Opinions

Re: " Accepting our violent sexual nature ," Nov. 8, 2001,

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Editor, the Gauntlet,

Hadija Gabunga, in her jovially unqualified examination of sexual politics, makes certain assumptions regarding "human nature" that many might find rather dubious.

For example, Ms. Gabunga writes the following regarding her conception of society, "they acknowledge and attempt to correct the fact that we are instinctively violent."

This is the unfounded assertion that she underlines throughout her article: human nature is sexually violent.

Now, consider the following quotation from Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Anyone who says anything about what's intrinsic to human nature is automatically talking nonsense, because we don't know very much. But it's a plausible guess that all kinds of characteristics are intrinsic to human nature. I presume that every one of us could be a torturer under certain circumstances, and a saint under different circumstances. All of these things are part of human nature. We don't know any reason to believe that people are fundamentally different in these respects. So, many of the characteristics that emerge are a reflection in part of the kind of people we are but in part of the kind of circumstances in which we grow up and develop."

In other words, people might be sexually violent, if they happened to be brought up in an environment that required that kind of thing. However, people brought up in different environments, the majority of people, don't need a whip and chain to love someone. Intimacy in no way needs to draw blood.

Propagating the opinion that humans are violent, ignoble brutes is poisonous propaganda best left rotting with Hobbes. Don't take incidents of deviancy, like recent rapes on campus, and reflect them back on human nature. That's why we call it deviancy.

When scholars like Chomsky tell us we don't know what human nature is, anyone telling us the "natural" man is a violent rapist should not be taken seriously.

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