Heavenly Way and Humanly Doings


in Sacred Rights

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780195160017
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849611 | DOI:
Heavenly Way and Humanly Doings

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This chapter intends to show contrasting convictions and practices of male reproductive behavior in imperial China that will fend off over-generalization based on the modern thesis about men's sexual responsibility. Coming from a long tradition of Taoist notions concerning life nurturing and the Confucian concern for family reproduction, the special characteristics as well as the historical background of this late imperial literature on male medicine invites attention. Male reproductive culture in imperial China indicated that for reasons of health preservation and personal and social development, as well as concern for successful breeding of the next generation of wholesome, intelligent and surviving heirs, sexuality can be seen as too serious to be left to insensitive personal indulgence. The acceptance of the legitimacy of sexual pleasure and the acceptance of the lasting social obligations that sex implies is not a “modern” invention. Chinese Taoism actually identifies coital activities as a vehicle to arrive at a wide array of different purposes.

Keywords: male reproductive behavior; sexual responsibility; China; sexuality; sex; Taoism

Chapter.  7724 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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