Attitudes on sex
Posted by irl on December 22, 1997 at 17:01:05:
In response to Sexual Attitudes During The Regency, written by Marie Bernadette on December 21, 1997 at 00:31:49
Personally, I do not like prostitution, but I also do not like the prudism that ultimately and indirectly creates it.
Interesting hypothesis -- "prudism" creates prostitution. What do you mean by "prudism", and what evidence (beyond mere conjecture) do you have that it is a generative of prostitution?
The Regency Era, and the prevailing attitudes of that time, was directly influenced by the preceeding liberal era. When women are restricted and expected to be virgins, men seek gratification elsewhere and so there is an increase in prostitution (how moral is that?).
I reject your hypothesis. Saudi Arabia (regardless of the falsity or truth of whatever horror stories you may have heard about it) has an almost immeasurably-low rate of prostitution. It exists, but is extremely difficult to find. And yet, women are highly "restricted" and are expected to be virgins when they marry. In my own culture, women and men are both expected to be virgins when they marry, and yet we (those in my culture) experience somewhat lower-than-average rates of adultery, fornication, and divorce.
Both of these examples seem to gainsay your proposition. Perhaps you can provide some evidence to the contrary.
However, when a more liberal attitude prevails and women make their own choices there is less prostitution.
I submit that the U.S. today gives as much choice to women as any other culture we know of, and perhaps more. Are you suggesting that prostitution in the U.S. is LESS than it has been in the past, or than it is elsewhere where more "prudish" standards prevail?
The liberalism of the 18th century introduced the concepts of civil rights, women's rights and the abolition of slavery; in effect, these concepts produced a more moral society.
Those concepts existed long before the 18th century. As for producing a "more moral society", that would depend on one's definition of "moral". Judged solely on the topic of prostitution, I would guess this statement to be false.
I have read many books on the topic and have found that people in the Regency era were not prudes and I often shake my head when I hear people talk as if they were.
I wonder again how you define "prude". Is one a prude who believes that sexual relations outside of marriage are wrong?
It is very interesting to observe the connection between corsets and morality. It appears to me that when women are corseted (restricted) society is more conservative and therefore less concerned with civil rights and so less moral.
So "conservative = immoral"? What does "conservative" mean?
When women are not in corsets (not restricted) society is more liberal and so the civil rights that are the definition of the ultimate morality are more highly valued.
Whose definition of "the ultimate morality" are we talking of? Your own? Do you suppose that JA would agree with your (inferred, perhaps wrongly -- if so, sorry) "liberal" attitudes on sex and virginity? Do you suppose that almost any person of that era would hold such attitudes, or admit to it if they did?
Last questions: Is this topic and post appropriate for this board? If not, would the powers-that-be please remove my offending post(s)? Thank you.
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