Hello and welcome to this webpage on religion and sexuality. I am currently working on this page, collecting ideas!
* Christian religion has had a strong impact on (western) sexual morality, in particular the subjugation of women. Christianity traditionally holds female sexuality in very low regard (Eve's temptation of Adam, sex is sinful outside of marriage and should only be for procreation). It is interesting to consider how religion has portrayed feminine sexual power as something evil and shameful, as a way of control.
Rather than regarding sex as wicked, we hope this website can liberate both men and women to the beauty of their true sexual nature, free from religious guilt. Women do have power over men through their sexuality, but rather than be a bad thing, such power can be cultivated in creative and moral ways.
* All world religions are founded on love, peace and 'do unto others'. However the reality of religion is that it is the source of most wars and violence.
When considering the actual living conditions of present day civilised humanity from the standpoint of even the most elementary religious commands, one is bound to experience a feeling of deep and painful disappointment at what one sees. For while religion prescribes brotherly love in the relations among the individuals and groups, the actual spectacle more resembles a battlefield than an orchestra. Everywhere, in economic as well as in political life, the guiding principle is one of ruthless striving for success at the expense of one's fellow men. This competitive spirit prevails even in the school and, destroying all feelings of human fraternity and cooperation, conceives of achievement not as derived from the love for productive and thoughtful work, but as springing from personal ambition and fear of rejection. (Albert Einstein, Religion and Science: Irreconcilable? 1948)
* Religion divides humanity. Rather than 'we are all brothers and sisters', fundamentalism in religion breeds exclusion 'we are the chosen ones, you are heathens'.
Below you will find a collection of quotes are from the philosopher, Peter Vardy, 'The Puzzle of Sex', 1997. I will also be adding quotes from 'Urgent Message From Mother, Gather the Women and Save the World' by Jean Shinoda Bolen and The Story of V: A Natural History of Female Sexuality' by Catherine Blackledge. All three are wonderful books.
I have also collected articles and essays relating to religion and sexuality. Hope you find it interesting!
Karene Jade Howie
human beings are sexual creatures and there are few, if any, for whom the
whole area of sexuality and relationships is not of interest and concern.
This book starts by taking seriously theological reflections about sex from
the perspective of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. Immediately
some will ask, ‘Why bother with this? I am not a Christian, so this
is of no relevance to my thinking on sexual ethics.’
This is an understandable position, but Western ideas have emerged from a Judeo-Christian culture and if one is to understand current views on sex one has to trace their origins. Unless we understand where existing ideas have come from, we will not be able to develop a rational way forward.
... To claim that the time has come for a change in traditional sexual ethics is to suggest that we have reached a turning point and that to continue with old understandings is to fail to be truthful. There have been many such turning points in the history of thinking about human beings in relation to God and the whole moral order, for example;
St Augustine of Hippo (500AD) lived when the Roman Empire had just become Christian. He reflected on Jesus’ teaching that one should forgive one’s enemies and never do harm to those who harmed you. This led to his realisation that warfare was permissible to Christians provided the cause was just. Up to his time, most Christians had been pacifists yet Augustine claimed this understanding was inadequate and this has changed the whole subsequent way war was regarded.
In spite of the evidence that there have been many significant turning points in ethical and theological debate in the past, some may still say that there is no ‘Puzzle of Sex’. Moral teaching is straightforward:
Sex before marriage is wrong
· Homosexual behaviour is wicked
· Adultery is against the law of God
· Masturbation is a grave sin
· The main purpose of sex is for procreation
· Sex is only acceptable within the marriage of one man and one woman.
· A woman has a duty to provide sexual access to a man if she is married to him
· Sex is to be treated with suspicion and as a temptation
· Celibacy is a higher ideal than married life.
This book will argue that none of the above statements are straightforward and that the ethical problems are more complicated and less clear than many assume. (Vardy, Introduction)
A misogynist and patriarchal prejudice has pervaded the Church’s moral thought down the ages, based on the incident of Eve as the temptress in Genesis, and confirmed by the Stoic rhetoric in which the early Christian thinkers were trained. ... The story of Eve’s temptation of Adam was one of the foundation stones on which Christian theologians and leaders have built their understanding of sexuality and God’s will for the relationship between men and women, and, in particular, the subservient position of women. It is a position which can no longer be justified. (Vardy, p10)
Nothing in the Ten Commandments prohibits sex before marriage, sex foreplay, contraception, masturbation, homosexuality (whether male or female) or, indeed, a vast range of other actions which some would today regard as wrong, such as insider share dealing, pollution of the environment, torture, hard core pornography, etc. (Vardy, p13)
Peter Vardy, 'The Puzzle of Sex' (1996). Published by Fount, Imprint of HarperCollins
The major western religion, Christianity, is famously renowned for being sex-negative and sexist. For centuries the men of the Christian church pushed the notion that sex was not for pleasure, but solely for procreation. Indeed, in their eyes, intercourse for pleasure was contrary to natural laws and hence sinful. The result of this line of reasoning was some very binding sex laws. In England on the 12 and 13th centuries, the church declared sex illegal on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as for 40 days before Easter and Christmas.
Preached hand in hand with the idea of sex being sinful is the thesis that the Christian god could only be in the image of a male; hence women have always been second class citizens in Christianity. And added to these was the notion of the early Christian fathers that it was woman and her wicked sexual ways that were to blame for humankind's original fall from grace. One of these men, Tertullian described Eve as 'the devil's gateway .. you who softened up with cajoling words the man against whom the devil could not prevail by force.' Later, Christian authorities of the Middle Ages likened women's genitalia to the 'yawning mouth of hell.' (Blackledge, The Story of V, p. 51)
The emphasis in the western world post the advent of Christianity has mainly been on hiding or veiling the vagina, rather than revealing or celebrating it. For centuries, women could only take an active life in Christian life if they renounced the vagina - and took a vow of celibacy. And when not ignoring the vagina, the Christian alternative appears to have been promoting women to feel shame about their genitalia and put a fig leaf over them, rather than feel pride about what was between their legs.
One of the most influential theologians of the early Christian church, St Augustine (354 - 430) made his view of the vagina clear with his infamous comment that we are all born inter feces et urinam, 'between shit and piss.' (Blackledge, p.52)
'God's sentence hangs over the female sex, and His punishment weighs down on you. You are the devil's gateway. You first violated the forbidden tree and violated God's Law. You shattered God's image in man. And because you merited death, God's Son had to die.' (Tertullian)
' How can woman be the image of God? ... Woman, compared to other creatures, is the image of God, for she bears dominion over them. But compared unto man, she may not be called the image of God, for she bears not rule and lordship over man, but ought to obey him.' (Augustine)
'Woman is defective and misbegotten. For the active power in the male seed produces a perfect male likeness. A female comes from a defect in the male seed, or some indisposition, such as the south wind being too moist.' (Thomas Aquinas)
'Women are weak, they are frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish. They are inconstant, they are cruel, and lacking of spirit, and counsel. Woman in her greatest perfection was made only to serve, and obey men.' (John Knox)
'Men have broad shoulders and narrow hips, so they have intelligence. Women have narrow shoulders, and broad hips to sit upon, so they ought to stay home, keep the house, and raise children. The woman differs from the man. She is weaker in body, in honour, in intellect, and in dignity.' (Martin Luther)
Quotes from: http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/male_brain/sex_drive.html
An essay based upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd edition) on sexual morality, the Sixth Commandment, chastity and offenses against chastity (masturbation, homosexuality, prostitution, pornography, fornication, rape, lust).
From the website: The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.
... Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator's generosity and fecundity: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."
Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God's plan strictly: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. What God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
This website seeks to educate people with an Islamic perspective of sex. An interesting read (even if you are not Muslim), to understand the impact of religion upon sexuality. Topics include sexual relations between husband and wife, sex education, oral, anal & vaginal sex, masturbation, circumcision, abortion, condoms, rape, flirtation, homosexuality, pornography etc.
From the website: 'The principles of conjugal love in Islam are few and uncomplicated.
1. Sexual relations are for the pleasure of both the husband and the wife and for the procreation of children. Sexual intercourse is not limited to vaginal penetration.
2. Nothing should be done that is offensive or harmful to either person. Each has a duty to be sexually available to the other, but neither has the right to disgust or injure the other.
3. With a few exceptions, the couple can engage in any activities that they like, in any manner and in any position. The Qur'an says, "Women are your fields. Go then into your fields as you please." (2:223)
4. It is forbidden to have vaginal intercourse while a woman is menstruating (Qur'an 2:222).
5. There are ahadith that forbid anal intercourse and scholars generally agree that it is not permissible. However, in his tafsir (commentary) Tabaari (3d century A.H.) while forbidding sodomy, says that earlier authorities were divided on the question.
6. The Qur'an and the Sunnah are generally silent as to the various forms that sexual relations may take. Most authorities consider that it is up to the husband and wife in love and mutual respect to decide how to physically express their sexual desires.
7. What goes on in bedroom, is a private matter and should not be discussed or revealed to other persons unless there is some necessity, such as health or safety.'
From the website: 'Though rarely acknowledged, the prevalence of sodomy between Afghan men is an open secret. It might seem odd to a Westerner that such a sexually repressive society is marked by heightened homosexual activity. Professor Justin Richardson, says it is precisely the extreme restrictions on sexual relations with women that lead to greater prevalence of the behavior.''
Page Title: 'Religion and Sexuality: Christianity, Adam and Eve,
The Bible, Islam, The Koran'.
Want to be Involved? Join us in this research, which provides an excellent opportunity to present to the world the latest knowledge about the thing we all find most interesting - sex! The work will not just benefit humanity, it will profoundly enhance your own sexuality as you learn more about our complex and diverse sexual evolution.
We seek help in finding the latest scientific (evolutionary) research on our biological and cultural sexual evolution and distributing content (overviews / summaries) to relevant pages.
This site is well respected. We are listed as the Top Philosophy Website on the Internet with around 600,000 page views each week. So your contributions will be seen and read, and will be providing humanity with a great source of wisdom about a very important subject (that currently suffers due to cultural / religious myths).
If you would like to be involved (or have comments about this website) please write to us. Many thanks! Karene
Analyse any human emotion, no matter how far it may be removed from the sphere of sex, and you are sure to discover somewhere the primal impulse, to which life owes its perpetuation. ... The primitive stages can always be re-established; the primitive mind is, in the fullest meaning of the word, imperishable. ... Mans most disagreeable habits and idiosyncrasies, his deceit, his cowardice, his lack of reverence, are engendered by his incomplete adjustment to a complicated civilisation. It is the result of the conflict between our instincts and our culture. (Sigmund Freud)
We get a lot of people writing to us asking questions about sex. So we have added an 'Ask a Question' feature to our sexuality pages - to help share questions and answers as a way of helping one another.
Please use Facebook Connect (below) to add your questions / comments - the best questions and answers will be added to the page.
Karene (September, 2012)
Come and say hello to Karene - join a friendly (kind, sexually enlightened, moral) network.
Related PagesLaws, Politics, Religion & Morality: Age of Consent, Abortion, Marriage, Sodomy, Taboos
|Abortion: Women's Health & Politics. Facts, Clinics, History, Laws, Ethics||Morality: Sexual Ethics & Moral Behaviour, Informed Consent|
|Abstinence: Religious Celibacy, Desire, Morality||Pimp: Culture of Pimping, Violence & Control of Women, Music|
|Age of Consent: Information, Law in Different Countries||Prostitution: History of Prostitutes, Laws, Legalisation|
|Censorship: Censor Laws on Sexuality & Violence, Civil Liberty, Pornography||Red Light District: Amsterdam Laws, Legal Prostitution, Tourism|
|Chastity: What is Chaste? Male & Female Devices, Belts, Pictures||Religion: Christianity, Islam & Human Sexuality|
|Gay & Lesbian Marriage: Rights, Law, Religion, News||Sodomy: Definition, Laws, History|
|History of Human Sexuality: Religion, Culture & Obscenity||Weddings: Planning, Dress, Cake, Invitations, Favors, Ring, Flowers|
|Marriage: History & Culture, Vows, Statistics|
Support an open honest discussion of human sexuality by
sharing this knowledge.
Religion and Sexuality: Christianity, Adam and Eve, The Bible, Islam, The Koran
Map - Academic
Sexology Studies & Good Quality Sexual / Erotic Sites - Banners
/ Reference Books - Contact
Email - About
Us & Site Statistics - Reasons
for this Sexuality Study - Legal
Truth & Reality
The Spherical Standing Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) in Space
Theory of Reality
Unity of Reality
Logic & Reality
Special & General
of Light & Matter
& Infinite Space
Truth & Reality