Rousseau And Sex

1489 Words 6 Pages
Several of the fundamental ideological shifts about the sexual nature and sexual differences of the body occurred in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries. During this period the acceptance of new scientific knowledge concerning biological sex, gender, and sexuality by society lead to the emergence of the idea that men and women are biologically different. The evolution of the sex/gender system, Enlightenment thought about pleasure, Rousseau 's ideas about female and male morality, social respectability and the development homosexuality illustrate how concepts regarding the changing sexual nature and sexual difference of the body created new systems of proper behavior for men and women. To understand how the ideas about sex and gender …show more content…
The definition of sexual nature can concern the biological body, but it can also define the different desires created biologically depending on one 's gender. Under the principle that pleasure is natural, sexual desire is an element that enhances the human experience. This idea is a vastly different societal take on human sexuality than the previously dominant code of the Catholic Church (Clark, Desire, Chapter 7). This however was not the beginning of a sexual liberation, the approval of sex only applied to specific types, such as within marriage (Lecture 9/18/15). For example, Enlightenment ideology considered sodomy as unnatural and wrong (Lecture 9/18/15), feared female pleasure without the presence of a man, and sexual fantasies created from the imagination for masturbatory purposes (Clark, Desire, 106-107). These examples are based in pleasure but were improper, where marital sex was encouraged. Such regulations regarding acceptable forms of desire created limits on appropriate behavior for men and women in the Eighteenth-Century. Previously, all forms of sexual behavior, even within a marriage were improper, highlighting how the changes in ideas about human inherent sexuality shaped behavior of the time. Another way to analyze the influence of new ideas …show more content…
The evidence for this is the evolution of the sex/gender system, Enlightenment thought about pleasure, and Rousseau’s ideas about female and male morality, social respectability and the development homosexuality. These transformations in both scientific and cultural understandings of what constructs men and women greatly impacted the behaviors of this time. The connection between these changes and the alterations of gendered behavior illustrates the vital role human sexuality plays in shaping society throughout

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