For along period of time human sexuality has been a challenging topic to address for most of the governmental authorities all over the world without an exception to the western countries. Human Sexuality refers to the composite assortment of the entire biological reactions, psychological implication and the cultural overlays on issues that surrounds the sexual behavior in the human race (West 1977: 132-36). These sexual behavioral issues have been subjected to an extensive scientific research and study in the recent time by the sociologists, who are trying to find the relationship of these issues to the well-being or lifestyles in a given society (Department of Health, 2005). Since Sexuality is an erotic stimulation which is learnt from the society, research has shown that in a gynecological assessment there should not be any erotic stimulation to either the client or gynecologist and the partners therefore should not feel protective regarding this examinations. There is no cultural support for any occurrence of erotic arousal here, since it is only a feeling of guilt or qualms which should often come up. This therefore indicates that the taboos in many western societies against homosexuality and prostitution/sex work are results of attempts to establish and defend strong ethnic, religious and/or institutional boundaries within human population living in these areas (Christie, 1982: 1032).
The challenges which are faced by the society and parents currently in addressing the issues of sexual life, is lack of provision to young people of adequate preparation for adult life, predominantly concerning the description of human sexuality. For instance in the past despite the limited or lack of sexual education to the families, the general sexual culture was permeated through respect for basic values and thus protecting and maintaining them (Trujillo and Sgreccia, 1995). In what have been referred as the modern societies where the cultures and values have been sidelined in favor of civilization, the reject of traditional culture has deprived children the reliable and constructive guidance, as the parents are left not ready to give them satisfactory solutions to arising sexual problems (Christie, 1982: 1032). This new context has been made worse by information acquired in the mass media and other sources which are presenting amid of many results, exerts anxiety to reduce sex to something commonplace, and at times provide depersonalized, frivolous and often negative information on these issues.
Human sexuality and Behaviors in Western Societies
The modern societies especially those in the western world where these sexual behaviors are highly witnessed, are finding ways of addressing these issues in a more scientific way by the sociologists. This has led to the call of all the organizations in the community for instance the church, schools, and other stakeholders; finding ways of involving themselves in this issue of social importance (Suggs and Marshall, 1971: 229-31). For example in a school setting, availability of sex education and programs is being carried out and this has taken the stage which is meant for the family basically to provide the necessary information to the people. This is targeting at passing out the information of the strong taboos against such sexual behavior homosexuality and prostitution among other vices which their origin is not clearly established. It is because of the fact that studies have shown that there can not be a general biological or a psychological origin in most of the societies with less strong taboos against negative sexual behaviors in the society or are deficient of them altogether (Carstairs 1964, pp. 419-33). Many Catholic parents in these instances turn their responsibilities to the Church for the undertaking of their task of providing leadership and any of relevant advices regarding educating their children, particularly at the ages of early development and teenager.
Despite the fact that the taboos are perceived by religious and military leaders as a threat to crucial social boundaries, an extensive information obtained from many of organizations and societies in the Western regions through the past events have indicated that, the source and persistence of these forms of discredited behaviors in the sexual life of people is change in lifestyles (West, 1960: 64-65, 70-72). Several mechanisms have been adapted in the aim of finding ways of getting rid off these taboos and for instance punishing the homosexuals and other sexual deviants as one of the means of reinforcing characteristic personality of a group through its boundaries and even between different groups who co-exists in a given community. This is shown by the early examples of cases of sexual behavior change that occurred in the Old Testament, within the Judeo-Christian tradition on which European and American cultures are based (Williams, 1974: 17-18).
In the religious point of view, biblical texts have clearly talked against most of these taboos such as homosexuality and bestiality as indicated in the book of Leviticus. For instance the bible says that, “a man who has sexual intercourse with another man as with a woman, they both commit an abomination and they shall be put to death; their blood shall be on their heads [Lev. 20: 13-14]. This therefore shows that the purpose of taboos in the Jewish society is to preserve and strengthen the boundaries of a group and enable a population in retaining the characteristic identity when the conditions are not favorable in the community. It is now possible to identify clearly the reason to why these sex taboos are harshly treated in the scriptures and this is because they can easily break the boundaries between most fundamentals sexual categories of the human experience (Christie, 1982: 1033-1035).
On the other hand the punishments defined for the offenders for these sex taboos in the Judaism and Zoroastrianism toward homosexuality and related deviant sexual behaviors are significantly distinguished from the attitudes displayed in this other culture associated with another source of influence in rectification of these social behaviors in the western world, especially in the ancient Greece (Christie, 1982: 1038). They developed a reverse hypothesis to that of the Jews, in that they indicated that the boundaries in the people are ambiguous but yet not experiencing any threat and therefore found that there are no significant reasons from the development for the strong, fierce and consistent taboos against deviated sexual behaviors and thus punishment of the offenders (Bullough, 1976: 119). This led to the Greeks tolerating many of this kind of sexual activity so long as they didn’t endanger the existence of the family and therefore very few aspects of sex were ritually prohibited (Bullough, 1976: 119). This weak and inconsistence of the attitudes towards homosexuality and sexual deviations which also with time fluctuated in the community, led to the acceptance of homosexual interaction and this vice was approved and identified with certain prestigious social groups. This was because the society lacked major characteristic moral, social or religious boundaries as seen in the Jewish setting (Karlen, 1971: 26-38).
Similarly the preservation which were created by Jews being subjected to a punishment of being put into exile and away from their society due to their habits in terms of sexual behaviors deviation, has been one of the harsh and yet strangest circumstances in history. But at the same time, some relevant parallels have been identified to another group of people known as the Parsees also known as the Jews of India (Duschesne-Guillemin, 1961: 2). The report shows that these people moved away from their homeland in the Republic of Iran more than one thousand years ago for the reason that they can be able to save their religion (the Zoroaster teachings) from the Islamic religion by the then invading Arabians so as to live in exile (Kulke 1978: 13, 23-40). They then were able to gain their survival in the new environment through the same mechanisms as the Jews, which were by maintaining strict social boundaries between themselves and surrounding populations (Dhalla, 1914: 323-25, 367-69).
It is important also in the society to find the similarity between the priests seen in the early Jewish religion and the army soldiers, since they have shown similar development of boundaries between the different sexes in the military setting. In the western culture history it has been indicated that the only men were allowed to join soldiers and the clergy, something which have changed over a period of time (Tiger, 1968: 80-84). This shows that there are divisions between officers, non-commissioned officers and the privates, as it is in the priests, bishops and deacons are highly distinctive in most of the institutions in the western regions. For instance in the monasteries it has been shown that there are marked cleavages among abbot, lay brothers and choir monks (Davies, 1975: 178-82).
Alfonso Card. López Trujillo and Most Rev. Elio Sgreccia (1995), the Truth and Meaning of Sexual Humanity: Guidelines of Education within the Family, Pontifical Council for the Family, retrieved on May 4, 2009, from http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_08121995_human-sexuality_en.html#top
Anderson, J. K. (1970), Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press
Bailey, Derrick Sherwin (1971), Homosexuality and Western Christian Tradition, London: Longmans Green
Boswell, John (1980), Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Bullough, Vern L. (1976), Sexual Variance in the Society and History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Carstairs, Morris. (1964), Cultural differences in Sexual Deviation: the Pathology and Treatment of Sexual Deviation, edited by Ismond Rosen. London: Oxford University Press
Coleman, Peter (1980), Christian Attitudes to Homosexuality, London: SPCK
Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji (1914), Zoroastrian Theology, New York: AMS
Davies Christie (1982), Sexual Taboos and Social Boundaries: Human Sexuality, University of Reading, retrieved on May 4, 2009, from http://eres.sfsu.edu/eres/docs/27009/hmsx_400_f07_f15.pdf
Davies Christie (1975), Permissive Britain, Social change in the Sixties and Seventies. London: Pitman
Department of Health (2005), Sexual Behavior Information for students: Human Sexuality, Sexually Transmitted Diseases Services-Internal Medicine Service, Royal Adelaide Hospital, 275 North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000, Australia, retrieved on May 4, 2009, from http://www.stdservices.on.net/std/social_aspects/behaviour.htm
Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques (1961), Symbols and Values of Zoroastrianism, New York: Harper and Row
Grant Michael (1973), the Jews in the Roman World, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson
Suggs, Robert C., and Donald S. Marshall (1971), Anthropological Perspective on Human Sexual Behaviors: Variations in Ethnographic Spectrum, Human Sexual Behaviors, edited by Donald S. Marshall and Robert C. Suggs. New York: Basic
Tiger, Lionel (1968), Men in Groups, London: Nelson
Karlen, Arno (1971), Sexuality and Homosexuality, London: Macdonald
Kulke, Eckechard (1978), the Parsees in India; a Minority as Agent of Social Change, New Delhi: Vikas
Weinburg, M.S. and Williams C. J. (1974), Male Homosexuals: their Problems and Adaptations, New York: Oxford University Press
West, D. J (1977), Homosexuality Re-examined, London: Duckworth
West, D. J (1960), Homosexuality: London, Penguin