History of Sexuality
Mar 31, 2017 - 12:30   
   

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The 19th Century

Sexuality is an essential part of human’s life. This aspect has a place in mythology, psychology, philosophy, arts, and in history at any kind of human representation or knowledge, including the exact sciences.

Since immemorial times, people are confronted with a double dimension: by o­ne side, there’s the natural world where we live, o­n the other hand our body, inner world, and more specifically, our sexuality. With this in mind, we insert ourselves in the world and create myths and symbols of our social existence.

In the 19th century, during the reign of the Victory Queen in England, the Victorian Era – is the net result of a rigid repression about sexuality practices, accompanied by an intense valorization of the familiar life. In this period, the progress in sciences created a perfect environment in which the society should encounter balance, neglecting some religious concepts. The household was the core of stability and a woman, its chosen "guardian". The necessity of an "angel" to protect the moral and chastity originated the so-called "fragile sex".

Such profile of a woman met support at the Queen’s ideas, which attributed the success of her reign to the morality of her court and to a harmonious domestic life. Such situation would have repercussion in private life though, where the repression, mainly sexuality wise, worsens a lot.

The image of a sexually passive woman had support also from medicine. Some pundits assured an ideology, which the unique passions felt, by women were their home, children and their domestic duties. According to notions, women would submit to men o­nly to satisfy them. If sex wasn’t o­n maternity purposes, they preferred to not having sex, at all.

The re-enforced idea was of an "asexual woman". The Victorian society believed that the ideal for happiness was that, in which women knew a little or were indifferent to their sexuality. At the same time, the idea of an uncontrolled passion of men was widespread. It was said that, subduing their sexual impulses could be prejudicial to their health.

Actually, men’s discussion about women’s condition o­nly revealed the purpose of keeping under control the female sexuality. Obviously, if women weren’t o­nly moral beings and felt sexual desire, the difference between the sexes was not so big. Years went by, ideas changed and, fortunately, the history pointed that equality is essential for a more democratic and fare life in society.


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