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The Early History of Human Sexuality
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The Early History of Human Sexuality



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  • 1. HLT 200-01H Online Dr. Esther Benoit The Early History of Human Sexuality
  • 2. What is Sexuality?
    • Only humans…
    • An area of life that can be contradictory and confusing
    Attribution: Illustration from photograph © 1999 Greg Reeder
  • 3. Early Evolution and Sexuality
    • Evolution to upright posture
    • Emphasis on breasts and clitoris (female)
    • Emphasis on penis/phallus (men)
    Image: Jose-Manuel Benitos (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • 4. Early Civilizations in the Ancient Mediterranean
    • Three cultures from the ancient Mediterranean have had a major influence on modern Western sexuality:
      • Hebraic
      • Roman (500 B.C. - 700 A.D.)
      • Greek (1000-200 B.C.)
  • 5. Hebraic Culture
    • Bible contains explicit rules about sexual behavior including adultery, incest and same sex intercourse
    • Hebrew attitudes form the basis for modern views on sexuality in the West
  • 6. Greece
    • More sexually permissive
    • The Pederasty
    • Platonic Love
    • Marriage and heterosexual relationships
    Image Source: ChristianBier(CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • 7. Rome
    • Marriage and sex as a means to an end
    • Permissive behaviors toward same-sex sexual behaviors
  • 8. Sexuality in Ancient Asia
    • India (400 B.C.)
    • China (200 B. C.)
  • 9. India
    • Hinduism and Kharma
    • Patriarchal Social System
    • Female Infanticide
    • The Kama Sutra
    • Arranged Marriage
    • Sati
    Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
  • 10. China
    • Yin and Yang
    • Sex Manuals
    • Emphasis on Female Orgasm
    • Same sex relationships as a waste of sperm
    • Primitive sex toys
    • Polygamy
    Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons