I had initially wanted to end this series with proposing the only way of understanding “sexuality” that I could think of for which it might be appropriate to call all people sexual. Roughly the idea goes like this. While claiming that all people are sexual at all ages makes absolutely no logical sense and is almost completely indefensible, there is a way to reinterpret it that does make sense. All people stand in relationship to this complex of feelings, desires, activities, social structures, power systems, beliefs, practices, and taboos called sexuality. Regardless of what we know or don’t know, regardless of what we feel or don’t feel, no matter what we do or don’t do, we all stand in relationship to the behemoth "sexuality."
From this perspective, I think it makes sense to consider children sexual. The social structures organizing sexuality relate to children. They sometimes possess sexual knowledge. Even if they don’t, messages given to them by adults assume certain behaviors appropriate or inappropriate with regard to sexuality. They sometimes engage in various forms of “sexual” play with other children. Any kind of education given to them to protect them from sexual abuse assumes that they stand in some kind of relationship to ‘sexuality.’
When I had planned on writing this post, this is what I wanted to write about. I had planned to give it a fair defense, and then raise some criticisms. However, as I tried to write about it, I found myself unable to even give it a reasonable defense. First, there is the problem that even if it is appropriate to say that all people are sexual beings in this sense, almost no one will interpret it this way. However, there is bigger problem. Being an outsider is one way of standing in relationship to something. Consequently, even this reanalysis of the claim that everyone is sexual fails miserably. (Everyone in the culture where I live stands in relation to heterosexuality, but this does not, despite Mr. Walter T. Foster's best attempts to argue otherwise, mean that everyone is heterosexual.)
Towards the beginning of this post, I called the assertion that all people are sexual "almost completely indefensible." I wrote "almost" for a reason. Having spent considerable time thinking about, reading about and writing about the claim that all humans are sexual at all stages of life, I have come to the conclusion that in the end there is one, and only one, argument to be made in its defense.
If enough people say it enough times, it must be true.