Lecture 1- What is sex?
This lecture is really an intro to the course. It defines the act of sex as the “exchanging of genetic data by two organisms for procreation.” This lecture also challenges our ways of thinking about sex as more than just an act of procreation, but also as an act with social, political, mental, and personal complications. From strictly an evolutionary perspective, the goal of our genes is to have as many babies as possible, through the act of sex. This lecture tells us sex has never just been about babies (although they do allow for a kind of immortality and free labor) but also has to do with culture.
Lecture 2- Fertility Tech
This lecture begins to transcend into the discussion of sex and technology. Technology comes from the greek word techne, which means “Knowledge around a way of doing something.” This lecture also discusses the early forms of sex tech, specifically fertility control through herbs, abstinence through calendar manipulation (also known as the rhythm method introduced by St. Augustine, 4th Century), and acupuncture. This lecture also discusses the economic effects on fertility, such as the requirement of money to support a child.
culture was fluid and open. Homosexual relationships with young boys were considered fine in Gre
Lecture 3- Why do we do it?
This lecture clarifies the argument, that even in ancient times sex was not always for procreation. Early times were less hung up on sex. After human environments began to become heavily agricultural, sex did undergo a change that saw sex as something that should be controlled, or even saved for marriage. Still, sex in ancient times was still used much like it is today, for pleasure. Condoms made of animal bladders, women using primitive forms of lipstick, and all types of masterbation and group sex demonstrate that in regards to the act of sex itself, not much has changed. Sex in modern and ancient times was/is performed for pleasure, for ritualistic cultural purposes, for money, power, and even in situations where it was/is forced.
Lecture 4- The Classical World
This lecture discusses sex in the classical world. It talks about sex in ancient China, Greece, the Pacific Islands, and more specifically how sexual cultures are viewed abroad. Sexual practises across these different places were not shared, especially the tech that was used for sex. For example, in 800-B.C China, sex manuals were popular for men AND women, yet, in Greece sex was considered a more male centered-power act, in which the penetrator had the power. In Iran, sex was more strictly controlled, versus India and China where the sexual ece, as young boys didnt yet have the “power.”
Lecture 5- World religions and Sex
Religions that came out of the Classical Period, sought to control sex. Into the Middle Ages, the main religions all agreed sex needed to be controlled, and saved for marriage (save the Hindus, they didn’t have the same kind of restrictions). Paul really started the move towards Church control of Sex (1st Corinthians), but his views were skewed by a belief armageddon was coming within a few years. The Christian churches’ belief in sexual control stems from Christ’s obvious display of a lack of sexuality (some argue Christ had kids. In other religions such as Buddhism, monks also abstained from sex( before priests did). When settlers came to the New World, they viewed Native American men as feminine and weak for their dress and homosexual acceptance, and the women as objects of great sexual passion for their open sexuality. Yet, before world religions became overarching, religion and sex was intermixed ( in Hellenistic Greece, Syria and Babylon, India, and Nepal, temple prostitutes were used). Even cults (such as the Oneida Commune) sex was controlled with communal control over fertility and children, yet, sex was free and open. So, is religion considered a technology? The answer is basically, yes....
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