Irish Sexual History And The Abortion Referendum Nuim Assignment

931 words - 4 pages

Irish sexual history and the abortion referendum
In May, the people of Ireland are voting on the future of the eighth amendment. This legal framework, regarding the restrictions on abortion, has been in place ever since 1983 and reads: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” (Houses of the Oireachtas 2017: 4). In short: abortion is only permitted to save a woman’s life. This regulation is very unusual in contemporary society. When compared to other European countries, Ireland has the strictest regulation of abortion (Center for Reproductive Rights 2018). Because of the growing discontent among the Irish citizens, the government has chosen to hold a referendum.
If the eighth amendment is repealed, a new legislation has to be set in place. Therefore, advisory committees have been created to make recommendations. In this paper, the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee (2017) will be reviewed. Furthermore, it will be explained from a sociological perspective why they mark a significant departure from traditional approaches to sexual regulation and control in Irish society. In this paper, the focus will only be on the most significant recommendations, since including all the recommendations made would make it too extensive.
The history of Irish sexuality has proven to be very different from other Western societies (Inglis 2005:1-2). For centuries, Irish sexuality has been marked by a Catholic culture of repressed sexual desire and pleasure, something that has been central to civilization and the creation of social order (ibid:3). Sexual activity was controlled through marriage and was meant for child-bearing only (ibid:4). Over the last fifty years, however, this culture has changed drastically (ibid:3). The departure of traditional approaches also shows in the recommendations made by the committee. For one, it has been recommended that
contraception should be provided free of charge to all who wish to avail of them (Houses of the Oireachtas 2017:14). This is a big step for Ireland since artificial contraception has been banned until 1979 (Inglis 2005:22). A study by Malesevic (2003) shows that the majority of the respondents (university students in Galway) agrees with the statements “Condom use does not have to interfere with sexual spontaneity.” and “The primary purpose of sex is pleasure.” and disagree with the statement “The purpose of sex should be the creation of new life.” (p.110). These results clearly mark a new way of thinking for the generations to come, which matches the statement that Ireland is moving towards a culture of self-indulgence in which the fulfilment of pleasure and desire is emphasized (Inglis 2005:3).
Another recommendation that marks a change in the Irish society, is the proposal to improve sexual health and relationship education (Houses of the Oireachtas, 2017: 14). In the tradition of the Catholic Church, sex and sexuality should not be referred to directly. This stems from a fear of offending or undermining the innocent (Inglis 2005:1). To propose that sex education should be taught since primary school promotes the idea that Ireland is an evolving country. This is also shown in the study by Malesevic (2003). When asked to respond to the statement “Sexual education promotes promiscuity.”, the overwhelming majority seemed to disagree (p.110).
The most striking recommendation, however, is that abortion should be legalized. Up to twelve weeks of pregnancy, women should be able to get an abortion without having to provide a reason (Houses of the Oireachtas, 2017: 11). The view that abortion should be legalized is not shared by the Catholic Church, which encourages its followers to “to work actively towards keeping the right to life in the Constitution” (Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference 2018). The fact that the committee still chooses to advise the opposite, proves that a shift has taken place in Ireland and that the influence of the Catholic Church on the Irish state is evidently declining. This is echoed by the Central Statistics Office, which shows that the percentage of Roman Catholics in Ireland has hit a record low in 2011 (2012: 6). Moreover, the Malesevic study (2003) demonstrates that the majority of the respondents would agree with the statement that “Abortion should be legal.”. However, it must be said, that the responses in this study are still very divided. There are also significant proportions of respondents that disagree with the statement or are undecided about the topic (p.110).
If the Irish people will indeed vote to repeal the eighth amendment will not be known until May. Nonetheless, it can be concluded the traditional approaches to topics regarding sex and sexuality are gradually changing into approaches that would be regarded as more modern. All in all, it can be concluded that Ireland is a country on the move towards a more sexually liberated future.
Bibliography
Center for Reproductive Rights. 2018. “The World’s Abortion Laws.” Retrieved April 1,
2018 (http://worldabortionlaws.com/map/)
Central Statistics Office. 2012. “Profile 7 Religion, Ethnicity and Irish Travellers.”. Retrieved
April 7, 2018
(http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/census/documents/census2011profile7/Profile7Ed
cationEthnicityandIrishTravellerEntiredoc.pdf)
Houses of the Oireachtas. 2017. “Report of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of
the Constitution.” Retrieved March 28, 2018
(https://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/media/committees/eighthamendmentoftheconstitution/Report-of-the-Joint-Committee-on-the-Eighth-Amendment-web-version.pdf).
Inglis, Tom. 2005. “Origins and legacies of Irish prudery: Sexuality and social control in
modern Ireland.” Eire-Ireland 40(2):9-37.
Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. 2018. “Two Lives, One Love – pastoral message for
2018 on the right to life.” Retrieved April 7, 2018 (https://www.catholicbishops.ie/2018/03/09/two-lives-one-love-pastoral-message-for-2018-on-the-right-to-life-2/)
Malesevic, Vesna. 2003. “Demonic or Divine? Attitudes towards Sex and Sexuality among
Galway University Students.” Irish Journal of Sociology 12(2):107-120
1

RELATED

Irish revolution and The explanation of The war - World history - Research paper

675 words - 3 pages Too much?? The Irish War of Revolution Story So as many stories do, they have to begin somewhere and in order for there to be a revolution a group needs something to revolt against. In the case of of Ireland, they had to revolt against the big country of Britain. This revolution began during the 1912 when the Third home rule bill was passed. The third home rule bill was passed by the british parliament and basically gave self-governing to

essay on the pros and cons of abortion - Womans studies - essay

4660 words - 19 pages , DC: Government Printing Office. Finer, L. B., & Kost, K. (2011). Unintended pregnancy rates at the state level. Per- spectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 43, 78–87. Goggin, M. L. (1993). A framework for understanding the new politics of abortion. In M. Goggin (Ed.), Understanding the new politics of abortion (pp. 1–18). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Goggin, M. L., & Wlezien, C. (1993). Abortion opinion and policy in the American states. In M

Critical Book Review - The Cheese and the Worms - Western History - Assignment

1059 words - 5 pages Assignment 2: Critical Book Review - The Cheese and the Worms The Cosmos of a Sixteenth Century Miller by Carlo Ginzburg Translated by John and Anne C. Tedeschi (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013) _____________________________________________________________________ The Cheese and the Worms written by Carlo Ginzburg in 1980. In the book, he narrates a story about insignificant miller from the province of Friuli, Italy in the 1500s

African slavery in the Caribbean - History - Assignment

1108 words - 5 pages themselves, knowing without slavery their high income would slowly drop. Whereas, the Abolitionists were selfless and would have done anything to stop the horrible acts of slavery. Bibliography Baptist, E. (2015). The Bittersweet Victory at Saint-Domingue. Retrieved from Slate Magazine: https://slate.com/human-interest/2015/08/the-most-successful-slave-rebellion-in-history-created-an-independent-haiti-and-secured-the-louisiana-purchase-and-the

The Killing Of The Unborn: This Essay Talks About The Physical And Emotional Repercussions That A Woman Can Encounter After Having An Abortion. It Includes The Works Cited

1105 words - 5 pages It is a woman's most intimate and personal time when she finds herself pregnant. The test is positive, but the woman may not be positive about keeping the baby. She didn't feel ready or prepared for the major impact another life would bring her. Frantically, she finds herself trapped in a crisis in which she wants to be released from. Abortion seems so easy, so convenient, and so necessary. She must wrestle with her heart saying, "Don't do it

Essay On Marital Rape, As Well As A Historical Background On The Sexual Manipulation And Control Of Women. This Was Written For A Senior Level Behavioral Science Course

4373 words - 18 pages experience. The sexually abused shares memories with her abuser that no one else may know about. While it may be unacceptable, and certainly unethical, to bring up the sexual history of the abused, the defendant and the witness of the State still have a mental connection. The State may also leave the victim unprotected in court. In a 1955 case, Sandra Baker complained to the courts that an officer was not helping her to enforce a protective order

AP US Outlines Chapters 1 and 2 - US History - Assignment

5767 words - 24 pages sale of religious offices. b. Corruption at the top encouraged ordinary priests and monks to seek economic or sexual favors. B. The Protestant Movement (Martin Luther’s Attack on Church Doctrine) 1. In 1517 Martin Luther, a German Monk, took up the cause of reform. a. His Ninety-five Thesis condemned many Church practices including indulgences. b. Martin Luther was then dismissed from the Church by the Pope, and threatened with punishment by the

history 5 questions about the reading - university of pretoria - assignment

536 words - 3 pages backgrounds influences decision-making about what and how to teach” (Camel& Taylor, 2003: 162) > With regards to this statement, how can it be possible for a teacher to decide on what and how to teach history in a way that will accommodate every learner in a classroom that come from different sociocultural backgrounds? 3. What are the things that are required for a professional growth of a history teacher? 4. What are the resources needed to teach

Gone With The Wind and the Reconstruction - American History - Essay

579 words - 3 pages the south was not made up of wealthy plantation owners. Gone With The Wind is sort of a glorified rendition of southern history, how it fell and how it will live to see another day. The role of Mammy was criticized by many as being stereotypically black characterizations. I think this is a legitimate criticism for sure. When I first was introduced to Mammy in the movie, that was the first thing I thought. She was big and fat and spoke in an

A look at imperialism effects on the people of the African Congo - History 10 - Assignment

736 words - 3 pages White King, Red Rubber, Black Death The events of the Congo Free State bear a striking similarity to another major genocide of the twentieth century: the Holocaust. Both are very influential events in our history that we can learn a lot from in order to prevent another tragedy from happening. On the surface, they seem like very different things: a European king exploiting the people of an African country for resources versus the leader of

Custom Laws for "and that it is customs makes it law" - History 215 wilbur wirght - Assignment

924 words - 4 pages 4 Luna Cesar Luna Professor Padilla History 215 March 15, 2018 Custom laws Susie S. Porter in “And That It Is Customs Makes It Law” highlights the class conflict and gender ideology during the 1880s and 1900s in Mexico. The laws denied females to take part in business thus restricting their roles to homes. The women during the period that tried to make living through their talents faced legal sections. Women struggled in the public space to

East Timor History and Australian influence - The Scots College History - Essay

1160 words - 5 pages Free Alec Bathgate East Timor Assignment History of East Timor Throughout the history of the country known today as East Timor, there has been numerous events that shaped and created this unique area of land in Asia’s South-east. The Portuguese began to trade with Timor in the early 16th century and colonised it throughout mid-century. They fought with the Dutch in the region which eventually resulted in an 1859 treaty, where the Dutch were able to

the art assignment is a formal analysis for an assignment to a specific art chosen for art history - art history - formal art

949 words - 4 pages focus on the way the artist arranged the composition. And for this assignment, I want you to spend the most attention with this section. In this section, go over the following components: o Is the work two-dimensional or three-dimensional? The Elements of Art The Principles of Design 1. Describe the work you chose and how the artist has used all 7 of the Elements of Art listed below. These are the formal elements that you have been studying in the

Was the Rape of Nanjing an Act of Genocide? - Roslyn high school/ Global History - Assignment/ Homework

761 words - 4 pages Aaron Moses 4/24/17 Global History 2 Period 6 Was the Rape of Nanjing an Act of Genocide? The Nanjing Massacre is said to be one of the worst incidents of mass extermination that occurred during World War II on December 13, 1937. It is also known as “The Rape of Nanking,” where in a duration of six weeks, over 260,000 Chinese civilian lives were lost to Japanese soldiers. Men and women were tortured, raped, sexually mutilated, and murdered in

Tokugawa Regime, fall of the shogunate, transfer from feudalism to capialism - History - Assignment

5607 words - 23 pages economic life of the country. Tokugawa Iyeyasu (1630-16) and his immediate successors had made Buddhism the national religion, had discouraged inquiry into the past history and traditions of Japan and had fostered Chinese scholarship, particularly that of the Sung school. For many years these influences remained dominant under rigid governmental censorship but gradually they were undermined. The fall of the Ming dynasty brought many Chinese scholars