Read my post on Sexual Shame in our Politics at JT Eberhard's blog, based on my talk at the Texas Freethought Convention. Also, take a look at the new Richard Dawkins documentary, Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life on Youtube. The first episode deals with my research on guilt, sex and religion.

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Comment by jay H on October 28, 2012 at 7:03am
Shame is a complex and powerful emotion, an evolutionary component of our socialization instincts. The strong desire to not be seen as orthagonal to the norms of the group functions as a way of keeping members coordinated without overt coercion.

Of course such a powerful drive is often subverted, or used to manipulate. Entities as diverse as environmental groups to religious groups and everything in between actively work at creating frameworks to instill a sense of shame and tweak others to their particular preferences.

Sexual areas are particularly subject to such manipulation because of the deep psychological baggage, hence: "homosexuality is bad", "hedonism is bad", "alternative sexuality is bad", "prostitution is bad", all are ways to attempt to bring people to your preferred behavior when you don't have sufficient coercive power to do it.



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