Sexuality In Ancient Greece
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Studying Sexuality \u0026 Gender in Ancient Greece and Rome.
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Sex is considered a private and holy act between a husband and wife. Certain deviant sexual practices, enumerated below, were considered gravely immoral "abominations" sometimes punishable by death. The residue of sex was considered ritually unclean outside the body, and required ablution. Recently, some scholars have questioned whether the Old Testament banned all forms of homosexuality, raising issues of translation and references to ancient cultural practices. The Torah , while being quite frank in its description of various sexual acts, forbids certain relationships. Namely, adultery , all forms of incest , male homosexuality , bestiality , and introduced the idea that one should not have sex during the wife's period :.
The above passages may, however, be open to modern interpretation. The original meanings of these verses did not change, but their interpretation may have changed after they were translated into English and other languages. This view however, has been counteracted by conservatives. Christianity re-emphasised the Jewish attitudes on sexuality with two new concepts. First, there was the re-iterated idea that marriage was absolutely exclusive and indissoluble, placing further guidance on divorce and expanding on the reasons and principles behind those laws. Second, in Old Testament times marriage was almost universal, in continuity with the total matrimony in Eden, but in the New Testament, the trajectory is extended forward to the goal of no marriage in the new heavens and new earth see Matthew Practically therefore the new age after Jesus now has marriage as only normative, but celibacy is a valuable gift in and of itself.
The New Testament is quite clear on principles regarding sexual relations. In one of his letters to the Corinthian church, Paul directly answers some questions they had asked about this. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind. Paul is speaking into a situation where the church was falling into lust, and some members even using prostitutes , while others advocated a 'higher spirituality' that wrongly denied pleasure from earthly things, including abstinence from sex Paul writes to them to explain the right context for sex in marriage, and the importance of couples keeping having sex and giving each other pleasure, but encourages them to pursue celibacy as he later explains , so that they may devote more time and energy to others wherever God has granted that gift Augustine opined that before Adam's fall, there was no lust in the sexual act, but that it was entirely subordinate to human reason.
Later theologians similarly concluded that the lust involved in sexuality was a result of original sin , but nearly all agreed that this was only a venial sin if conducted within marriage without inordinate lust. In Reformed schools, as represented for example by the Westminster Confession , three purposes of marriage are drawn out: for mutual encouragement, support, and pleasure; for having children; and to prevent lustful sin. Today, many Christians have adopted the view that there is no sin whatsoever in the uninhibited enjoyment of marital relations.
Some Christians will tend to limit the circumstances and degree to which sexual pleasure is morally licit, for example to build self-control to prevent sex becoming addictive, or as a fast. In India, Hinduism accepted an open attitude towards sex as an art, science and spiritual practice. This collection of explicit sexual writings, both spiritual and practical, covers most aspects of human courtship and sexual intercourse. It was put together in this form by the sage Vatsyayana from a chapter manuscript that had itself been distilled from chapters that had in turn come from a compilation of some , chapters of text. The Kamasutra is thought to have been written in its final form sometime between the third and fifth century AD.
Also notable are the sculptures carved on temples in India, particularly the Khajuraho temple. The frank depiction of uninhibited sex hints towards a liberated society and times where people believed in dealing openly with all aspects of life. On the other hand, a group of thinkers believe that depiction of sexually implicit carvings outside the temples indicate that one should enter the temples leaving desires kama. Apart from Vatsyayana's Kamashastra, which is no doubt the most famous of all such writings, there exist a number of other books, for example:. The Secrets of Love was written by a poet named Kukkoka. He is believed to have written this treatise on his work to please one Venudutta, considered to be a king.
This work was translated into Hindi years ago and the author's name became Koka in short and the book he wrote was called Koka Shastra. The same name crept into all the translations into other languages in India. Koka Shastra literally means doctrines of Koka, which is identical with the Kama Shastra , or doctrines of love, and the names Koka Shastra and Kama Shastra are used indiscriminately. In Islam sexual intercourse is allowed only after marriage and not considered intrinsically sinful or shameful when conducted in marriage. Certain deviant sexual practices are considered gravely immoral "abominations" sometimes punishable by death.
The full body ablution is required before performing prayers subsequent to coitus. If a Muslim engaged in sexual intercourse with any other than the spouse i. This only if the actual copulation is witnessed by four people who will attest to such, and as per Qur'an text if the accuser can not bring 4 witnesses the punishment is 80 lashes for making unsubstantiated accusations. Generally this means the punishments are not carried out unless the culprits themselves confess to the sin on four separate occasions and therefore are liable to be punished for the crime. In the mid 20th century advances in medical science and modern understanding of the menstrual cycle led to observational, surgical, chemical and laboratory techniques to allow diagnosis and the treatment of many forms of infertility.
Zoophilia or bestiality—sexual activity between humans and animals—probably dates back to prehistory. Depictions of humans and animals in a sexual context appear infrequently in rock art in Europe beginning around the onset of the Neolithic and the domestication of animals. Leda and the Swan  and several ancient authors purported to document it as a regular, accepted practice — albeit usually in "other" cultures. Explicit legal prohibition of human sexual contact with animals is a legacy of the Abrahamic religions :  the Hebrew Bible imposes the death penalty on both the person and animal involved in an act of bestiality.
With the Age of Enlightenment , bestiality was subsumed with other sexual "crimes against nature" into civil sodomy laws, usually remaining a capital crime. Bestiality remains illegal in most countries. Though religious and "crime against nature" arguments may still be used to justify this, today the central issue is the ability of non-human animals to give consent : it is argued that sex with animals is inherently abusive.
Prostitution is the sale of sexual services, such as oral sex or sexual intercourse. Prostitution has been described as the "world's oldest profession". Gonorrhoeae is recorded at least up to years ago and associated with a district in Paris formerly known as "Le Clapiers". This is where the prostitutes were to be found at that time. In some cultures, prostitution has been an element of religious practices. Religious prostitution is well documented in the ancient cultures of the near East, such as Sumer , Babylon , ancient Greece and Israel , where prostitutes appear in the Bible. In Greece the hetaerae were often women of high social class, whereas in Rome the meretrices were of lower social order. The Devadasi , prostitutes of Hindu temples in south India , were made illegal by the Indian government in For much of human history, sexually transmitted diseases have been a scourge of humanity.
They raged unchecked through society until the discovery of antibiotics. For a period of about thirty years in the second half of the twentieth century their threat subsided. AIDS has profoundly changed modern sexuality. It was first noticed although some historians think that the first case was in [ citation needed ] spreading among gay men and intravenous drug users in the s and s. Today, the majority of victims are heterosexual women, men, and children in developing countries. In most developing countries, fear of epidemic has drastically changed many aspects of twentieth century human sexuality. Fear of contracting AIDS has driven a revolution in sex education , which now centers far more the use of protection and abstinence , and spends much more time discussing sexually transmitted diseases.
Further effects of this disease run deep, radically impacting the expected average lifespan as reported by the BBC News: "[The expected average lifespan] is falling in many African countries — a girl born today in Sierra Leone could expect only to live to 36, in contrast to Japan , where today's newborn girl might reach 85 on average. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Main article: History of prostitution. Main articles: Sexually transmitted diseases and Safe sex. Main article: AIDS. Archived from the original on 18 December Retrieved 24 February Stanford University News Service. Retrieved 23 August CBS News. Theopompus of Chios : history and rhetoric in the fourth century BC. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN OCLC Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers. Interpersonal Heterosexual Behaviors, A. Children, edited by Robert T. Archived from the original on 27 December Retrieved 13 December CS1 maint: archived copy as title link "Archived copy".
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Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. Whether you did this with a female or a male, enslaved or free person, wife or prostitute, made little difference—as long as you were not on the receiving end, so to speak. Certain people were off-limits, though, and among them were free youths. This was a change from the Greek attitude which, again to simplify, condoned such behavior in the context of a learning environment. The ancient Greek education of its youth had begun as training in the arts necessary for battle. Since physical fitness was the goal, education took place in a gymnasium where physical training was in the buff.
Over time the education came to encompass more academic parts, but instruction in how to be a valuable member of the polis continued. Often this included having an older male take a younger post-pubescent, but still unbearded one under his wing -- with all that entailed. For the ancient Romans, who claimed to have adopted other "passive" behaviors from the ancient Greeks , free youths were untouchable. Since adolescents were still appealing, Roman males gratified themselves with youthful enslaved people. It's thought that in the baths in many ways, successors to the Greek gymnasia , freedmen wore a talisman around their necks to make it clear their naked bodies were untouchable.
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