, no. 4, pp. 567-581.

Dierksmeier, C. 2011, Thomas Aquinas on Justice as a Global Virtue, Social Science Research Network, Rochester.

Hinton, B. 2003, "A Critical Look at Finnis's Natural Law Ethics and the Role of Human Choice", Journal of Value Inquiry, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 69.

VanDrunen, D. 2008, "Review of "A Shared Morality: A Narrative Defense of Natural-Law Ethics" by Craig A. Boyd", Journal of Markets and Morality, vol. 11, no. 2.

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