Comment in Am J Bioeth. Am J Bioeth. Since the first sex reassignment operations were performed, individual sex has come to be, to some extent at least, a technological artifact. The existence of sperm sorting technology, and of prenatal determination of fetal sex via ultrasound along with the option of termination, means that we now have the power to choose the sex of our children.
A Brief History of Human Sex
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Sexual intercourse or coitus or copulation is sexual activity typically involving the insertion and thrusting of the penis into the vagina for sexual pleasure , reproduction , or both. There are different views on what constitutes sexual intercourse or other sexual activity , which can impact on views on sexual health. Various jurisdictions place restrictions on certain sexual acts, such as incest , sexual activity with minors , prostitution , rape , zoophilia , sodomy , premarital and extramarital sex. Religious beliefs also play a role in personal decisions about sexual intercourse or other sexual activity, such as decisions about virginity ,   or legal and public policy matters. Religious views on sexuality vary significantly between different religions and sects of the same religion, though there are common themes, such as prohibition of adultery. Reproductive sexual intercourse between non-human animals is more often called copulation , and sperm may be introduced into the female's reproductive tract in non-vaginal ways among the animals, such as by cloacal copulation. For most non-human mammals , mating and copulation occur at the point of estrus the most fertile period of time in the female's reproductive cycle , which increases the chances of successful impregnation.
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Sex has received little attention in the history of western philosophy, and what it did receive was not good: Plato denigrated it, arguing that it should lead to something higher or better Phaedrus , Symposium , Aristotle barely mentioned it, and Christian philosophers condemned it: Augustine argued that its pleasures are dangerous in mastering us, and allowed sex only for procreation City of God , bk 14; On Marriage and Concupiscence , while Aquinas confined its permissibility to conjugal, procreative acts Summa contra gentiles III. III, ch. The Marquis de Sade a philosopher of sorts went to the opposite extreme, celebrating all types of sexual acts, including rape ; ; Only during contemporary times do philosophers, beginning with Bertrand Russell and including Sigmund Freud , think of sex as generally good see Soble b and ch. Sex raises fascinating issues.
Birds do it, bees do it, humans since the dawn of time have done it. But just how much has the act really changed through the millennia and even in past decades? Are humans doing it more?