SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Bloch, E. (2001). Sex between men and boys in classical Greece: Was it education for citizenship or child abuse? Journal of Men’s Studies, 9(2), 183–204.

Learning Objective: Understanding sexual relationships between young boys and mature men in ancient Greece, especially focusing on boys’ perspectives

Summary: Ancient Greeks were permissive of male homosexuality, but they imposed certain rules on it. Historical documents and literature often focus on relationships developed between mature men and young boys, which were considered beneficial for both sides—pleasurable for men and educational for boys. However, modern understanding of child sexuality and trauma signals that this custom was probably deeply traumatic for boys.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What were some rules and limits of erotic relationships between men and boys?
  2. What are main points of constructivist perspective on the sexuality of ancient Greeks?
  3. What are the main premises of the modern perspective on child sexuality? According to it, what can we conclude concerning the sexuality of boys of ancient Greece?


Article 2: Herlihy, D. (1987). The family and religious ideologies in medieval Europe. Journal of Family History, 12(1), 3–17.

Learning Objective: Understanding emotionality and sexuality of the Middle Ages

Summary: The Christian Church imposed very strict rules concerning sexuality during the Middle Ages. The author addresses these rules but also provides more detailed information on familial life in this period.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What was the outlook of the Christian Church on sexuality during the Middle Ages?
  2. Why was virginity a somewhat controversial point during the Middle Ages?
  3. What are some characteristics of familial life in the Middle Ages? How was it affected by the Church?


Article 3: Haavio-Mannila, E., Roos, J. P., & Kontula, O. (1996). Repression, revolution and ambivalence: The sexual life of three generations. Acta Sociologica, 39(4), 409–430.

Learning Objective: Understanding how moral norms adopted in youth affect the sexuality of adults. Differentiating between the sexual attitudes of generations born during the 20th century.

Summary: The authors describe three different generations born during three different time spans of 20th century. Each of these time spans is characterized by distinctive sexual morality. The authors explain how standing norms in childhood affect adult sexuality and describe the sexuality of each of these three generations.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is generation? How are different generations recognized?
  2. What happened before and during the sexual revolution that influenced it and its outcomes?
  3. What are characteristics of each of three generations described in the text?