Sexuality in a Zero Growth Society

  • Alexander Comfort


Throughout most of human history, marriage, even when it was monogamous, was not so much about sexual companionship as about kinship. By kinship I mean the movement of the individual across and within families, the acquisition of kin, and often the disposal of property. Women were not only sexual partners and potential mothers of descendants, but they were ambassadors between clans, and they were very often treated as walking bearer-bonds in that they brought inheritances with them, they gave access to the store of another family, or they had to be bought from their clan or their parents. One striking surviving instance of the dynastic use of women as access to the power of a clan is in the British legal provision that to ravish a queen or a princess who is heir to the throne is treason, not because it would be rough on the queen or the princess, but specifically to prevent usurpation by abduction, since the heir, even of a rape, would be entitled to royal pretensions.


Good Faith Human Sexuality Kinship Marriage Catholic Country Sexual Companionship 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Comfort
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Higher StudiesSanta BarbaraUSA

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