An article published in 2012 in The Atlantic described the sexual practices of the Aka and Ngandu people who live in the tropical forests of central Africa. Researchers Barry and Bonnie Hewlett, anthropologists from Washington State University, found that married Aka and Ngandu men and women consistently reported having sex multiple times in a single night. They also discovered that practices of, and even the concepts of, homosexuality and masturbation appeared to be largely unknown to the groups:
“In both cultures, men and women view sexual intercourse as a kind of ‘work of the night.’ The purpose of this work is the production of children — a critical matter in an area with a very high infant mortality rate. Semen is understood by the Aka and Ngandu to be necessary not only to conception, but also to fetal development. A woman who is already pregnant will see having intercourse as contributing to the health of her fetus. The Aka and Ngandu speak of sex as ‘searching for children’… Said one Aka woman, ‘It is fun to have sex, but it is to look for a child.’ Meanwhile, a Ngandu woman confessed, ‘after losing so many infants I lost courage to have sex.’ Is the strong cultural focus on sex as a reproductive tool the reason masturbation and homosexual practices seem to be virtually unknown among the Aka and Ngandu? That isn’t clear. But the Hewletts did find that their informants — whom they knew well from years of field work – ‘were not aware of these practices, did not have terms for them,’ and, in the case of the Aka, had a hard time even understanding about what the researchers were asking when they asked about homosexual behaviors.”
Modern-day Western societies, meanwhile, have adopted an alternative understanding of sexuality, one that leans heavily on adjectives like “pleasure-seeking” or even “recreational,” quite distinct from the category of a “search for children.” They feature practices of contraception, male and female sterilizations, abortions, and the sanctioning of homosexual, masturbatory, and other non-procreative sexual behaviors. In earlier times, however, Western views more closely resembled those of the Aka and Ngandu, especially in recognizing the fundamental orientation of sexuality towards the good of offspring. The Catholic Church has long affirmed that married love has a twofold significance, being ordered both toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring. Saint Thomas Aquinas once noted that nature intends, in broad strokes, not only the generation of children, but also their “carrying forth and promotion all the way to the perfect state of man as man” — in other words, both the engendering and conscientious raising of children. Recognizing this natural ordering towards “mature offspring” also points to certain natural inclinations that prompt men and women to protect and care for their children: we are inclined to have sexual relations; we are inclined to be certain that the child we are going to be committed to is our own, and to care for that child continually; and we are inclined to remain with the mother/father of that child, sharing a life of mutual assistance marked by true friendship in the commitment of marriage. Nature has given us these inclinations to serve the good of the species and our personal good.
If human sexuality is properly understood as directed towards bringing forth life within marriage, this raises the possibility that other non-procreative uses of the generative power of man would constitute an inappropriate use of this human faculty, something the Christian tradition has affirmed and commonly taught. Certain types of sexual activity have always been seen, to borrow the Latin phrase, as “contra naturam” (against nature), that is to say, performed in such a way that generation cannot follow. Among such practices would be included masturbation, sodomy, and bestiality. Certain other types of sexual activity, while not contrary to nature in that sense, are still opposed to the order of reason, because the act is done in a way that the due care and education of children is not provided for. This is implied, for example, when men and women who are not married to each other engage in sexual relations, as in situations of adultery, fornication, incest or sexual assault.
St. Thomas noted that the sexual act is one to which we humans, like all animals, are naturally inclined, and as such it would be a grave error to assert that the act could be evil in itself. Nevertheless, the manner in which the act takes place and the details surrounding it are essential to determining whether the act occurs in an authentically human way, that is to say, in a way that is “secundum naturam” (in accord with nature) and in accord with the dictates of reason.
Full story at Angelus.
Gee, so the 10% statistic and the “people are born that way” claim are both false? You mean to say that a tribe unexposed to sexual depravity would naturally and rationally conclude that male/female intercourse is the only moral and proper use of the sexual faculty? So much so that the tribe’s members cannot even fathom homosexual acts? The members of that tribe are healthier and wiser than almost every mental health professional in the West. Compelling proof that depraved sexual proclivities are learned from the environment and reinforced by the choice to indulge in them. Homosexuality is completely unnatural.
How is this difficult to understand? When one gender “lays” with the same gender, the natural order, created by God, is offended. Homosexual sex is wrong on every score. The Father Martin’s of the world are simply incorrect, as is Pope Francis. “Who am I to judge,” is indeed the question that anyone so tempted must consider. Your “well formed” conscience should tell you not to engage in such things. If not, your intellect knows that what you are being tempted to do is wrong, always and everywhere.
Man, left to his own devices, will de-populate the Earth, as is presently happening in almost all First World countries. Sex for perversion is the ruin of Man, as well as a source of disgust and embarrassment.
This approach may work well in the jungles of Africa but it does not always work in modern society. I was one of 12 children. My parents were hippies who moved to Idaho in the 70’s. The poverty was grinding and some winters there wasn’t enough food. My mom died when she was 40 and I was 10. My dad couldn’t handle all of the kids so 8 of us were shipped off to live with various relatives. I’ve had two children and am not having anymore. Living close to nature may sound romantic…but the reality is it can be brutal.
And what about African tribes taught the Catholic Faith by missionaries?? How different are their lives– with the Sacraments, such as the Sacrament f Holy Matrimony?? The Catholic Faith is reported to be fast-growing, in Africa!
What reason do people who live in the Western World have for wanting to have sex with their partner’s excrement? It has to be a reason that requires a lot of education to be able to understand.