History of sex in early America
Discussion Questions: Use the following questions below to analyze the main ideas and themes expressed in the reading. You are not required to answer all of these questions in your response, instead you should use them as a guide to construct your analysis. The reading can be found in the “Course Readings” folder under the “Content tab” (top of D2L page).
Q: How did European political and religious traditions, born out of the Protestant Reformation, influence ideas about sexuality and sexual relations in the North American colonies? (pg 4)
Q: The colonists established clear divisions between lust and affection: How did the promotion of sex as affection strengthen the family? Why were even husbands and wives discouraged from engaging in lustful sex? Why were informal “sexual contracts”’ important for maintaining healthy marriages? (4-5)
Q: Why were women punished more harshly than men for pre-marital or extramarital sexual relations? (pg 5)
Q: How were Native Americans sexual practices different from Europeans? Why did European settlers find these practices problematic? How did Native Americans defend their sexual practices and critique European ideas about sex, family, and sexuality? (pg 7-8) Why might a more liberal sexual environment and culture produce less sexual violence than a more strict and rigid sexual environment?
Q: How did geography and settlement areas affect sexual practices in New England and Virginia?