Do cultural norms overpower sexual attraction?

Sexual attraction is surely one of the strongest forces intrinsic to humans, but is it possible that the external force of cultural trends can suppress, or even eliminate it?

This is one of the tangents my year 12 class and I found ourselves on today during a discussion about themes of identity and family in a play we have recently seen.

We noted that, with the exception of a minority that feeds the pages of New Idea magazine, sexual attraction between consenting, adult family members, in Australia, is rare. We could be led to believe that this is because it is fundamentally immoral, but historically and cross-culturally this is not seen to be the case.

Marriage of first cousins is, in fact (and unbeknownst to me until today) legal in Australia, the UK and 19 states of America. It is however, highly stigmatized. My class and I noted that this cultural stigma is so powerful that if we were to meet and be attracted to someone, and later find out that they were actually our cousin, the attraction would immediately subside.

I found it interesting to read that the “practice of marrying your siblings is now archaic (not to mention extremely icky)” and I wondered where this ‘ickiness’ comes from.

Of course genetic concerns regarding procreation play a role in the social stigma, but I found it interesting to consider the idea that a person’s sexual attractions can be curbed or influenced by the trends of their culture.

 

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5 Things You Should Never Do At A Wedding

952993_71476958I’ve attended a lot of weddings. And you know those things that are supposed to be common sense, but aren’t? Well let’s just say, I’ve observed a lot of them.

1. Don’t be late. Punctuality is polite anywhere, but at a wedding it’s essential. If the invitation says the wedding starts at 1pm, that means you must be seated and ready for the bride to arrive at 1pm. If you are late, and the bride is already there, don’t stop to say hello. Hurry into the venue and hope she didn’t see you!

2. Do not take photos of the bride before the groom has seen her. If you are just a guest at the wedding, don’t sneak out the back to get a quick picture of the bride before she enters. There’s a photographer for that, and you sneaking a peek before she arrives at the top of the aisle is beyond rude.

3. Don’t sit at the front if you’re not family or very close. There is a seating hierarchy at weddings. Close people at the front, acquaintances at the back. If in doubt, sit further back.

4. Don’t wear a white dress. It’s the bride’s day for white, and this is a day when rocking up in the same outfit, or even colour, is not ok.

5. If you’re invited to the reception, do not come without a present. They are likely paying upwards of $80 to have you there. Not bringing a gift is very disrespectful.

Life Begins at … Singleness

1079363_26838634Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty: Life is pretty tough until you grow up and meet your prince charming and live happily ever after.

With a steady diet of classic fantasies, is it any wonder that countless girls grow up believing that life begins with the meeting of that perfect man?

While the Disney princesses may not have been forefront in my mind, it’s certainly the attitude I tended to have during my teen years. Romance, love and marriage were going to be a given for me. If I’d known I was going to be 28 and still single, I’d have died (in a teenage drama type way.)

I lead a fabulously rich single life, and I wouldn’t take any of it back, but isn’t it a shame that it took me until my mid 20s to decide (and yes, it largely had to be a decision) that life didn’t start at marriage?

Before that, my mind was far too consumed with how and where and when I was going to meet that perfect person. I felt like I couldn’t possibly know where my life was headed until I met them. I felt a bit like I was in a holding pattern.

Eventually I woke up to the reality that life begins at singleness. I wasn’t supposed to be hanging around waiting; God had a plan for me.

His plan means my life is going somewhere whether there’s a man involved or not. And it’s a great life.

The Lighter side of Singleness

I am so blessed to have an array of fabulous single friends to do life with. On occasion we get a laugh out of sharing memes which celebrate the awesome side of singleness, and make us laugh at the depressing side. I hope you all get a kick out of these.
P.S. If you’re NOT single, PLEASE tread carefully before sending these to a single person!! It’s kinda like being black… there are certain things you can only say to each other!

single-friendship-ecard-someecardsI have a couple of friends I’d like to send this one to… let’s just say, I haven’t yet!

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housewife*

facebook_-1636470038I love this one ONLY because I don’t like cats and have no intentions of becoming the ‘crazy cat lady’ that friends like to tease me about.
If you do, however, fall into the ‘crazy cat lady’ basket, I hold no animosity towards you or your cats.

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married-single-fun-party-weekend-ecards-someecardsAhh the married people who constantly remind you how fortunate you are to be single… bless them.

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facebook_-3881639111This theory gets 100x more disturbing when you’re a school teacher…

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facebook_-514669080This is one of my favourites. I know all you parents love having your kids. But I really love not having them!

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begin-awkward-friendship-ecard-someecards*

what-do-smart-girls-getA lovely (or perhaps not so lovely depending on my mood) male friend sent this one to me. Well at least he think’s I’m smart.

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MjAxMi01YmFmMGUzMDM4ZjU1NTAy_516f0d83937efYou know, believe it or not, despite the ups and downs and difficulties of being single, sometimes this one really does ring true.

Being single isn’t always easy, but it’s a unique, blessed and precious stage of life. If you’re living it, have a laugh and enjoy it while you can, because chances are, one day someone will come along who will interfere with it!