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These plans regulated diet, clothing, social contacts, sleeping habits, posture, and other aspects of daily living with the aim of eliminating physical, mental, or emotional stimuli that might trigger responses and sexual desires.

The one means of fighting off sexual temptations at which practically all authorities drew the line was castration. Although one or tow extremists - Origen was the best known - had advocated and even practiced this radical method of combating sexual temptation, orthodox opinion held that this solution carried a good thing too far. Both the so-called Canons of the Apostles and the genuine canons of the Council of Nicaea prohibited the practice. They rejected the notion that consummation was an essential part of marriage.

It made no difference whether a couple ever went to bed together; so long as they consented to marry one another, that was what counted.

If consummation was not essential, it might follow that sexual impotence constituted no reason for holding a marriage invalid, and Augustine at any rate seems to have subscribed to this view.

Christian authorities warned married couples that they should have sex only for proper reasons. Augustine pointed to the Old Testament prophets as examples for married persons of his own generation.

The prophets, he claimed, made love to their wives rationally and solely for procreative purposes. Since marital sex is a favor, not a right, couples should avoid making love merely for enjoyment or because they felt like it. Only propagation of the species, Augustine warned, entitled them to make use of the marital privileges blamelessly. But while Augustine and his contemporaries cautioned against intercourse for pleasure, they also reminded their married hearers that they were obliged to give their spouses sex on demand.

The marital debt was a right that either party could claim. The other partner might sin in asking payment of the sexual debt for wrongful reasons or at inappropriate times, but the spouse who complied did not share the guilt.

If a couple agreed by mutual consent to cease having sexual relations and one of them later had a change of mind, however, the other party had no obligation to honor a demand for the resumption of marital intercourse.

A mutual decision to forego sexual relations canceled the marital debt, and neither party could thenceforth rescind that decision. The marital debt created a parity of rights and obligations between spouses. Each had an equal right to demand that it be paid; each had an equal obligation to comply with the other's demands. Equality of the sexes in marriage meant equality in the marriage bed, but not outside of it.

Just as each spouse was entitled to sexual service from the other on demand, so each was entitled to require sexual fidelity from the other. Neither had a right to seek sexual fulfillment outside of marriage, even if the other party was, for example, absent or ill and thus sexually unavailable.

Cessation of marital relations did not break the bond of marriage, just as the beginning of sexual relations was irrelevant to the contracting of marriage. The evident aim of patristic matrimonial theory was to separate marriage as far as possible from its sexual component, defining it as a contractual union, separate and distinct from the sexual union of the married persons.

Where marital affection existed between a couple, they were married; when marital affection ceased, the marriage ended. In the post-classical period this concept of marriage underwent a slight but important change. Marriage in postclassical law continued to be contracted by consent, which implied martial affection; but once created, the marriage continued until the relationship ended by death or divorce. Classical Roman marriage, accordingly, required continuing consent of the parties, while postclassical marriage needed only initial consent.

For this reason St. John Chrysostom warned parents to see to it that their children married soon after they reached the age of puberty. All sexual relations outside of marriage amounted to fornication.

When intercourse was forbidden: And be careful - no fondling, no lewd kisses, no oral sex, no strange positions, only once, try not to enjoy it, and wash afterwards purify oneself from the pollution. Married clergy, the reformers declared, were expensive to maintain - married priests, after all, had to provide food, clothes, and housing for those bawling babies and slatternly wives, and the church's resources were thereby frittered away, not in the service of God, but in catering to the whims of the wives and children of married clerics.

Even worse, married priests, bishops, and others would be tempted to treat their ecclesiastical offices as family property and to convert the sacred dignity into the family heritage. This last was close to the mark. Sacerdotal dynasties were common, almost the norm, in some regions of eleventh-century Europe, and had been commonplace for centuries.

Unnatural sex in marriage was worse than adultery or fornication, according to sources that Gratian cited. His objection was not primarily that anal and oral sex were contraceptive; rather he reprobated these types of intercourse because they were an inappropriate use of the sex organs, and that, he believed, ran counter to natural law.

Intercourse in a "natural fashion but with contraceptive intent Gratian classed as a very slight sin, a moral blemish, much like such other minuta peccata as excessive talking, eating after one's hunger was sated, registering annoyance at an importunate beggar, or oversleeping, and as a result being later for divine services.

The wife had every bit as much right to demand sexual dues from her husband as he did from her. This parity in respect to the conjugal debt was Gratian's most emphatic venture in the direction of equality between the sexes.

Further, once married persons had consummated their union, Alexander was prepared to force them to continue sexual relations so long as either party desired them. Even if one party contracted leprosy, the sexual obligation remained in force. The pope further held that couples who had exchanged consent before reaching the minimum age for marriage were bound by their agreement if they had sexual intercourse; consummation thus outweighed the impediment of minority.

Likewise a conditional marriage became binding if the parties had intercourse, whether or not the stipulated conditions had been fulfilled - again, sexual relations healed a defect in marital consent.

In the manufacturing towns of northern Italy and southern France the unordained and untrained followers of Peter Waldo were preaching and teaching an alarming brand of Christianity that denied the special authority of the clergy and cast doubt on the spiritual value of the sacraments. Elsewhere, Cathar heretics attacked the benevolence of the Creator by proclaiming that the material world was intrinsically evil; they maintained that only the spiritual realm, on which they seemed to feel they had a monopoly, had been created by an all-good deity.

Speaking of sexual offenses in the 14th and 15th centuries. The married woman who committed adultery stood to lose her dowry, and the beneficiary in that case was her husband, who received part or all of it as compensation for his humiliation. Problems involving sexual conduct were also at issue in the struggles between Protestant and Catholic. Roman Catholic and Protestant beliefs differed sharply on questions about the sacramentally of marriage, clerical celibacy, divorce and remarriage, and ultimately about the aims and purposes of human sexuality itself.

The Catholic reaction, both in its reform mode and in its Counter-Reformation mode, tended to sharpen rather than blunt the difference between the two camps. Protestant writers treated sex as a normal part of conjugal relationships, a sign of love between husband and wife, rather than a failing that required a procreative purpose to excuse it.

For Protestants, marriage was a basic Christian institution, approved by Scriptures, and integral to a full human life. Reformers praised the beauty, dignity, and morality of married life as a central feature of Christian society; but at the same time, they also taught that marriages could be terminated for good cause.

Since marriage for them was no sacrament, questions that troubled Roman Catholic writers when dealing with divorce and remarriage created fewer difficulties for Protestant theologians. Men are normally fertile from puberty to late old age, and male orgasm accompanies the emission of sperm. Thus the view that sex and reproduction are inextricably joined together reflects the experience of most men. Women experience sex differently. Females are fertile only for a fraction of their adult life, from puberty to menopause.

The biological cycle of the human female, unlike that of most other animals, does not involve a close link between ovulation and the female sex drive. Moreover, orgasm for women is primarily a function of the clitoris, which has no reproductive function at all. Reproductionist writers about sexual morality have historically rejected this point of view.

Indeed, they have rarely even considered it. Unlike procreationists, pollutionists strongly favor limiting marital relations by restricting the times, seasons, places, and circumstances in which sex is allowed. Subscribers to this school of thought regard sexual pleasure more positively than do adherents of the other two models. We are more likely dealing with an unintended result of the Church's urge to protect the sanctity of sex, rather than with policy consciously created to enrich the ecclesiastical establishment.

The leaders of the medieval church, although occasionally sensitive to the problems and moral dilemmas of their flocks, were often indifferent to the social implications that their policies created. Nowhere was their indifference more marked than in matters concerning reproduction and family life.

Virtually all restrictions that now apply to sexual behavior in Western societies stem form moral convictions enshrined in medieval canonical jurisprudence. It suggests that simply enacting theological principles into law is not likely to be a rewarding exercise. What were weddings like during the Middle Ages? So long as the couple made the vows before a witness, the marriage was valid--no priest had to be present although this is increasingly not the case after the 13th century.

The only thing needed to create a marriage was for both partners to state their consent to take one another as spouses. Witnesses were not always necessary, nor was the presence of the clergy. In Italy, for example, the marriage was divided into three parts. The first portion consisted of the families of the groom and bride drawing up the papers.

The bride didn't have to even be there for that. The second, the betrothal, was legally binding and may or may not have involved consummation. At this celebration, the couple exchanged gifts a ring, a piece of fruit, etc. The "vows" could be a simple as, "Will you marry me? The role of the clergy at a medieval wedding was simply to bless the couple. It wasn't official church policy until the council of Trent in the 15th century that a third party [c. In the later medieval period, the wedding ceremony moved from the house of the bride to the church.

It began with a procession to the church from the bride's house. Vows were exchanged outside the church BTW, the priest gave the bride to the groom I don't think she was presented by her father and then everyone moved inside for Mass.

After Mass, the procession went back to the bride's house for a feast. Musicians accompanied the procession. A word on historical English weddings. They would then go in for the solemnization of vows very short and the nuptial mass. For much of Western history, marriage was an exchange of property, i.

Just how far back do these 'traditions' really go? Do any of them stem from medieval or renaissance times? The expression "tie the knot" comes from Roman times when the bride wore a girdle that was tied in knots which the groom had the fun of untying. Diamond engagement rings were given by medieval Italians, because of their belief that the diamond was created from the flames of love.

Ancient Spartan soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would feast with his male friends on the night before the wedding. There he would say goodbye to the carefree days of bachelorhood and swear continued allegiance to his comrades. Bridal showers were also meant to strengthen the friendships between the bride and her friends, give her moral support, and help her prepare for her marriage. The idea to give gifts is fairly new, dating from the 's.

At one shower, the bride's friend placed small gifts inside a J apanese parasol, and then opened it over the bride's head so all of the presents would "shower" over her. When word of this hit the fashion pages, people were so charmed, they decided to do the same at their showers. The bridal party has many origins, one of which comes from the Anglo Saxon days.

When the groom was about to capture his bride, he needed the help of his friends, the "bridesmen" or "brideknights". They would make sure the bride got to the church and to the groom's house afterwards. The bride also had women to help her, the "bridesmaids" or "brideswomen".

The white wedding dress was made popular by Anne of Brittany in Before that, a woman just wore her best dress. In biblical days, blue not white represented purity, and the bride and groom would wear a blue band around the bottom of their wedding attire, hence something blue. It is unknown when wedding rings were first worn. They were probably made of a strong metal, like iron so that it wouldn't break easily which would have been a very bad omen.

The ancient Romans believed that the vein in the third finger ran directly to the heart, so wearing the ring on that finger joined the couples hearts and destiny.

Weddings just wouldn't be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake. Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride's head as a symbol of her fertility. It became tradition to pile up several small cakes, one on top of the other, as high as they could, and the bride and groom would kiss over the tower and try not to knock it down.

If they were successful, it meant a lifetime of prosperity. During the reign of King Charles II of England, it became customary to turn this cake into an enjoyably edible palace, iced with white sugar.

Tying shoes to the bumper of the car represents the symbolism and power of shoes in ancient times. Egyptians would exchange sandals when they exchanged goods, so when the father of the bride gave his daughter to the groom, he would also give the brides sandals to show that she now belonged to the groom. In Anglo Saxon times, the groom would tap the heel of the bride's shoe to show his authority over her. In later times, people would throw shoes at the couple, and now we just tie shoes to their car.

Do the garter and bouquet tosses really date back to medieval times? The garter toss is one of the oldest surviving wedding traditions. Back in medieval times, it was customary for friends, relatives, guests to accompany the bridal couple to the marriage bed. As time went on, this became rowdier and rowdier to the point that some guests were all too eager to help the bride out of her wedding clothes. To forestall such impropriety, the garters were quickly removed and thrown to the mob as a distraction.

As time went on, it has evolved into the tradition we now know. The wedding guests would follow the couple back to their room, and try to grab the bride's garter for good luck. Brides starting tossing their garter to the crowd as a means of self preservation! As society changed it became inappropriate to throw part of your underwear, and the bouquet was substituted.

Sometime this century, the garter toss was added back in as a means of equalizing the tradition. Women could catch the bouquet and men could catch the garter. Why the groom can't throw part of his own costume is beyond me. The sources I read indicated that in the past anything of a bride's was lucky--gloves, flowers, garters, etc.

It was said that a man who gave his love the garter of a bride would be guaranteed faithfulness. The guests were so eager to get the garter, often the bride would be accosted at the altar by men who stole it from her. Smart brides began having men compete for the garter--usually a foot or horse race. Also, many would give out small colored ribbons called "favours" to guests as an attempt to avoid being turned upside down by men eager for their garter.

I've also read that the guests would sit at the end of the bed with their backs to the bride and groom. Men would throw the bride's stocking over their shoulder and try to hit her nose, while women would do the same for the groom.

Those with good aim were the next to be married. Sound like a fun wedding night? What is the story behind the wedding rhyme: The following is from Oxford's -A Dictionary of Superstitions- p. The editors point out a possible link to the belief that "something old" will protect a baby, first cited at No citations for "something new.

There's record of a Scottish groom using a sixpence in his shoe to ward off evil from his rival, and an Scottish again citation that the bride "wear a piece of silver in one of her shoes" to ward evil from disappointed suitors. There are also 20th century citations to the bride's walking on a gold coin to produce prosperity. For your curiousity, pre wedding superstitions included: Handfasting refers to the old practice of trial marriages for a year and a day, supposedly prevalent in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

I've never actually run across other references to this other than Sir Walter Scott 19th cent. The old way in Great Britain for couples to pledge their betrothal was for them to join hands, his right to her right, his left to her left, so from above they looked like an infinity symbol.

Done in front of witnesses, this made them officially "married" for a year and a day, following which they could renew permanently or for another year and a day. This was called "handfasting" and was used extensively in the rural areas where priests and ministers didn't go all that often. Sharing a cup and pledging their betrothal in front of witnesses used to accomplish the same thing usually done in taverns but was eventually outlawed in most of Europe.

It arose partly from the want of priests. While the convents subsisted, monks were detached on regular circuits through the wilder districts, to marry those who had lived in this species of connexion. The juridical procedure in Norse society was complicated, but three ceremonial actions seem to have been necessary to make the marriage complete: Engagement, which meant that the man and the woman were promised to each other.

This was part of the deal, and economic compensation was necessary if one side wanted to break the engagement. Wedding, where the bride was formally given to the bridegroom by her guardian, usually her father. This was done at a feast in the bridegroom's home.

Bedding, where the couple went to bed together in the presence of witnesses. This was not a pornographic show. The witnesses left before any sexual action began. But the fact that the couple had gone to bed together was firmly established.

With Christianity came a different perspective. Marriage was now a sacrament, instituted by God and therefore something that concerned both church and society outside the two families.

Mutual consent was demanded, and the husband was expected to be faithful. These were new ideas. The first part of the ceremony took place outside the church door. At cathedrals with several entrances, there was usually a designated "bridal door" for this.

The actions done there corresponded to the functions of the old germanic ceremony. Even though it was now led by a priest, it was essentially a secular act by which the union of the families was confirmed. When people had arrived at the church door, the men were placed on the right side and the women on the left.

If the bride was a virgin, her hands were bare. If she was a widow, she wore gloves. In some countries the most important parts were conducted in the vernacular, in others everything was in Latin. In the latter case, the priest would read the words that the bride and bridegroom were supposed to repeat. The ceremony at the church door began with the mutual consent of the man and the woman.

The priest asked the man if he would take the woman for his wife. The man replied "Yes", and then turned to the woman and said: The same was then repeated for the woman.

Next, the priest blessed the ring. Only one ring was used, given by the man to the woman. The ring was sprinkled with holy water, the bridegroom took the ring and moved it so that it came to be placed in turn on the bride's thumb, index finger and long finger - where it stayed. This was accompanied by the priest or the bridegroom saying: Non-Scandinavian rituals have different wordings and movements, where the ring would end on what we call the ring finger.

Now the priest would bless the couple, after which the whole party moved into the church. According to some rituals, the couple held burning candles in their hands during the procession. Inside, a "bridal mass" was celebrated. It consisted of prayers, hymns, bible reading, antiphonals, and culminated in the solemn bridal benediction. The couple kneeled at the altar and a fine piece of cloth called a "paell" in Swedish was held over them by four unmarried people.

The blessing of the bride included many words from the Old Testament, particularly the apocryphic book of Tobias. It included wishes that she should be good to her husband like Rachel, wise like Rebecca, and faithful like Sarah. Let her be fertile, chaste and innocent, and let them both live to see their offspring to the third and fourth generation.

The bridal benediction is very old - the first known example is from the 5th century. After this benediction a mass communion followed. The ritual kissing of the bride belongs here, at the moment of the kiss of peace. The priest kissed the bridegroom, who kissed the bride, and then the bride passed the kiss on to the women while an assistant cleric brought it from the priest to the male side of the church of course the men were on the south side and the women on the north side in the nave.

Interestingly enough, the formula "I now pronounce you man and wife" was not used everywhere. It occurs in late period German and French rituals, but there is evidence that in older times, the priest left the confirmation of the marriage to God: Afterwards, in the evening, there was the bedding. The Church adopted this pagan custom and converted it from a juridical act into a blessing of the matrimonial bed. Remember also that medieval wedding gowns were usually not white, as far as I know.

I hope some of the above may be of use to you. If you want a medieval wedding, I suggest that you choose such medieval elements that are compatible with your faith and that are practically feasible, and try to incorporate them into whatever modern ritual your church is using.

Having parts of the lIn regards to the query as to information on Italian Renaissance especially Venetian weddings, information on marriage itself in Venice may be found in both: The betrothal was the big thing, with the actual nuptials merely a followup. This said, I would venture to guess that during the 12th century, the average couple would have any ceremony that felt right to them and their families usually the declaration of dower, or a reading of the betrothal or nuptial agrement , even to the almost-legendary jumping over a broomstick, followed by a mass, and of course by a party.

The Church always held that the essence of marriage was consent, and in that sense, a priest was not necessary. But for a number of reasons one of them being that the Church was called upon, from time to time, to assess the validity of existing marriages, usually in royal cases where a king wanted to dump a wife, and it was very hard to do this with any semblance of validity unless there were witnesses , the Church began to require public witnesses on its behalf, and to move toward the requirement that a priest to be present and the marriage be formally acknowledged and recorded.

Hence what you say next: What they did had to satisfy the Church's requirements of the time, and in particular, had to satisfy the Church's witness that the requirement of serious present intent was fulfilled. Tradition plays a tremendous role in setting ceremony; and in the middle ages, there is every evidence that it did so more, since religious conformity denial of which is the basis for a huge percentage of modern variations was the overwhelming rule.

Finally, the SCA normally assumes that its members are upper class. One might on rare occasion even find someone who professed himself openly to be atheist. In early Saxon days and through the 18th century, it was the poorer bride who came to her wedding dressed in a plain white robe.

This was in the nature of a public statement that she brought nothing with her to her marriage and that therefore her husband was not responsible for her debts. Colors used for wedding dresses reflected the values that were ascribed to certain colors. Blue was used to show constancy. Green was an indicator of youth. A blue ribbon on the shoulder symbolized purity, fidelity and love. Two colors not used much in medieval wedding gowns were yellow and gold, the first because it symbolized jeolousy and the second because it symbolized avarice.

For medieval clothing, patterns and items: Box Pasadena, CA Renaissance Herald was Renaissance Shopper P. Box Riverside, CA The Noble Collection P. Box Merrifield, VA Box Arcata, CA For paper products, parchment, invitations, and gifts: Catalogs for the Medieval and Renaissance Wedding Faq. The same request applies Box Pierceton, IN The Queens Thimble S. Mira Loma, CA Suite 2 Truckee, CA Alice Stephenson Mountain View W.

Tocoma, WA House Morning Star S. An anotated bibliography of pre costume sources including books and periodicals is available from: The period Scottish marriage was prefaced by the making of a marriage contract. Incorporate a blacksmith with anvil and hammer, as well as a Piper? Of course, this was an irregular form of marriage -- perfectly legal and binding, but the authorities still did their best to make you solemnize it properly afterwords ie, do the banns and church thing, even though you were already married.

Handfastings were not weddings, nor were they "pagan"--they were a result of the fact that the Christian priests of the day had to act as "circuit riders", and one couldn't always have a priest handy to do a marriage whenever.

Technically you don't need a priest for a handfasting--all that's required is the agreement to a wedding contract between the two individuals involved. In Scotland, for most of period, if you agreed between the two of you that you were married, you were--this also applied to England see the issue of whether Anne Boleyn or Catherine Howard had secretly arranged a marriage before their marriages to Henry.

Technically all you needed was to exchange consents in the present tense. No priests, no witnesses though that would make it hard to prove , no marriage contracts.

This constituted a marriage ceremony. Usually the procedure went like this: Bans were posted so that anyone claiming a prior contract could come forward. If none introduced a prior claim, then the couple declared themselves married before witnesses--usually, though not necessarily, in front of a priest. Usually the parents arranged the marriage contract. Often, there was a handfasting at which the couple was betrothed that's what handfastings are, betrothals, getting engaged to be married.

This would not only give notice for prior marriages to be made known, but also of any other impediments like consanguinity, etc. For all I know, however, there may also have been a totally different motivation for the banns. I can't really say, as I don't know. But people didn't do banns unless they intended to have a church wedding. The couple went to church, and, in the precense of the priest, at the door of the church, they exchanged consents in the present tense.

Marriage in the Middle Ages by Laura Reynolds. Marriage is an institution that requires love, trust, devotion, and cooperation.

It is a partnership that takes an enormous amount of hard work in order for it to be successful. This individual is someon e you can depend on in a time of need, or someone you can refer to as your best friend.

The decision of choosing the person you will spend the rest of your life with may be the most important one you will ever make. However, imagine not being able to ma ke this decision for yourself. Today, when couples decide to marry, they usually prefer to wait until they are out of high school.

Many more wait until they are close to their thirties to make a permanent commitment. However, in the Middle Ages, marriage was entered at an extremely early age. The reasons for early mar riage hinged on the fact that women lived such short lives.

Society figured that if young women married older men these women would die within a very short time of each other. These laws instilled into women that offspring should be produced before they reach their death. There was only one law that protected minors from marriage. The betrothal of the medieval period is compatible to the engagement period of our time.

Once the age for a woman to marry was attained, the procedure for finding her a husband began by her parents. Relationships built on monetary worth rather than genuine love were not ve ry solid to begin with, and often were surely awkward until each of them became used to living with the other. The dowry was an exceptional part of the marriage transaction. If the classical dowry was more valuable in worth, the more appealing the woman, or offer of marriage was to an available gentleman.

These couples needed to establish a bond between them eventually becau se essentially the two of them were strangers to each other. However, just because a marriage was based on these terms did not necessarily mean acquired love was not possible. Courtship and romantic love, however, tended to follow the marriage agreement, not precede it" Smith Even if love was not eventually established in the relationship, admiration and friendship usually was.

The role of the groom was to make a final decision on his choice for a bride, unless of course, his parents had chosen for him. Even if he or his family wanted to, it was not allowed. The first and oldest was called in manu under the hand. This form of marriage transferred the father's patria potestas the power of life and death ove r her over the girl into the hands of the husband" Herlihy 9. This type of marriage was prominent, but as the emergence of free marriage came about in manu gradually began to fade out in popularity.

But she could seek formal emancipation, and her father's death would at all events make her a person, sui iuris , to conduct her own affairs" Herlihy 9. The wedding ceremony of today is a highly extravagant, as well as, a celebrated event in most cases. It is a day of merriment between family and friends of both bride and groom. In medieval times this ceremony did not take place at first, and when it eventually did it was nowhere near as elaborate as the ceremonies of today.

Christian rituals of marriage appear in both East and West only toward the end of the fourth century" Herlihy Even though the wedding ceremony finally a ppeared across the world, no ritual was exactly alike. At the beginning, marriage ceremonies were performed in the bedroom, but in or at a church. This seems the earliest appearance of the common medieval practice: Once the couple was married, the woman's role was very important.

She was often left in charge of the household while her husband went away on trips. Through marriage, women were gaining a sense of power. They had more say in family affairs then they ever did. Husbands put their trust in these women, they referred to as their wives, to manage and control a majority of family affairs.

These women were slowly becoming business women. They handled the finances, along with much of the hard labor around the house. Husbands were often absent on business for long periods, and the day-to-day running of the family estates fell to the women of the household" Smith Not only did these women have to handle the fact that their mate was far away, but they must take into account that they may not return.

While all this was on their mind, they were still expected to conduct business, do chores, and take care of the children. These women definitely had to be responsible and organized in order to keep things together. Men had obviously put much of their trust into their wives even after they had not known them for a very significant period of time. She was, in a sense, the glue that held the family together.

Divorce was a widely used alternative if a marriage was absolutely not working out. However, the women were not allo wed to make the decision. The husband had only to draw up a libellum repudii, or document of repudiation, in which he formally renounced the obligations he had assum ed in the original marriage contract" Herlihy A woman was forever attached to the institution of marriage; divorce was not an option for her.

If the husband dies, she is free to be married to wh om she wishes, only in the Lords" Amt In some cases women can retain their dowry. If, however, she is under control of her father, he Though divorce was fairly easy, a few stipulations were given before remarriage. If they go through with the divorce, then God is Hearer, Knower. The divorced women shall wait three menstruations before marrying another man " Amt Divorce has many similarities and differences from today's society.

Divorce is not an easy decision, regardless of what time period it may occur in. Marriage is a bond between two people. Whether the two people enter into this institution because they are in love or because of other reasons , such as in medieval times, it remains just as much as a challenge. Both individuals carry an enormous amount of responsibility in a marriage. However, for all the bad times, there are good times that can also be recalled.

These joyous times are what s uccessful relationships thrive off of. Although marriages in the Middle Ages may have many contrasts with the marriages of today, the concept is basically the same. The only major difference is that today we are more advanced in our techniques regarding marriages.

A private marriage was a marriage where the bridal couple gave each other the sacrament of marriage without it occuring in a church. The Church deemed the marriage valid because it was the couple who should be bestowing the sacrament to each other. Private marriages caused many problems for the Church and the courts. Often one of the couple abandoned the marriage and then tried to remarry.

In some cases, the "remarried" spouse has had children before the abandoned spouse could find their spouse and tell of their marriage. The Church would then deem the second marriage void and any children from that marriage were then labeled bastards. The secular government then urged the Church to declare such marriages invalid because of the controversy they caused.

Like today, rape was a punishable crime in the middle ages. Not surprisingly, the majority of rape cases registered held women as the victim of the crime. Also similar to modern times was the idea that young women should be well sheltered from sexual encounter, and that the offenders of these crimes against young teenage girls were most highly punishable.

Upon hearing his daughter's screams, he raced into the woods where his daughter had been gathering firewood, only to be shot by the offender's arrow. No doubt this offender suffered serious persecution after the incident. Another strange incident shows a woman who had been raped in the woods years earlier worrying about the effects on the night before her wedding. As the story turns out, the man who had raped her turned out to be her soon to be husband, and the uniting of the couple went on without a hitch Hanawalt Most marriages today would probably not have been carried through if the same case had been true.

A document written by Andreas Capellanus in states "If you should, by some chance, fall in love with a peasant woman, be careful to puff her up with lots of praise and then, when you find a convenient place, do not hesitate to take what you seek and embrace her by force.

Noble women and ladies of the castle were often taken advantage of in the crowded passages of the castle. It was also not uncommon for a woman to be raped in her own bed while her husband was out attending to family business Bogin A game for knights in training was to seduce and abduct the woman of the castle. This was only a game to test the young knight's valor, but its setting was real life and sometimes ended in the forceful taking of the lady, followed by her rape Duby This sound s to be a form of hazing which seems so popular to the fraternities and sororities of colleges today.

Seemingly rape was very common in the middle ages. For the most part, punishments were severe if the offended could be found. With the lack of medical training and procedures we have available to us today, blood and bodily fluids testing would have been impossible.

Only with the testament of a witness would a trial be valid. W Norton and Co. A History of Private Life. The Belknap Press of Harvard University. The Ties That Bound. Anthropologists consider rituals surrounding sexual initiation a major indicator of crossing into adolescence. Medieval moralists believed that lust dominated the adolescent experience. They felt the need to protect both sexes from such an urge, so they gave much advise on how to avoid such tempting situations.

There were cautions to females not to speak to men in the streets, for they may "tempt one's heart. The age in which men entered adult-hood became increasingly delayed in the later Middle Ages, so they were likely to find "sexual outlet" with prostitutes in spite of the moralists cautions Hanawalt, Those who followed Butler came to regard gender roles as a practice, sometimes referred to as " performative ". Hurst states that some people think sex will, " For example, Michael Schwalbe believes that humans must be taught how to act appropriately in their designated gender to fill the role properly, and that the way people behave as masculine or feminine interacts with social expectations.

Schwalbe comments that humans "are the results of many people embracing and acting on similar ideas". Schwalbe believes that these distinctions are important, because society wants to identify and categorize people as soon as we see them. They need to place people into distinct categories to know how we should feel about them. Hurst comments that in a society where we present our genders so distinctly, there can often be severe consequences for breaking these cultural norms.

Many of these consequences are rooted in discrimination based on sexual orientation. Gays and lesbians are often discriminated against in our legal system because of societal prejudices. He says that "courts often confuse sex, gender, and sexual orientation, and confuse them in a way that results in denying the rights not only of gays and lesbians, but also of those who do not present themselves or act in a manner traditionally expected of their sex".

Andrea Dworkin stated her "commitment to destroying male dominance and gender itself" while stating her belief in radical feminism. Political scientist Mary Hawkesworth addresses gender and feminist theory, stating that since the s the concept of gender has transformed and been used in significantly different ways within feminist scholarship.

She notes that a transition occurred when several feminist scholars, such as Sandra Harding and Joan Scott , began to conceive of gender "as an analytic category within which humans think about and organize their social activity".

Feminist scholars in Political Science began employing gender as an analytical category, which highlighted "social and political relations neglected by mainstream accounts". However, Hawkesworth states "feminist political science has not become a dominant paradigm within the discipline".

American political scientist Karen Beckwith addresses the concept of gender within political science arguing that a "common language of gender" exists and that it must be explicitly articulated in order to build upon it within the political science discipline.

Beckwith describes two ways in which the political scientist may employ 'gender' when conducting empirical research: It may also demonstrate how gender differences, not necessarily corresponding precisely with sex, may "constrain or facilitate political" actors. Gender as a process has two central manifestations in political science research, firstly in determining "the differential effects of structures and policies upon men and women," and secondly, the ways in which masculine and feminine political actors "actively work to produce favorable gendered outcomes".

With regard to gender studies, Jacquetta Newman states that although sex is determined biologically, the ways in which people express gender is not. Gendering is a socially constructed process based on culture, though often cultural expectations around women and men have a direct relationship to their biology.

Because of this, Newman argues, many privilege sex as being a cause of oppression and ignore other issues like race, ability, poverty, etc. Current gender studies classes seek to move away from that and examine the intersectionality of these factors in determining people's lives. She also points out that other non-Western cultures do not necessarily have the same views of gender and gender roles.

Newman believes this is problematic because there is no unified definition as to what equality means or looks like, and that this can be significantly important in areas like public policy. Sociologists generally regard gender as a social construct, and various researchers, including many feminists , consider sex to only be a matter of biology and something that is not about social or cultural construction.

For instance, sexologist John Money suggests the distinction between biological sex and gender as a role. Lynda Birke, a feminist biologist, maintains "'biology' is not seen as something which might change. However, there are scholars who argue that sex is also socially constructed. For example, gender theorist Judith Butler states that "perhaps this construct called 'sex' is as culturally constructed as gender; indeed, perhaps it was always already gender, with the consequence that the distinction between sex and gender turns out to be no distinction at all.

It would make no sense, then, to define gender as the cultural interpretation of sex, if sex is itself a gender-centered category. Gender should not be conceived merely as the cultural inscription of meaning based on a given sex a juridical conception ; gender must also designate the very apparatus of production whereby the sexes themselves are established.

Butler argues that "bodies only appear, only endure, only live within the productive constraints of certain highly gendered regulatory schemas," [68] and sex is "no longer as a bodily given on which the construct of gender is artificially imposed, but as a cultural norm which governs the materialization of bodies.

She argues that colonial powers used a gender system as a tool for domination and fundamentally changing social relations among the indigenous. With regard to history, Linda Nicholson, a professor of history and women's studies , says that the notion of human bodies being separated into two sexes is not historically consistent. She argues that male and female genitals were considered inherently the same in Western society until the 18th century. At that time, female genitals were regarded as incomplete male genitals, and the difference between the two was conceived as a matter of degree.

In other words, there was a gradation of physical forms, or a spectrum. Therefore, the current perspective toward sex, which is to consider women and men and their typical genitalia as the only possible natural options, came into existence through historical, not biological roots.

In addition, drawing from the empirical research of intersex children, Anne Fausto-Sterling , a professor of biology and gender studies , describes how the doctors address the issues of intersexuality.

She starts her argument with an example of the birth of an intersexual individual and maintains "our conceptions of the nature of gender difference shape, even as they reflect, the ways we structure our social system and polity; they also shape and reflect our understanding of our physical bodies. After describing how the doctors inform parents about the intersexuality, she asserts that because the doctors believe that the intersexuals are actually male or female, they tell the parents of the intersexuals that it will take a little bit more time for the doctors to determine whether the infant is a boy or a girl.

That is to say, the doctors' behavior is formulated by the cultural gender assumption that there are only two sexes. Lastly, she maintains that the differences in the ways in which the medical professionals in different regions treat intersexual people also give us a good example of how sex is socially constructed. A group of physicians from Saudi Arabia recently reported on several cases of XX intersex children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia CAH , a genetically inherited malfunction of the enzymes that aid in making steroid hormones.

A number of parents, however, refused to accept the recommendation that their child, initially identified as a son, be raised instead as a daughter. Nor would they accept feminizing surgery for their child.

Thus it may be said that determining the sex of children is actually a cultural act, and the sex of children is in fact socially constructed.

In this article, Fausto-Sterling states that Western culture has only two sexes and that even their language restricts the presence of more than two sexes. She argues that instead of having a binomial nomenclature for organizing humans into two distinct sexes male and female , there are at least five sexes in the broad spectrum of gender. These five sexes include male, female, hermaphrodite, female pseudohermaphrodites individuals who have ovaries and some male genitalia but lack testes , and male pseudohermaphrodites individuals who have testes and some female genitalia but lack ovaries.

Fausto-Sterling additionally adds that in the category of hermaphrodites, there are additional degrees and levels in which the genitalia are developed; this means that there may be more intersexes that exist in this continuum of gender. Fausto-Sterling argues that sex has been gradually institutionally disciplined into a binary system through medical advances. She brings up multiple instances where gender in history was not split into strictly male or female, Fausto-Sterling mentioned that by the end of the Middle Age, intersex individuals were forced to pick a side in the binary gender code and to adhere by it.

She then adds on that "hermaphrodites have unruly bodies" and they need to fit into society's definition of gender. She emphasizes that the role of the medical community is that of an institutionalized discipline on society that there can only be two sexes: She finishes up her argument asking what would happen if society started accepting intersex individuals. Gender Intensification Revisited focuses on the work of Heather A. Lindberg, and Janet Shibley Hyde on whether or not girls and boys diverge in their gender identities during adolescent years.

This hypothesis argues that parents affect their children's gender role identities and that different interactions spent with either parents will affect gender intensification. Authors of Unpacking the Gender System: The coauthors argue that daily people are forced to acknowledge and interact with others in ways that are related to gender. Every day, individuals are interacting with each other and comply with society's set standard of hegemonic beliefs, which includes gender roles.

They state that society's hegemonic cultural beliefs sets the rules which in turn create the setting for which social relational contexts are to take place. Ridgeway and Correll then shift their topic towards sex categorization. The authors define sex categorization as "the sociocognitive process by which we label another as male or female. In most cases, men and women and boys and girls are similar in behavior, with little gender difference, but some gendered behavior is influenced by prenatal and early life androgen exposure.

This includes, for example, gender normative play, self-identification with a gender, and tendency to engage in aggressive behavior. These levels may also influence sexuality, with non-heterosexual persons exhibiting sex atypical behavior in childhood. The biology of gender became the subject of an expanding number of studies over the course of the late 20th century.

One of the earliest areas of interest was what became known as "gender identity disorder" GID and which is now also described as gender dysphoria. Studies in this, and related areas, inform the following summary of the subject by John Money. The term "gender role" appeared in print first in The term gender identity was used in a press release, November 21, , to announce the new clinic for transsexuals at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

It was disseminated in the media worldwide, and soon entered the vernacular. The definitions of gender and gender identity vary on a doctrinal basis. In popularized and scientifically debased usage, sex is what you are biologically; gender is what you become socially; gender identity is your own sense or conviction of maleness or femaleness; and gender role is the cultural stereotype of what is masculine and feminine.

Causality with respect to gender identity disorder is sub-divisible into genetic, prenatal hormonal, postnatal social, and post-pubertal hormonal determinants, but there is, as yet, no comprehensive and detailed theory of causality. Gender coding in the brain is bipolar. In gender identity disorder, there is discordance between the natal sex of one's external genitalia and the brain coding of one's gender as masculine or feminine. Money refers to attempts to distinguish a difference between biological sex and social gender as "scientifically debased", because of our increased knowledge of a continuum of dimorphic features Money's word is "dipolar" that link biological and behavioral differences.

These extend from the exclusively biological "genetic" and "prenatal hormonal" differences between men and women, to "postnatal" features, some of which are social, but others have been shown to result from "post-pubertal hormonal" effects. Although causation from the biological— genetic and hormonal —to the behavioral has been broadly demonstrated and accepted, Money is careful to also note that understanding of the causal chains from biology to behavior in sex and gender issues is very far from complete.

For example, the existence of a " gay gene " has not been proven, but such a gene remains an acknowledged possibility. There are studies concerning women who have a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia , which leads to the overproduction of the masculine sex hormone , androgen.

These women usually have ordinary female appearances though nearly all girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia CAH have corrective surgery performed on their genitals.

However, despite taking hormone-balancing medication given to them at birth, these females are statistically more likely to be interested in activities traditionally linked to males than female activities. Psychology professor and CAH researcher Dr. Sheri Berenbaum attributes these differences to an exposure of higher levels of male sex hormones in utero.

Sexual reproduction is a common method of producing a new individual within various species. In sexually reproducing species, individuals produce special kinds of cells called gametes whose function is specifically to fuse with one unlike gamete and thereby to form a new individual. This fusion of two unlike gametes is called fertilization. By convention, where one type of gamete cell is physically larger than the other, it is associated with female sex.

Thus an individual that produces exclusively large gametes ova in humans is called female , and one that produces exclusively small gametes spermatozoa in humans is called male. An individual that produces both types of gametes is called hermaphrodite a name applicable also to people with one testis and one ovary. In some species hermaphrodites can self-fertilize see Selfing , in others they can achieve fertilization with females, males or both.

Some species, like the Japanese Ash, Fraxinus lanuginosa , only have males and hermaphrodites, a rare reproductive system called androdioecy. Gynodioecy is also found in several species. Human hermaphrodites are typically, but not always, infertile. What is considered defining of sexual reproduction is the difference between the gametes and the binary nature of fertilization. Multiplicity of gamete types within a species would still be considered a form of sexual reproduction.

However, of more than 1. A few rare species that push the boundaries of the definitions are the subject of active research for light they may shed on the mechanisms of the evolution of sex. For example, the most toxic insect, [88] the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex , has two kinds of female and two kinds of male.

One hypothesis is that the species is a hybrid , evolved from two closely related preceding species. Fossil records indicate that sexual reproduction has been occurring for at least one billion years. It appears that the ability to reproduce sexually has evolved independently in various species on many occasions.

There are cases where it has also been lost, notably among the Fungi Imperfecti. The following systematic list gender taxonomy illustrates the kinds of diversity that have been studied and reported in medical literature. It is placed in roughly chronological order of biological and social development in the human life cycle.

The earlier stages are more purely biological and the latter are more dominantly social. Causation is known to operate from chromosome to gonads, and from gonads to hormones.

It is also significant from brain structure to gender identity see Money quote above. Brain structure and processing biological that may explain erotic preference social , however, is an area of ongoing research. Terminology in some areas changes quite rapidly as knowledge grows. Although sexual reproduction is defined at the cellular level, key features of sexual reproduction operate within the structures of the gamete cells themselves. Notably, gametes carry very long molecules called DNA that the biological processes of reproduction can "read" like a book of instructions.

In fact, there are typically many of these "books", called chromosomes. Human gametes usually have 23 chromosomes, 22 of which are common to both sexes. The final chromosomes in the two human gametes are called sex chromosomes because of their role in sex determination.

Ova always have the same sex chromosome, labelled X. About half of spermatozoa also have this same X chromosome, the rest have a Y-chromosome. At fertilization the gametes fuse to form a cell, usually with 46 chromosomes, and either XX female or XY male, depending on whether the sperm carried an X or a Y chromosome. Some of the other possibilities are listed above. Genes which are specific to the X or Y chromosome are called sex-linked genes.

For example, the genes which create red and green retinal photoreceptors are located on the X chromosome, which men only have one of. Thus red-green color blindness is an X-linked recessive trait and is much more common in men.

However, sex-limited genes on any chromosome can be expressed and "say", for example, " if you are in a male body do X, otherwise do not. The human XY system is not the only sex determination system. Several species of butterfly are known to have female parent sex determination. The platypus has a complex hybrid system, the male has ten sex chromosomes, half X and half Y. Grey matter is used for information processing, while white matter consists of the connections between processing centers.

Other differences are measurable but less pronounced. However, differences that arise directly from gene activity have also been observed. A sexual dimorphism in levels of expression in brain tissue was observed by quantitative real-time PCR , with females presenting an up to 2-fold excess in the abundance of PCDH11X transcripts. We relate these findings to sexually dimorphic traits in the human brain. It has also been demonstrated that brain processing responds to the external environment.

Learning, both of ideas and behaviors, appears to be coded in brain processes. It also appears that in several simplified cases this coding operates differently, but in some ways equivalently, in the brains of men and women. Differences in female and male use of language are likely reflections both of biological preferences and aptitudes, and of learned patterns.

Gender studies is a field of interdisciplinary study and academic field devoted to gender, gender identity and gendered representation as central categories of analysis. This field includes Women's studies concerning women , feminity , their gender roles and politics, and feminism , Men's studies concerning men , masculinity , their gender roles , and politics , and LGBT studies.

These disciplines study gender and sexuality in the fields of literature and language, history , political science , sociology , anthropology , cinema and media studies , human development, law, and medicine. Many of the more complicated human behaviors are influenced by both innate factors and by environmental ones, which include everything from genes, gene expression, and body chemistry, through diet and social pressures.

A large area of research in behavioral psychology collates evidence in an effort to discover correlations between behavior and various possible antecedents such as genetics, gene regulation, access to food and vitamins, culture, gender, hormones, physical and social development, and physical and social environments. A core research area within sociology is the way human behavior operates on itself , in other words, how the behavior of one group or individual influences the behavior of other groups or individuals.

Starting in the late 20th century, the feminist movement has contributed extensive study of gender and theories about it, notably within sociology but not restricted to it. Social theorists have sought to determine the specific nature of gender in relation to biological sex and sexuality, [ citation needed ] with the result being that culturally established gender and sex have become interchangeable identifications that signify the allocation of a specific 'biological' sex within a categorical gender.

Contemporary socialisation theory proposes the notion that when a child is first born it has a biological sex but no social gender. Some believe society is constructed in a way that splits gender into a dichotomy via social organisations that constantly invent and reproduce cultural images of gender. Joan Acker believes gendering occurs in at least five different interacting social processes: Looking at gender through a Foucauldian lens, gender is transfigured into a vehicle for the social division of power.

Gender difference is merely a construct of society used to enforce the distinctions made between what is assumed to be female and male, and allow for the domination of masculinity over femininity through the attribution of specific gender-related characteristics.

Gender conventions play a large role in attributing masculine and feminine characteristics to a fundamental biological sex. These traits provide the foundations for the creation of hegemonic gender difference. It follows then, that gender can be assumed as the acquisition and internalisation of social norms. Butler argues that gender is not an expression of what one is, but rather something that one does.

Contemporary sociological reference to male and female gender roles typically uses masculinities and femininities in the plural rather than singular, suggesting diversity both within cultures as well as across them.

The difference between the sociological and popular definitions of gender involve a different dichotomy and focus.

For example, the sociological approach to "gender" social roles: However the popular sexual self-conception approach self-conception: There is then, in relation to definition of and approaches to "gender", a tension between historic feminist sociology and contemporary homosexual sociology. A person's sex as male or female has legal significance—sex is indicated on government documents, and laws provide differently for men and women.

Many pension systems have different retirement ages for men or women. Marriage is usually only available to opposite-sex couples; in some countries and jurisdictions there are same-sex marriage laws. The question then arises as to what legally determines whether someone is female or male. In most cases this can appear obvious, but the matter is complicated for intersex or transgender people.

Different jurisdictions have adopted different answers to this question. Almost all countries permit changes of legal gender status in cases of intersexualism, when the gender assignment made at birth is determined upon further investigation to be biologically inaccurate—technically, however, this is not a change of status per se.

Rather, it is recognition of a status deemed to exist but unknown from birth. Increasingly, jurisdictions also provide a procedure for changes of legal gender for transgender people. Gender assignment , when there are indications that genital sex might not be decisive in a particular case, is normally not defined by a single definition, but by a combination of conditions, including chromosomes and gonads.

Thus, for example, in many jurisdictions a person with XY chromosomes but female gonads could be recognized as female at birth. The ability to change legal gender for transgender people in particular has given rise to the phenomena in some jurisdictions of the same person having different genders for the purposes of different areas of the law.

For example, in Australia prior to the Re Kevin decisions, transsexual people could be recognized as having the genders they identified with under many areas of the law, including social security law, but not for the law of marriage.

Thus, for a period, it was possible for the same person to have two different genders under Australian law. It is also possible in federal systems for the same person to have one gender under state law and a different gender under federal law.

For intersex people, who according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights , "do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies", [] access to any form of identification document with a gender marker may be an issue. Some countries now legally recognize non-binary or third genders, including Canada , Germany , Australia , and India.

Natural languages often make gender distinctions. These may be of various kinds, more or less loosely associated by analogy with various actual or perceived differences between men and women. Some grammatical gender systems go beyond, or ignore, the masculine-feminine distinction.

Historically, science has been portrayed as a masculine pursuit in which women have faced significant barriers to participate. This topic includes internal and external religious issues such as gender of God and deities creation myths about human gender, roles and rights for instance, leadership roles especially ordination of women , sex segregation , gender equality, marriage, abortion, homosexuality.

They believe that the difference in religiosity between genders is due to biological differences, for instance usually people seeking security in life are more religious, and as men are considered to be greater risk takers than women, they are less religious. Although religious fanaticism is more often seen in men than women. In Taoism , yin and yang are considered feminine and masculine, respectively. The Taijitu and concept of the Zhou period reach into family and gender relations.

Yin is female and yang is male. They fit together as two parts of a whole. The male principle was equated with the sun: Male toughness was balanced by female gentleness, male action and initiative by female endurance and need for completion, and male leadership by female supportiveness. In Judaism , God is traditionally described in the masculine, but in the mystical tradition of the Kabbalah , the Shekhinah represents the feminine aspect of God's essence.

However, Judaism traditionally holds that God is completely non-corporeal, and thus neither male nor female. Conceptions of the gender of God notwithstanding, traditional Judaism places a strong emphasis on individuals following Judaism's traditional gender roles, though many modern denominations of Judaism strive for greater egalitarianism.

As well, traditional Jewish culture dictates that there are six genders. In Christianity , God is traditionally described in masculine terms and the Church has historically been described in feminine terms.

On the other hand, Christian theology in many churches distinguishes between the masculine images used of God Father, King, God the Son and the reality they signify, which transcends gender, embodies all the virtues of both men and women perfectly, which may be seen through the doctrine of Imago Dei. In the New Testament , Jesus at several times mentions with the masculine pronoun i. Hence, the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit i.

Trinity are all mentioned with the masculine pronoun; though the exact meaning of the masculinity of the Christian triune God is contended. Here Shiva manifests himself so that the left half is Female and the right half is Male.

The left represents Shakti energy, power in the form of Goddess Parvati otherwise his consort and the right half Shiva. Whereas Parvati is the cause of arousal of Kama desires , Shiva is the killer. Shiva is pervaded by the power of Parvati and Parvati is pervaded by the power of Shiva.

While the stone images may seem to represent a half-male and half-female God, the true symbolic representation is of a being the whole of which is Shiva and the whole of which is Shakti at the same time. It is a 3-D representation of only shakti from one angle and only Shiva from the other. Shiva and Shakti are hence the same being representing a collective of Jnana knowledge and Kriya activity. Adi Shankaracharya, the founder of non-dualistic philosophy Advaita—"not two" in Hindu thought says in his "Saundaryalahari"— Shivah Shaktayaa yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum na che devum devona khalu kushalah spanditam api " i.

In the absence of Shakti, He is not even able to stir. In fact, the term "Shiva" originated from "Shva," which implies a dead body. It is only through his inherent shakti that Shiva realizes his true nature.

This mythology projects the inherent view in ancient Hinduism, that each human carries within himself both female and male components, which are forces rather than sexes, and it is the harmony between the creative and the annihilative, the strong and the soft, the proactive and the passive, that makes a true person.

Such thought, leave alone entail gender equality, in fact obliterates any material distinction between the male and female altogether.

This may explain why in ancient India we find evidence of homosexuality, bisexuality, androgyny, multiple sex partners and open representation of sexual pleasures in artworks like the Khajuraho temples, being accepted within prevalent social frameworks. Recently, North American Native Americans and First Nations have adopted the term Two-Spirit to refer to the mosaic of different genders cross-culturally. Gender inequality is most common in women dealing with poverty.

Many women must shoulder all the responsibility of the household because they must take care of the family. Oftentimes this may include tasks such as tilling land, grinding grain, carrying water and cooking. Pearce coined the term feminization of poverty to describe the problem of women having higher rates of poverty. Gender and Development GAD is a holistic approach to give aid to countries where gender inequality has a great effect of not improving the social and economic development.

It is a program focused on the gender development of women to empower them and decrease the level of inequality between men and women. According to general strain theory , studies suggest that gender differences between individuals can lead to externalized anger that may result in violent outbursts. On the other end of the spectrum, men are less concerned with damaging relationships and more focused on using anger as a means of affirming their masculinity. Gender, and particularly the role of women is widely recognized as vitally important to international development issues.

In modern times, the study of gender and development has become a broad field that involves politicians, economists, and human rights activists.

Gender and Development, unlike previous theories concerning women in development, includes a broader view of the effects of development on gender including economic, political, and social issues.

The theory takes a holistic approach to development and its effects on women and recognizes the negative effects gender blind development policies have had on women. Prior to , it was believed that development affected men and women in the same way and no gendered perspective existed for development studies. However, the s saw a transformation in development theory that sought to incorporate women into existing development paradigms. Boserup argued that women were marginalized in the modernization process and practices of growth, development, and development policy threatened to actually make women worse off.

The primary goal of WID was to include women into existing development initiatives, since it was argued that women were marginalized and excluded from the benefits of development.

In fact, women were tied to domestic work hence were almost invisible in development programs. Some feminists [ who? At their most fundamental, GAD perspectives link the social relations of production with the social relations of reproduction — exploring why and how women and men are assigned to different roles and responsibilities in society, how these dynamics are reflected in social, economic, and political theories and institutions, and how these relationships affect development policy effectiveness.

According to proponents of GAD, women are cast not as passive recipients of development aid, but rather as active agents of change whose empowerment should be a central goal of development policy. In contemporary times, most literature and institutions that are concerned with women's role in development incorporate a GAD perspective, with the United Nations taking the lead of mainstreaming the GAD approach through its system and development policies.

Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have highlighted that policy dialogue on the Millennium Development Goals needs to recognize that the gender dynamics of power, poverty, vulnerability and care link all the goals.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration signed at the United Nations Millennium Summit in including eight goals that were to be reached by , and although it would be a difficult task to reach them, all of them could be monitored.

The eight goals are:. The MDGs have three goals specifically focused on women: Gender equality is also strongly linked to education. The Dakar Framework for Action set out ambitious goals: MDG Goal 3 does not comprise a reference to learner achievement and good quality basic education, but goes beyond the school level.

Educated mothers are more likely to send their children to school. Some organizations working in developing countries and in the development field have incorporated advocacy and empowerment for women into their work. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO adopted a year strategic framework in November that includes the strategic objective of gender equity in access to resources, goods, services and decision-making in rural areas, and mainstreams gender equity in all FAO's programs for agriculture and rural development.

The Gender-related Development Index GDI , developed by the United Nations, aims to show the inequalities between men and women in the following areas: Gender is a topic of increasing concern within climate change policy and science. Furthermore, the intersection of climate change and gender raises questions regarding the complex and intersecting power relations arising from it.

These differences, however, are mostly not due to biological or physical differences, but are formed by the social, institutional and legal context. Subsequently, vulnerability is less an intrinsic feature of women and girls but rather a product of their marginalization. This is reflected in the fact that discourses of and negotiations over climate change are mostly dominated by men.

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