10 prejudices related to sex that our ancestors believed in
Categories: HistoryBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/10-prejudices-related-to-sex-that-our-ancestors-believed-in
No matter what they say, but sex occupies a significant place in a person's life. It is not surprising that a whole layer of culture is connected with the sexual issue, including many myths and misconceptions. Some of them are so absurd that one can only wonder how our ancestors, having such naivety, managed to give birth to new generations.
As soon as people came up with gods for themselves, myths about children conceived by the celestials and other higher beings immediately appeared. Myths, legends, sculptures, mosaics and frescoes around the world present us with young demigods conceived from a parent who turned into a swan, bull, wind or rain.
Alexander the Great, the son of King Philip and his wife Olympias, had a tense relationship with his father all his life, since almost from childhood he told everyone that his father was none other than Zeus the Thunderer himself, who once appeared to his mother. Agree, such stories are unpleasant to hear to any normal man.
For many centuries, the birth of twins was considered something incredible and mystical. In some European countries, it was believed that one of the twins was the child of his parents, and the other was born of a deity. The husband, whose wife had the honor of such a double motherhood, had no right to be indignant, but had to thank fate for the honor rendered by the higher forces.
But for most peoples of Africa, twins, on the contrary, were considered a terrible disaster. In some places, one of the children was destroyed, and in some countries both were killed, often together with the mother. Ethnographer R. Harris described cases when men of some tribes independently removed one testicle, seriously believing that this would help avoid the birth of twins.
Oddly enough, but with the advent of Christianity, a barbaric attitude towards twins reigned in the Europe. The churchmen assured that a man is able to conceive only one child, and the birth of two or more babies at the same time is a sign that the mother has entered into a sexual relationship with several men.
It seemed that the role of a man in the conception of offspring was obvious to everyone, but it was not there. Ladies who claim that they did not have sexual relations with men, but at the same time conceived a child, lived at all times. In many ancient cultures, there are legends that a woman became pregnant from a tree, an animal, a bird or the wind.
What can we say about antiquity, if in the 30s of the 20th century the ethnographer R. Graves described the superstition of the Greek peasants, according to which a mare could give birth to a foal without an individual of the opposite sex, conceiving a cub simply by successfully turning her tail against the north wind.
The chastity of the bride on the wedding night was not always a welcome phenomenon. Among many peoples, such as the ancient Semites and Arians, blood was considered the receptacle of the soul and contact with it was avoided at all costs. In order not to become a victim of evil forces and not to destroy her happiness at the very beginning of marriage, the virgin was taken to the priests. They solved the problem with the help of special bone or stone knives and a special ceremony.
Often, the girls who were planned to be married were brought to the appropriate state by a random traveler who wandered into the village in search of a bed for the night. Often the guy did not even imagine that along with a jug of milk and a place in a hospitable stable, he would also receive the company of a dozen young charmers. It also happened that the task of defloration was taken over by the tribal leader or a group of elders. The right of the first night is rooted in this ancient tradition.
In China, India, Persia, South America and Europe at different times there were almost identical beliefs that poisonous snakes could hide inside the female womb. In one of the ancient Chinese treatises there is such a description of a terrible incident that happened to an unsuspecting guy:
Isn't that terrible? Sometimes beautiful girls themselves turned into a poisonous creature at night in order to destroy their partner. In general, before cats, decorative dogs and ferrets came into fashion, ladies often kept snakes near them, which, unlike cats, could not only catch mice, but also keep too persistent admirers at a distance.
The fact that the male seed is a receptacle of vital energy has been believed for thousands of years and is still believed in some places. In China and some other countries of the Asian region, it is believed that frequent ejaculations deprive a man of energy and health and can lead to early aging and even death.
At the same time, women, receiving sperm, on the contrary, became healthier and more energetic. This was believed even in Europe, far from Taoism and the philosophy of "yin and yang". The Renaissance writer Boccaccio in his pamphlet "The Raven" described how ruddy beauties deprive their husbands of vitality. The writer warned men against communicating with skinny ladies, who immediately after marriage began to fill up with juices and blossom when their spouses, on the contrary, shrank and faded.
Today, science has reached the point that it is quite easy to "order" the sex of a child if you want. But it turns out that such technologies existed in ancient times, only the choice was made not with the help of the achievements of genetic engineering and hormone therapy, but with the help of spells and improvised means.
In the relatively enlightened Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries, many believed that it was possible to conceive a boy by painting the right testicle white, or by tying a white ribbon on the right thigh. These and many other ways to influence the sex of the offspring at conception were seriously discussed in English, German and Spanish medical books.
For a long time, until the beginning of the 20th century, it was believed that tantrums are peculiar exclusively to women and their causes are hidden in the uterus, maddened by the lack of sex. The problem was solved by medical procedures, during which various phallic devices were introduced into the woman's vagina, with the help of which a kind of massage was carried out.
Modern dildos are the direct heirs of quite serious medical devices, which aesculapians have used for centuries to treat ladies from tantrums and nervous breakdowns. Interestingly, the word "hysteria" itself comes from the Greek word hystera, that is, "uterus".
A barbaric and dangerous method of treating venereal diseases was practiced in the 17th and 18th centuries. At that time, syphilis was rampant in Europe, but no one guessed about the ways of its spread. But everyone clearly caught the connection between the "bad disease" and an immoral lifestyle, from which special methods of therapy came.
Syphilitic people were prescribed abstinence, and if it did not help, which is not surprising, then the doctor could prescribe a sexual relationship with a virgin. It was believed that the disease would not have a bad effect on the immaculate virgin, but the sick libertine would receive special pure emanations from the partner that could destroy the sinful disease.
In Europe, the 18th century became the age of Enlightenment and interest in science in society increased many times. Along with the scientific facts, a lot of nonsense was spread that would make even a resident of the Dark Middle Ages doubt. One of the most common myths of medicine has become stories about how women gave birth to kittens, rabbits, toads, or even incomprehensible creatures, such as "a human child with a monkey's head"instead of children.
Perhaps these stories were based on real observations of fetal malformations, or maybe professional jokes of old midwives. It should not be forgotten that even at the beginning of the 19th century, the doctor did not always follow the birth, entrusting even the most difficult cases to experienced old women. Doctors were above all this and limited their intervention to measuring the pulse, conducting bloodletting and stating death if something went wrong.