Guido Ruggiero's the Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice

Topics: Human sexual behavior, Human sexuality, Sexual intercourse Pages: 4 (1551 words) Published: April 12, 2005
Unfortunately, in today's society, sexual promiscuity and perversion is rampant. From the sexual revolution of the 1960s till today's modern age, sex has been seen as a liberating source for some and a cause of scandal for others. But we can all agree that sex can be seen everywhere from TV, to movies, to the internet. One might think that in the early centuries, such disregard for the privacy and dignity of the sexual act never existed. But as we can see in Ruggiero's The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice, historical facts beg to differ. By using criminal records, he takes us into a world that, although it is many centuries long ago, is much like today's society in their way of committing sexual crimes and sexual behavior. In my opinion, Ruggiero does not set out to make a vast study as to the reason why they behaved this way. For that type of analysis, I suggest one should read Dr. Alfred Kinsey's works on that subject. The main point that Ruggiero wants to convey is the reaction of the people and the government during that period to such acts. This paper will set out to review each section of Ruggiero's studies and simply convey the subject or point that each section brings up. In the first section, The Sexual Environment of Renaissance Venice, Ruggiero begins by explaining how one is able to develop a picture of how sexuality was during the Renaissance. Through the use of demographic records such as birth patterns, illegitimacy rates, male-female ratios, age at marriage, age differential in marriage, etc, Ruggiero is able to achieve this. The records of actual sex crimes that occurred in Venice can also give a clue as to what was the sexual mindset at the time. He goes on to explain why such records were kept, since sexual deviants or violators in that period were punished severely for their crimes. The following quote explains as to why such laws and mandates were executed in Venice at the time: "For the...
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