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Slavery of Women in America

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The Naked Truth

Slavery of

Womanhood is the period in a female's life after she has
transitioned from girlhood, at least physically, having
passed the age of menarche. Many cultures have rites of
passage to symbolize a woman's coming of age, such as
confirmation in some branches of Christianity, bat mitzvah
in Judaism, or even just the custom of a special celebration
for a certain birthday (generally between 12 and 21).

The word woman can be used generally, to mean any

female human, or specifically, to mean an adult female
human as contrasted with girl. The word girl originally
meant "young person of either sex" in English; it was only
around the beginning of the 16th century that it came to
mean specifically a female child. Nowadays girl sometimes
is used colloquially to refer to a young or unmarried
woman. During the early 1970s feminists challenged such
use, and use of the word to refer to a fully grown woman
may cause offence. In particular previously common terms
such as office girl are no longer used.

Conversely, in certain cultures which link family honor

with female virginity, the word girl is still used to refer to
a never-married woman; in this sense it is used in a fashion
roughly analogous to the obsolete English maid or maiden.
Referring to an unmarried female as a woman may, in such
a culture, imply that she is sexually experienced, which
would be an insult to her family.

In some settings, the use of girl to refer to an adult female

is a vestigial practice (such as girls' night out), even among
some elderly women. In this sense, girl may be considered
to be the analogue to the British word bloke for a man,
although it again fails to meet the parallel status as an
adult. Gal aside, some feminists cite this lack of an infor-
mal yet respectful term for women as misogynistic; they
regard non-parallel usages, such as men and girls, as sexist.

There are various words used to refer to the quality of

being a woman. The term "womanhood" merely means the
state of being a woman, having passed the menarche;
"femininity" is used to refer to a set of supposedly typical
female qualities associated with a certain attitude to gender
roles; "womanliness" is like "femininity", but is usually
associated with a different view of gender roles;
"femaleness" is a general term, but is often used as short-
hand for "human femaleness"; "distaff" is an archaic adjec-
tive derived from women's conventional role as a spinner,
now used only as a deliberate archaism; "muliebrity" is a
"neologism" (derived from the Latin) meant to provide a
female counterpart of "virility", but used very loosely,
sometimes to mean merely "womanhood", sometimes
"femininity", and sometimes even as a collective term for
The English term "Man" (from Proto-Germanic
mannaz "man, person") and words derived there-
from can designate any or even all of the human
race regardless of their gender or age. This is in-
deed the oldest usage of "Man" in English. It de-
rives from Proto-Indo-European *mánu- 'man,
human', cognate to Sanskrit manu, Old Church
Slavonic moži, 'man', 'husband'.

In Old English the words wer and wyf (also wæp-

man and wifman) were what was used to refer to
"a man" and "a woman" respectively, and "Man"
was gender neutral. In Middle English man dis-
placed wer as term for "male human", whilst wif-
man (which eventually evolved into woman) was
retained for "female human". ("Wif" also
evolved into the word "wife".) "Man" does con-
tinue to carry its original sense of "Human" how-
ever, resulting in an asymmetry sometimes criti-
cized as sexist.[1] (See also Womyn.)

A very common Indo-European root for woman,

*g en-, is the source of English queen (Old En-
glish cwen primarily meant woman, highborn or
not; this is still the case in Danish, with the mod-
ern spelling kvinde), as well as gynaecology
(from Greek gyne), banshee fairy woman (from
Irish bean woman, sí fairy) and zenana (from
Persian zan). The Latin femina, whence female,
is likely from the root in fellare (to suck), refer-
ring to breastfeeding.[2][3]

The symbol for the planet Venus is the sign also

used in biology for the female gender. It is a
stylized representation of the goddess Venus's
hand mirror or an abstract symbol for the god-
dess: a circle with a small equilateral cross under-
neath (Unicode: ?). The Venus symbol also rep-
resented femininity, and in ancient alchemy stood
for copper. Alchemists constructed the symbol
from a circle (representing spirit) above an equi-
lateral cross (representing matter)
In terms of biology, the female sex organs are
involved in the reproductive system, whereas
the secondary sex characteristics are involved
in nurturing children or, in some cultures, at-
tracting a mate. The ovaries, in addition to their
regulatory function producing hormones, pro-
duce female gametes called eggs which, when
fertilized by male gametes (sperm), form new
genetic individuals. The uterus is an organ with
tissue to protect and nurture the developing
fetus and muscle to expel it when giving birth.
The vagina is used in copulation and birthing
(although the word vagina is often colloquially
and incorrectly used for the vulva or external
female genitalia, which also includes the labia,
the clitoris, and the female urethra). The breast
evolved from the sweat gland to produce milk,
a nutritious secretion that is the most distinctive
characteristic of mammals, along with live
birth. In mature women, the breast is generally
more prominent than in most other mammals;
this prominence, not necessary for milk pro-
duction, is probably at least partially the result
of sexual selection. (For other ways in which
men commonly differ physically from women,
see Man.)
An imbalance of maternal hormonal levels and some chemicals (or drugs) may alter the secondary sexual char-
acteristics of fetuses. Most women have the karyotype 46,XX, but around one in a thousand will be 47,XXX,
and one in 2500 will be 45,X. This contrasts with the typical male karotype of 46,XY; thus, the X and Y chro-
mosomes are known as female and male, respectively. Unlike the Y chromosome, the X can come from either
the mother or the father, thus genetic studies which focus on the female line use mitochondrial DNA.

Biological factors are not sufficient determinants of whether a person considers themselves a woman or is
considered a woman. Intersexed men and women, who have mixed physical and/or genetic features, may use
other criteria in making a clear determination. There are also transgendered or transsexual women, who were
born or physically assigned as male at birth, but identify as a woman; there are varying social, legal, and
individual definitions with regard to this issue. (See transwoman.)
Although fewer females than males are born (the ratio is
around 1:1.05), due to a longer life expectancy there are
only 81 men aged 60 or over for every 100 women of the
same age, and among the oldest populations, there are
only 53 men for every 100 women.[citation needed]
Women typically have a longer life expectancy than
men.[citation needed] This is due to a combination of
factors: genetics (redundant and varied genes present on
sex chromosomes in women); sociology (such as not
being expected in most countries to perform military
service); health-impacting choices (such as suicide or the
use of cigarettes, and alcohol); the presence of the female
hormone estrogen, which has a cardioprotective effect in
premenopausal women; and the effect of high levels of
androgens in men. Out of the total human population,
there are 101.3 men for every 100 women (source: 2001
World Almanac).

Most women go through menarche and are then able to

become pregnant and bear children.[4] This generally
requires internal fertilization of her eggs with the sperm
of a man through sexual intercourse, though artificial
insemination or the surgical implantation of an existing
embryo is also possible (see reproductive technology).
The study of female reproduction and reproductive or-
gans is called gynaecology. Women generally reach
menopause in their late 40s or early 50s, at which point
their ovaries cease producing estrogen[citation needed]
and they can no longer become pregnant.

To a large extent, women suffer from the same illnesses

as men.[citation needed] However, there are some dis-
eases that primarily affect women, such as lupus. Also,
there are some sex-related illnesses that are found more
frequently or exclusively in women, e.g., breast cancer,
cervical cancer, or ovarian cancer. Women and men may
have different symptoms of an illness and may also
respond differently to medical treatment. This area of
medical research is studied by gender-based medicine.

During early fetal development, embryos of both sexes

appear gender neutral; the release of hormones is what
changes physical appearance male or female. As in other
cases without two sexes, such as species that reproduce
asexually, the gender-neutral appearance is closer to
female than to male.
In many prehistoric cultures, women assumed a particular cultural role. In hunter-
gatherer societies, women were generally the gatherers of plant foods, small animal
foods, fish, and learned to use dairy products, while men hunted meat from large animals
The first recorded instance of veiling for women is recorded in an Assyrian legal text from the
13th century BCE, which restricted its use to noble women and forbade prostitutes and common
women from adopting it. Greek texts have also spoken of veiling and seclusion of women being
practiced among the Persian elite. Statues from Persepolis depict women both veiled and
unveiled, and it seems to be regarded as an attribute of higher status. In Islam veiling was not
initially enforced, but by the 10th Century, as under the Mamluks in Egypt, laws and proclama-
tions enforcing veiling were steadily applied. If worn with religious intention, it is meant to
protect the woman from the environment or the public view to protect her grace and honor and
thus is sometimes considered a symbol of patriarchy.[5] If not worn with religious impetus, veil
and skirt have still been typical symbols of a woman.[specify]

In more recent history, the gender roles of women have changed greatly. Traditionally, middle-
class women were typically involved in domestic tasks emphasizing child care, and did not en-
ter paid employment. For poorer women, especially working class women, this often remained
an ideal,[specify] as economic necessity compelled them to seek employment outside the home.
The occupations that were available to them were, however, lower in prestige and pay than
those available to men.

As changes in the labor market for women came about, availability of employment changed
from only "dirty", long houred factory jobs to "cleaner", more respectable office jobs where a
little more education was demanded, women's participation in the labor force rose from 6% in
1900 to 23% in 1923. These shifts in the labor force led to changes in the attitudes of women at
work, allowing for the "quiet" revolution which resulted in women becoming more career and
education oriented. This revolution of women in the labor force came about because of changes
in three essential criteria
Slavery is a social-economic system under which certain persons — known as slaves — are
deprived of personal freedom and compelled to work.

Slaves are held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase, or birth, and are de-
prived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to receive compensation (such as wages) in re-
turn for their labor. As such, slavery is one form of unfree labor.

In its narrowest sense, the word slave refers to people who are treated as the property of another
person, household, company, corporation or government. This is referred to as chattel slavery.
Although outlawed in nearly all countries today, slavery is still
practiced in some parts of the world. [1][2] According to a
broad definition of slavery used by Kevin Bales of Free the
Slaves (FTS), an advocacy group linked with Anti-Slavery
International, there are 27 million people (although some put
the number as high as 200 million) in virtual slavery today,
spread all over the world.[3] According to FTS, these slaves
represent the largest number of people that has ever been in
slavery at any point in world history and the smallest percent-
age of the total human population that has ever been enslaved
at once.

FTS claims that present-day slaves have been sold for as little
as US$40, in Mali, for young adult male laborers, or as much
as US$1,000 in Thailand for HIV-free, young females, suit-
able for work in brothels. The lower limit represents the low-
est price that there has ever been for a slave: the price of a
comparable male slave in 1850 in the United States would
have been about US$38,000 in present-day terms (US$1,000
in 1850). That difference, even allowing for differences in
purchasing power, is significant. As a result of the lower
price, the economic advantages of present-day slavery are

Although outlawed in most countries today slavery is,

nonetheless, practised secretly in many parts of the world —
with outright enslavement still taking place in parts of Africa,
the Middle East, and South Asia.[4] In June and July 2007,
570 people who had been enslaved by brick manufacturers in
Shanxi and Henan were freed by the Chinese government.[5]
Of those rescued, 69 of them were children.[6] In response,
the Chinese government assembled a force of 35,000 police to
check northern Chinese brick kilns for slaves, sent dozens of
kiln supervisors to prison, punished 95 officials in Shanxi
province for dereliction of duty, and sentenced one kiln fore-
man to death for killing an enslaved worker.[5]

In Mauritania alone, it is estimated that up to 600,000 men,

women and children, or 20% of the population, are enslaved,
many of them used as bonded labour.[7][8] Slavery in Mauri-
tania was criminalized in August 2007.[9] In Niger, slavery is
also a current phenomenon. A Nigerian study has found that
more than 800,000 people are enslaved, almost 8% of the
population.[10][11] Child slavery has commonly been used in
the production of cash crops and mining. According to the
U.S. Department of State, more than 109,000 children were
working on cocoa farms alone in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
in 'the worst forms of child labor' in 2002.[
Prior to the 10th century, words other than "slave" were used for all kinds of unfree labourers.
For instance, the old Latin word servus was used for both serfs and chattel slaves.
The word slave, in Modern English, originates from the Middle English sclave, the Old French
esclave, the Medieval Latin sclavus and ultimately from the early Greek sklabos (from
sklabenoi) meaning "Slavic people".[13][14] The term originally referred to various peoples
from Eastern and Central Europe, as many Slavic and other people from these areas were
captured and sold as slaves by a Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I (912–973), and his successors.
The 1926 Slavery Convention described slavery as "...the status and/or condition of a person over whom any or
all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised..." Slaves cannot leave an owner, an employer
or a territory without explicit permission (they must have a passport to leave), and they will be returned if they
escape. Therefore a system of slavery — as opposed to the isolated instances found in any society — requires
official, legal recognition of ownership, or widespread tacit arrangements with local authorities, by masters who
have some influence because of their social and/or economic status and their lives. The International Labour
Organization (ILO) defines forced labour as "all work or service which is extracted from any person under the
menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily", albeit with certain
exceptions of: military service, convicted criminals, emergencies and minor community services.[15]

The current usage of the word serfdom is not usually synonymous with slavery, because medieval serfs were
considered to have rights, as human beings, whereas slaves were considered “things” — property
The evidence for slavery predates written records. It can be found in almost all cultures and
continents. Slavery can be traced to the earliest records, such as the Code of Hammurabi in
Mesopotamia (~1800 BC), which refers to slavery as an already established institution. An im-
portant exception occurred under the reign of the Achaemenid Empire in Persia in 500 BC. The
forced labor of women in some ancient and modern cultures may also be identified as slavery.
Slavery, in this case, includes sexual services.

Historically, most slaves were captured in wars or kidnapped in isolated raids, but some persons
were sold into slavery by their parents, or by themselves, as a means of surviving extreme con-
ditions. Most slaves were born into that status, to parents who were enslaved. Ancient Warfare
often resulted in slavery for prisoners and their families, who were either killed, ransomed or
sold as slaves. Captives were often considered the property of those who captured them and
were looked upon as a prize of war. Slavery may originally have been more humane than sim-
ply executing those who would return to fight if they were freed, but the effect led to
widespread enslavement of particular groups of people. Those captured sometimes differed in
ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race from their enslavers, but often were the same as the cap-
tors. The dominant group in an area might take captives and turn them into slaves with little
fear of suffering the like fate. The possibility always existed of reversals of fortune, as when
Seneca warned, at the height of the Roman Empire, when powerful nations fought among them-
selves, anyone might find himself enslaved.

Brief sporadic raids or kidnapping could mean enslavement of persons otherwise not at war. St.
Patrick recounted in his Confession having been kidnapped by pirates.
Ancient societies characterized by poverty, rampant warfare or lawlessness, famines, population pressures, and
cultural and technological lag are frequently exporters of slaves to more developed nations. Today the illegal
slave trade (mostly in Africa) deals with slaves who are rural people forced to move to cities, or those purchased
in rural areas and sold into slavery in cities. These moves take place due to loss of subsistence agriculture, thefts
of land, and population increases.

In many ancient cultures, persons (often including their family) convicted of serious crimes could be sold into
slavery. The proceeds from this sale were often used to compensate the victims. The Code of Hammurabi
(~1800 BC) prescribes this for failure to maintain a water dam, to compensate victims of a flood. The con-
victed criminal might be sold into slavery if he lacked the property to make compensation to the victims. Other
laws and other crimes might enslave the criminal regardless of his property. Some laws called for the criminal
and all his property to be handed over to his victim
People have been sold into slavery so that the money could be used to pay off their debts. This could range from a judge, king or
Emperor ordering a debtor sold with all his family, to the poor selling off their own children to prevent starvation. In times of dire
need such as famine, people have offered themselves into slavery not for a purchase price, but merely so that their new master would
feed and take care of them.

In most institutions of slavery throughout the world, the children of slaves became the property of the master. Local laws varied as to
whether the status of the mother or of the father determined the fate of the child, but it was usually determined by the status of the
mother. In many cultures, slaves could earn their freedom through hard work and buying their own freedom. This was not possible in
all cultures.

Slavery in Zanzibar. 'An Arab master's punishment for a slight offence. The log weighed 32 pounds, and the boy could only move by
carrying it on his head.' Unknown photographer, c. 1890.[30]

According to the Anti-Slavery Society, "Although there is no longer any state which legally recognizes, or which will enforce, a claim
by a person to a right of property over another, the abolition of slavery does not mean that it ceased to exist. There are millions of
people throughout the world — mainly children — in conditions of virtual slavery, as well as in various forms of servitude which are
in many respects similar to slavery."[4] It further notes that slavery, particularly child slavery, was on the rise in 2003. It points out
that there are countless others in other forms of servitude (such as peonage, bonded labor and servile concubinage) which are not
slavery in the narrow legal sense. Critics claim they are stretching the definition and practice of slavery beyond its original meaning,
and are actually referring to forms of unfree labour other than slavery
The type of work slaves did depended on the time period and location
of their slavery. In general, they did the same work as everyone else in
the lower echelons of the society they lived in but were not paid for it
beyond room and board, clothing etc. The most common types of
slave work are domestic service, agriculture, mineral extraction, army
make-up, industry, and commerce.[31] Prior to about the 18th cen-
tury, domestic services were acquired in some wealthier households
and may include up to four female slaves and their children on its
staff. The chattels (as they are called in some countries) are expected
to cook, clean, sometimes carry water from an outdoor pump into the
house, and grind cereal. Most hired servants to do the same tasks.

Many slaves were used in agriculture and cultivation from ancient

times through the 1800s. The strong, young men and women were
sometimes forced to work long days in the fields, with little or no
breaks for water or food. Since slaves were usually considered valu-
able property, they were usually taken care of in the sense that
minimally adequate food and shelter were provided to maintain good
health, and that the workload was not excessive to the point of
endangering health. However, this was not always the case in many
countries where they worked on land that was owned by absentee
owners. The overseers in many of these areas literally worked the
slaves to death.

In mineral extraction, the majority of the work, when done by slaves,

was done nearly always by men. In some places, they mined the salt
that was used during extensive trade in the 19th century.[32]

Some of the men in ancient civilizations who were bought into chattel
slavery were trained to fight in their nation's army and other military
services. Chattel slaves were occasionally trained in artisan work-
shops for industry and commerce.[33] The men worked in metal-
working, while the females normally worked in either textile trades or
domestic household tasks. The majority of the time, the slave owners
did not pay the chattels for their services beyond room and board,
clothing etc.

However, not all slaves were manual laborers or servants. In some

societies slaves sometimes attained highly responsible positions. In
the Bible, Joseph, for instance, was sold into slavery in Egypt by his
brothers, who were jealous of his vanity (and his many-colored coat),
but rose to become vizier to the Pharaoh. And the ranks of the
Mamelukes, who ruled Egypt until being defeated by Napolean in
1798, were filled by slaves from the Caucasus who were allowed to
rule Egypt in exchange for maintaining its military defense.
Female slaves were long traded to the Middle Eastern countries and kingdoms by Arab traders and sold into sexual slavery to work as
concubines or prostitutes. Typically, females were sold at a lower price than their male counterparts, with one exception being when
(predominantly) Irish women captured in Viking raids were sold to the Middle East in the 800-1200 period.[citation needed]

The Buxton Memorial Fountain, celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, London.

Western slavery

In the West, slavery ended during the Medieval period, only to be revived after the Renaissance and its appreciation of the
organization of classical society (i.e. ancient Greece and Rome).[34]

Human trafficking

Main article: Trafficking in human beings

Trafficking in human beings, sometimes called human trafficking, or sex trafficking (as the majority of victims are women or
children forced into prostitution), is not the same as people smuggling. A smuggler will facilitate illegal entry into a country for a fee,
but on arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is free; the trafficking victim is enslaved. Victims do not agree to be trafficked:
they are tricked, lured by false promises, or forced into it. Traffickers use coercive tactics including deception, fraud, intimidation,
isolation, threat and use of physical force, debt bondage or even force-feeding with drugs of abuse to control their victims. Whilst the
majority of victims are women, and sometimes children, forced into prostitution, other victims include men, women and children
forced into manual labour. Due to the illegal nature of trafficking, the exact extent is unknown. A US Government report published in
2003, estimates that 800,000-900,000 people worldwide are trafficked across borders each year. This figure does not include those
who are trafficked internally.
Economists have attempted to model during which circum-
stances slavery (and milder variants such as serfdom) appear
and disappear. One observation is that slavery becomes more
desirable for land owners when land is abundant but labour is
not, so paid workers can demand high wages. If labour is
abundant but land is scarce, then it becomes more costly for
the land owners to have guards for the slaves than to employ
paid workers who can only demand low wages due to the
competition. Thus first slavery and then serfdom gradually
decreased in Europe as the population grew. It was reintro-
duced in the Americas and in Russia (serfdom) as large new
land areas with few people become available.

Another observation is slavery is more common when the

labour done is relatively simple and thus easy to supervise,
such as large scale growing of a single crop. It is much more
difficult and costly to check that slaves are doing their best and
with good quality when they are doing complex tasks. Thus,
slavery tends to decrease with technological advancements
requiring more skilled people, even as they are able to demand
high wages.[35] Because of this, theoretical knowledge and
learning in Greece—and later in Rome—was largely separated
from physical labour and manufacturing.[36]

It has also been argued that slavery tends to retard technologi-

cal advancement, since the focus is on increasing the number
of slaves rather than improving the efficiency of labor. Some
Russian scholars have argued that the Soviet Union's techno-
logical development was hindered by Stalin's use of slave
Since 1945, debate about the link between economic growth and different relational forms (most notably unfree
social relations of production in Third World agriculture) occupied many contributing to discussions in the
development decade (the 1960s). This continued to be the case in the mode of production debate (mainly about
agrarian transition in India) that spilled over into the 1970s, important aspects of which continue into the
present (see the monograph by Brass, 1999, and the 600 page volume edited by Brass and van der Linden,
1997). Central to these discussions was the link between capitalist development and modern forms of unfree
labour (peonage, debt bondage, indenture, chattel slavery). Within the domain of political economy it is a
debate that has a very long historical lineage, and - accurately presented - never actually went away. Unlike
advocacy groups, for which the number of the currently unfree is paramount, those political economists who
participated in the earlier debates sought to establish who, precisely, was (or was not) to be included under the
rubric of a worker whose subordination constituted a modern form of unfreedom. This element of definition
was regarded as an epistemologically necessary precondition to any calculations of how many were to be
categorized as relationally unfree.

There are three general types of slavery today: wage slaves, contract slaves, and slaves in the traditional sense
• Wage slavery often occurs in underdeveloped areas, where
employers can afford to employ people at low wages, knowing
they can't afford to risk their employment. Most child laborers
for example, can be considered to be wage slaves. Marxists
and anarchists, however, use the term more broadly to refer to
a situation in which a person must sell his or her labor power,
submitting to the authority of an employer in order to prosper
or merely to subsist; creating a hierarchical social condition in
which a person chooses a job but only within a coerced set of
choices (e.g. work for a boss or starve) which usually excludes
democratic worker's control of the workplace and the economy
as a whole and unconditional access to a fair share of the basic
necessities of life.

• Contract slaves are generally poor, often illiterate, people

who have been tricked into signing contracts they do not

• Slavery in its traditional sense is still very active; only its

activities are carried out underground. Actual slavery is still
carried out much the same way it has been for centuries:
people, often women and children, are abducted (usually from
underdeveloped countries such as those in the Middle East,
South America, Asia, Africa and the former Soviet Bloc
countries), loaded aboard a ship and smuggled to a foreign
country (usually Asia or the Middle East) and they are sold,
the men and male children sold for labor, while the women
and girls for domestic slavery or to work as unwilling prosti-
tutes primarily in Asia and the West.

A combination of wage and contract slavery is found in

Sarawak mining towns among Indonesian Dayak immigrants
looking for work. They have to buy the tools they need to
work with, but often don't have the required money, so they
need to buy them on a loan. Then they discover that local food
is so expensive that all their wages are spent on that, so they
can't pay off the loan and are forced by law to keep working
for no gain.
Slavery has existed, in one form or another,
through the whole of recorded human history —
as have, in various periods, movements to free
large or distinct groups of slaves. According to the
Biblical Book of Exodus, Moses led Israelite
slaves out of ancient Egypt — possibly the first
written account of a movement to free slaves.
Later Jewish laws (known as Halacha) prevented
slaves from being sold out of the Land of Israel,
and allowed a slave to move to Israel if he so
desired. The Cyrus Cylinder, inscribed about 539
BC by the order of Cyrus the Great of Persia,
abolished slavery and allowed Jews and other
nationalities who had been enslaved under Baby-
lonian rule to return to their native lands. Aboli-
tionism should be distinguished from efforts to
help a particular group of slaves, or to restrict one
practice, such as the slave trade.

There were celebrations in 2007 to commemorate

the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the slave
trade in the United Kingdom. William Wilber-
force received much of the credit although the
groundwork was an anti-slavery essay by Thomas
Clarkson. Wilberforce was also urged by his close
friend, Prime Minister William Pitt, to make the
issue his own. After the abolition act was passed
these campaigners switched to encouraging other
countries to follow suit, notably France.

Abolitionist pressure in the United States pro-

duced a series of small steps forward. After Jan-
uary 1, 1808, the importation of slaves into the
United States was prohibited,[37] but not the
internal slave trade, nor involvement in the inter-
national slave trade externally. Legal slavery per-
sisted; and those slaves already in the U.S. would
not be legally emancipated for another 60 years.
Human trafficking differs from people smuggling. In the latter, people voluntarily request smuggler's service for fees and there may
be no deception involved in the (illegal) agreement. On arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is usually free. On the other
hand, the trafficking victim is enslaved, or the terms of their debt bondage are fraudulent or highly exploitative. The trafficker takes
away the basic human rights of the victim. [3] [4]

Victims are sometimes tricked and lured by false promises or physically forced.[5] Some traffickers use coercive and manipulative
tactics including deception, intimidation, feigned love, isolation, threat and use of physical force, debt bondage, other abuse, or even
force-feeding with drugs to control their victims.[6] People who are seeking entry to other countries may be picked up by traffickers,
and misled into thinking that they will be free after being smuggled across the border. In some cases, they are captured through slave
raiding, although this is increasingly rare.

Trafficking is fairly lucrative industry. In some areas, like Russia, Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and Colombia, trafficking is
controlled by large criminal organizations. [7] However, the majority of trafficking is done by networks of smaller groups that each
specialize in a certain area, like recruitment, transportation, advertising, or retail. This is very profitable because little startup capital
is needed, and prosecution is relatively rare.[8]

Trafficked people are usually the most vulnerable and powerless minorities in a region. They often come from the poorer areas
where opportunities are limited, they often are ethnic minorities, and they often are displaced persons such as runaways or refugees
(though they may come from any social background, class or race).

Trafficking of children often involves exploitation of the parents' extreme poverty. The latter may sell children to traffickers in order
to pay off debts or gain income or they may be deceived concerning the prospects of training and a better life for their children. In
West Africa, trafficked children have often lost one or both parents to the African AIDS crisis.[9]

The adoption process, legal and illegal, results in cases of trafficking of babies and pregnant women between the West and the de-
veloping world. In David M. Smolin’s papers on child trafficking and adoption scandals between India and the United
States,[10][11] he cites there are systemic vulnerabilities in the intercountry adoption system that makes adoption scandals pre-

Women, who form over 80% of trafficking victims, are particularly at risk to become involved in sex trafficking. Potential kidnap-
pers exploit lack of opportunities, promise good jobs or opportunities for study, and then force the victims to become prostitutes,
participate in pornography[citation needed] or escort services. Through agents and brokers who arrange the travel and job place-
ments, women are escorted to their destinations and delivered to the employers. Upon reaching their destinations, some women learn
that they have been deceived about the nature of the work they will do; most have been lied to about the financial arrangements and
conditions of their employment; and all find themselves in coercive and abusive situations from which escape is both difficult and

The main motive of a woman (in some cases an underage girl) to accept an offer from a trafficker is better financial opportunities for
herself or her family. In many cases traffickers initially offer ‘legitimate’ work or the promise of an opportunity to study. The main
types of work offered are in the catering and hotel industry, in bars and clubs, modeling contracts, or au pair work. Traffickers some-
times use offers of marriage, threats, intimidation and kidnapping as means of obtaining victims. In the majority of cases, the women
end up in prostitution. Also some (migrating) prostitutes become victims of human trafficking. Some women know they will be
working as prostitutes, but they have an inaccurate view of the circumstances and the conditions of the work in their country of des-
tination.[12] [13]

Men are also at risk of being trafficked for unskilled work predominantly involving hard labor. Other forms of trafficking include
bonded and sweatshop labor, forced marriage, and domestic servitude. Children are also trafficked for both labor exploitation and
sexual exploitation. On a related issue, children are forced to be child soldiers.

Many women are forced into the sex trade after answering false advertisements, and others are simply kidnapped. Thousands of chil-
dren from Asia, Africa, and South America are sold into the global sex trade every year. Often they are kidnapped or orphaned, and
sometimes they are actually sold by their own families.[14]
Old Testament or Tanakh

Leviticus draws a distinction between Hebrew debt slavery:

• 25:39 If your brother becomes impoverished with regard to you so that he

sells himself to you, you must not subject him to slave service.

• 25:40 He must be with you as a hired worker, as a resident foreigner; he

must serve with you until the year of jubilee,

• 25:41 but then he may go free, he and his children with him, and may
return to his family and to the property of his ancestors.

• 25:42 Since they are my servants whom I brought out from the land of
Egypt, they must not be sold in a slave sale.

• 25:43 You must not rule over him harshly, but you must fear your God.
and "bondslaves", foreigners:

• 25:44 As for your male and female slaves who may belong to you, you may
buy male and female slaves from the nations all around you.

• 25:45 Also you may buy slaves from the children of the foreigners who
reside with you, and from their families that are with you, whom they have
fathered in your land, they may become your property.

• 25:46 You may give them as inheritance to your children after you to
possess as property. You may enslave them perpetually. However, as for
your brothers the Israelites, no man may rule over his brother harshly.

As evident from the above, the Old Testament accepts the instition of slavery
as such, but seeks to regulate it and ameliorate the slaves' conditions.
Transmitted throughout Western culture via Christianity, this ambiguous
message could (and did) inspire both advocates of slavery and abolitionists.
For centuries, the narrative of the “curse of Ham” has
been continuously cited as the justification for black
slavery. The story has repeatedly been interpreted as
God’s condemnation of the black race as a result of
their progenitor’s crime against family and honor. The
basis for Ham as the origin of the black race depends
on the assumption that many of the ancient Israelite
authors made, primarily that all of humanity de-
scended from Noah’s three sons (Shem, Ham, and
Japheth) who were among the chosen few to have
survived the Great Flood.[1] The passage (Genesis 9: 18-27) corresponds to the Jahwist’s narrative technique of
cause and effect/ crime and punishment form:[2]

“And he (Noah) drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of
Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment,
and laid it upon their shoulders and went backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were
backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger
son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he
said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall
dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” (Genesis 9: 20-27)

Even some of the earliest interpretations of the biblical passage assert that Ham was distinct from his brothers in his
dark complexion. Though the true reason for such an association cannot be definitively determined, some speculate
that the earliest critics drew clues or assumptions from his name. The name “Ham” bears close resemblance to the
Hebrew words for “black” and “hot”, the former used to imply the man’s skin color and the latter used as an
indicator of the climate of the African continent where his descendants (the Canaanites) were doomed to labor.[3]
It is for this reason that Ham is often, especially in early texts, referred to as the predecessor of those inhabiting the
regions Ethiopia (known also as Cush in Hebrew) and Egypt.[4] Such a theory has been accepted as fact by many
contemporary figures. For example, Thomas Peterson, a prominent scholar of the antebellum period, attests that
“White southern Christians overwhelmingly thought that Ham was the aboriginal black man." Indeed, the belief
was widely taught as fact in many Christian churches and schools until well into the 1970s. Many people began
referring to the afflicted black race, namely those descended of slaves, as “the children of Ham."[5]

According to pro-slavery literature, Ham’s transgressions, particularly the shaming of his father by looking upon his
nakedness, provoked “Noah’s curse”. Allegedly, Ham’s son Canaan and his descendants were thereafter doomed to
serve their brothers’ lines for all of eternity. Indeed, when discussing the slaves of the pharaoh in Exodus, Origen
specifically identifies them as descendants of Ham who were punished due to their ancestor’s skin color.[6] In
1823, amidst controversy concerning the justice and morality of slavery, South Carolinian Frederick Dalcho argued:
“And perhaps we shall find that the negroes, the descendants of Ham, lost their freedom from the abominable
wickedness of their progenitor (Ham).”[7]

In addition, many proslavery apologists from the period 1830-1865 preceding the Civil War began associating
Ham’s crime with sins against nature, sexual morality and family. Josiah Priest (1843) cites Leviticus 18 as
evidence for such claims:“the nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s naked-
ness.”This particular passage, when viewed in juxtaposition with the Genesis passage, has been used by many as
indicating that Ham went so far as to commit incest and rape with his mother, Noah’s wife.[8] In this manner, the
subjugation of the black race has been justified not only by Ham’s sin of filial disrespect for his father (Noah) but
also by association with the more sensational crimes of lust, incest, and rape.
The Hebrew Bible sets rules that allow slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46; Exodus 21:7-11), while at
the same time forbidding one to return a runaway slave (Deuteronomy 25:15-16). A Jew was
obligated to free a Jewish slave after six years of servitude (Exodus 21:2-6). Non-Jewish slaves
could be slaves for life, though it is unclear how common this was or if it was voluntary. If a
master beat his male or female slave so severely that the slave is killed immediately, the master
is himself to be killed. If the master had beat the slave but the slave lives one or two days, the
master can go unpunished but must release his slave under general circumstances. (Exodus
21:21). A Jew was obligated to ransom or redeem a Jewish slave from a non-Jewish owner
Several New Testament writers admonish slaves to obey their
masters (1 Peter 2:18; Ephesians 6:5-8; Titus 2:9-10; Colos-
sians 3:22-25; 1 Timothy 6:1), and in another place it tells
slaves "to care not" for their slavery, but seek freedom if
lawfully possible (1 Corinthians 7:21-23, KJV). The prophets
and apostles urged kindness to slaves, with just and equal pay
and brotherly acceptance being commanded (Colossians 4:1;
Philemon 1:10-16). Protestant churches have differently inter-
preted these passages to be either anti- or pro-slavery with
some regarding these passages to consist of the Bible reporting
existing social customs and laws.

In regards to the Catholic Church, the early Church tolerated

slavery. In The City of God, Book XIX, chapter 15, St.
Augustine affirmed that "for it is with justice, we believe, that
the condition of slavery is the result of sin." [9] Slavery was
integrated into the official Corpus Iuris Canonici, upon the
Decretum Gratiani. This became official Church law since
Pope Gregory IX who reigned as Pope from 1227 to 1241. In
1455, Pope Nicholas V authorized the King of Portugal with
the papal bull Romanus Pontifex to enslave all the Saracen and
pagan people his armies could capture. The position of the
Church became more firmly anti-slavery in later years. In
1435 Pope Eugene IV promulgated the papal bull Sicut
Dudum condemned the slavery of black natives in Canary
Islands by Spanish. In 1462 Pope Pius II declared slavery to be
"a great crime" (magnum scelus). In 1537, Pope Paul III
forbade the enslavement of the Indians and other people with
the papal bull Sublimus Dei, while Pope Urban VIII forbade it
in 1639, and Pope Benedict XIV in 1741. Pope Pius VII in
1815 demanded that the Congress of Vienna suppress the
slave trade, and Pope Gregory XVI condemned it in 1839. In
the Bull of Canonization of the St. Peter Claver, Pope Pius IX
branded the "supreme villainy" (summum nefas) of the slave
traders. Pope Leo XIII, in 1888, addressed an encyclical to the
Brazilian bishops, In Plurimism [10] (On the Abolition of
Slavery), exhorting them to banish the remnants of slavery
from their country. Jesus in Luke said he had come to end
slavery (see also "Slavery in the Bible" above):

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed

me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the slaves, and recov-
ering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are
bruised."Luk 4:18
In certain circumstances, Islam allows for
slavery. Such slaves may in some cases be
able to purchase or acquire their freedom in
various ways. The prophet Muhammad
owned several slaves himself. One of them
bore him a son, who died as an infant.[11]
The slavery endorsed by the Qur'an limited
the source of slaves to the children of two
slave parents and non-Muslims captured in
war. The Qur'an provides for emancipation
of a slave as a means (or in one case, a
requirement of) demonstrating remorse for
the commission of certain sins. Proclama-
tions of emancipation and repudiations of
participation in slave trafficking did not
occur in Muslim lands until after the
Christian-European Colonial era - as late as
1962 in Saudi Arabia, 1970 in Oman and
Yemen, and 1981 in Mauritania. Islamic
slavery in the fashion multigenerational
hereditary slavery (in Mauritania) is still
evident today. In Chad, child enslavement
with the aspect of forced conversion to
Islam has been documented
The Caste system in India has often been compared to slavery or slave-like
practices. In ancient and medieval times, lower caste Hindus (dubbed
"Untouchables" or, more recently Dalits) have had reduced social statuses similar to
slaves. Lower Caste Hindus' lives incorporated rigid segregation and bonded labor
practices. Justification for such acts was often provided through the use of careful
selection of scripture from the vast plethora of Hindu religious literature. However,
mainstream Hinduism never condoned or accepted outright slavery.

The purported slavery-like status of the lower Castes, while distinct from others as
in ownership - nonetheless permitted freedom for them. Hindus and scholars debate
whether the caste system is an integral part of Hinduism sanctioned by the scriptures
or an outdated social custom.[12][13] The most ancient scriptures place little
importance on caste and indicate social mobility (Rig Veda 9.112.3), while later
scriptures such as the non sacred Manusmriti state that the four varnas are created
by God, implying immutability. Manusmriti, (dated between 200 BCE and 100 CE),
contains laws that codified the caste system, reducing the flexibility of social
mobility and excluding the untouchables from society, yet this system was origi-
nally non-heritable (Manu Smriti X:65). It is uncertain when the caste system
become heritable and akin to slavery.

British colonialists, in the 19th century, exploited these divisions by mistranslating

scriptures in Hinduism (such as the Manusmriti) and attaching undue weight to its
importance over other more normative religious scripture in the religion in order to
foster sectarian divisions among Hindus as part of the Divide and rule strategy
employed by the crown. Nonetheless, a large number of Hindu reform movements
in the 19th century metamorphosed the landscape of Hindu thought. Hindu reform-
ers aggressively campaigned against any slavery of the lower castes and rendered
the idea abhorrent to most mainstream Hindus.

In contemporary times, allegations of apartheid are often drawn against Hindus by

partisan political activists. These charge are debunked by academics and scholars,
given India's commitment to affirmative action. Substantial improvements have
taken place in the rights of Dalits (former "Untouchables") enshrined in the
Constitution of India (primarily written by a Dalit, Ambedkar), which is the
principal object of article 17 in the Constitution as implemented by the Protection of
Civil rights Act, 1955 [14] and the fact that India has had a Dalit, K.R. Narayanan,
for a president, as well as the disappearance of the practice in urban public
life[15].Thus, mainstream sociologists such as Kevin Reilly, Stephen Kaufman,
Angela Bodino, while being critical of Casteism, conclude that modern India does
not practice any "apartheid" since there is no state sanctioned discrimina-
tion.[16]They write that Casteism in India is presently "not apartheid. In fact,
untouchables, as well as tribal people and members of the lowest castes in India
benefit from broad affirmative action programs and are enjoying greater political
National Association of Working Women is an organization
established in 1973 and dedicated to improving the working
conditions and ensuring the rights of women office workers in
the United States.

The group had its origins in 9to5 News, a newsletter that was
first published in December 1972. About a year later, the
newsletter's publishers announced the formation of Boston
9to5, a grassroots collective for women office workers that
addressed issues such as low pay and lack of opportunities for
advancement. One of the organization's earliest victories in-
cluded a class-action suit filed against several Boston publish-
ing companies that awarded the female plaintiffs $1.5 million
in back pay. In 1977 Boston 9to5 joined forces with several
like-minded associations to create the Working Women Orga-
nizing Project, a national organization headed by Karen Nuss-
baum, one of Boston 9to5's founders. Nussbaum enlisted the
cooperation of the Service Employees International Union
(SEIU) and formed Local 925 of the SEIU in Boston to gain
for office workers the advantages of collective bargaining.

After several name changes, the organization adopted its

current name in 1983, and "9to5, National Association of
Working Women", evolved into the largest membership orga-
nization of working women in the United States. During the
1980s and '90s, 9to5 focused on issues such as the effects of
automation, pay inequities, medical leave, and racial and
sexual harassment and discrimination. The organization effec-
tively used the media and lobbied legislators as part of a
campaign to warn the public of the health dangers of video
display terminals (also known as VDTs) and has also used the
media to draw attention to several sexual harassment cases in
the 1990s.

As part of its educational efforts, 9to5 established the Job

Retention Project in 1987 to assist office workers in develop-
ing time-management, goal-setting, and problem-solving
skills. In addition, the organization publishes fact sheets,
newsletters, and books, such as The Job/Family Challenge: A
9to5 Guide (1995), by Ellen Bravo, that keep workers abreast
of current issues
Until the mid-nineteenth century, writers assumed that a patriarchal
order was a natural order that had existed[3] as John Stuart Mill wrote,
since "the very earliest twilight of human society".[4] This was not
seriously challenged until the eighteenth century when Jesuit mission-
aries found matrilineality in native North American peoples.[5]

In the Middle Ages, an early effort to improve the status of women

occurred during the early reforms under Islam, when women were
given greater rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance.[6] Women
were not accorded with such legal status in other cultures, including
the West, until centuries later.[7] The Oxford Dictionary of Islam
states that the general improvement of the status of Arab women
included prohibition of female infanticide and recognizing women's
full personhood.[8] "The dowry, previously regarded as a bride-price
paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of
her personal property."[9][6] Under Islamic law, marriage was no
longer viewed as a "status" but rather as a "contract", in which the
woman's consent was imperative.[9][6][8] "Women were given inher-
itance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted
inheritance to male relatives."[6] Annemarie Schimmel states that
"compared to the pre-Islamic position of women, Islamic legislation
meant an enormous progress; the woman has the right, at least
according to the letter of the law, to administer the wealth she has
brought into the family or has earned by her own work."[10] Some
have claimed that women generally had more legal rights under
Islamic law than they did under Western legal systems until more
recent times.[11] English Common Law transferred property held by
a wife at the time of a marriage to her husband, which contrasted with
the Sura: "Unto men (of the family) belongs a share of that which
Parents and near kindred leave, and unto women a share of that which
parents and near kindred leave, whether it be a little or much - a
determinate share" (Quran 4:7), albeit maintaining that husbands were
solely responsible for the maintenance and leadership of his wife and
family.[11] "French married women, unlike their Muslim sisters,
suffered from restrictions on their legal capacity which were removed
only in 1965."[12]

In the 16th century, the Reformation in Europe allowed more women

to add their voices, including the English writers Jane Anger, Aemilia
Lanyer, and the prophetess Anna Trapnell. However, it has been
claimed that the Dissolution and resulting closure of convents had
deprived many such women of one path to education.[13][14][15]
Giving voice in the secular context became more difficult when
deprived of the rationale and protection of divine inspiration. Queen
Elizabeth I demonstrated leadership amongst women, even if she was
unsupportive of their causes, and subsequently became a role model
for the education of women
The Age of Enlightenment was
characterized by secular intellectual
reasoning, and a flowering of philo-
sophical writing. The most impor-
tant feminist writer of the time was
Mary Wollstonecraft, often de-
scribed as the first feminist philoso-
pher. A Vindication of the Rights of
Woman (1792). Wollstonecraft ar-
gued that it was the education and
upbringing of women that created
limited expectations. Despite some
inconsistencies (Brody refers to the
"Two Wollestoncrafts"[17] ) reflec-
tive of problems that had no easy
answers, this book remains a foun-
dation stone of feminist

In other parts of Europe, Hedvig

Charlotta Nordenflycht was writing
in Sweden, and what is thought to
be the first scientific society for
women was founded in Middelburg,
in the south of Holland in 1785.
This was the Natuurkundig
Genootschap der Dames (Women's
Society for Natural Knowl-
edge).[19][20] which met regularly
until 1881, finally dissolving in
1887. However Deborah Crocker
and Sethanne Howard point out that
women have been scientists for
4,000 years.[21] Journals for
women which focused on science
became popular during this period
as well.
Women's suffrage has been granted at various times in various countries throughout the world.
In many countries women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women (and men)
from certain races and social classes were still unable to vote.

In medieval France and several other European countries, voting for city and town assemblies
and meetings was open to the heads of households, regardless of sex. Women's suffrage was
granted by the Corsican Republic of 1755 whose Constitution stipulated a national representa-
tive assembly elected by all inhabitants over the age of 25, both women (if unmarried or
widowed) and men. Suffrage was ended when France annexed the island in 1769. In 1756, Lydia
Chapin Taft, also known as Lydia Taft, became the first legal woman voter in America.[1] She
voted on at least three occasions in an open New England Town Meeting, at Uxbridge,
Massachusetts, with the consent of the electorate. This was between 1756 and 1768, during
America's colonial period.[2] New Jersey granted women the vote (with the same property
qualifications as for men, although, since married women did not own property in their own
right, only unmarried women and widows qualified) under the state constitution of 1776, where
the word "inhabitants" was used without qualification of sex or race. New Jersey women, along
with "aliens...persons of color, or negroes," lost the vote in 1807, when the franchise was
restricted to white males, partly in order, ostensibly at least, to combat electoral fraud by
simplifying the conditions for eligibility.

The Pitcairn Islands granted women's suffrage in 1838. Various countries, colonies and states
granted restricted women's suffrage in the latter half of the nineteenth century, starting with
South Australia in 1861. The 1871 Paris Commune granted voting rights to women, but they
were taken away with the fall of the Commune and would only be granted again in July 1944 by
Charles de Gaulle. In 1886 the small island kingdom of Tavolara became a republic and
introduced women's suffrage.[3][4] However, in 1899 the monarchy was reinstated, and the
kingdom was some years later on annexed by Italy. The Pacific colony of Franceville, declaring
independence in 1889, became the first self-governing nation to practice universal suffrage
without distinction of sex or color;[5] however, it soon came back under French and British
colonial rule.

The first unrestricted women's suffrage in terms of voting rights (women were not initially
permitted to stand for election) in a self-governing, still-independent country was granted in
New Zealand. Following a movement led by Kate Sheppard, the women's suffrage bill was
adopted mere weeks before the general election of 1893. The state of South Australia granted
both universal suffrage and allowed women to stand for state parliament in 1895.[6] The
Commonwealth of Australia provided this for women in Federal elections from 1902 (except
Aboriginal women). The first major European country to introduce women's suffrage was
Russia, whose grand duchy of Finland granted women the right both to vote (universal and equal
suffrage) and to stand for election in 1906. The world's first female members of parliament were
also in Finland, when on 1907, 19 women took up their places in the Parliament of Finland as a
result of the 1907 parliamentary elections
Although "nude", "naked", "bare", "stripped", and other terms have the same objective meaning
(i.e., not covered by clothing), they have differing subjective connotations, which partly match
their differing etymologies. "Nude" originally had a meaning of "plain, bare, unadorned" in a
broader sense when introduced into English from Latin nudus, originally only as a legal term
meaning "unsupported by proof", since 1531; later used an artistic euphemism for physical
nakedness in 1631. Meanwhile "bare" and "naked" derive from the common Old English words,
with many cognates, for "uncovered". Some consider one term more appropriate than the other.
The book Nude, Naked, Stripped suggests that these three terms define a continuum ranging
from artistic or tasteful absence of clothing by choice, at one end, to a forced or mandatory
condition of being without clothes (e.g., a strip search), at the other. In general, a "nude" person
is unclad by choice and is generally shameless; a "naked" person is involuntarily caught
undressed and is generally embarrassed.[original research?]

Various synonyms refer specifically — often as a negative — to the absence or rather removal
of clothing, such as denuded, divested, peeled, stripped, unclad, unclothed, uncovered, un-
dressed and dis- or un-robed.

Another euphemism for the embarrassing state of nakedness is "exposed", to glances no less
than to the elements; not only the expression "to show skin" refers to nudity in terms of the
dermis, in Manx Gaelic jiarg-rooisht and Scottish Gaelic dearg rùisgte, translated as "stark
naked", is literally 'red' naked, as such exposure may make one 'blush'
The act of revealing skin or even removing clothes, even when only to
show another covering layer, is often regarded at least as erotic or
offensive as the actual sight of bare skin. Thus one often feels the need
to use a dressing-box etc. or at least retreats into a lockerroom with
restricted access in order to change, even if one is already wearing
underneath one's clothes the swimwear that will be shown without
jeans after emerging, so not an inch of embarrassing exposure was
involved in the disrobing. This very suggestive power of divesting is
the basis of striptease, the very word rather referring to such a 'tease'
by partial stripping off, rather than the 'full monty'. Such phobias are
far more common in North America than in Europe or much of the
rest of the world (e.g. Japan). In many European nations such fear of
undressing would be classed as a form of mental illness.

Similarly attitudes quite like those concerning nudity are often dis-
played towards clothing which covers the skin, but suggestively
follows the contours of a sensitive body part, such as the male genitals
in tights. Wet clothing which sticks to the skin, e.g. the buttocks or a
female breast (as in a wet t-shirt contest), can thus also be regarded as
if it had become truly transparent.

The taboo by association can go even further: garments which prevent

any exposure of strategic skin zones can themselves be given a
subjective status rather fitting a revealing one, especially underwear -
thus a man whose open trousers fly reveals nothing more than the
color of the underwear, no skin, is nevertheless considered embarrass-
ingly exposed. Thus euphemisms are used for undergarments, notably
those in touch with the intimate parts, or even, as in the case of the
word unmentionables, the trousers worn above these. The word
dishabille (from the French déshabillé 'undressed', which still refers to
a negligee) uses a common euphemism for nudity to refer to being
partially or very casually dressed, a matter of comparison with the
fashion-sensitive 'proper' dress, not to an actual revealing characteris-
tic of the 'lesser' garments worn. In certain erotic fetishisms, a second
skin — which in fact covers up the real skin — is called this because
it is perceived as providing a more intense stimulus than the normal
response associated with real naked hide.

Finally the 'image' of nudity and the notion of vulnerability are used
for various absences of clothing and other symbolical objects where
no body visibility is required — thus people say they 'feel naked
without...' about uniform, a badge of office, even a weapon.
Flirting is a form of human interaction between two people, usually expressing a
sexual or romantic interest. It can consist of conversation, body language, or brief
physical contact. It may be one-sided or reciprocated.
The origin of the word flirt is obscure. The Oxford English Dictionary (first
edition) associates it with such onomatopoeic words as flit and flick, emphasizing
a lack of seriousness; on the other hand, it has been attributed to the old French
"Conter fleurette", which means "to (try to) seduce" by the dropping of flower
leaves, that is, "to speak sweet nothings". This expression is no longer used in
French, but the English gallicism to flirt has made its way and has now become an
Flirting is often used as a means of expressing interest and gauging the other person's interest in
courtship, which can continue into long-term relationships. Alternatively, it may simply be a
prelude to casual sex with no continuing relationship.
In other situations, it may be done simply for immediate entertainment, with no intention of
developing any further relationship. This type of flirting sometimes faces disapproval from
others, either because it can be misinterpreted as more serious, or it may be viewed as
"cheating" if the person is already in a romantic relationship with someone else.
People who flirt may speak and act in a way that suggests greater intimacy than is generally
considered appropriate to the relationship (or to the amount of time the two people have known
each other), without actually saying or doing anything that breaches any serious social norms.
One way they accomplish this is to communicate a sense of playfulness or irony. Double
entendres, with one meaning more formally appropriate and another more suggestive, may be
Flirting may consist of stylized gestures, language, body language, postures, and physiologic
signs. Among these, at least in Western society, are:
• Eye contact, batting eyelashes, etc.
• "Protean" signals, such as touching one's hair
• Casual touches; such as a woman gently touching a man's arm during conversation
• Smiling suggestively
• Winking
• Sending notes, poems, or small gifts
• Flattery
• Online chat is a common modern tactic, as well as other one-on-one and direct messaging
• Footsie, the "feet under the table" practice
• Teasing
• Consistent meeting
Sexual intercourse, in its biological sense, is the act in which the male reproductive organ (in humans and
other higher animals) enters the female reproductive tract, called copulation or coitus in other reference.[1]
The two entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails.

Traditionally, intercourse has been viewed as the natural endpoint of all sexual contact between a man and a
woman,[2] and is commonly confined to this definition today. The meaning of the term, however, has been
broadened in recent years, and now labels at least three different sex acts. These three types of intercourse are:
vaginal intercourse, involving vaginal penetration by the penis; oral intercourse, involving oral caress of the sex
organs (male or female); and anal intercourse, involving insertion of the male's penis into his partner's anus.[2]

Sex acts that involve digital (use of fingers or hands) intercourse or mutual masturbation are more often referred
to as outercourse (with oral sex at times listed as an aspect),[3][4][5][6] while the term sex, in the context of
sexual intimacy, is often understood more widely to include any mutual genital stimulation.[7]

For most non-human animals, sexual intercourse is used only for reproduction[citation needed], through
insemination and subsequent internal fertilization. However, bonobos,[8] dolphins,[9] and chimpanzees are
known to engage in sexual intercourse even when the female is not in estrus, the most fertile period of time in
the female's reproductive cycle, and to engage in sex acts with same-sex partners. In most instances, humans
have sex primarily for pleasure.[10] This behavior in the above mentioned animals is also presumed to be for
pleasure,[11] which in turn strengthens social bonds
Vaginal sexual intercourse, also called coitus, is the human form of copulation. While its
primary purpose is reproduction, it is often performed exclusively for pleasure and/or as an
expression of love and emotional intimacy. Sexual intercourse typically plays a powerful
bonding role; in many societies it is normal for couples to have frequent intercourse while using
birth control, sharing pleasure and strengthening their emotional bond through sex even though
they are deliberately avoiding pregnancy.

Sexual intercourse may also be defined as referring to other forms of insertive sexual behavior,
such as oral sex and anal intercourse. The phrase to have sex can mean any or all of these
behaviors, as well as other non-penetrative sex acts not considered here.

Coitus may be preceded by foreplay, which leads to sexual arousal of the partners, resulting in
the erection of the penis and natural lubrication of the vagina.

To engage in coitus, the erect penis is inserted into the vagina and one or both of the partners
move their hips to move the penis backward and forward inside the vagina to cause friction,
typically without fully removing the penis. In this way, they stimulate themselves and each
other, often continuing until highly pleasurable orgasm in either or both partners is achieved.
Penetration by the hardened erect penis is also known as intromission, or by the Latin name
immissio penis (Latin for "insertion of the penis").

The reverse missionary position is frequently com- bined with kissing, caressing and em-

Coitus is the basic reproductive method of humans. During ejaculation, which usually accompa-
nies male orgasm, a series of muscular contractions delivers semen containing male gametes
known as sperm cells or spermatozoa from the penis into the vagina. (While this is the norm, if
one is wearing a condom, the sperm will almost never reach the egg.)

The subsequent route of the sperm from the vault of the vagina is through the cervix and into the
uterus, and then into the fallopian tubes. Millions of sperm are present in each ejaculation, to
increase the chances of one fertilizing an egg or ovum. If the woman orgasms during or after
male ejaculation, the corresponding temporary reduction in the size of the vagina and the
contractions of the uterus that occur can help the sperm to reach the fallopian tubes[citation
needed], though female orgasm is not necessary to achieve pregnancy. When a fertile ovum from
the female is present in the fallopian tubes, the male gamete joins with the ovum resulting in
fertilization and the formation of a new embryo. When a fertilized ovum reaches the uterus, it
becomes implanted in the lining of the uterus, known as endometrium and a pregnancy begins.
Over the past two decades, the use of increasingly explicit sexual appeals in consumer-oriented print
advertising has become almost commonplace. Sexuality is considered one of the most powerful tools of
marketing and particularly advertising[citation needed]. Post-advertising sales response studies have shown it
can be very effective for attracting immediate interest, holding that interest, and, in the context of that interest,
introducing a product that somehow correlates with that interest.

Further evidence comes from Gallup & Robinson, an advertising and marketing research firm which reports
that in more than 50 years of testing advertising effectiveness, it has found the use of the erotic to be a
significantly above-average technique in communicating with the marketplace, "...although one of the more
dangerous for the advertiser. Weighted down with taboos and volatile attitudes, sex is a Code Red advertising
technique ... handle with care ... seller beware; all of which makes it even more intriguing." This research has
led to the popular idea that "sex sells".

The use of sex in advertising can be highly overt or extremely subtle: from relatively explicit displays of sexual
acts, down to the use of basic cosmetics to enhance attractive features.
Use of sexual imagery in advertising has
been criticized on different grounds. Con-
servatives, especially religious ones, of-
ten consider it obscene. Some feminists
feel it objectifies women (as women are
more often portrayed in a sexual manner
than men). Some claim it reinforces sex-

Increasingly, this argument has been

complicated by growing awareness of an-
drogynous and homoerotic themes used
in marketing. Calvin Klein has been at the
forefront of this movement, having him-
self declared, "Jeans are about sex. The
abundance of bare flesh is the last gasp of
advertisers trying to give redundant prod-
ucts a new identity."

In recent years ads for jeans, perfumes

and many other products have featured
provocative images that were designed to
elicit sexual responses from as large a
cross section of the population as possi-
ble, to shock by their ambivalence, or to
appeal to repressed sexual desires, which
are thought to carry a stronger emotional

Increased tolerance, more tempered cen-

sorship, emancipatory developments and
increasing buying power of previously
neglected appreciative target groups in
rich markets (mainly in the west) have led
to a marked increase in the share of at-
tractive male flesh 'on display'
Human sexual behavior, like many other kinds of activity engaged in by human beings, is
generally governed by social rules that are culturally specific and vary widely. These social
rules are referred to as sexual morality (what can and can not be done by society's rules) and
sexual norms (what is and is not expected). Sexual ethics, morals, and norms relate to issues
including deception/honesty, legality, fidelity and consent.
Some activities, known as sex crimes, are illegal in some jurisdictions, including those
conducted between (or among) consenting and competent adults (examples include sodomy law
and adult-adult incest). Scientific studies suggest sexual fantasy, even of unusual interests, is
usually a healthy activity.[citation needed]
Some people engage in various sexual activities as a business transaction. When this involves
having sex with, or performing certain actual sexual acts for another person, it is called
prostitution. Other aspects of the adult industry include (for example) telephone sex operators,
strip clubs, pornography and the like.
Nearly all developed societies consider it a serious crime to force someone to engage in sexual
behavior or to engage in sexual behavior with someone who does not consent. This is called
sexual assault, and if sexual penetration occurs it is called rape, the most serious kind of sexual
assault. The details of this distinction may vary among different legal jurisdictions. Also,
precisely what constitutes effective consent to have sex varies from culture to culture and is
frequently debated. Laws regulating the minimum age at which a person can consent to have
sex (age of consent) are frequently the subject of political and moral debate[citation needed], as
is adolescent sexual behavior in general.
It is possible to engage in sexual activity without a partner, primarily through masturbation
and/or sexual fantasy.
Nollijy University
Research Project

Gregory Bodenhamer Ph.D.