The most common origin of virginity is derived from Christianity. Christianity teaches that sex before marriage is wrong. Sex should only occur between a man and a woman who are married. Sex outside of marriage is considered an abomination to God. The Bible states that when a man leaves home, he should cleave unto his wife and they shall become one flesh.
Impact on Male and Female Sexuality
Phone sex, masturbation, and sensual massages are just a few activities in which couples can participate together without risking the loss of virginity. Sensual massages release endorphins that enhance moods so that the receiving individual is left satisfied with just being touched. Many people might find these activities embarrassing or unusual, but if you cannot engage in such activities with your partner, why would you commit to having a sexual relationship or marriage? It would take a lot of trust and commitment to self-stimulate one's self in the presence of his or her partner without performing sexual intercourse. Nonetheless, there are also other alternatives such as erotic story-telling, role playing, and wearing costumes that provide couples with the opportunity to openly express their sexual identities.
How the Topic Has Changed Over Time
If you were to study the changing meaning of virginity over the last century in our society, you would discover that the norm stating that people remain virgins until marriage has become weaker.
Various people over the world value virginity and believe that sexual intercourse should only occur after marriage, but in this modern area, that can be difficult due to the tremendous advertising of sex as well as biological and emotional urges. All though there are many people who don't believe in sex before marriage, I believe there are an equal amount that do. I remember there was a time when being a virgin was important, but now it seems as if being a virgin doesn't matter one way or the other. In some instances, I have heard individuals being criticized and bullied for remaining a virgin, and I would think to myself when we as a society became this way.
Origin of the Topic
One of the earliest recorded instances of prostitution can be traced to the temple prostitution that existed in Babylon and other ancient civilizations. For example, all unmarried Babylonian women, before being allowed to marry, were required to prostitute themselves to the first man who approached them in certain designated religious temples. Inasmuch as this custom was a universal pre-condition of marriage, it appears that the participants were not stigmatized in any way (Decker, 1966, p. 30). However, the actual organization of this practice illustrates several interesting points about the role of women in Babylonian society. Although men who wished the services of temple prostitutes had to offer some financial consideration, it did not have to be significant. Further, the fact that temple prostitutes were not permitted to refuse a customer, combined with the fact that it was required of all women, suggests that its primary purpose was to reinforce the notion that women were the property of males. It is also likely that temple prostitution facilitated the double standard which allowed men greater sexual freedom than women.
Impact on Male and Female Sexuality
The best place to start any discussion of prostitution is by examining why women enter prostitution. Much of the social-psychological research on prostitution portrays prostitutes as young, poorly educated women who turn to prostitution because of significant personal problems (Shaver, 1993). In this scenario, they are likely to be addicted to drugs and come from backgrounds where they were physically and sexually abused. Thus, they suffer from low self-esteem and are easily manipulated by other participants in prostitution, including customers and pimps
How the Topic Has Changed Over Time
Over time, sociologists have attempted to redefine "prostitution" to exclude relationships which are longer term and/or in which there is a pretense of an emotional relationship. Thus, many sociologists would limit the definition of prostitution to those activities in which sex is exchanged for immediate financial reward, and in which that there is no ongoing emotional and/or social relationship between the participants. In addition, the sociological definition of prostitution also stipulates that there must be a more or less indiscriminate selection of partners before a woman is considered a prostitute (Gomme, 1993).
Prostitution represents one of the most frustrating and contradictory social and political dilemmas facing today's society. The roots of this dilemma stem both from the ambivalent attitudes towards prostitution expressed by the public, and the difficulties inherent in attempting to control prostitution so as to minimize the negative aspects of the prostitution trade. In this respect, there is little doubt that prostitution is an activity that many members of the public consider deviant and undesirable. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that both the public and many politicians feel that prostitution is impossible to eliminate and that the best course of action would be some form of decriminalization or legalization.
The medical journal, Watching Sex on Television Predicts Adolescent Initiation of Sexual Behavior, explores the relationship between television programs and their effects on the sexual lives of adolescents, ages 12 to 17. The study viewed sexual content as sexual behavior (physical flirting, passionate kissing, intimate touch, intercourse implied, or intercourse depicted), sexual talk (talk about own/others' plans or desires, talk about sex that has occurred, talk toward sex, expert advice or other), or sexual activity (abstinence, waiting to have sex, portrayals mentioning or showing condoms or birth control, and portrayals related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, STDs, pregnancy, or abortion) (Collins et al.). The researchers also examined other factors, such as age of participant and friends, grades in school, deviant behavior, sensation-seeking behavior, parental monitoring, parent education, living with both parents, parental approval of sexual activity, religiosity, mental health, gender, race, self-esteem, educational aspirations, and mother's work outside the home (Collins et al.). The researchers of the study acquired all their findings by telephone survey with these adolescents, and following up with the participants one year later. Although the study did show positive correlational findings between TV sexual content and increased sexual behavior, there were a few areas in the study that were subject to bias.
One of the areas of bias in the study was the initial assumptions. The study claimed judgment over television programs as either being high in sexual content, sexual talk, or sexual activity, but it never accounted for the setting in which sex was portrayed. As stated in class discussion, many television programs that may include some sexual content may be comically based; hence, the sexual activity portrayed may not be interpreted as sexual as a pornographic video would. The overemphasis in the depiction of sexual content could negatively affect the study's findings by attributing all televised programming to be negative, instead of viewed in a positive light, thus affecting the teen adversely. A better approach to the study could have been to watch the programs as would a normal teenager and reflect upon the message being conveyed by the program and not just focusing on the sexual content. In addition, the researchers could have asked if the television programs watched by the participants were comically-based or drama based.
Another area of potential bias in the medical journal was the study design in which the information gathered from the participants was by phone survey. The amount of honesty in every study done by survey is always something to be considered because of social desirability factors. Although the researchers tried to enhance honesty in the participants by asking them to respond in an area of privacy and compiled questions that only required yes or no answers, the textbook argues on p. 15, Chapter 1, "people are unaccustomed to answering questions about intimate details of their sex lives…," and one could assume that this unnatural state may lead to false answers. Unfortunately, the question of reliable answers to the phone survey brings forth the question of validity. To avoid this bias, researchers could have changed the methods of the study from phone survey to in-person interviews.
In my opinion, the study had its major strengths, but also had its weaknesses. The study could have been better executed if such biases were not a factor. For future studies on the same topic, researchers will have a better argument and produce better results if these mishaps are accounted for.
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