Eve
by on December 14, 2019
63 views

 

     

 

        Sexual speech - and by extension, writing - has been subject to varying standards of decorum since the beginning of history. For most of historic time writing has not been used by more than a small part of the total population of any society. The resulting self-censorship and euphemistic forms translate today into a dearth of explicit and accurate evidence on which to base a history. There are a number of primary sources that can be collected across a wide variety of times and cultures, including the following:

  • Records of legislation indicating either encouragement or prohibition
  • Religious and philosophical texts recommending, condemning or debating the topic

  • Literary sources, perhaps unpublished during their authors' lifetimes, including diaries and personal correspondence

  • Medical textbooks treating various forms as a pathological condition

  • Linguistic developments, particularly in slang.

  • More recently, studies of sexuality




      SEX in Various Cultures 

INDIA - played a significant role in the history of sex, from writing one of the first literatures that treated sexual intercourse as a science, to in modern times being the origin of the philosophical focus of new-age groups' attitudes on sex. It may be argued that India pioneered the use of sexual education through art and literature.

As in many societies, there was a difference in sexual practices in India between common people and powerful rulers, with people in power often indulging in hedonistic lifestyles that were not representative of common moral attitudes. Many of the common (and not so common) sexual practices in the world today, such as the custom and art of kissing emerged in India, proliferating with early forms of globalization.

The most publicly known sexual literature of India are the texts of the Kama Sutra.

These texts were written for and kept by the philosopher, warrior and nobility castes, their servants and concubines, and those in certain religious orders. These were people that could also read and write and had instruction and education. The sixty four arts of love-passion-pleasure began in India.

Within certain schools of Indian philosophy, such as Tantra, the emphasis in sex as a sacred duty, or even a path to spiritual enlightenment or yogic balance is greatly emphasized. Actual sexual intercourse is not a part of every form of tantric practice, but it is the definitive feature of left-hand Tantra.

Contrary to popular belief, "Tantric sex" is not always slow and sustained, and may end in orgasm.

For example, the Yoni Tantra states: "there should be vigorous copulation". However, all tantra states that there were certain groups of personalities who were not fit for certain practices. Tantra was personality specific and insisted that those with pashu-bhava (animal disposition), which are people of dishonest, promiscuous, greedy or violent natures who ate meat and indulged in intoxication, would only incur bad karma by following Tantric paths without the aid of a Guru who could instruct them on the correct path. In Buddhist tantra, actual ejaculation is very much a taboo, as the main goal of the sexual practice is to use the sexual energy towards achieving full enlightenment, rather than ordinary pleasure. Tantric sex is considered to be a pleasurable experience in Tantra philosophy.




CHINA - has had a long history of sexism, with even moral leaders such as Confucius giving extremely pejorative accounts of the innate characteristics of women. From early times, the virginity of women was rigidly enforced by family and community and linked to the monetary value of women as a kind of commodity (the "sale" of women involving the delivery of a bride price). Men were protected in their own sexual adventures by a transparent double standard.

While the first wife of a man with any kind of social status in traditional society was almost certainly chosen for him by his father and/or grandfather, the same man might later secure for himself more desirable sexual partners with the status of concubines. In addition, bondservants in his possession could also be sexually available to him. Naturally, not all men had the financial resources to so greatly indulge themselves

Chinese literature displays a long history of interest in affection, marital bliss, unabashed sexuality, romance, amorous dalliances, homosexual alliances—in short, all of the aspects of behavior that are affiliated with sexuality in the West.

The desire for respectability and the belief that all aspects of human behavior might be brought under government control has until recently mandated to official Chinese spokesmen that they maintain the fiction of sexual fidelity in marriage, absence of any great frequency of premarital sexual intercourse, and total absence in China of the so-called "decadent capitalist phenomenon" of homosexuality.

The result of the ideological demands preventing objective examination of sexual behavior in China has, until very recently, made it extremely difficult for the government to take effective action against sexually transmitted diseases, especially AIDS.

At the same time, large migrations to the cities coupled with China's gender imbalance and significant amounts of unemployment have led to resurgence of prostitution in unregulated venues, a prominent accelerant of the propagation of STDs to many ordinary members of society.



     JAPAN - In Japan, sexuality was governed by the same social forces that make its culture considerably different from that of China, Korea, India, or Europe. In Japanese society, the primary method used to secure social control is the threat of ostracism. Japanese society is still very much a shame society. 

More attention is paid to what is polite or appropriate to show others than to which behaviors might make a person seem "corrupt" or "guilty", in the Christian sense of the words. The tendency of people in Japanese society to group in terms of "in groups" and "out groups" - residue of its long history as a caste society – is a source of great pressure on every facet of society, via pop culture (reflected in the tribal, often materialistic, and very complex nature of teenage subcultures) as well as more traditional standards (as in the high-pressure role of the salaryman).

Sexual expression ranges from a requirement to a complete taboo, and many, especially teenagers, find themselves playing many otherwise strictly-separate roles during the week.

As a superficial level, in traditional Japanese society women were expected to be highly subservient to men and especially to their husbands. So, in a socionormal description of their roles, they were little more than housekeepers and faithful sexual partners to their husbands.

Their husbands, on the other hand, might consort sexually with whomever they chose outside of the family, and a major part of male social behavior involves after-work forays to places of entertainment in the company of male cohorts from the workplace—places that might easily offer possibilities of sexual satisfaction outside the family. In the postwar period this side of

Japanese society has seen some liberalization in regard to the norms imposed on women as well as an expansion of the de facto powers of women in the family and in the community that existed unacknowledged in traditional society.



     GREECE - In ancient Greece, the phallus, often in the form of a herma, was an object of worship as a symbol of fertility. This finds expression in Greek sculpture and other artworks. One ancient Greek male idea of female sexuality was that women envied penises of males. Wives were considered a commodity and instruments for bearing legitimate children. They had to compete sexually with eromenoihetaeras and slaves in their own homes.

Both Homosexuality and Bisexuality, in the form of ephebophilia (in some ways slavery), were social institutions in ancient Greece, and were integral to education, art, religion, and politics. Relationships between adults were not unknown but they were disfavored. Lesbian relations were also of a pederastic nature.

Ancient Greek men believed that refined prostitution was necessary for pleasure and different classes of prostitutes were available. Hetaera, educated and intelligent companions, were for intellectual as well as physical pleasure, Peripatetic prostitutes solicited business on the streets, whereas temple or consecrated prostitutes charged a higher price. In Corinth, a port city, on the Aegean Sea, the temple held a thousand consecrated prostitutes.



          Rome - Depictions of frank sexuality are abundant in Roman literature and art. The fascinum, a phallic charm, was a ubiquitous decorationSexual positions and scenarios are depicted in great variety among the wall paintings preserved at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Collections of poetry celebrated love affairs, and The Art of Love by the Augustan poet Ovid playfully instructed both men and women in how to attract and enjoy lovers. Elaborate theories of human sexuality based on Greek philosophy were developed by thinkers such as Lucretius and SenecaClassical myths often deal with sexual themes such as gender identityadulteryincest, and rape.

Prostitution was legal, public, and widespread. Entertainers of any gender were assumed to be sexually available (see infamia), and gladiators were sexually glamorousSlaves lacked legal personhood, and were vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

The dissolution of Republican ideals of physical integrity in relation to political liberty contributes to and is reflected by the sexual license and decadence associated with the Roman Empire. Anxieties about the loss of liberty and the subordination of the citizen to the emperor were expressed by a perceived increase in passive homosexual behavior among free men.[Sexual conquest was a frequent metaphor for Roman imperialism.



French Polynesia - The Islands have been noted for their sexual culture. Many sexual activities seen as taboo in western cultures were viewed as appropriate by the native culture. Contact with Western societies has changed many of these customs, so research into their pre-Western social history has to be done by reading antique writings.


Children slept in the same room as their parents and were able to witness their parents while they had sex. Intercourse simulation became real penetration as soon as boys were physically able. Adults found simulation of sex by children to be funny. As children approached 11 attitudes shifted toward girls.

Premarital sex was not encouraged but was allowed in general, restrictions on adolescent sexuality were incest, exogamy regulations, and firstborn daughters of high-ranking lineage. After their firstborn child, high-ranking women were permitted extramarital affairs.



Same-Sex Relations - Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from requiring all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death.

In a detailed compilation of historical and ethnographic materials of pre-industrial cultures, "strong disapproval of homosexuality was reported for 41% of 42 cultures; it was accepted or ignored by 21%, and 12% reported no such concept. Of 70 ethnographies, 59% reported homosexuality absent or rare in frequency and 41% reported it present or not uncommon."

A common thread of constructionist argument is that no one in antiquity or the Middle Ages experienced homosexuality as an exclusive, permanent, or defining mode of sexuality. John Boswell has countered this argument by citing ancient Greek writings by Plato, which describe individuals exhibiting exclusive homosexuality.

Topics: education
Be the first person to like this.