Premarital Sex

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Beliefs about pre-marital sex have changed greatly throughout history. Beliefs about pre-marital sex also differ greatly according to people’s cultures and religious beliefs. "For most people attitudes towards sexual permissiveness come from moral standards that are notably shaped by religious practice and orientation and by other sub-culture influence such as community standards and racial norms"(Smith 11). This paper will discuss how views on pre-marital sex have changed from the mid- eighteenth century to the 1960’s through today.

In western and central Europe until 1750 and illegitimate children were not common place occurrences. As far as official church records were concerned less than one percent of children were born out of wedlock. Other studies show however that, at the same time pre-marital sex was in fact a common occurrence. In the mid-eighteenth century, twenty percent of women in Normandy, France were pregnant when they got married, and thirty-three percent of all first children were conceived before the couple was married. Most of these couples were, however, planning on getting married, and the wedding date was set when the women knew she was pregnant. The low number of illegitimate children, compared to the high numbers of pregnant brides reflected the powerful social controls of the village. The priests, parents, and elders of the villages pressured unmarried pregnant couples to get married. Although pre-marital sex was a common occurrence in was not taken lightly and it was generally restricted to those who were contemplating marriage.

Between 1750 and 1850 the number of illegitimate children soared. In Germany in the early 1700’s only two percent of children born were illegitimate. ...

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... susceptible to various types of other minor or major diseases. This type of sexually transmitted disease and many others made people aware of the many fears that are involves in pre-marital sex and leading a life of sexual freedom.

The trends in sexual lifestyle have changed dramatically from the 1800’s to the 1960’s to now. In the 1800’s pre-marital sex was common, but not accepted. People had pre-marital sex secretly, and only with the intention of marrying the person that they were having sex with. In the 1960’s there was the sexual revolution that brought about more acceptance of pre-marital sexual activities. In the 1980’s was the counter-revolution, at this time people become more conservative and less accepting of pre-marital sex. In conclusion, beliefs about pre-marital sex have changed dramatically throughout history and continue to change today.

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