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Chapter 3

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PSYC 391
Kim Bartholomew

Psyc 391 Ch3= The history of sexuality • Christianity became predominant religion in Europe after fall of Roman empire and established procreation view of sexuality • Western Civilization prior to the 20 century: o The Middle ages (500-1300):  Early concerns by Christian clergy regarding their salvation of their congregations led to the dev of informal rules about appropriate sexual behaviour as well as penance (self punishment to express repentance) that must be performed following violation of these rule • Rules formalized into Penitential Literature  Late middle ages cultural sex values were influenced by Crusades (series of military expeditions by Christian nations to take Palestine, holy land, from Muslim powers in 11 -13 centuries) • w/men away women began taking over husband’s duties which allowed women to gain more ctrl and expertise about the operation of society but also gave them more ctrl and visibility • Literature imported from Arab cultures (based on Hellenistic concept of ennobling love) o Ennobling love= belief that proposes the existence of a pure love uncontaminated by sexual desires, a love that elevates a couple about the vulgar/destructive nature of carnal love o Despite idealization of nonsexual love values changed to extent that kids born outside marriage were an accepted phenomenon 9money but never property inheritances)  Also privately owned prostitution (brothels, bathhouses sprang up as result of exposure to Arabic bathhouses during Crusades) o The Renaissance (1300-1520) (rebirth):  Development of civic morality in this time wove concepts of marriage and family into philosophy and increased importance • Set standards for marriage, family and sexuality in western civilization thru modern period continuing into current times • Said only legit purpose of sexual behaviour is for procreation o Marriage and family as centerpiece of forces that create stable, healthy society and sex secured there in well respected role o Sexual behaviour good and proper but only in context of creating high quality and productive citizens o Pleasure not necessary/allowed (?) b/c didn’t provide any help or structure to service society o Despite these rules still had premarital sex, rape, adultery, prostitution and male-male sexual behaviour o Backlash to throw formal Christian dogma back in direction of stoic, Manichaean demands for sexual purity and restraint o The Reformation (1520-1700): Christianity splitting into many different religious b/c of dissent over meaning of principles that defined the religion  Protestant reformer Martin Luther persuaded by Augustine saying that sex is inherently sinful but he also concluded that sex is essential for well being • Sexual expression a necessary evil, acceptable in context of marriage and purpose of sustaining the physical being of individuals • Clergy to marry as lay ppl, celibacy undesirable and unhealthy for everyone  For ppl not in upper class/nobility love was gradually seen as essential in marriage, experience of physical pleasure vital w//in marital sexuality to promote reproduction  Model for Protestant family= man as ultimate authority, woman completely compliant/subservient wife and mother and children to be entirely obedient and respectful of parents  Puritan views= harsh and strict, concept of human nature that original sin of Adam and Eve had condemned ppl to existence of fundamental sinfulness and wickedness (ppl to weak to resist sin of temptation so up to Church to ctrl them) • Ppl who engaged in sexual intercourse outside marriage were publically whipped, required to confess to church, branded or required to where symbols indicating nature of transgressions • If child born less than 9 months after marriage would also be punished o But apparently up to 1/3 of women were pregnant before they were married o Age of Enlightenment (1700-1820):  Rise of disagreements about fundamental beliefs made it safer to question other things (religious disagreement and rise of scientific methods)  Rousseau called for enhancing personal development thru pursuit of happiness, emotion, experience, and sexual indulgence  Still traditionally negative Christian attitude toward sensuality and pleasure (esp sexual pleasure)  Medical practitioners believed that body fluid levels determined health of indivs and depletion resulted in imbalances that led to disease and illness • One oz of semen seen as distillation of life but only expenditure of it during sexual behaviour was bad for body (so warned to only have sex for procreation) • Increasing rates of birth outside of marriage, lack of birth ctrl and poor attitudes about it too  Despite all influences inhibiting sexual expression 18 century still era of major sexual revolution w/greater openness of sexual behaviour at least in upper classes  Greatest effect of Enlightenment movement in thought was upon wealthy and ruling classes saying that pleasure inherently good and healthy (promoted freer expression of sexuality and movement away from belief that sex only for procreation) • Sexual freedom and happiness became another aspect of pursuit of indiv rights  Same gender sexual behaviour did not change (still thought of as contrary to nature)  Procreation ceased to be singular reason for sex, increase in sex for other purposes/satisfy needs (w/in marriage tho) • Interpersonal attraction and ptl to experience personal gratification w/in romantic and sexual rlnshps increased in importance  Despite period of positive advocacy for sexuality was still required to be expressed in cultured, sensible and respectable manner (to increase affection and love as integral in marriages) • Resulted in love being seen as criterion for acceptability of entering into rlnshps and marriage (weakened roles of parents in choosing marriage partner) • Increase in number of women in population so more getting knocked up and abandoned (less ctrl for women) o Result in women needed to dev strategies to protect themselves from sexual exploitation (primary strategy= extreme restraint) o Belief was that women experienced love more strongly than men but felt other passions less intensely than men o The Victorian Age (1820-1910): aka Industrial revolution b/c many mechanical inventions revolutionized commerce and society  Queen Victoria of UK came to symbolize strict, repressive values in context of cultural standards for behaviour, beliefs and sexuality • Core of morality was concern of Respectability (don’t want to appear immoral so avoid any behaviours that might indicate that) • Revival of concern for religion so ancient Christian beliefs became dominant for laws of appropriate, respectable sexual behaviour o According to these laws any interest in erotic pleasure was indication of evil nature in person and so avoided any behaviour that could remotely lead to contamination/corruption  The Victorian conception of female sexuality: revived idea that women and children completely devoid of evil/corrupt tendencies (from Christian codes of chivalry) • Hellenistic distinction b/w spiritual love and carnal love contributing to belief o Physical sexual desires epitome of worldly, carnal orientation w/women seen as spiritual and virtuous so seen as free of sexual impulses  Women also thought to need protection from exposure to sensuality/lustfulness, that decent women didn’t incite sexual desire and men should not debase women by lusting after them  F natural urges were maternal instincts and to provide nurturance and emotional expressiveness • Women seen as the gatekeepers, no sexual activity before marriage and even after marriage was to satisfy husband and preventing him from turning to other “outlets”  Women to take care not to arouse husbands (sex as necessity for men and duty for women in Victorian era) • Sex brief and as minimal in pleasure (only man on top position • Extremely negative view of sexuality and view of women as nonsexual combined to produce highly derogatory, oppressive culture surrounding female sexuality o Believed women menstruation was disease associated w/evidence of vile F sexuality  The Victoria conception of male sexuality: men expected to cultivated emotional ctrl over primitive sexual urges to protect self and women • Sex only for procreation and indulging in unnecessary sexual behaviour thought to consume precious energy and bodily fluids needed to conserve general health • Sex became associated w/disease for M and F • Americans such as Mark Twain promoted view that American men had developed higher moral character than European men b/c of greater self ctrl and sexual restraint o Americans prided selves on how women were treated w/respect and decency by men (strong evidence of M character)  Women came to be idealized and idolized by men, men not supposed to lust after virtuous women  The Victoria practice of “calling”: strict customs virtually separated men and women (inappropriate for unmarried men and women to interact w/o chaperone) • Calling on a woman= present calling card to elder family member/servant and door and asking to see woman o Card taken to woman to see if she was interested in receiving man, if so, indicated that she was romantically interested  If refused, not interested and protected delicate sensibilities from situation (indirect refusal) o After several calls from same man, appropriate to go out in public (w/chaperone)- now seen as intensely romantically involved (which legitimized physical intimacy and was natural culmination nad expression of emotional intimacy)  Prefer sex after marriage but considered understandable and even impolitely acceptable b/c would be moot issue after couple was married  The influence of Victoria sexual morality on all aspects of culture: • Extreme covering up of bodies (even by husbands and wives and even when having sex) o Hugely exaggerated modesty to pt of preventing women from seeking medical attn b/c doctors almost always male (so endured a long time and then finally went w/chaperone)  Dolls to point out where and examination of sexual organs avoided entirely  Negative views of masturbation: • Exposure to sexuality considered extremely destructive to young kids (desire to engage in masturbation believed to indicate growth of wickedness in a boy’s temperament, or dev of disorder) o Thought masturbation was damaging to NS so metal to cover penis/scrotum (some w/spikes pointing in so when erection occurred got poked)  Same gender orientation: appeared to be common in this era but not sure of degree of contact/rlnshp  Incidence of STDs= very high in late Victorian period o The US in the 20 century: th  By second decade of 20 century UK and USA starting to get rid of strictness/propriety of Victoria era and had launched into period of booming growth and rapid social change • Personal identity and motivation based less and less on achievement and gratification thru work had increasing focus on personal fulfillment thru leisure/recreational activities o Pleasure oriented way of life now and sexuality seen as important aspect of life (vital to health and wellbeing)  The Progressive Era (1910-1919): • New Woman= reflect changes in women in regard to self sufficiency, attitudes, interests and behaviour o Appearance of New woman made possible by movement of women into workplace (so achieving some economic indep from men in their lives despite being in low paying/class jobs) o B4 WWI upper and middle class generally harboured negative attitudes toward working class women (who stepped outside of Victorian role of passive/proper/demure “lady”)  Women adrift= those who sought pleasure in new world of dance halls and entertainment  Charity girl= women who engaged in sexual behaviour for gifts, access to entertainment or simply for excitement o In 1910s and 20s emergence of dance halls changed expectations of women drastically- if didn’t drink, dance, dress in flashy clothes had difficulty achieving popularity  Hemlines rose from floor to above ankle in 1910s, and up to knee in 1920s w/flapp
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