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Chapter 2: Sexuality in a Historical, Religious, and Philosophical Context: Study Questions
  • What is the definition of history, philosophy, and logic ? How are they related to one another?
  • When were the words sex, sexual, and sexuality introduced into the English language? What were the original meanings of the words? When were the prefixes hetero- and homo - applied to sexuality?
  • What is the nature of collecting information in the field of history? What is the danger involved in these techniques? What is the social constructionist view of concepts related to sexuality? What are problems related to the concepts of homosexuality, heterosexuality, and sexual orientation? How have historians attempted to deal with these problems in more recent times?
  • What is the meaning of morality, ethic, and values? What are the five world religions? Why are they considered world religions? Why are Native American spiritual traditions included among the world religions in the chapter?
  • What religions have had the largest, most extensive influence on Western civilization? What is the meaning of monotheistic and polytheistic?
  • What is the basis for morality in Judaism? What is the basis for sexual morality in Judaism? What is circumcision?
  • What is the basic philosophy of Judaism regarding morality? How are boundaries involved? How do boundaries relate to sexual and non-sexual issues? What is ritual impurity? How is sexuality related to ritual impurity? How does Judaic law deal with impurity? What does this say about Jewish views of sexuality?
  • What is sexuality that is more than a source of ritual impurity? How is adultery defined in Jewish scriptural law? How are gender differences involved in adultery? What prohibition against sex exists for unmarried women and men?
  • What is incest? How was it defined specifically in Judaic scriptural law?
  • Is sex with prostitutes outlawed in the Judaic religion?
  • What was the Judaic position on excessive sexual behavior? Sexual body fluids?
  • What have some Hebrew scholars concluded regarding the inconsistency of Judaic scriptural law?
  • What is the basis for morality in Christianity? Why was nothing related to the scriptures of the New Testament written down for 25 years after the crucifixion of Jesus? What did Jesus say specifically about sexuality? How is Paul important regarding sexuality? What was Paul's position regarding sexual behavior for Christians? What was Paul's position regarding marriage? What behaviors did Paul say would prevent individuals from entering the kingdom of God? What role did waiting for the return of the Messiah play in attitudes toward sexuality?
  • What is dualism? What role did dualism play in the formation of the New Testament writings? What role did it play in later interpretations of the scriptures? What was the view of love and sex within dualistic philosophy? What is eros? What is agape? What is stoicism, and what is the view of sexuality within stoicism?
  • What is Gnosticism? What were Gnostic views of sexuality? How did orthodox Christianity prevail over Gnosticism? What effect did Gnosticism have on orthodox Christian views of sexuality?
  • What is Manichaeism? What were Manichaen views of sexuality? Why did Augustine have difficulty with the Manichaen religion? What was Augustine's influence on Christian views of sexuality? What were the standards that he developed for acceptable sexual behavior?
  • What is institutionalization? How did the concept of "natural" influence Christian views of sexuality? What influence did the concept of "natural" and "unnatural" influence Augustine's view of sexuality? How did these concepts influence secular law?
  • What is penitential literature? How was this literature developed? What standards for sexual behavior were developed within penitential literature?
  • Who was Thomas Aquinas? How did the concept of sins against nature develop? What is the sin of lust? What behaviors are included in the sin of lust? What are acts against nature ? What behaviors are included in acts against nature? What is sodomy and buggery? What concerns did Aquinas have about the system surrounding the definition of the sin of lust?
  • How did the concept of sodomy develop among Puritan colonists and within the American legal system? What challenges to this system developed in the 1800s? What eventually happened to state sodomy laws? What effect did Lawrence and Garner v. Texas have on sodomy laws?
  • What is the problem with the term Native American spirituality? What are common aspects of Native American conceptions of sexuality?
  • What are the main themes of Confucianism and Daoism? What are Yin and Yang? How are these two concepts relevant to sexuality? How does belief in Daoism lead to a positive view of sexuality? How did the Chinese religions influence the development of sex manuals? Why is sex considered central to health and well-being? What was the typical writing style of the sex manuals? What were the traditional Chinese views of anal intercourse, fellatio, cunnilingus, and same-sex sexual behavior? What were the views of women within Chinese culture?
  • How does Hinduism rank in terms of the number of followers worldwide? What is the fundamental principle of Hinduism? What are the four major goals? What is tantra? How is sexual behavior related to the goals of Hinduism? How are the gods Shiva and Shakti related to sexuality and spiritual enlightenment? What is the Kamasutra and why is it important in ancient Hindu cultures? What are the Maithuna figures, and why are they significant in understanding earlier Hindu conceptions of sexuality? What is the role of traditionality in the culture?
  • How does Buddhism rank in terms of the number of followers? What is the main concern of Buddhism? What is the major goal of Buddhists? How does this goal relate to sexuality, and how is this goal relevant to the general population compared to monks?
  • What is the meaning of the names Islam and Muslim? What is the meaning of din and what is the Qur'an? Why is Muhammad important in Islam? Why are Mecca and Medina important? How does Islam rank in terms of the number of followers worldwide? What is the main goal of Muslims? How have Islamic views of sexuality changed over time? What are traditional Islamic views of women? How is the harem relevant to these views? How were sex manuals important in ancient Islamic cultures? What are modern views of marriage and women?