Unwin sex and culture pdf

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unwin sex and culture pdf

Sex and Culture by J.D. Unwin

In Sex and Culture (1934), the ethnologist and social anthropologist J. D. Unwin studied 80 primitive tribes and 6 known civilizations through 5,000 years of history and found a positive correlation between the cultural achievement of a people and the sexual restraint they observe. Sex and Culture is a work of the highest importance, Aldous Huxley wrote; Unwins conclusions, which are based upon an enormous wealth of carefully sifted evidence, may be summed up as follows. All human societies are in one or another of four cultural conditions: zoistic, manistic, deistic, rationalistic. Of these societies the zoistic displays the least amount of mental and social energy, the rationalistic the most. Investigation shows that the societies exhibiting the least amount of energy are those where pre-nuptial continence is not imposed and where the opportunities for sexual indulgence after marriage are greatest. The cultural condition of a society rises in exact proportion as it imposes pre-nuptial and post-nuptial restraints upon sexual opportunity.

According to Unwin, after a nation becomes prosperous it becomes increasingly liberal with regard to sexual morality and as a result loses it cohesion, its impetus and its purpose. The process, says the author, is irreversible:
The whole of human history does not contain a single instance of a group becoming civilized unless it has been absolutely monogamous, nor is there any example of a group retaining its culture after it has adopted less rigorous customs.
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Published 22.06.2019
Primitive societies, Sexual ethics, Sex, Culture. London: Oxford university press, H. Milford. wcsexology; wellcomelibrary; ukmhl; medicalheritagelibrary; europeanlibraries.
J.D. Unwin

Sex and Culture

If we make a god of sexuality, that god will fail in ways that affect the whole person and perhaps the whole society. While much of the media is buzzing about a new survey on sex in America, I'm still thinking about a book, "Sex and Culture," published in I discovered it in the windowless warrens of a large university library, and I felt like an archaeologist must feel unearthing an artifact from the catacombs. Seeking to test the Freudian notion that civilization is a byproduct of repressed sexuality, the scholar J. Unwin studied 86 different societies. His findings startled many scholars - above all, Unwin himself - because all 86 demonstrated a direct tie between monogamy and the "expansive energy" of civilization. Unwin had no Christian convictions and applied no moral judgment: "I offer no opinion about rightness or wrongness.

Sex and Culture by J. Publisher : Oxford University Press Number of pages : Description : I discuss eighty uncivilized societies, and from the nature of their cultural behaviour make my first induction. Whenever our knowledge is complete, we find that in any vigorous society the method of regulating the relations between the sexes was constantly changing; and, unless there is direct evidence, it is wrong to assume that in any such society social laws were ever static and unchanging, even for three generations. Home page url. Download or read it online for free here: Download link multiple formats.

Price 7 s. Those who are easily intimidated by the sheer weight of statistical enumeration will at once succumb to the thesis of this book—that in human society there is a positive correlation between the degree of sexual restraint and the height of culture. The critical reader may indeed observe that the conclusion is somewhat wider than the premise. Unwin measures the degree of sexual restraint in any society by the pre-nuptial chastity of its marriageable girls p. Thus the actual, as opposed to the inferential, result of his statistical research would seem to be that men are religious in those societies in which their unmarried daughters are either prostitutes or chaste. Unwin bridges the gap between this premise and his conclusion by assuming some degree of chastity in women to be symptomatic of chastity in general and temple building, priestcraft, etc. Those of us who believe that there can be no sublimation without repression will, at least partially, concede his point.

The Lost Sex Study

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Unwin should have looked further afield. The book gets criticized for not including the Cheyenne and others that had prohibition of pre-nuptial sex, yet didn't reach the status of a temple building civilization. That's at least one fly in the ointment. It is an interesting topic, and someone should check the real truth behind it. It's easy to throw apples that are not red out of a basket, and then say, look all apples are red.

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