The History of sex questionnaire.
- Who was Giacomo Casanova, and why is he an important figure in the early history of sex?
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (April 2nd, 1725 – June 4th, 1798) was born in Venice, Italy at the beginning of the 18th century. Casanova was considered an adventurer, socialite, and an author but was most famous for his many love affairs, sexual encounters, chivalry, and for being a womanizer. His memoirs are regarded as essential to the understanding of the Victorian social and sexual life. The life of Giacomo was so extreme and he had so many affairs, that he inspired a character in the Mozart opera Don Giovanni. Moreover, his behavior and actions inspired changes in the ideas of morality because he believed that sex was good and it was aligned with God and religion. Casanova wanted to be religious and dedicate his life to the church; however, he was caught in a sex scandal. Soon after his failed attempt to maybe one day be a pope he became an assistant husband and spent time serving wives of prominent men.
- Who was Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, and how did he differ from Casanova?
Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade (June 2nd, 1740 – December 2nd, 1814) was born in Paris, France in the middle of the 19th century. He is well known for his writing of explicit sexuality, violence, and pornography. He was in jail most of his life because of his deviant behavior and all women he sodomized, abused, and raped. De Sade was cruel, and the eponym of the word sadism. Sadism which is the act of inflicting pain and violence to feel pleasure. He differs from Casanova because he was into violence and sexual deviances. Casanova was a lover De Sade was a cruel sadist who used laced aphrodisiacs such as the “Spanish fly” to rape, torture and hurt women to gain sexual satisfaction.
- Describe the sexual mores of colonial American Puritans.
The colonists escaped England to disassociate themselves from all the sexual deviances and corruption in England at the 17th century. They believed all children of God were born damned, that all good puritans had to be in control of their actions, and even their thoughts. Sex was only meant for procreation and any sexual act outside of the marriage was considered a crime. Many scholars researched the courts in the colonial days and found that many cases involved, incest, bestiality, rape, adultery, even sex in public, were very common.
- How did Puritans attempt to discover paternity when an unwed woman became pregnant?
In order to discover paternity, the Puritans used a method called twelve angry women which consist of twelve puritan women gathered around a pregnant woman who doesn’t want to reveal the name of the man who impregnated her. They will wait for the pregnant women to be in labor and while in pain the angry women would question and demand the mother to tell them who the father is.
- How did Native American sexuality, gender roles, and marriage customs compare with that of the colonial Americans?
Native Americans married for love and had sex for pleasure. Sex was viewed as “a vital natural life force” (history of sex video) Gender roles vary from tribe to tribe. In some tribes, there was male dominance and in others, women held the most power. Natives were very different because they did not find sexuality as a sin like a colonist did. Their religion was nature.
Describe the nature of traditional African sexuality and gender roles.
The Africans had similar views of sexuality as the native Americans. They believed sexuality and procreation to be two different matters. They enjoyed sexual interactions with their partners and considered sex powerful. Africans instructed their youth about sex as early as eleven-year-old and the lessons included dances and rituals that mimic sex. Women and men were expected to keep virgin until married and some women after reaching womanhood, went through a cruel and painful procedure called clitoridectomy. The procedure consisted in mutilating the young woman genitals (cutting her clitoris) to prevented her for having sexual desires and remain virgin until marriage. Furthermore, some tribes will practice the ritual because they believed it would be beneficial for the women in terms of marriage. They will expect an increment in the woman fertility and that it will make her more complete. Romantic love was reserved for close friends and sexuality was for the husband or wife. Women held the same status of man in many tribes. Women will even in some instances acquire wives of their own. This was platonic business arrangements that will allow the primary wife to gain status in their patrilineal community. Men and woman can act as a husband until the colonist change all that and took all those rights from women.
- Describe middle-class marriage during the Victorian Era. What “spheres” did Victorian men and women operate in?
The middle class grew in the Victorian era but they judged the behavior of the aristocrat calling them immoral, deviant, and sinful. When Victoria rise to power everything changed. She was a puritan virgin who married her true love Albert and they had a non-conventional relationship where they were devoted to each other and their children. Middle-class marriage was categorized in spheres public and private. Men belong in the public sphere because they were the breadwinners and when out into the world to provide for their mate. Women were constantly in the private sphere taking care the children and house. Sex was unhealthy and masturbation was evil. A wife had to be frigid and only enthusiastic about children and home.
- What is the common tradition that emerged during this time frame? Is it good or bad?
The common tradition that the emerge from that time frame is the taboo of sex. Sex is evil and masturbation is a sin. Our own tradition dictates that women should be home raising kids while men should be out working been the breadwinners. Women are demonized and always questioned. Pornography is secretive. It is bad that we still see sex as something dirty and women are not treated equally.
- What did the healthy, upstanding Victorian male do for sex?
They used pornography and prostitution. Some had mistresses called courtesans like a second wife and these women were considered first-class prostitutes. There will also be other class systems of prostitutes, brothel workers, and even purchase children. Regardless of all venereal diseases, they used prostitution as a way of fulfilling their sexual desires.
- Is the Victorian era influential today? In what way?
I believe those taboo still remain in our culture because the continued presence of religion which demonized sexuality. Women still are unequal to men regardless of all the advancement and progress. Moreover, as a culture, we are too influenced by religion and television and we live our life’s with contradictions and fears of what is bad or what is good. We marry for love and also monetary convenience and our culture have some set expectations of gender roles.
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