Shedding the Oppression
Society's Response to Traditional Christian Sexuality
THE BIAS AGAINST VICTORIAN AND PURITAN MORALITY
The person who chooses to wait until marriage, or defends the nuclear family as the acceptable norm is accused of holding Victorian or puritanical values. Ages past, in which strict moral codes were enforced, or simply practiced and taught, have become bywords at which we now laugh.
Often people assume that a strict moral code is the result of cruel or instable leaders attempting to legislate activity, which they should have no right to interfere in. The days of the Puritans, and the Victorians have become the times our current age of sexual freedom looks upon with disdain. They are viewed as dark ages of repression and human frustration.
CONTEMPORARY SEXUAL MORES
The accepted sexual morality of Puritan America, as well as the Catholic and Protestant Calvinist Europe was heterosexual, monogamous union which was established covenantally by promises to faithfully live together, and limit sexual practices to one's marriage partner for life. The exceptions to this rule have generally been death of a partner, and unfaithfulness (adultery). In these cases, a marriage partner has been allowed to leave the covenant, and been free to marry another. There have been stricter limitations at certain times, and in certain religious sects, but this is still the accepted basic rule in most conservative Christian circles. To add to the strictness of these laws, sex has been limited to marriage. Thus the sexual options for conservative Christians have traditionally been marriage or abstinence.
Contrasted to this narrow view of sexuality, we have a growing population of society which practices a variety of sexual lifestyes deviating from this historically standard practice. These deviations from the "norm" have been around since ancient times, and most are referenced in the Bible itself.
Some of the sexual variations practiced include masturbation (self actuated sex), premarital sex (sex before marriage), homosexuality (sex with members of the same gender), bisexuality (sex with both genders), polyamory or open marriage (sex with other's partners despite marriage and agreed upon by both marriage partners), pedophilia (sex with prepubescent children), and beastiality (sex with animals). The list can be broken down to include other activities and practices such as sex change operations, cross dressing, sado-masochism and more, and the list is meant to do nothing more than outline the variations from traditional Christian sexual practice.
The sheer number of people involved in sexual practices which are outlined above has given rise to voices of protest against Biblical sexual morality. Of note, the homosexual community has been active and effective in challenging the standardly accepted Biblical sexual mores. Laws have been changed, and social biases reversed in many instances.
As a result of this evolution of sexual morality, the conservative Christian standards have been seriously challenged, and are now considered by many people to be the last deeply entrenched bastion of prejudice and oppression from the past.