So much goes into a person’s decision to have sex, and that decision is often influenced by religion, culture and country. Sex is personal and is nearly always influenced by the worldview of its practitioners.
Before looking at how other societies view sexuality, it is important to understand our own culture. Western countries tend to be more exposed to and accepting of liberal views on sexuality, and the U.S. in particular regards sex openly.
While this is true today, mainstream American culture has not always been so liberal.
Malkia Hutchinson, program coordinator of the Women and Gender Resource Center, said ideas on sex and sexuality are complex in American history.
“We can say they really began to change during the second wave of feminism in the 1960s-1970s, but even then not all men and women are held equal under those changing norms,” Hutchinson said. “That time period also saw the rise of the Gay Liberation movement which helped to make visible the lives of LGBT individuals.”
While American sexuality was heightened, other cultures held to their traditional and societal views on sex.
According to an article, “5 Surprising Ways Sexy Time is Practiced Around the World,” one Nigerian Tribe, the Wodaabe men, have been known to steal wives from one another. In other words, infidelity is seen as If the couple is able to avoid detection from the current husband, they become recognized by their peers and enter into a de facto common law marriage, known as a “love marriage.”
“In India — and in Indian households in general — sex just isn’t a thing that’s talked about or even acknowledged,” said pre-business freshman Sakshi Multani, an Indian-American student. “There is a sort of unspoken expectation that you have to wait until marriage to have sex in accordance with religious and societal rules. This is very different from American culture, where sex is almost a rite of passage for most teenagers.”
Multani said religious views on sexuality in Indian culture are closely tied to their culture. This is true for other regions of the world as well.
Because there are differences between foreign and westernized ideas of sexuality, it would not be unwarranted to expect tension between those who hold different values in regards to sex.
“Adding in race and class complicate how much latitude and freedom individuals are allowed in expressing their sexuality,” Hutchinson said. “Ideally, (different groups) would (interact) with respect to the relative differences and beliefs each group adheres to.”
So no matter how you decide to have sex, make sure to respect your partner and the billions of people who are doing it.