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Expectations of the Wider Community

The Tensions between the Claim to Individual Autonomy and the Obligation to Conform to the

Expectations of the Wider Community

Drawing on the readings and lectures for this topic, examine the tensions between the claim to individual
autonomy and the obligation to conform to the expectations of the wider community. Answer with
reference to one of the following issues: immigration, immunisation, obesity, euthanasia, same sex

The Tensions between the Claim to Individual Autonomy and the Obligation to Conform to the

Expectations of the Wider Community

Conformity, which is the act of toning behaviors, believes, and attitudes to group norms,
holds much to the social role (Westring & Ryan, 2010). Social role is an expected behavior and
is viewed to be normal within a particular society and any behavior that contrasts it will be
viewed to be abnormal (Westring & Ryan, 2010). The ever changing society presented a scenario
where individuals in the society tend to come up with such behaviors that have, since the time
immemorial, been considered as unacceptable in the society. Such people tend to justify their
behavior by citing the existing laws that tend to protect individual rights. Tension has, therefore,
built up between such claims of individual autonomy and what the wider community expects
from such individual. This paper looks into a behavior that has of late taken the center stage in
several communities and greatly contrasts what such communities expect, which is same sex
There are various unrelenting efforts to make same sex marriage a normal occurrence in
the society, and this is mostly in the western world (Westring & Ryan, 2010). Contrastingly,
most of these countries are anchored upon Christian norms. It is quite clear in the Holy Bible that
God condemns same sex marriage and anyone practicing this would be committing great sin
against the will of their Creator. In a bid to safeguard the principles of Christianity, Christian
religious leaders are constantly at loggerheads with the various leaders in the government who
are fighting for gay rights.
Fundamental human rights and freedoms should be obeyed to the latter. In fact,
appropriate action should be taken against those who are found guilty of stripping one of one’s
rights. Right to self-decision and privacy is paramount and everybody should be granted despite

one’s religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and region of origin (Westring & Ryan, 2010). The
United Nations has indeed done a good job in clearly spelling out the action to be taken against
people who violet human rights and freedom.
Ethics, however, has to be maintained in the society. Take a case where there would be
same sex marriages all over the human race such that no one is yearning to marry the opposite
sex. Naturally, there would be no procreation. After a century or two, the whole human race
would be wiped out of the earth. Various religious books clearly state that procreation was one of
the fundamental obligations tasked to man by the supernatural being. In any eventuality that man
will neglect this duty then they shall have gone against the will of their creator and the
community’s expectations.
The above discussed facts portray tension that has built up in a gay society that is made
up of Christian individuals. Those who intend to practice or who are already into the same sex
marriages will satisfactorily justify their acts. The society, which in this case in the Christian
perspective, will also have its own reason to oppose such acts. This has indeed created a tensed
society where there is constant push and pull with each side vindicating its stance on this
particular issue of same sex marriage.



Westring, A. & Ryan A. 2010. Personality and inter-role conflict and enrichment. Journal of
Human Relations 63: 1815-1827.

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