The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Exploring only human sexuality

Michael O'Connor | Friday, April 9, 2010

In response to Professor Fuentes who wrote “Just the Facts” (April 8), the fact that homosexual activity occurs in other animals does not give us an appropriate context for discussing human sexuality.
Humans are different than animals in very significant ways. Humans have a sense of transcendence or religion, a sense of the distant future, a sense of self-awareness and an ability to think abstractly. Animals, including our closest relatives like the Bonobo and the Chimpanzee, simply do not have these things. But probably the most important difference regarding this topic is our (human’s) sense of consequences and our ability to differentiate right and wrong.
Humans, unlike other animals, have ethics and morality. Simply because other animals commit certain acts does not give us a foundation upon which we can discuss the appropriateness for humans to commit those same acts. The fact that cannibalism occurs in Bonobo communities should not affect how humans view an act of cannibalism among humans. Similarly, the fact that monogamy is favored among wolves and foxes should not affect how humans view monogamous relationships among humans.
In order to foster the conversation regarding human sexuality and sexual orientation, only facts about humans and human relationships should be conveyed.

Michael O’Connor
Keough Hall
April 7