Ancient Greek Sexuality And Gender Roles In Modern Society

2071 Words9 Pages

Ancient Greek sexuality and gender roles and their place in society were very different from what is considered the societal norm today. Society, law and democracy focused on the adult male citizen [Source 9], with mainstream sexuality being defined as his active pursuit of a partner of lower social status than himself who was expected to be passive in both the courtship and the sex act itself [Source 2][Source 6][Source 10]. This partner could be a woman, an adolescent boy, or slaves of either gender.
It should probably be pointed out at this point that, while much has been written on “Greek homosexuality,” the Ancient Greeks themselves would not have seen it as such, as such definitions only really came into usage relatively recently [Source 4]. The Ancient Greeks had no concept of “gay” as we would understand it, as equally no concept of “straight.” They viewed sex in terms of phalluses, of active and passive: something that was done to somebody, rather than with them [Source 2][Source 6][Source 9]. While an adult male was expected to sexually pursue both women and boys [Source 4][Source 9], a grown man who preferred a passive role would have been stereotyped as effeminate and ridiculed [Source 2][Source 4]. Marriages were usually for political or monetary reasons rather than love, so most romantic bonds were between two men [Source 9].
Another thing that separates the Ancient Greeks from the norms, values and definitions of today is that they attached no shame to sex

Open Document