When did sex outside of marriage become socially acceptable?

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Eunomia
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I mean in the UK other Western countries.

According to my mum it was the norm during her day (the 70s-80s), although attitudes were still more conservative then than they are now. I used to think that the 1960s Free Love movement and the 1970s Sexual Revolution were what changed attitudes, but some of the literature from the decades that predated those indicate that attitudes were already shifting when compared to Victorian and older literature.
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DanB1991
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Having studied british social histories.... sex was incredibly common and acceptable outside of marriage in a variety of different periods. For example in serious relationships handfasting often a precursor to marriage which often resulted in people having sex. Also sex with mistresses or 'kept men' was generally recognised and acceptable in earlier periods and the use of female and male prostitutes was often seen as a way for people to release their sexual urges. However all this changed era to era or between different religious leaders.... so meh.... you won't get any consistent answer.

In relation to the modern era, it probably occurred roughly the same time non-barrier contraception became fairly commonplace as you no longer had the same risk of having children out of wedlock (thus confirming in theory who the child's father was.... not flawed in the slightest eh?), which was the main reason people waited until marriage to have sex.
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The Joker ~
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Errr~ but why did marriage become socially acceptable?
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anarchism101
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I think that from the 1960s on, with the invention of the pill, it was an inevitable but gradual thing.
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will'o'wisp
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(Original post by WBZ144)
I mean in the UK other Western countries.

According to my mum it was the norm during her day (the 70s-80s), although attitudes were still more conservative then than they are now. I used to think that the 1960s Free Love movement and the 1970s Sexual Revolution were what changed attitudes, but some of the literature from the decades that predated those indicate that attitudes were already shifting when compared to Victorian and older literature.
Since when does religion and other past traditions decide what people of today do?
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Eunomia
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(Original post by will'o'wisp)
Since when does religion and other past traditions decide what people of today do?
I didn't say it did, I was just curious
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callum_20011
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it hasnt....
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will'o'wisp
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(Original post by WBZ144)
I didn't say it did, I was just curious
Yet implied. :/
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Eunomia
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(Original post by DanB1991)
Having studied british social histories.... sex was incredibly common and acceptable outside of marriage in a variety of different periods. For example in serious relationships handfasting often a precursor to marriage which often resulted in people having sex. Also sex with mistresses or 'kept men' was generally recognised and acceptable in earlier periods and the use of female and male prostitutes was often seen as a way for people to release their sexual urges. However all this changed era to era or between different religious leaders.... so meh.... you won't get any consistent answer.

In relation to the modern era, it probably occurred roughly the same time non-barrier contraception became fairly commonplace as you no longer had the same risk of having children out of wedlock (thus confirming in theory who the child's father was.... not flawed in the slightest eh?), which was the main reason people waited until marriage to have sex.
Great answer. Yes, I did mean the time between when it became taboo to the modern era
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Eunomia
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(Original post by will'o'wisp)
Yet implied. :/
How?
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Eunomia
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(Original post by callum_20011)
it hasnt....
What makes you say that?
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will'o'wisp
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(Original post by WBZ144)
How?
Because some religions forbid sex before marriage. Way back then it was never socially acceptable to do dis kinda stuff.
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Observatory
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(Original post by WBZ144)
I mean in the UK other Western countries.

According to my mum it was the norm during her day (the 70s-80s), although attitudes were still more conservative then than they are now. I used to think that the 1960s Free Love movement and the 1970s Sexual Revolution were what changed attitudes, but some of the literature from the decades that predated those indicate that attitudes were already shifting when compared to Victorian and older literature.
With respect to the Victorians, we see them as people who worried a lot about sex outside marriage, and therefore as people who did not have sex outside marriage very much.

But people worry about things that happen. I don't worry much about my house catching fire because I rarely see or hear about houses catching fire. I am much more worried about getting hit by a car, because I know people who have been hit by cars.

The Victorian establishment was worried about sexual promiscuity probably because a lot of non-establishment Victorians were sexually promiscuous.

The 60s social revolution was the establishment switching sides on that issue. That doesn't mean culture followed all at once, though.
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Eunomia
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(Original post by will'o'wisp)
Because some religions forbid sex before marriage. Way back then it was never socially acceptable to do dis kinda stuff.
Of course, but at some point in time the religious teachings surrounding this (and all of the other factors which made it taboo) no longer mattered nearly as much in the West. I was curious as to the exact time period when this gradual change began. That does not mean that religion dictates what the people of today an and can't do, nor that it should.
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callum_20011
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(Original post by WBZ144)
What makes you say that?
its not acceptable, although people still do it... many religeons forbid it but people just do what they want... i prefer it when we would read the holy book and just obey what people says... people these days arent even brought up with good manners
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oShahpo
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I have been reading about the English Civil War and the period around it (1600s), and despite the nation being entirely religious, though not necessarily to the same one, promiscuity did happen and even kings, specially Charles II, engaged in it quite heavily, while rumours, ones with evidence, that James I engaged in homosexual relations with two of his courtiers. When Oliver Cromwell came to power, and after he lost a battle to the Spanish, a great one, he enforced piety by making some acts, like promiscuity, illegal and punishable, if I am not mistaken, by death. After him, however, with the rule of Charles II, the nation returned to a somewhat lax measures with regards to sex. His court was known for its extreme carnal activity and promiscuity. Also, it was reported by people like Pepys that with the rise of the Royal Society and science by the end of the 17th century, people were becoming less religious anyway (the general public) and were more concerned with matters of science than with religion.


(By sex outside of marriage do you mean even for unmarried couples or just married ones? In anyway, it was always, in a way or another, normal for rich people, like kings and lords, to marry specific women for gain of power, titles or relations while at the same time being consumed in extramarital relationships).
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Josb
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Prostitution was much more accepted in the 18-19th centuries and before (up to Antiquity). Having mistresses were also tolerated for most people in the elite. Obviously, it was only for men; it was socially unacceptable for a woman to have sex before marriage.
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will'o'wisp
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(Original post by WBZ144)
Of course, but at some point in time the religious teachings surrounding this (and all of the other factors which made it taboo) no longer mattered nearly as much in the West. I was curious as to the exact time period when this gradual change began. That does not mean that religion dictates what the people of today an and can't do, nor that it should.
tru dat, when wasn't it around the enlightenment period ?
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Rainingpopcorn5
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(Original post by WBZ144)
I mean in the UK other Western countries.

According to my mum it was the norm during her day (the 70s-80s), although attitudes were still more conservative then than they are now. I used to think that the 1960s Free Love movement and the 1970s Sexual Revolution were what changed attitudes, but some of the literature from the decades that predated those indicate that attitudes were already shifting when compared to Victorian and older literature.

I'm guessing since the beginning of time. I'm not a historian or anything but Kings and royal people in the Middle Ages used to have multiple mistresses. The Victorians did it too, it was just less known because people wanted to avoid scandal.
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Eunomia
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(Original post by oShahpo)
I have been reading about the English Civil War and the period around it (1600s), and despite the nation being entirely religious, though not necessarily to the same one, promiscuity did happen and even kings, specially Charles II, engaged in it quite heavily, while rumours, ones with evidence, that James I engaged in homosexual relations with two of his courtiers. When Oliver Cromwell came to power, and after he lost a battle to the Spanish, a great one, he enforced piety by making some acts, like promiscuity, illegal and punishable, if I am not mistaken, by death. After him, however, with the rule of Charles II, the nation returned to a somewhat lax measures with regards to sex. His court was known for its extreme carnal activity and promiscuity. Also, it was reported by people like Pepys that with the rise of the Royal Society and science by the end of the 17th century, people were becoming less religious anyway (the general public) and were more concerned with matters of science than with religion.

(By sex outside of marriage do you mean even for unmarried couples or just married ones? In anyway, it was always, in a way or another, normal for rich people, like kings and lords, to marry specific women for gain of power, titles or relations while at the same time being consumed in extramarital relationships).
Interesting....I'll have a look into that some more myself, thanks

I meant unmarried couples too. Particularly for unmarried women, who would have been "ruined" if they did it.
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