sex and relationship are matter of personal choice

Posted by admin on December 19, 2017 in Articles

There have been remarkable changes in the “domain of intimacy” over the past four decades.1 The massive entry of women (married, single, with and without young children) into the labor force and into public life, the declining importance of marriage with regard to the onset and pursuit of intimate relationships, and the shift in society’s view of reproductive sex from a moral imperative to an ethical choice are some of the relevant processes at work here.2 For the first time in history, women are coming to be recognized as full legal persons and as equal citizens–a change in status of epochal importance. They are also beginning to insist publicly upon their own agency and happiness in the domain of intimacy and elsewhere. Profound shifts in the cultural meaning of sexuality and gender inform and follow from these developments. So does contestation over the forms and ethics of intimate relationships and over the gendered division of labor.Conventional attempts to determine the appropriate relation between the state, law, and intimate relationships have been undermined by these developments. It is no longer possible to ignore issues of justice arising in “legitimate” intimate association by relegating them to the domestic sphere of the “private” conjugal family, deemed off-limits to legal intrusion. Nor has the corollary of this approach remained acceptable: that state “morals” legislation should control non- or extramarital intimacies through direct regulation or outright prohibition on the assumption that they are, by definition, immoral. The naturalness of the old public/private dichotomy along with the gender assumptions that informed previous strategies of juridification have largely collapsed.Indeed, the rights revolution that began in the 1960s to address issues of race and class has also had a major impact in the area of sex/gender and intimate association.3 Controversial national legislation and the much-debated constitutionalization of key…