Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Procreating means nothing more than the creation of human beings. ‘To procreate’ can of course be loosely employed to mean ‘to have sex’. However, strictly speaking, procreation is the generation of new lives. Heterosexual sexual activity can be procreative, but it need not be. Equally, and conversely, non-sexual acts and practices might be procreative, including those such as, most obviously, cloning and some forms of artificial mixed gamete reproduction. This distinction is important because some ethical issues arise from the manner in which procreation is managed, or from a view as to what the proper function of sexual activity is. Thus we might object to cloning inasmuch as it is an ethically problematic technique for creating new lives, independently of the fact that new lives are created or that those lives are subsequently of a certain kind. Those of a conservative persuasion who see sex as having a natural end – namely procreation – will see all forms of non-procreative sex as morally objectionable. In what follows I shall disregard these matters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to Life and Death
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781139149129
ISBN (Print)9781107022874
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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