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Why did we change?

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posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 09:32 AM
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So this is my first thread and I really hope this is in the right topic area since you can argue into a few. So mods feel free to move it if you have to. Also if its taboo I'm sorry but its fascinating to see the change in social norms concerning sex and sexuality.


Thanks to a thread showing what may be the worlds oldest sex toy LINK , I began to think what happens to a society open about sexuality. With societies like the Greeks and Romans where sexuality was something open and a social norm to now where if you show a little cleavage your tagged as being too scandalously clad.

I think the most notable society who was free with sex was the ones who wrote the Kama Sutra. In that society sex was apart of the culture. In comparison we live in a very close minded society now. Though we do display images of sexuality and sexual activity act its self is taboo.

Another taboo subject is polygamy. Many cultures use to support multiple marriages. This has a very good evolutionary reason, more wives= more children = continuation of your genetic material.

An especially taboo subject is bisexuality and homosexuality. I've mentioned the Greeks an Romans before and I will again mention them again. Both of these cultures are known to have same sex relations especially in men.

My question ATSers is What happened? Why are we becoming conservative about sexuality? Are we even becoming more conservative? Why are we worshiping celibacy over fertility?

Now I know I've only mentioned 3 cultures but those are the 3 I know best, please add more if you know more, also I'm writing from the perspective of North America, specifically Canada. I know there are probably other places out there who do still find sexuality to be something worshiped. I'm just hoping for an interesting perspective from others.

Xiamara




posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 09:47 AM
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Actually as a culture we're becoming less conservative about sexuality; you have the direction of change backwards. Just look at today, then 50 years ago, then 100 years ago.

I haven't really thought through the implications of this and so don't really have any further insight to offer. Just pointing it out.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 09:52 AM
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Briefly, Christianity happened.

The puritans and pilgrims felt Europe was essentially depraved, and fled for greener pastures in the new world. This is part of the explanation of why Europe is more open to sex but less open to violence in the modern period.

The US got most of the repression, through colonization.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by Xiamara
 


Well, it could be a simple as ancients not knowing about sexually transmitted diseases, and that engaging in unsafe sex could kill them.

Perhaps understanding how venereal diseases are spread, helped change the way sex is viewed.

Sexually transmitted diseases

I know it sounds simple, but it seems to be the most reasonable explanation to me.


As the data on gonorrhea suggest, many people who have a STI have no symptoms and no idea that they are infected. Another STI, chlamydia (caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis) is actually known as “The Silent Disease”, since so few of those with chlamydia show symptoms. Only three quarters of infected women and half of infected men are symptomatic.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by 0zzymand0s
 


You mention Christianity, which I think is DEFIANTLY the main cause to the repression of sex and sexuality especially in women. What I want to know is why the sudden change from Sexuality to Celibacy? Pre-Christianity you have the more sex and nature based religions then after is the sex is a sin.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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I don't really know how the US culture came to be so sexually repressed, but I suspect it had something to do with religion. That's where I got most of my "sex is taboo" lessons in my youth. Unfortunately, the message I got was quite mixed: "Sex is nasty, naughty and not to be discussed, but do it with someone you love." ...
That was my first indication that something was quite screwed up about the way we, as a culture, think about sex.

Fortunately, I was able to work through and reason out what I think to be the truth about sex and sexuality and I'm very comfortable with my opinions on it now. Sex is part of life. Like eating, sports, traveling and walking the dog, it's a part of who we are as a race and a culture.

Homosexuality is as natural and beautiful as heterosexuality. In my mind, there's no difference. Heterosexual couples define their relationships and are not under any pressure to conform to any social norm, and I strongly believe in equal treatment under the law. So, why do some people think it's ANY of their business to come along and put their noses into another couple's business and claim that they are in love with the wrong gender? I have no clue! I don't know who these people think they are!

As far as polygamy, it is my opinion that if a group of consenting adults agrees to be a family and make a commitment to each other, it's no more my business than gay people's relationships are. I personally don't see any reason for polygamy to be illegal, except, of course, that some are uncomfortable with it. And that's not a reason to impose morals or values on someone else.

History is clear. Homosexuality has always been around and in the old cultures you mentioned, it was accepted as one way people were. There were even stories of homosexual couples in the bible. It's sad and frustrating that somewhere along the line, someone thought it was their business to make this trait "taboo" and think that they had the right to tell other people how to live. :shk:



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 10:05 AM
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Nothing changes, just rearranges.

Like pretty much every other element of society, attitudes towards sexuality are shaped by the views of those in positions of authority, who collude together to establish what they enjoy doing and what they think is right. Through conditioning and programming, they "encourage" the population to agree with these views. Just look at who was in power at any time of history to see what "public opinion" was at the time.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 10:25 AM
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From my time in The States, I can say that Americans are far more sexually repressed than Europeans. I know that the American stereotype of us Brits is that we have stiff upper lips and are sexually repressed, but it simply isn't true. We talk openly about sex and sexuality and very few subjects are taboo. The censorship on US TV I found to be hillarious BTW, considering we have TV shows like this on main stream TV, which depicts full frontal nudism and gyneacological images in front of high school teens. Believe me, after watching The Sex Education Show, you'll never think our society is repressed again!

Also, simple conversations between me and my friends have made Americans in the room severely embarrassed and uncomfortable



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 10:50 AM
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[img][/img]^NOT TO MENTION THE PAGE 3 GIRLS...I sip haterade in honor of the UK thanks to that! lol!

i believe strongly that the christian religion here in the us played a roll in the demonizing of sex. i grew up in a baptist church and (cared little...sorry, enjoyed the people who always had the holy ghost on cue) hearing "you are born a sinner.......fornication is a sin.....[insert any other sex related taboo]"

i basically began to question those accusations. i mean sexuality IMO is a totally natural occurrence ...it's kinda how humans REPRODUCE....last i knew, humans weren't asexual creatures.

[edit on 22-7-2010 by ahmonrarh]

[edit on 22-7-2010 by ahmonrarh]



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:05 AM
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[edit on 23-7-2010 by _SilentAssassin_]



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by Xiamara
 




With societies like the Greeks and Romans where sexuality was something open and a social norm to now where if you show a little cleavage your tagged as being too scandalously clad.


The greeks and romans also did not pan out to well in the long run. They also used slavery. And today (im not sure where you are living) girls dress up in near bathing suit clothing to go to the mall. You can also go to a stip club and depending what state you live in a legal brothel.



I think the most notable society who was free with sex was the ones who wrote the Kama Sutra.


And look at them today.



Though we do display images of sexuality and sexual activity act its self is taboo.

What planet are you living on? Sex is only taboo in places where it is not propper conversation material. At a family dinner nobody wants to hear how you give it to your girlfriend/boyfriend just like they do not want to hear about your bowel movements. It is not that your crap is taboo it is just nobody wants to hear about it.



Another taboo subject is polygamy. Many cultures use to support multiple marriages. This has a very good evolutionary reason, more wives= more children = continuation of your genetic material.


Yes many cultures support multiple marriges but if you look up where it is practiced it is mostly thrid world places where this is happening. More wives=More Children= Need to produce more food= need to get bigger house= more poor people= welfare state.



An especially taboo subject is bisexuality and homosexuality. I've mentioned the Greeks an Romans before and I will again mention them again. Both of these cultures are known to have same sex relations especially in men.

The Greeks and romans were also pedophiles, the pedophilia and homosexuality in rome ended about 150BC (people did not stop being gay but it was not as openly accepted anymore) .



My question ATSers is What happened?


People started seeing pedophilia as wrong, they started to see polygamy as enslaving wives. Sex is everywhere it is not like a whole lot was changed. There are still orgies and swinger parties going on all the time.



Why are we becoming conservative about sexuality?

We are not...



Now I know I've only mentioned 3 cultures but those are the 3 I know best

Maybe you should learn those three a bit better

[edit on 23-7-2010 by zaiger]



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 01:42 PM
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Constantine changed sex. Blame it all on the church.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 01:48 PM
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To all of those ill educated that want to blame the church for everything you should look up the Lex Scantinia, it passed many laws against certian sexual practices before the christians even existed.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 07:55 PM
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I think the fundamental reason why sex isn't always considered to be as acceptable as doing other mundane activities, is largely due to what may result from the sexual act. ie. another human being.

Promiscuous sex tends to be frowned upon because of potential pregnancy ( and all the ramifications that go with it ). Also, like Blanca Rose says, STD's are another major factor in the consideration of appropriate sexual conduct... Let's not forget that you don't need to be having intimate relations with a person to catch a sexually transmitted disease from them.

Humans are like many other animals, where the female is very selective, and tends to select a viable mate to potentially raise their prospective offspring.

Encouraging female promiscuity is extremely dangerous to the whole social fabric of a civilised society.
What I said earlier about females' role in parts of the animal kingdom and humanity is absolutely apt in society today:
Many women produce babies by a future non-existent father, when they are in their late teens or early twenties; when these women get into their late twenties and early thirties, they are not exactly a ''catch'' or a viable option for a wife or long-term girlfriend to a successful, intelligent male of the same age range.

Essentially, a twenty or thirty year-old single mother is ''damaged goods'' because they were very neglectful and irresponsible, in terms of their sexual conduct, and also picked the wrong men.

Now, that same twenty or thirty year-old would have had a great chance of finding a decent, successful and rich man if she hadn't behaved like a slut in her earlier life.



posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Unfortunately, the message I got was quite mixed: "Sex is nasty, naughty and not to be discussed, but do it with someone you love." ...


Unless you were raised in extremely puritanical circumstances, then I don't think there were too many suggestions that sex was intrinsically ''dirty''.

The clear difference that tended to be taught is between sex as lust ( the carnal and base urge to have self-indulgent sex with another ) and sex as love ( an expression of your feelings towards your partner ).

There doesn't appear to be any contradiction or mixed messages there;
Eating is a natural urge, but gluttony is frowned upon.
Having a pint after work is fine, but having a bottle of whisky in the morning at work is looked down upon.
Having a bet every year on a big race is considered ''normal'', yet spending all your time and money in the bookies or greyhound track is generally considered bad...

Essentially, what I'm saying, is that just because an activity is conducted acceptably in one particular situation, doesn't mean that it's so acceptable in another set of circumstances...

So, the fact that you were taught that sex was ''nasty or naughty'' unless it was conducted under certain conditions and circumstances, is not untrue.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Like eating, sports, traveling and walking the dog, it's a part of who we are as a race and a culture.


Well, obviously sex is a part of our race and culture, otherwise we wouldn't have a race or culture to discuss, would we ?

No, what the OP is attempting to talk about in this thread is our attitude towards sex, and how it may have changed in our society.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Homosexuality is as natural and beautiful as heterosexuality.


I can't understand this point at all.
Yes, heterosexuality and homosexuality are natural, but so are paedophilia and bestiality. They're all natural, but I'd hardly describe any of them as ''beautiful''...

Just about every human is born with sexual urges, so for someone to describe those urges as ''beautiful'' is perplexing.

1. ''Oh, hang on a minute, I fancy a bite to eat... I think I'll have some carrots''.

2. ''Having that urge to eat carrots is beautiful''...


1. ''But, another man has an uncontrollable urge to eat parsnips''.

2. ''I agree. His urge to eat parsnips is equally beautiful''...


1. '' Or maybe there isn't any ''beauty'' involved at all''.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 03:01 AM
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My question ATSers is What happened? Why are we becoming conservative about sexuality? Are we even becoming more conservative? Why are we worshiping celibacy over fertility?



If our society is so sexually repressed then how is it that we are going to overpopulation, just that fact alone means that most people are doing it a lot, and have been doing it a lot, and with advanced preventive means of birth control, we are more promiscuous then the Romans or Greeks, 6.6 billion and growing last time I checked. But thanks to Christianity we think we aren't, the best of both worlds.
There is a discrepancy in what we believe is, and what actually is. Some are becoming more conservative? but only the Christians are worshiping celibacy.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by Xiamara
Another taboo subject is polygamy. Many cultures use to support multiple marriages. This has a very good evolutionary reason, more wives= more children = continuation of your genetic material.


with how many people there are in the world today we dont even need to have multiple wives to ensure the continuation of our race. though in 30-50 years when a lot of people start getting cancer and who knows what else from all the technology(radio waves/cell phones to name 2) we have and carcinogens/chemicals people ingest we just might have a dive in the population. though that probably would be good for the planet atleast.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 08:05 AM
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Oh wow alot of great posts I'd like to comment on a bit on all of them.

One Sexual repression and re-productivity in my opinion are a bit different. Sexual repression to me is not necessarily the repression of the act of sex its self but the connotations sex has, if that makes sense. Like I have a friend who is very open with her sexuality and the fact that she is bisexual, many people react to this with disdain. The fact that she has a lot of sex and its with men and women to some people is very touchy. I had a good friend who is not religious in any way refuse to talk with me because I was spending time with a person in her mind of lower status, because she was free with her sexuality. That to me is sexual repression.

On the note of pedophilia and slavery. I DO NOT condone that. However that was in a different era, where is was the norm for that to happen, there was no age of consent, and many girls were married of at a young age so that they would bear children early because death was sooner.There were also no laws on preventing slavery. If you look at the time frame there was also no UN or global connections so to speak we have today. Slavery was use to make the nation who was taken over submit to the new ruling, establishing dominance so that the people know that their new leadership is a strong one and requires its members to submit to its will. Again I do NOT condone this type of behavior in any way I'm just simply explaining the possible mind set of ancient times. The enslaving of people is morally wrong and no human being should be treated as such. And Pedophilia is also wrong children are innocent and should remain as such.

Also for the comment on the demise of sexually open cultures. One the civilization who wrote the kama sutra ended up being invaded for their land, they ended up assimilating with the group that invaded them. The Greeks and Romans also were invaded and forced to change their ways not because of who they are but for the land they had if you look at all three civilizations they all had something that another power wanted. Be it intelligence, land, or anything other.

And in response to Sherlock, I'm not talking about over indulgence in sexual activity. I'm talking in general. As for puritanical, I was raised by and atheist and a catholic (odd I know), and went to a non secular schools, I my self am atheist (best way to describe it) and I was given the mind set that sex before marriage is wrong, and having sexual intercourse with multiple partners is wrong. On a biological sense yes. Women try and find a mate that is stable and will support them and give them offspring where as men are looking for a mate that will ensure his OWN offspring and not the offspring of another male. Teen pregnancy is common, I've had two friends who are teen mothers, your comment on damaged goods though is offensive. Its that kind of thought that I think turns men off having a relation with women with children. Yes its a bit more complicated but it's life. If a man can't love a woman because she has a child then he doesn't deserve her. As for irresponsibility, tell that to rape victims who get raped and end up pregnant. Out of the two teen mothers I know one was pregnant with the child of her rapist and was against abortion, so she kept the child.

Also on the comment of homosexuality as being beautiful I agree, 110%. Love is a beautiful thing, if two people of the same gender find love and want to express it they should, that is true beauty. For bestiality that to me is not beautiful, inter species relations in my opinion don't work. If you can't produce viable offspring with the different species you shouldn't be together. You can dress up in furry costumes and do all you want in a fur pile, but if you go near the neighbors dog that's too far.

Xiamara.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 11:35 AM
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reply to post by Xiamara
 




Sexual repression to me is not necessarily the repression of the act of sex its self but the connotations sex has, if that makes sense.

Sorry that does not make sense to me.



Like I have a friend who is very open with her sexuality and the fact that she is bisexual, many people react to this with disdain. The fact that she has a lot of sex and its with men and women to some people is very touchy.

This really depends on when and how she is telling people. If she is just walking up to random people on the streetand telling them thes then yes, people will look at her like she is kind of off. If she brings this up within the first couple min of talking to someone then yeah she should be used to strange looks.



I had a good friend who is not religious in any way refuse to talk with me because I was spending time with a person in her mind of lower status, because she was free with her sexuality. That to me is sexual repression.

This depends on what someone means by "free with her sexuality" that could just simply mean gay, has sex in public or that could mean she is one of those annoying retards that is constantly making it clear that they are bi and every other sentance has something to do with their sexual orientation. It could be the case that she is just so annoying that people want nothing to do with her and has nothing to do with her sexual preference.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by zaiger
 



I'm trying to think of a way to re-word that, as best I can put it is to me sexual repression is repressing the act of 2 or more people having sex as well as the general reactions people have on sex. But that is just my views on this. Everyone has their own definition for things but being repressed sexually to me means you are made to feel that sex, certain sexual acts and/or discussing sex is off limits.

She isn't telling people however when asked she will tell you, like every once in a while she may bring up what a fantastic night she had on some date. The point i was trying to make is she doesn't go around yelling I sleep around but when certain people find out they regard her with disdain. At one point she had 3 or 4 open relations and some people would call her a slut because she was with 4 men rather than a steady relation with one.

Same with her bi sexuality. Maybe its just me not explaining ever single thing, and do not take offense but you looking at the extremes in people. Being open with her sexuality means she doesn't feel ashamed to kiss her girlfriend in public or hold hands or feel the need to hide the fact she is with a woman rather than a man.

I created this topic to get inputs on why SOME people may be feeling sexually repressed. I did not create this thread to nit pick about my own personal definitions on sexuality, which changes from person to person and from view to view. If you like I can get a sociology text book, dictionary and psychology text book to prove this, my guess is there will be subtle definition changes, due to how one looks at sexuality. Also If I am vague on examples it is to protect the identity of those in the example.

Xiamara




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