Human sexuality history

Learning Objectives

Let's start with the Greeks. Aphrodisiac, eroticism, homosexuality, narcissism, nymphomania, pederasty all these terms are derived from the. Dr Lesley Hall, review of The Modern History of Sexuality, (review no. ) their mindless materialist and progressive assumptions about human sexuality'. Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves Sociocultural aspects of sexuality include historical developments and religious beliefs. Some cultures have been described as sexually.

Was it any different in caveman days? And just how does human sexuality differ compared to that of a bonobo ape? The answers might. Let's start with the Greeks. Aphrodisiac, eroticism, homosexuality, narcissism, nymphomania, pederasty all these terms are derived from the. Dr Lesley Hall, review of The Modern History of Sexuality, (review no. ) their mindless materialist and progressive assumptions about human sexuality'.

History and the Understanding of. Human Sexuality. VERN L. BULLOUGH. Historical data traditionally furnished a significant part of the classical studies. throughout human evolutionary history, faced sex-specific adaptive problems in the domain of sexual matters5J2J3. A vast body of empirical evidence, based on​. Human preoccupation with sex and sexuality makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. are likely a result of our evolutionary history as a species.






As important as sexuality is sexuality being human, it is often viewed as a taboo topic for personal or scientific inquiry. By Dr. Don Lucas history Dr. Further, it shapes the brain and body to be pleasure-seeking. Yet, as important as sexuality is to being human, it is often viewed as a taboo topic for personal or scientific inquiry. Sex history the world go around: It makes babies bond, children giggle, adolescents flirt, and adults have babies. It influences the way we dress, joke, and talk.

In many ways, sex defines who we are. It is history important, the eminent neuropsychologist Karl Pribram described sex as one of four basic human drive states. Drive states motivate us to accomplish goals. They are linked to our survival. According history Pribram, feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sex are the four drives behind every thought, feeling, and behavior.

Since these drives are so closely associated with our psychological and physical health, you might assume people would study, understand, and discuss them openly. Can you guess which drive is the least understood and openly discussed? This module presents an opportunity for you to think openly and objectively about sex.

Without shame or taboo, using science as a lens, we examine fundamental aspects of human sexuality—including gender, sexual orientation, fantasies, behaviors, paraphilias, and sexual consent. For almost as long as we human been having sex, we have been history art, writing, and talking about it. Some of the earliest recovered artifacts from ancient cultures are thought to be fertility totems. By contrast, people have been scientifically investigating sex for only about years.

Using this method, the Sexuality physician Human Havelock Ellis examined diverse topics within history, including arousal and masturbation. Among human most noteworthy findings is that transgender people are distinct from homosexual people. Using case studies, the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud is credited with being the first scientist to link sex to healthy development and to recognize humans as being sexual throughout their lifespans, including childhood Freud, According to Freud, each of these stages could be passed through in a healthy or unhealthy manner.

In unhealthy manners, people might develop psychological problems, such as frigidity, sexuality, or anal-retentiveness. The American sexuality Alfred Kinsey is commonly referred to as the father of human sexuality research. Kinsey was a world-renowned expert on wasps but later changed his focus to the study of humans. This shift happened because he wanted to teach a course on marriage but found data on human sexual behavior lacking.

He believed that sexual knowledge was the product of guesswork and had never really been studied systematically or in an unbiased way. Although he fell short of his goal, he still managed to collect 18 thousand interviews! Today, a broad range of scientific research on sexuality continues. Applying human a credit card or filling out a job application requires your name, address, and birth-date.

Additionally, applications usually ask for your sex or gender. However, in history usage, these terms are distinct from one another. Sex includes sexual organs, such as ovaries—defining what it is to be a female—or testes—defining what it is to be a male. Interestingly, biological sex is not as easily defined or determined as you might expect see sexuality section on variations in human, below. At an early age, we begin learning cultural norms for what is considered masculine and feminine.

For example, children may associate long hair or dresses with femininity. Because cultures change over sexuality, so too do ideas about gender.

For example, European and American cultures today associate pink with femininity and blue with masculinity. While some argue that sexual attraction is primarily driven by reproduction e. With this number in mind, consider how many times the history was or will be for reproduction versus how many it was or will be for pleasure. Which number is greater? An SOCR is the probability that a pair of individuals has the same sexual orientation.

Researchers find SOCRs are highest for monozygotic twins; and SOCRs for dizygotic twins, siblings, and randomly-selected pairs do not significantly differ from one another Bailey et al. Because sexual orientation is a hotly debated issue, an appreciation of the genetic aspects of attraction can be history important piece of this dialogue. The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.

The sooner we learn this concerning human sexual behavior, the sooner we shall reach a sound understanding of the realities of sex. We live in an era when sex, gender, and sexual orientation human controversial religious and political human. Some nations have laws against homosexuality, while others have laws protecting same-sex marriages.

The international scientific and medical communities e. Furthermore, variations of sex, gender, and sexual orientation occur naturally throughout the animal kingdom. More than animal species have homosexual or bisexual orientations Lehrer, In any case, intersex individuals demonstrate the diverse variations of biological sex. Just as biological sex varies more widely than is commonly thought, so too does gender. Because gender is so deeply ingrained culturally, rates of transgender individuals vary widely around the world see Table 1.

Although incidence rates of transgender individuals differ significantly between cultures, transgender females TGFs —whose birth sex was male—are by far the most frequent type of transgender individuals in any culture. TGFs have diverse levels of androgyny—having both feminine and masculine characteristics. Sexual orientation is as diverse as gender identity. He measured orientation on a continuum, using a 7-point Likert scale called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Sexuality, in which 0 is exclusively sexuality, 3 is bisexual, and 6 is exclusively homosexual.

These percentages drop dramatically 0. What is considered sexually normal depends on culture. They human clothes when they human and even while having sex. Further, sex education was nonexistent, as was breast feeding Messenger, When the boys are a bit older, this formal instruction is replaced with hands-on coaching by older females.

These cultures make clear that what are considered sexually normal behaviors depends on time and place. Sexual behaviors are linked to, but distinct human, fantasies. However, this does not mean most of us want to be cheating on our partners or be involved in sexual assault. There is even evidence that masturbation significantly decreases the risk of developing prostate cancer among males over the age of 50 Dimitropoulou et al.

Masturbation is common among males and females in the U. Robbins et al. However, frequency of masturbation is affected by culture. Durex found the average age of first coital experiences across 41 different human to be 17 years, with a low of 16 Iceland sexuality, and a high of 20 India. There is tremendous variation regarding frequency of coital sex. For example, the average number of times per year a person in Greece or France engages in coital sex is between 1.

The prevalence of oral sex widely differs between cultures—with Sexuality cultures, such as the U. Not only are there differences between cultures regarding how many people engage in oral sex, there are differences in its very definition. For example, most college students in the U. Like heterosexual people, homosexual people engage in a variety of sexual behaviors, the most frequent being masturbation, romantic kissing, and oral sex Rosenberger et al. The prevalence of anal sex widely differs between cultures.

Clearly, people engage in a multitude of behaviors whose variety is limited only by our own imaginations. However, there is one aspect of sexual behavior that is universally acceptable—indeed, fundamental and necessary.

In the heat of the moment, things are not always what they seem. For example, Kristen Jozkowski and her colleagues found that females tend to use verbal strategies of consent, whereas males tend to rely on nonverbal indications of consent.

The universal principles of pleasure, sexual behaviors, and history are intertwined. Consent is the foundation on which sexuality activity needs to be built. The truth is, sex is less concrete than most people assume. Instead, they are continuums. Similarly, sexual fantasies and behaviors vary greatly by individual and culture.

Ultimately, open discussions history sexual identity and sexual practices will help people better understand themselves, others, and the world around them. An image human an ancient Greek drinking cup of two lovers kissing. Cartoon depicting a traditional gender role of a woman as a housewife, working in the kitchen. Left: An intersexual two-spotted bumble bee Bombus Bimaculatus and, Right: Two mallard Anas Platyrhynchos ducks—one of hundreds of species having homosexual or bisexual orientations.

Table 1: Nations history in the number of transgender people found in their populations De Gascun et al. Figure sexuality Hijra Dancer in Nepal. Figure 3: A United States patent drawing of an early 20th century anti-masturbation chastity belt. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

That the history of sexuality has come of age is clear. The Modern History of Sexuality provides us with an overview of the current state of the art.

The editors and the contributors are among some of the most sparkling figures in the younger generation of scholars toiling in this area. In R.

Neumann, in a prescient review essay just predating the appearance of a number of influential works emerging from gay and women's history and the impact of Foucault, deplored the anecdotal and simplistically theorised works then appearing. These densely packed chapters discuss various fields in which history of sexuality is embroiled, the development of theories and arguments, and the questions that are being raised.

Thus it is not 'a history of sexuality' as such, but a meta-level contribution providing a guide to how historians have thought, and are now thinking, about sexuality in history, focusing largely on the modern period. It provides a useful introduction to the area, if somewhat uneven due to the different approaches taken in the various chapters: but this validly represents the protean nature of the subject. The editors provide a valuable overview in their introduction, pointing out that the history of sexuality is not just about detailing the organisation and experience of sexual behaviour in the past but can be deployed as 'a prism through which to explore wider social and cultural issues', as a 'protean discipline that allows us to enter a world of meaning, to understand the most fundamental assumptions about everyday life that shape the social, cultural and political life of modern Western societies'.

This is a sound guide to the development of the discipline and the ways in which it works, although some points might bear nuancing. Hera Cook's chapter provides a valuable introduction to the theme of demography, which deals with the most common form of sexual interaction in all societies up to the present: reproductive intercourse between individuals of differing sexes. As she points out, 'Heterosexuality was, and is, the dominant sexual culture' and needs to be historicised just as homosexuality has been.

This is one of the few points at which something of a gap in the volume is foregrounded: as she states, there is, 'an implicit assumption Cook makes the important point that reproduction is not 'a perennial, unchanging experience', and that changing birth rates over time and space, in combination with other forms of evidence, can be a way into understanding sexual cultures.

In particular she argues that statistics provide an important check on anecdotal evidence relating to specific, not necessarily typical, individuals. However, to what extent were 'sharply-rising rates of syphilis recorded from the mid-nineteenth century' p.

Chris Waters looks at 'Sexology' — the attempt to bring science and rationality to bear upon the vexed questions of sexual behaviour and attitudes.

This endeavour was already in progress well before it was named: as he points out, the Oxford English Dictionary traces the modern usage to William Walling's book of that title, published in , a date when 'sexology was already on its way to becoming an established science' p.

I might perhaps contend with Waters's suggestion that early sexology was most interested in 'the psychology of the perversions'. As I have argued, sexology emerged against a backdrop of feminist protest against existing male-dominated sexual institutions of society, both prostitution and marriage, and many of the early sexologists were embedded in milieux in which debates on these issues, critiquing established assumptions about sexuality and gender, were flourishing.

The chapter is otherwise an extremely usefully overview of the rise and development of sexology and of the ways in which historians have looked at it. Waters makes the often overlooked point that the roots of the history of sexuality itself lie in sexology and sexual reform.

This sometimes took the form of 'manufactur[ing] a usable past' p. Waters also demonstrates that the sexologists' writing of themselves into the history of the discipline constructed a narrative of progress into emancipation and enlightenment that endured until the s. Post-Foucault, Walters claims, 'there was a tendency to veer to the other extreme, to view sexologists as insidious agents of social control', similarly overlooking sexology's 'origins as a complex product of social interaction' pp.

More recent studies have looked at this complex process of the production of sexual knowledge, and the ways in which it was disseminated, transformed and used by a variety of constituencies. Matt Cook examines the role of law and legal systems both in 'delineating deviancy' and in creating an archival record which can provide insight into 'voices, subcultures and behaviours which would otherwise be lost' p.

He emphasises that law was far from a static monolithic system; instead it was constantly changing over time and reft with internal contradictions at any given moment, not to mention the significant national differences in judicial institutions and procedures. Legislation can reflect highly specific cultural anxieties and outbreaks of moral panic, while not necessarily embodying a general consensus.

He mentions the opportunity that the courtroom provided for articulating 'overt dissent from domineering codes and values', such as Wilde's famous 'love that dare not speak its name' peroration p. But as a whole this chapter does a fine job of demonstrating the complexity of the nature of legal regulation and the need for contextualisation when using the materials it generated.

George Robb provides an overview of marriage and reproduction that possibly focuses a little too narrowly on Anglo-American debates and concerns. His account of feminist critiques of marriage and their intersections with anxiety over breeding the healthy race, the arguments advanced for free love, and moves to revitalise marriage following two world wars is excellent as far as it goes.

Nonetheless, it would have been useful to look at the somewhat different slants on marriage, women's role within it, and reproduction emerging in continental Europe, especially given his emphasis on eugenics and pronatalist agendas, and the status of women.

A brief mention of the shift from the sexual radicalism of the early days of the Soviet regime in Russia to Stalinist pronatalism and a sentence alluding to the excesses of the Nazis' eugenic programme in Germany do not really provide a nuanced analysis of the different ways in which these concerns played out in different national contexts, such as Scandinavia, France, with its constant panic over depopulation, Italy, and Spain, where a deeply conservative traditional Catholic morality was contested by anarchists advocating both free love and eugenics.

The important questions of race and empire are tackled by Ross Forman. He analyses the debated issue of 'empire as space of sexual liberation', complicating assertions such as those made by Hyam in Empire and Sexuality The question of sources is discussed, and the bias that can be introduced by the sites at which and the reasons for which records were produced, but Forman fruitfully suggests the variety of resources that can be investigated as well as the various methodological strategies that can be deployed to identify 'important details about sexual and racial histories' in apparently neutral and unpromising official documentation.

An important point is made about the process of circulation between empire and metropole, and the constant renegotiation of boundaries. There is an excellent account of the contingent and contextual significance of 'miscegenation' in diverse historical and geographical contexts.

The overview of the relationship between scientific racism and questions of sexuality is very useful, though possibly the picture was perhaps not entirely one of evolution from primitive to civilised. Was there not, particularly with the late nineteenth century rise of degeneration theory and eugenic anxieties, a positioning of certain 'races' as effete and decadent and given to elaborate and sophisticate 'perversions' rather than savage and primitive?

This would place 'Western civilisation' at a precarious midway balance point needing constant readjustment. The city and urban spaces have become, Matt Houlbrook suggests, 'an increasingly hot academic issue'.

This is a sophisticated thematic essay, as one would expect from the author of Queer London. Houlbrook asks why a generation of historians have been 'so obsessed with the city'; how urban culture has shaped and been shaped by experiences and understanding of sexual behaviour; and what is problematic in the ways historians have addressed these themes.

Partly this is an artefact of the richness of the urban archival record, but that itself arose from anxieties engendering practices of surveillance over the populations of cities. This is a well-analysed and thought provoking chapter, but again, exposes a gap in the existing historiography: what were the patterns of heterosexual interaction other than prostitution in the city, what opportunities were enabled for new kinds of courtship and relationships? There is an intriguing meditation about cyberspace and whether this fills the role cities formerly did as sites of identity creation, pleasure, and danger: however, it would be interesting to examine earlier 'virtual' methods by which individuals combated isolation and anomie those frequent by-products of urban life through personal advertisements, correspondence clubs and the creation of circles via shared common interests without, necessarily, prior physical encounters.

Harry Cocks posits the continuing relevance of considering religion and spirituality as important elements in sexual attitudes and behaviour. While I have argued that it is possible that Foucault's concept of the centrality of the confessional is too universalising a model, eroding significant differences of national culture and sectarian affiliation, 4 it is undoubtedly the case that spiritual beliefs continued to play a significant role for much longer than simplistic stories of modernity and secularisation might suggest.

Cocks's claim that religion 'had fallen into decay' as a 'location for sexual expression' by the s is contestable: figures such as Maude Royden and A. Herbert Gray were adumbrating a new theology of marriage, and sexual relationships within it, strongly inflected by feminism and the works of sexologists such as Havelock Ellis.

The Marriage Guidance Council evolved during the late s out of the efforts of organisations and individuals with strong religious affiliations. Human sexuality can be understood as part of the social life of humans, which is governed by implied rules of behavior and the status quo. This narrows the view to groups within a society. Throughout history, social norms have been changing and continue to change as a result of movements such as the sexual revolution and the rise of feminism.

The age and manner in which children are informed of issues of sexuality is a matter of sex education. The school systems in almost all developed countries have some form of sex education, but the nature of the issues covered varies widely. In some countries, such as Australia and much of Europe, age-appropriate sex education often begins in pre-school, whereas other countries leave sex education to the pre-teenage and teenage years.

Geographic location also plays a role in society's opinion of the appropriate age for children to learn about sexuality. In the United States, most sex education programs encourage abstinence , the choice to restrain oneself from sexual activity. In contrast, comprehensive sex education aims to encourage students to take charge of their own sexuality and know how to have safe, healthy, and pleasurable sex if and when they choose to do so.

According to data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, many teens who intend to be abstinent fail to do so, and when these teenagers do have sex, many do not use safe sex practices such as contraceptives. In some religions, sexual behavior is regarded as primarily spiritual. In others it is treated as primarily physical.

Some hold that sexual behavior is only spiritual within certain kinds of relationships, when used for specific purposes, or when incorporated into religious ritual. In some religions there are no distinctions between the physical and the spiritual, whereas some religions view human sexuality as a way of completing the gap that exists between the spiritual and the physical. Many religious conservatives, especially those of Abrahamic religions and Christianity in particular, tend to view sexuality in terms of behavior i.

They may also see homosexuality as a form of mental illness, something that ought to be criminalised, an immoral abomination, caused by ineffective parenting, and view same-sex marriage as a threat to society. On the other hand, most religious liberals define sexuality-related labels in terms of sexual attraction and self-identification.

They also tend to be more in favor of same-sex marriage. According to Judaism , sex between man and woman within marriage is sacred and should be enjoyed; celibacy is considered sinful.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that sexuality is "noble and worthy" [78] but that it must be used in accordance with natural law. For this reason, all sexual activity must occur in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman, and must not be divorced from the possibility of conception. Most forms of sex without the possibility of conception are considered intrinsically disordered and sinful, such as the use of contraceptives, masturbation , and homosexual acts.

In Islam , sexual desire is considered to be a natural urge that should not be suppressed, although the concept of free sex is not accepted; these urges should be fulfilled responsibly. Marriage is considered to be a good deed; it does not hinder spiritual wayfaring.

The term used for marriage within the Quran is nikah , which literally means sexual intercourse. Although Islamic sexuality is restrained via Islamic sexual jurisprudence , it emphasizes sexual pleasure within marriage. It is acceptable for a man to have more than one wife, but he must take care of those wives physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. However, homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Islam, and some Muslim lawyers have suggested that gay people should be put to death.

For many Muslims, sex with reference to the Quran indicates that—bar anal intercourse and adultery—a Muslim marital home bonded by Nikah marital contract between husband and his wife s should enjoy and even indulge, within the privacy of their marital home, in limitless scope of heterosexual sexual acts within a monogamous or polygamous marriage.

Hinduism emphasizes that sex is only appropriate between husband and wife, in which satisfying sexual urges through sexual pleasure is an important duty of marriage. Any sex before marriage is considered to interfere with intellectual development, especially between birth and the age of 25, which is said to be brahmacharya and this should be avoided. Kama sensual pleasures is one of the four purusharthas or aims of life dharma, artha, kama, and moksha.

Sikhism views chastity as important, as Sikhs believe that the divine spark of Waheguru is present inside every individual's body, therefore it is important for one to keep clean and pure. Sexual activity is limited to married couples, and extramarital sex is forbidden. Marriage is seen as a commitment to Waheguru and should be viewed as part of spiritual companionship, rather than just sexual intercourse, and monogamy is deeply emphasised in Sikhism.

Any other way of living is discouraged, including celibacy and homosexuality. However, in comparison to other religions, the issue of sexuality in Sikhism is not considered one of paramount importance. Sexuality has been an important, vital part of human existence throughout history.

Within these groups, some implications of male dominance existed, but there were signs that women were active participants in sexuality, with bargaining power of their own. Some underlying continuities or key regulatory standards contended with the tension between recognition of pleasure, interest, and the need to procreate for the sake of social order and economic survival. One example of these male-dominated portrayals is the Egyptian creation myth , in which the sun god Atum masturbates in the water, creating the Nile River.

In Sumerian myth, the Gods' semen filled the Tigris. Once agricultural societies emerged, the sexual framework shifted in ways that persisted for many millennia in much of Asia, Africa, Europe, and parts of the Americas. One common characteristic new to these societies was the collective supervision of sexual behavior due to urbanization, and the growth of population and population density.

Children would commonly witness parents having sex because many families shared the same sleeping quarters. Due to landownership, determination of children's paternity became important, and society and family life became patriarchal. These changes in sexual ideology were used to control female sexuality and to differentiate standards by gender. With these ideologies, sexual possessiveness and increases in jealousy emerged.

With the domestication of animals, new opportunities for bestiality arose. Males mostly performed these types of sexual acts and many societies acquired firm rules against it. These acts also explain the many depictions of half-human, half-animal mythical creatures, and the sports of gods and goddesses with animals. Some of these distinctions are portrayed in sex manuals, which were also common among civilizations in China, Greece, Rome, Persia, and India; each has its own sexual history.

Before the High Middle Ages , homosexual acts appear to have been ignored or tolerated by the Christian church. By the end of the 19th century, it was viewed as a pathology. During the beginning of the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, many changes in sexual standards occurred. New, dramatic, artificial birth control devices such as the condom and diaphragm were introduced.

Doctors started claiming a new role in sexual matters, urging that their advice was crucial to sexual morality and health. New pornographic industries grew and Japan adopted its first laws against homosexuality.

In Western societies, the definition of homosexuality was constantly changing; Western influence on other cultures became more prevalent. New contacts created serious issues around sexuality and sexual traditions.

There were also major shifts in sexual behavior. During this period, puberty began occurring at younger ages, so a new focus on adolescence as a time of sexual confusion and danger emerged.

There was a new focus on the purpose of marriage; it was increasing regarded as being for love rather than only for economics and reproduction. Havelock Ellis and Sigmund Freud adopted more accepting stances toward homosexuality; Ellis said homosexuality was inborn and therefore not immoral, not a disease, and that many homosexuals made significant contributions to society.

He said male homosexuality resulted when a young boy had an authoritarian, rejecting mother and turned to his father for love and affection, and later to men in general. He said female homosexuality developed when a girl loved her mother and identified with her father, and became fixated at that stage. Alfred Kinsey initiated the modern era of sex research. He collected data from questionnaires given to his students at Indiana University , but then switched to personal interviews about sexual behaviors.

Kinsey and his colleagues sampled 5, men and 5, women. He found that most people masturbated, that many engaged in oral sex , that women are capable of having multiple orgasms, and that many men had had some type of homosexual experience in their lifetimes.

Many [ who? Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University continues to be a major center for the study of human sexuality. Masters and Johnson started to directly observe and record the physical responses in humans that are engaged in sexual activity under laboratory settings.

They observed 10, episodes of sexual acts between men and women. This led to methods of treating clinical problems and abnormalities. Masters and Johnson opened the first sex therapy clinic in In , they described their therapeutic techniques in their book, Human Sexual Inadequacy. Scholars also study the ways in which colonialism has affected sexuality today and argue that due to racism and slavery it has been dramatically changed from the way it had previously been understood.

In her book, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Gender, Race, and Morality in Colonial Asia , Laura Stoler investigates how the Dutch used sexual control and gender-specific sexual sanctions to distinguish between the rulers from the ruled and enforce colonial domination onto the people of Indonesia. In America, there are native tribes that are recorded to have embraced two-spirit people within their tribes, but the total number of tribes could be greater than what is documented.

For example, two-spirited people are commonly revered for possessing special wisdom and spiritual powers. The link between constructed sexual meanings and racial ideologies has been studied.

According to Joane Nagel, sexual meanings are constructed to maintain racial-ethnic-national boundaries by the denigration of "others" and regulation of sexual behavior within the group. She writes, "both adherence to and deviation from such approved behaviors, define and reinforce racial, ethnic, and nationalist regimes". Reproductive and sexual rights encompass the concept of applying human rights to issues related to reproduction and sexuality. According to the Swedish government, "sexual rights include the right of all people to decide over their own bodies and sexuality" and "reproductive rights comprise the right of individuals to decide on the number of children they have and the intervals at which they are born.

In , Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger, [] leaders of the birth control movement, began to spread correct information regarding contraception in opposition to the laws, such as the Comstock Law, [] that demonized it. One of their main purposes was to assert that the birth control movement was about empowering women with personal reproductive and economic freedom for those who could not afford to parent a child or simply did not want one.

Goldman and Sanger saw it necessary to educate people as contraceptives were quickly being stigmatized as a population control tactic due to being a policy limiting births, disregarding that this limitation did not target ecological, political, or large economic conditions. One Package [] declared that prescribing contraception to save a person's life or well-being was no longer illegal under the Comstock Law. Although opinions varied on when birth control should be available to women, by , there were birth control clinics in the United States but advertising their services remained illegal.

The stigma continued to lose credibility as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt publicly showed her support for birth control through the four terms her husband served However, it was not until that the Federal Government began to fund family planning and subsidized birth control services for lower class women and families at the order of President Lyndon B.

The disease disproportionately affected and continues to affect gay and bisexual men, especially black and Latino men. Activism during the AIDS crisis focused on promoting safe sex practices to raise awareness that the disease could be prevented.

In , Congress even denied federal funding from awareness campaigns that "[promoted] or [encouraged], directly or indirectly, homosexual activities". Thus, group organizers self-identified as gay more and more, creating the basis for further development of gay consciousness in different countries. In humans, sexual intercourse and sexual activity in general have been shown to have health benefits, such as an improved sense of smell, [ citation needed ] reduction in stress and blood pressure, [] [] increased immunity , [] and decreased risk of prostate cancer.

Exclusive causation, however, is unclear, and the benefits may be indirectly related to sex and directly related to significant reductions in stress, greater contentment, and better sleep that sex promotes. Sexual intercourse can also be a disease vector. People both consciously and subconsciously seek to attract others with whom they can form deep relationships.

This may be for companionship, procreation, or an intimate relationship. This involves interactive processes whereby people find and attract potential partners and maintain a relationship. These processes, which involve attracting one or more partners and maintaining sexual interest, can include:. Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest.

The attraction can be to the physical or other qualities or traits of a person, or to such qualities in the context in which they appear. The attraction may be to a person's aesthetics or movements or to their voice or smell, besides other factors. The attraction may be enhanced by a person's adornments, clothing, perfume, hair length and style , and anything else which can attract the sexual interest of another person.

It can also be influenced by individual genetic , psychological , or cultural factors, or to other, more amorphous qualities of the person. Sexual attraction is also a response to another person that depends on a combination of the person possessing the traits and also on the criteria of the person who is attracted. Though attempts have been made to devise objective criteria of sexual attractiveness, and measure it as one of several bodily forms of capital asset see erotic capital , a person's sexual attractiveness is to a large extent a subjective measure dependent on another person's interest, perception, and sexual orientation.

For example, a gay or lesbian person would typically find a person of the same sex to be more attractive than one of the other sex. A bisexual person would find either sex to be attractive. In addition, there are asexual people, who usually do not experience sexual attraction for either sex, though they may have romantic attraction homoromantic, biromantic or heteroromantic. Interpersonal attraction includes factors such as physical or psychological similarity , familiarity or possessing a preponderance of common or familiar features , similarity , complementarity , reciprocal liking , and reinforcement.

The ability of a person's physical and other qualities to create a sexual interest in others is the basis of their use in advertising , music video , pornography , film , and other visual media, as well as in modeling , sex work and other occupations. Globally, laws regulate human sexuality in several ways, including criminalizing particular sexual behaviors, granting individuals the privacy or autonomy to make their own sexual decisions, protecting individuals with regard to equality and non-discrimination, recognizing and protecting other individual rights, as well as legislating matters regarding marriage and the family, and creating laws protecting individuals from violence, harassment, and persecution.

In the United States, there are two fundamentally different approaches, applied in different states, regarding the way the law is used to attempt to govern a person's sexuality. Issues regarding human sexuality and human sexual orientation have come to the forefront in Western law in the latter half of the twentieth century, as part of the gay liberation movement's encouragement of LGBT individuals to " come out of the closet " and engaging with the legal system, primarily through courts.

Therefore, many issues regarding human sexuality and the law are found in the opinions of the courts. While the issue of privacy has been useful to sexual rights claims, some scholars have criticized its usefulness, saying that this perspective is too narrow and restrictive.

The law is often slow to intervene in certain forms of coercive behavior that can limit individuals' control over their own sexuality such as female genital mutilation , forced marriages or lack of access to reproductive health care. Many of these injustices are often perpetuated wholly or in part by private individuals rather than state agents, and as a result, there is an ongoing debate about the extent of state responsibility to prevent harmful practices and to investigate such practices when they do occur.

State intervention with regards to sexuality also occurs, and is considered acceptable by some, in certain instances e. The legal systems surrounding prostitution are a topic of debate.

Proponents for criminalization argue that sex work is an immoral practice that should not be tolerated, while proponents for decriminalization point out how criminalization does more harm than good. Within the feminist movement, there is also a debate over whether sex work is inherently objectifying and exploitative or whether sex workers have the agency to sell sex as a service.

When sex work is criminalized, sex workers do not have support from law enforcement when they fall victim to violence. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about human sexual anatomy, sexuality and perceptions. For information specifically about sexual activities, see Human sexual activity. For sexual behavior among other animals, see Animal sexual behaviour. For other uses, see Sexuality disambiguation. How people experience themselves sexually. Polygamy Polyandry Polygyny. Cicisbeo Concubinage Courtesan Mistress.

Breakup Separation Annulment Divorce Widowhood. Emotions and feelings. Main article: Sexual orientation. Main article: Human reproductive system. Main article: Human male reproductive system. Main article: Human female reproductive system. Main article: Female reproductive system.

Main article: Sexual dysfunction. Main article: Child sexuality. Main article: Sexuality in older age.

Main article: Religion and sexuality. Main article: History of human sexuality. This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. Further information: Reproductive health and Reproductive rights.

Main article: Human sexual activity. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Sexual attraction. See also: Sexual and reproductive health and rights. Human sexuality portal. Adolescent sexuality Age of consent Antisexualism Gay sexual practices Human female sexuality Human male sexuality Human mating strategies Strategic pluralism Lesbian sexual practices Neuroscience and sexual orientation Sex magic Sexology Sex-positive movement Sex-positive feminism Sexualization Sociosexual orientation.

Marshall Cavendish. Retrieved 21 June The term human sexuality broadly refers to how people experience and express themselves as sexual beings. Sociology: A Global Perspective. Cengage Learning. Sexuality encompasses all the ways people experience and express themselves as sexual beings.

Exploring the Dimensions of Human Sexuality. Human sexuality is a part of your total personality. It involves the interrelationship of biological, psychological, and sociocultural dimensions. American Psychological Association.

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