"sexual" (adj)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Aug 10 13:39:01 UTC 2009

At 8/9/2009 11:56 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>Ah, a definite change since last I taught that class (a year ago).  I
>should have rechecked before posting.  It's nice to see the old entry
>up as well, so it's possible to appreciate the progress from the
>classic entry "That feeling of attachment which is based upon
>difference of sex; the affection which subsists between lover and
>sweetheart and is the normal basis of marriage"--which somehow
>manages to proscribe both same-sex erotic attraction and traditional
>(non-erotic-love-based) marriage--to the current, admirably neutral
>"An intense feeling of romantic attachment which is based on sexual
>attraction; sexual passion combined with liking and concern for the
>other person."

So understanding this sense of "love" requires knowing what "sexual"
(adj) can mean.

Draft rev. June 2009 includes:

3.b   Relating to or affecting the genitals or reproductive
organs.  [I'd always wondered what those were for.]
5.a.  Relating to, tending towards, or involving sexual intercourse,
or other forms of intimate physical contact.

OK.  But I'm puzzled how the following help define "sexual", rather
than being circular:

4.b.  Of or relating to sexuality as a social or cultural phenomenon;
regarding sexual conduct."
4.c.   c. Characterized by sexual instincts or feelings, or the
capacity for these; possessing or displaying sexuality.

Or do I have to understand "sexual conduct" and "sexual instincts or
feelings" via some other sense of "sexual"?


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