Invented Moralities: Sexual Values in an Age of Uncertainty
Columbia University Press, 1995 - 209 pages
At the core of the ongoing debate over "values" is the issue of sexuality. Indeed, when conservative politicians invoke the notion of "family values", they imply a range of ideals centered around the limitation of sexual freedom. Sex and morality have become hot topics in this age of widespread uncertainty about the location of "right" and "wrong". In Invented Moralities, renowned scholar Jeffrey Weeks explores the clashes over sexual values that characterize these contemporary debates. Working from what he calls a radical humanist perspective, Weeks looks at sexual mores in these times of confusion - from AIDS and the challenges of love and death, to the politics of diversity, to controversial topics such as sadomasochism, rape, and abortion rights. Invented Moralities asks us to move beyond the narrow focus on "right" and "wrong" sexual behavior, and instead turn our attention to the ethics of how we engage with the shifting landscapes of sexuality. As Weeks puts it, we need to develop "an ethic of relationships, not a morality of (sex) acts". As a point of entry into the debate on values, Invented Moralities presents an imperative for the contemporary Left. In an even broader sense, this important work offers a celebration of individual freedom and the rich diversity of human goals.
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