Essay on PURITANS AND SEX

Submitted By MatthewAaronJohn
Words: 826
Pages: 4

MATTHEW JOHNSON
HISTORY 1301- 321
2/24/15
FILE 6 SEAT 5

The Puritans and Sex In “The Puritans and Sex” by Edmund S. Morgan, the author’s goal is to prove to the reader that what they have heard about the Puritan’s view on sex from popular perception is not how the Puritans actually treated sex in their society. Morgan achieves his goal very thoroughly by providing facts and mini stories with specific evidence as to how the Puritan religion and court dealt with sex. The court of the Puritan society in the Massachusetts Bay Colony was based off the Puritan religion, and the decisions made by the court were only the decisions they believed would reflect God’s will. All the main points Morgan makes throughout this essay reflect back to the main idea Morgan tries to make which is Puritans were not idiotic people who condemned sex, but were actually people who only condemned sexual acts when it wasn’t reflecting God’s will. Things that would make sex not reflect God’s will is sex between unmarried people, sex between those of the same gender, and sex between married people on a day of fasting. All Puritans agree that intercourse between married couples is absolutely essential to the healthiness of their marriage. Minister John Cotton states “It is not good that man should be alone” (Wright 18). A minister even says that man being alone is not right according to nature. Marriage is a rite of passage, and with that rite comes sexual intercourse, another need of man. Puritan ministers were not blind to know that man has very strong physical needs, it is in the way man satisfies his physical needs that determines whether or not he was doing it the correct way. There was a limitation placed upon Puritans and their sexual relations in their marriage, and that is that if a man or woman becomes so infatuated with their spouse that it leads to them carrying more affection for their spouse than affection towards God then the man or woman was no longer pleasing God’s will. On days where Puritans were supposed to fast and give up the luxury of eating or drinking, they were also supposed to give up the luxury of sexual intercourse even between married couples. There were still many sexual crimes that the Puritan society committed like that of adultery, rape, and even sodomy. Adultery and rape were given the same punishment which shows just how much the Puritan religion frowns upon sex outside of marriage. Many men came over to the New World leaving their wife and kids in England which led to many sexual crimes due to the fact that men didn’t have their wives there to satisfy their needs and would turn to adultery or even rape. Servants in the New World were almost never married because their sole purpose was to serve their master for x amount of years. Servants would commit sexual crimes with each other during the night time, and the need was so great that there are accounts of servants having intercourse with one another while someone else is asleep in the very…