Friday Fun Quiz #1

‘Ladies, please cross your legs. All right folks, now that the gates of Hell are closed, I can begin my sermon.’


TRUE: Preacher in Idaho, 1920

For centuries, Christian churches believed that sexual intercourse was designed for procreation and procreation alone. Sex was ‘contrary to natural law’ and therefore sinful. In England, during the 12th and 13th centuries, the dirty deed was declared illegal on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, as well as for 40 days before Easter and Christmas.

Outlandish belief systems are not only found in the past: as recently as 1996, British women could take out insurance against fertilization by extraterrestrial beings. Encouraged by the interest shown (more than 300 women signed up during the first week), the insurance company extended the cover to ‘virgin conception by an act of God’. Even today, some inhabitants of rural Mwanza, Tanzania, claim that HIV/AIDS, like many other illnesses, is caused by bad luck, witchcraft, ancestral spirits or infected condoms supplied by white people.

We need to recognise that our sexuality and behaviour and the way we think about our bodies are deeply embedded in the customs that our cultural setting represents.

Perhaps time to re-evaluate?

Image: Pablo Picasso, The Dream
License: Maritza Breitenbach


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