Seduction

Seduction

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Seduction'
Start a new discussion about 'Seduction'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
In social science, seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person to engage. The word seduction stems from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and means literally "to lead astray". As a result, the term may have a positive or negative connotation. Famous seducers from history or legend include Lilith
Lilith
Lilith is a character in Jewish mythology, found earliest in the Babylonian Talmud, who is generally thought to be related to a class of female demons Līlīṯu in Mesopotamian texts. However, Lowell K. Handy notes, "Very little information has been found relating to the Akkadian and Babylonian view...

, Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

 and the character Don Juan
Don Juan
Don Juan is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra by Tirso de Molina is a play set in the fourteenth century that was published in Spain around 1630...

.

Seduction, seen negatively, involves temptation
Temptation
A temptation is an act that looks appealing to an individual. It is usually used to describe acts with negative connotations and as such, tends to lead a person to regret such actions, for various reasons: legal, social, psychological , health, economic, etc...

 and enticement, often sexual in nature, to lead someone astray into a behavioral choice they would not have made if they were not in a state of sexual arousal
Sexual arousal
Sexual arousal, or sexual excitement, is the arousal of sexual desire, during or in anticipation of sexual activity. Things that precipitate human sexual arousal are called erotic stimuli, or colloquially known as turn-ons. There are many potential stimuli, both physical or mental, which can cause...

. Seen positively, seduction is a synonym for the act of charming someone — male or female — by an appeal to the senses, often with the goal of reducing unfounded fears and leading to their "sexual emancipation". Some sides in contemporary academic debate state that the morality of seduction depends on the long-term impacts on the individuals concerned, rather than the act itself, and may not necessarily carry the negative connotations expressed in dictionary definitions.

History


Seduction is a popular motif in history and fiction, both as a warning of the social consequences of engaging in the behaviour or becoming its victim, and as a salute to a powerful skill. In the Bible, Eve
Eve
Eve is the first woman created by God in the Book of Genesis.Eve may also refer to:-People:*Eve , a common given name and surname*Eve , American recording artist and actress-Places:...

 offers the forbidden fruit
Forbidden fruit
Forbidden fruit is any object of desire whose appeal is a direct result of knowledge that cannot or should not be obtained or something that someone may want but is forbidden to have....

 to Adam
Adam
Adam is a figure in the Book of Genesis. According to the creation myth of Abrahamic religions, he is the first human. In the Genesis creation narratives, he was created by Yahweh-Elohim , and the first woman, Eve was formed from his rib...

. Eve is not explicitly depicted as a seductress but some extra-Biblical commentary and art promote this viewpoint. Eve herself was verbally seduced by the serpent, understood in Christianity to be Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

; the Siren
Siren
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were three dangerous mermaid like creatures, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on an island called Sirenum scopuli...

s of Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 lured sailors to their death by singing them to shipwreck; Cleopatra beguiled both Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 and Marc Antony, Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

 was the Greek God of Seduction and wine, and Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 queen Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade , sometimes Scheherazadea, Persian transliteration Shahrazad or Shahrzād is a legendary Persian queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights.-Narration :...

 saved herself from execution by story-telling. Famous male seducers, their names synonymous with sexual allure, range from Genji
The Tale of Genji
is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early 11th century, around the peak of the Heian period. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel or the first novel still to be...

 to James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

.

In biblical times, because unmarried females who lost their virginity
Virginity
Virginity refers to the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth...

 had also lost much of their value as marriage prospects, the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 Book of Exodus specifies that the seducer must marry his victim or pay her father to compensate him for his loss of the marriage price: "And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins."

English common law defined the crime of seduction as a felony committed "when a male person induced an unmarried female of previously chaste character to engage in an act of sexual intercourse on a promise of marriage." A father had the right to maintain an action for the seduction of his daughter (or the enticement of a son who left home), since this deprived him of services or earnings.

In more modern times, Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

 was charged in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 in 1938 with seduction, having enticed a woman "of good repute to engage in sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

 with him upon his promise of marriage. The charges were dropped when it was discovered that the woman was already married
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

." The Internet has lately given rise to more open discussion on seduction and how to achieve it, symptomatic of this is the popularity of published books like The Rules for women and The Game for men.

See also


Further reading

  • Casanova, G
    Giacomo Casanova
    Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

     (1894) Story of my life
    Histoire de ma vie
    Histoire de ma vie is both the memoir and autobiography of Giacomo Casanova, a famous 18th century Italian adventurer...

    . London: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-043915-3
  • Kierkegaard, S
    Søren Kierkegaard
    Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel...

     (1997) The Seducer's Diary. Princeton University Press
    Princeton University Press
    -Further reading:* "". Artforum International, 2005.-External links:* * * * *...

    . ISBN 0-691-01737-9
  • Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2010) Emotion, Seduction and Intimacy: Alternative Perspectives on Human Behaviour, Third Edition, Seattle: Libertary Co.. ISBN 978-1-935961-00-0, http://www.libertary.com/book/emotion-seduction-intimacy
  • Stone, Jack (2008) Manual of Romance, Summerwind Books. http://www.ManualOfRomance.com

External links

  • The memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt: e-version of the rare unabridged London edition of 1894 translated by Arthur Machen
    Arthur Machen
    Arthur Machen was a Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His novella The Great God Pan has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror...

  • Bibliography of Don Juan