Evolution of Female Sexuality
The concept of female sexuality has been a near clandestine one that was rarely given the attention it deserves. It is imperative to acknowledge that this subject has been very dynamic yet greatly ignored in the past centuries. Sexuality was predominantly a pertinent issue to the male species and only subject to their opinion. However, this approach changed in the 19th century and women were proactively involved in an issue that is inherently of their concern
In a space of three centuries between; the 16th to the 19th century, female sexuality was viewed through the lens of a patriarchal society. The views this society posited were majorly two; a pious and a medical one. The religious perspective was that of anything sexual whether male or female was holistically a moral issue. In the same vein, females were expected to engage in a heterosexual relationship which was categorically restricted to marriage. The church was also clear on the genitalia and prohibited sexual practices that were against the grain of what it subscribes to spiritually. This specifically castigated anal sex between married couples. Copulation was perceived as a noble act that was in line with adhering to God’s command of procreation. It was therefore a sacred gift that deserved to be treated with uttermost respect and appreciation. In terms of superiority, the female was inferior to her male counterpart in sexual matters (Mikulas & Porter, 79).
From the medical perspective, it was an oppressive time for women who were marginalized by the males who dominated the medical profession. The females were practically prohibited from accessing information pertaining to their anatomy of their genitalia. This could be exemplified by restricted access to diagrams of their own reproductive system in the medical literature. Medical practitioners were reluctant to furnish females with information concerning their sexuality. They therefore were expected to undergo treatment without making any inquisitions (Mikulas & Porter, 80).
The nexus of the era that followed was giving precedence to the pertinence of virginity. This was during the Victorian age. During this era, indiscriminate sexual practices which were viewed as illicit practices were vehemently castigated by the people of that era. This era created two extremes that were clearly demarcated based on the characteristics a female will exhibit. Since the males were fully in charge of female sexuality, they formulated a dichotomy; Madonna-whore. These are some of the draconian rules that were instituted by men hence a woman was said to fall in only one of the two extremes. Women showed limited flesh on their bodies. They were covered up in clothes that rarely showed their curvaceous figures. They mainly wore hats, long-sleeved blouses and a dress that merely showed their ankles (Mikulas & Porter, 87).
In the mid 20th century, was the period for the inception of the revolution of female sexuality. This was a volatile period when the austere members of the society witnessed the flouting of several taboos. The unprecedented happened when people whetted their appetites for knowledge concerning female sexuality. It was at this time when groundbreaking and unorthodox experiments were done. In 1966, two scientists Johnson and his partner Masters made a brave move to study female sexuality. They did this by observing the process and nature of a female orgasm under laboratory conditions. This was just but the beginning of a wave of changes that was set to be witnessed in the wake of the new era (Hite, 56).
The 20th century had ushered in dramatic changes in female sexuality. Women had more bargaining power in sexual matters. It was now possible for a woman to express interest in a desired mate. She was at liberty to initiate contact and even propose a date with a man. Women were able to dress in attire they deemed suitable to appeal to a potential suitor. They were therefore at liberty to invest in apparels that elicit erotic feeling in their male counterparts (Rhawn, 16).
Female sexual evolution has reached a point at which virginity was no longer extolled. This is because medical procedures can be used to restore virginity through plastic surgery. This evolution has invoked interest in the sexuality of females creating several aesthetic procedures. Through plastic surgery, women can have silicone-enhanced breasts, derrière and labia reduction surgery. They are at liberty to choose anything that will make them appealing to the males as well as comfortable. Labia surgery makes female who were experiencing pains during coitus to become normal since the labia section is surgically reduced to the normal size (Elseiver, 177).
Another unorthodox change in the evolution process is the sexual practice involving women. Practices that were highly prohibited such as lesbianism are now accepted. Therefore, a woman can decide to be straight, bisexual or lesbian with guaranteed protection from the law. This makes women who are only attracted to their female counterparts satisfied individuals who do not need to conform to the archaic dogmatic norms of the society. Furthermore, there is the accessibility of sex toys such as vibrators. The advent of adult toy stores was witnessed in the 20th century. The freedom with which females are allowed to exploit their sexuality may be said to have reached its zenith (Thornhill & Gangestead, 31).
In the 20th century, dating is a stark contrast to the archaic mode of courtship. This new method involves the free will of consenting individuals to indulge in activities bordering on courtship. The converse of this was an arranged marriage between a woman and a man in the 16th century. The woman had absolutely no say and she would be forced to pair up with a partner she is not interested in. In addition to this, women are not restricted to the age at which they decide to marry. Females are now therefore allowed to pursue their careers or education to the point of self actualization. Marriage is viewed as a big decision especially on the woman’s side that should be made with a lot of sobriety (Vance, 40).
Menstruation has been approached from a medical perspective. This has been fully embraced as part of the female sexuality by either sexes. The subject is a topic of discussion in many places without ant shame or fear. In the previous centuries, it was a taboo to be talked about and the phenomenon was thought to be a sign of impurity. The invention and use of sanitary towels is a gesture of embracing it as part of the female sexuality (Thornhill & Gangestead, 40).
Pornography is also part of the evolution of female sexuality. This is an aspect of sexuality of women that seems to demean the whole process of liberation of women. It is a retrogressive practice since women are portrayed as objects of pleasure. Some of the scenes in such videos show a woman resisting rape ending up enjoying the intercourse. This is a grossly erroneous depiction of women. However, the positive aspect of pornography is the educative type. This type of pornography such as the Indian Kamasutra, assists in increasing sexual pleasure for the woman during coitus when she learns the suitable sexual positions. This is the only positive aspect of pornography as part of the evolution of female sexuality in the 20th century (Vance, 48).
The legalization of prostitution is a contentious part of sexual evolution of the females. It is a misconstrued perception of the role females in sex by its commercialization. Legislations that have seen the formation of Prostitution Unions and the labor laws protecting them have been part of the 20th century evolutionally steps in female sexuality (Elseiver, 178).
In the 21st century, the evolution of sexuality has reached it acme. All that is to have been discovered seems to have been exhausted. The only thing left is the modification of existent practices that accompanied the evolution. It is during this period that a myriad of cases of transsexual individuals have been witnessed. There have also been cases of pregnant males coming to the public. This is a demonstration of the appreciation of female sexuality by men to the point of taking such bold steps. Finally, abortion has been legalized in many countries in the West. This is part of sexual evolution in the 20th and 21st centuries. This is due to people recognizing circumstances that would ethically and morally warrant abortion. Pregnancy under certain circumstances may be counterproductive unlike the old perception of it being strictly for reproductive purposes (Elseiver, 175).
It is beyond a shred of doubt that females have reached the peak of the process of evolution of their sexuality. The thesis statement is correct given a chronological breakdown of the events over a span of centuries that have lead to their status quo at this point in time.
The ubiquity of material concerning women sexuality is a demonstration of the evolution of their sexuality to a liberal one. Access to a cornucopia of information regarding female sexuality has unequivocally empowered women. This broad spectrum of information has facilitated their achievement of self gratification in pursuit of sexual pleasure. They are no longer objects of pleasure. In lieu of that, women can freely learn the avenues through which they can attain female orgasm. Some harmless practices of self gratification such as masturbation can be freely undertaken. This freedom has elevated women to a platform that makes the equal partners with men in sexual matters (Rhawn, 15).
The evolution of female sexuality has also lead to the commercialization of sex. This has a detrimental effect to moral and ethical standards that preexisted. The decay in moral standards has lead to the banality of evil in terms of infidelity and promiscuity. The downside of this point of female sexuality is the increased chances in infection of sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy, breaking of marriages and socioeconomic pressures that come with them (Vance, 52).