PremaritalSocial Conduct in the 19thCentury
Thereis a difference between the sexual conduct and pre-marital respectbetween the youngsters of the 19th century and those of the 21stcentury. Unlike the 21stcentury where everyone claims to be free-minded and outgoing, thesociety of the 19thcentury was very conservative. There was little room for change, andthat preserved the social norms and cultures. There was littleexposure to harmful material on the internet and media, thereforekeeping the innocence of the youngster intact.
Youngsterslearn from the life and experiences of the older peers. Having littleor no room for change in social norms meant that the culturalpractices guarding sexual conduct and pre-marital behavior werehighly respected. Therefore, the youngster emulated the older peersby abiding by the rules that guarded sexual conduct.
Moreover,the life in the 19thcentury provided distinct roles for the different genders, especiallywhen they were young and in the teenage lives. This provided littletime for close interaction between separate genders. Girls weretasked with house chores, while boys were responsible mainly for theoutdoor duties. By the time, the duties were over, it was time forrest, most probably at night, allowing little time for interaction.
Therewere dire consequences following disrespect of social norms guardingsexual conduct in the 19thcentury. Vices like children being born out of wedlock and abortionswere met with harsh punishment, in such a way that everyone triedtheir best to avoid such circumstances. The best way of avoidingsuch, was obviously respecting the norms concerning pre-maritalsexual conduct.
Insome societies, marriage was accompanies by bridal price or dowry.For a girl to attract a good dowry or bride price, she had to be ofgood conduct, which included sexual behavior. This means that a girlhad to carefully preserve herself in order to attract good suitors.
Inconclusion, many things have changed between present day and the 19thcentury since people interact more, physically and virtually. Thisprovides the loophole for youngsters to misbehave sexually. Exposureto harmful material on the media and the internet also contributes tothis change, something that was less available in the 19thcentury.