Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from expecting 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 cultures influenced by Abrahamic religions , the law and the church established sodomy as a transgression against divine law or a crime against nature. The condemnation of anal sex between males, however, predates Christian belief.
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It was frequent in ancient Greece; "unnatural" can be traced back to Plato. Many historical figures, including Socrates , Lord Byron , Edward II , and Hadrian ,  have had terms such as gay or bisexual applied to them; some scholars, such as Michel Foucault , have regarded this as risking the anachronistic introduction of a contemporary construction of sexuality foreign to their times,  though others challenge this.
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. In Jewish law, sex is not considered intrinsically sinful or shameful when conducted in marriage, nor is it a necessary evil for the purpose of procreation.
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 6: 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 [7: 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: 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 however only after marriage. If a Muslim engaged in sexual intercourse before marriage then this would be considered sinful but if the person is sincerely sorry , repents and is a kind person who fulfills all his other duties then he or she will be forgiven.
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. Many cultures normalized or promoted adult males and male youths, usually teenagers, entering into pedagogic friendships or love affairs that also had an erotic dimension.
These were usually sexually expressed, but chaste ones were not infrequent. If sexual, that phase of the relationship lasted until the youth was ready for adulthood and marriage. Other cultures saw such relationships as inimical to their interests — often on religious grounds — and tried to stamp them out. Zoophilia or bestiality—sexual activity between humans and animals—probably dates back to prehistory.
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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: 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: 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.
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AIDS has profoundly changed modern sexuality. It was first noticed although many historians feel that the first case was in 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: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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