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Progression of Sexual Attitudes

  1. Aug 19, 2003 #1
    Based on historical trends, it would seem that society becomes more and more open about sexuality, and espouses new ideas each generation. Based on this progressionist attitude, can we assume that eventually we'll all be basically just walking about nude like so many nudist colonies, and practicing intimacies right out in the open? I'm looking for futuristic insights into what our society's eventuality will be in relation to human sexuality. I see the possibility over time of 2 person marriages possibly giving way to multi-person marriages, or maybe even complete lack of marriage at all.

    What do you guys think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2003 #2
    I dunno about that, maybe in several thousands of years when Men are no more.
  4. Aug 19, 2003 #3
    i can definetly see a lack of marriage in the future. the idea of marriage itself seems outdated today. with divorce rates and casual sex and all that marriage just isn't the institution is was.

    i think it might be possible to walk down the street completely naked one day and see people making love in the streets, sure. but i think if the world came to that it'd just mean we were doing other things in private that we would consider intimate and personal.

    also, whenever i condisder the future of mankind's sex live's i tend to think of Orwell's 1984. how the government completely altered society's view of sex, actually making it unenjoyable. so, always in the back of my mind is the idea that one day people might actually not like sex. i don't think that day'll ever arrive, but who knows.
  5. Aug 19, 2003 #4
    Or maybe someone will just make those helmets you mentioned:wink:
  6. Aug 19, 2003 #5
    Many tribes in the Amazon live exactly like "the future of sex" as described on this thread, with people walking naked all the time and children who don't know who their fathers are. It would be quite a shame if we forget our sophisticated morals in favour of primitive forms of hedonism, although that is what many people seem to want at this point.

    I believe our ancestors knew something about sex we seem to be forgetting: as with everything, if there's too much of it then it has no value. If nature doesn't make sex special, then we must do it ourselves. Without the rituals, without romance, without passion and desire, sex becomes just another ordinary human activity like eating, drinking, or sleeping. Enjoyable but hardly the source of much happiness.
  7. Aug 19, 2003 #6
    You have to admit, it would certainly make the dating ritual much more direct and to the point if everyone were nude


    Man: would you like to go out to dinner sometime?
    Woman(glancing down)umm.. no

    of course this always takes rejection to a whole new level as well;)
  8. Aug 19, 2003 #7


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    not so sure about marriage being outdated, as there are many benefits to being legally married...

    this progression of sexual attitudes is nothing new to the rest of the world, it is america that has the big hangups about it and makes the biggest deal of it...
  9. Aug 19, 2003 #8
    I disagree. The sexual attitudes in the rest of the world are much more conservative in many ways. Especially in eastern countries from what I've seen. And I'm speaking of course in the context of dating and male/female relationships. It takes on mauch more a religious tone than in the US.
  10. Aug 20, 2003 #9
    We are behind the European Countries somewhat but way ahead
    is Muslim and Asian countries.

    I think the ideal society as far
    as sex goes was Tahiti when the
    Europeans first discovered it.
    As soon as they did, it all started to go downhill, but
    at the time we discovered it, things were very nice there.

    I don't think nudity will ever
    become a norm for the reason that
    it's not practical. You always
    have to put more on in the winter,
    even here in Ca., and there are
    just too many things I wouldn't
    want to be doing without some
    shorts on, at least.
  11. Aug 20, 2003 #10


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    I think the opposite is more likely. :wink:
  12. Aug 20, 2003 #11


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    Consider Sweden, where I understand all government benefits are payed directly to individuals and take no account of marital status. Since this includes medicine, there is no practical reason to be married, and indeed the illegitimacy rate is much higher than other countries. It seems to work for them.
  13. Aug 20, 2003 #12


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    yes selfadjoint, and that is what socialism does for individuals...in america as a married person, you have the benefit of (for example) making decisions for your spouse should they be in a coma...you get a bigger tax break now that they have changed the laws, and a few others...

    think about this situation: you and your significant other have been together for 4 years but decide not to marry...something horrible happens to your sig. other, and there are decisions to be made for them...you feel you are the closest one to them, and know them the best and know what they want...guess who gets to LEGALLY make that decision for them? their next of kin, which could be their mother/father whom you don't get along with and they do not know your significant other like you do either...and would you believe that i still advocate marriage (provided it is one based only on love for another) after a horrific divorce myself? the problem lies with people not marrying for the right reasons...

    this is absolutely true, but i believe it is the sexual taboos americans put on sex in general that make it such a big deal...and besides, americans have come a long way since the 60's...but we do need to be careful with sexual progression as the irresponsible people will be the ones spreading STD's...
  14. Aug 21, 2003 #13


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    I don't think we can project the future by simply extending the current trends. Human societal attitudes towards sex (among other things) have never progressed in a "strait line" like that. Look at the Greek or Roman empires, and you will no longer see us as the end of a continuous relaxing of sexual morays. Looking from there to the Victorian age, it would have appeared that humanity was becoming progressively more repressed.

    Or, look at the "free love" movements in the 60's and 70's and the devastating STD outbreaks imediately afterward. Turned out to be neither "love" nor "free". I suppose we cuold have renamed it "cheap sex", but we're now discovering it wasn't even all that cheap; it's going to end up costing us plenty before it's through. But compared to that time period, today's society is quite conservative.

    Besides all of that, or perhaps the cause for all that, is the bilogical imparitive. I don't know that humans can "progress" away from the exclusive pair bond any more than storks or penquins can. As Desmond Morris says, it is the state for which we are designed, the condition in which we are healthiest, live the longest, and are happiest. We'll undopubtedly continue to move away from it for a few more years, then we'll swing back the other way for a while. It's the nature of the beast.
  15. Aug 21, 2003 #14
    Desmond Morris said the state for
    which we are designed was exclu-
    ive pair bonding?
  16. Aug 21, 2003 #15


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    Yes (or words to that effect), in his television series, The Human Animal. I believe he also mentions it in the book, The Naked Ape.
  17. Aug 21, 2003 #16
    I read The Naked Ape a long
    time ago, and I guess I don't re-
    member anything about it. Hearing
    you report now that he said that
    about pair bonding, makes me wor-
    ry that he was really just refle-
    cting the prevalent societal be-
    liefs at the time it was written.

    I don't see how anyone can maintain we were designed to be
    pair-bonding. If we were there
    wouldn't be any need for the
    institution of marriage. I don't
    see any innate design at all in
    the way humans bond, now or his-
  18. Aug 21, 2003 #17


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    Mind you, I only said "I think" he said it in The Naked Apes, what I myself observed was on the TV series.

    But as to this;
    I really don't think so. Morris was never much of a "cave in to peer pressure" type of guy. I think he was just making a scientific annalysis of the data available. For example, you mentioned the institution of marriage, that it wouldn't exist. To the contrary, I suggest that marriage would not exist if it were not in our nature to mate for life. That is to say, "If the idea of marriage did not come out of human nature, where did it come from?".
  19. Aug 21, 2003 #18
    I think the idea of marriage comes less from mating, and more from ownership. Men want to own women, you know.
  20. Aug 21, 2003 #19
    But it's also recipricol. Women want to be cared for, deep down. Liberalist movement aside, it's genetic that women want men to take care of them. In a sense there is ownership from the woman's point of view. "this is my man, my provider, my caretaker" or whatnot. Evolution has ensure that men will also be the the providers while women will always be the caretaker. Obviously with technological and societal advancement that is changing, but intrapersonal dynamics have not. It's stil a general truth that men must "win over" the women, and prove themselves. Women still have the advantage of making the choice when it comes to pairing. There are of course exceptions to this rule. There are liberalist independent feminists who will decry this philosophy, but it's difficult to change our base instincts overall. We still live in a patriarchal society where the man is still the head of the household, and thus responsible ultimately for the family unit. This will not change drastically in the near future.
  21. Aug 21, 2003 #20


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    zantra, i absolutely agree...but i have heard that monogamy is more of a society thing rather a biological need?
  22. Aug 21, 2003 #21
    Monagamy is indeed a societal thing. But monagamy is an intrinsic part of society. Human instincts such as jealousy prevent sharing of mates, and if our society were to accept that as a norm, it would devalue the family unit immensely, not to mention intamacy in general. I have to agree that if a community family were to become the norm, then things like intamacy would loose thier value.

    If you've ever read anything on nudist colonies, as I have, they will tell you that the idea of males walking around and becoming aroused in the prescence of nude females is a myth. Once you become accustomed to seeing the human form nude on a regular basis, it looses it's aesthetic value.

    What would be the ultimate consequence of a completely uninhibited society? Assuming that people were still respected, and terms such as "consensual" still applied, I don't think it would change things all that much. As someone pointed out, you would still have to wear clothing to adjust for weather. If people were to move towards the communal sex, or polyarchist philosophy, I think that it would increase the birth rate as a side effect. The entire dynamic of relationships would change of course. Perhaps better attempts would be made at "Getting along" if you and and the other person realized that you could easily move on without consequence. Also, I believe it would bring society closer, as peope no doubt would be making love at the drop of a hat. Things like pornography would become rare and obsolete as another side effect. I also think sexual crimes would decrease as well. It would be a more open society, and people would not longer have the pent of frustrations felt by some sex offenders.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2003
  23. Aug 21, 2003 #22

    In the first paragraph of your last post you made an abrupt
    and unexplained transition from
    discussing monogamy to the subject
    of nudism. I can't tell if you
    are trying to say that a breakdown
    in monogamy will lead to nudism
    or what.
  24. Aug 21, 2003 #23
    Sorry I was distracted and I rushed through it without breaking them apart where they should have been. It was more of using nudism as an example of how society would adjust to more sexual freedom. I'll fix it up.
  25. Aug 22, 2003 #24
    I would have to disagree. Monogamy, or at least pair bonding, comes out of the evolutionary trail humans have come. Specifically that human young take much more care than most other young, so that without added help, offspring survival is much diminished. Anything that effects offspring survival will eventually make it's way into a species genetic makeup.
  26. Aug 22, 2003 #25
    Monogamy and pair bonding are not
    the least bit the result of evo-
    lution. Polygamy thrived for ages
    and still exists in pockets that
    have remained unaffected by Western Civilization.

    I don't believe human beings as
    a whole have a genetic leaning
    one way or another. I think indiv-
    idual humans have their leanings
    but it's very hard to say if this
    is genetic or learned.

    There are species of birds who
    mate for life. This is there
    genetic leaning. Once they mate
    with another bird, they stick with
    that bird.

    Humans, many of them, divorce quite often and look for new
    partners. This is hell on child-
    ren, and it's kind of hard to
    make sence of, if you suppose that
    things get better with evolution.

    I don't have any answers here, I
    am just pointing out that people
    who suppose pair-bonding and
    monogamy are non-societal in orig-
    in aren't taking a thorough look
    at history.
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