THE TRADITIONAL PATTERNS OF LOVE AND THE CHANGING SEXUAL MORES
The contemporary changes in the countries of western culture include the refutation of the traditional principles of sexual relations; this is treated as a fundamental change which – as the author tries to show – has several entirely different consequences. The new moral situation stimulates:
1) a purely instrumental treatment of sexual intercourse which leads to the reification of the sexual partner and to a decline of the interpersonal link which is commonly known as “love”;
2) the brutalizing of the popular pattern of conquering love which is a form of realizing the desire to possess the object of one’s emotion this manifests itself in superseding the ideal of masculinity previously impersonated in the seducer of the type of Don Juan by the ideal of superman of the type of James Bond;
3) the depersonalization of the pattern of Romantic love consisting in transferring the desires typical of that pattern of love into the sphere of impersonal experiences which can be described as a kind of contemporary mysticism without God;
4) the substitution of the traditional stereotypes of erotic love by a new pattern of love – erotic friendship.
It does not seem possible to indicate any of these tendencies which are observed to occur simultaneously to prevail over the remaining ones in the future. Hence the task of ethics would consist in making a proper choice and promoting that tendency which is best suited for moral approval.