Sexual Deviant Behavior In Society

2140 Words 9 Pages
When speaking about history, many people tend to focus on the influential roles and accomplishments of straight, white males who acted as a majority in traditional English society. However, this perception of history tends to overlook many other groups who played equally as influential roles, such as women, people of color and people who diverged from sexual norms. Historically, these groups are considered minorities because they had been repressed by popular society and treated like second class citizens based on certain attributes about themselves that they could not change, namely their sex, skin color or sexual preference. This oversight holds true even when considering the history of piracy, which famously consisted of various notable …show more content…
For a better part of the centuries following the Renaissance, sexually deviant behavior, or sodomy as it was called, was largely ignored by polite society and rarely condemned. In fact, some considered sodomites’ superior men, for they were desired by both men and women. In these instances, sodomy was generally accepted for sexual behavior since it was simply considered acts of sexual deviancy, rather than outright rejection of traditional sexual practices. At the end of the day, men would return to their wives and their trysts with other males forgotten. As time went on however, the concept of homosexuality began to arise. Homosexuality, unlike the tolerated sodomy, blatantly rejected sexual norms as men chose a lifestyle that preferred men to women sexually. In response to this rejection, the concept of homosexuals being shamefully effeminate came about. Traditional society believed that homosexuals chose their lifestyle based on the fact that they were unable to please a woman sexually, and were therefore, not true men. As time went on and Europe became an increasingly religious society, the distinction between sodomy and homosexuality dissipated and both came to be viewed as not only a sin, but also as a crime. For those who deviated from the accepted sexual norm, they had only two options: conform to society’s standards or risk …show more content…
Conventional ideals within England created a very structured idea of what a woman should be and what exactly their roles were within society. Due to the importance of such ideals, publishing houses began to print manuals of conduct for women during the eighteenth century with the goal of formulating the ‘ideal gentlewoman’. The manual publications were clearly intended for the gentry and upper class citizens, however, the number of copies published leads historians like Ingrid Tague to believe that many lower class women purchased such items as well. Though there is no evidence that demonstrates just how many people actually read such books, the popularity of the books can be extrapolated from the sheer number of copies published, seeing as publishing houses at the time only increased supply to fit demand. These publications, like the series ‘Resolving all the Most Nice and Curious Questions Proposed by the Ingenious’ by The Athenian Gazette expressed interest in educating women based on a question-answer format; however, most of the topics focused on moral and religious matters rather than political or economic issues. The lack of political and economic education for women in popular public forums is unsurprising, considering that most women at the time were expected to marry and, upon that marriage, become

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