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Confucianism view towards homosexuality


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#1 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:46 AM

I do know Confucianism placed a lot of emphasis on family values, passing on lineage and moral ethics. It might seem to me that Confucianism opposes homosexuality, simply because homosexuals cannot get married and they seem to bring ''dishonor" to a family.

I'm just wondering if there is any cross references in Confucianism, classical texts indicating about Confucianism's view towards homosexuality.

Does Confucianism oppose or tolerate homosexuality?
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#2 ghostexorcist

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 03:40 PM

I do know Confucianism placed a lot of emphasis on family values, passing on lineage and moral ethics. It might seem to me that Confucianism opposes homosexuality, simply because homosexuals cannot get married and they seem to bring ''dishonor" to a family.

I'm just wondering if there is any cross references in Confucianism, classical texts indicating about Confucianism's view towards homosexuality.

Does Confucianism oppose or tolerate homosexuality?

Some of the books from this list state there is no direct mention of homosexuality in the Analects.

http://www.google.co...nG=搜索图书

#3 norenxaq

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 02:03 AM

Some of the books from this list state there is no direct mention of homosexuality in the Analects.

http://www.google.co...nG=搜索图书



gays do and have married people of the opposite sex throughout history for a variety of reasons

#4 Yeleixingfeng

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 03:05 AM

I thought the concept of gay came about during the Northen and Southern Dynasty? (南北朝) You mean that homosexuality was publicly known during the Warring States period? Wow.. We were that advanced...
夫子之元,受之父母也,非其愿也。全其志者惟父母,全其心者亦父母。父母不能,则子不全矣;子不全者难治矣,惟父母是责。然而祖之遗也、儒之训也,逆子难为。是,不公哉。

#5 Howard Fu

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 09:40 AM

Please check the story of splitting peach and cutting sleeves, guys.

断袖之癖则来源于西汉的董贤。西汉建平二年,有一天,汉哀帝下朝回宫,看到殿前站着一个人,正在传漏报时,哀帝随口问:那不是舍人董贤吗?那人忙叩头道:正是小臣董贤。董贤是御史董恭的儿子,在汉哀帝刘欣还是太子时曾当过太子舍人。就是这一瞥,哀帝忽然发现,几年不见,董贤越长越俊俏了,比六宫粉黛还要漂亮,他不禁大为喜爱,命他随身侍从。从此对他日益宠爱,同车而乘,同榻而眠。 董贤不仅长得像美女,言谈举止也十足地像女人,性柔和、善为媚。哀帝对董贤的爱之深,可用一个例子来说明。一次午睡,董贤枕着哀帝的袖子睡着了。哀帝想起身,却又不忍惊醒董贤,随手拔剑割断了衣袖。后人将同性恋称为断袖之癖,便是源出于此。
卫灵公好男宠弥子瑕,此君聪而美。有一次,弥子瑕陪伴卫灵公游园。园中桃树果实累累,红绿相间,正是初熟时节。弥子瑕摘下一只桃子,吃了一口,把剩下的顺手递给了灵公。灵公几口便将桃子吃下肚,还洋洋得意地说,:爱我哉!忘其口味,以啖寡人。这就是有名的断袖分桃中的分桃典故。
http://zhidao.baidu....question/336368

I think homosexuality was considered a personal hobby in ancient China, very much like in ancient Greece. Jia Baoyu was really a bisexual boy in Dream of Red Mansion.
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#6 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 01:14 AM

Please check the story of splitting peach and cutting sleeves, guys.

I think homosexuality was considered a personal hobby in ancient China, very much like in ancient Greece. Jia Baoyu was really a bisexual boy in Dream of Red Mansion.


I do know that Emperor Han Aidi was the most famous Chinese gay Emperor. And there were many cases of Chinese gay historical figures. It seems that homosexuality wasn't really a social taboo in ancient China. There were even gigolos.

But according to this site: http://zhidao.baidu....n/42373527.html

《商书伊训》中对同性恋的记载也许是最早的,它指出世有三风十愆,说卿士有一于身,家必丧;邦君有一于身,国必亡;
臣下不匡,其刑墨。三风中有乱风,而乱风中包括四愆,其中的一愆是比顽童,即玩男童,搞同性恋。
由此可见,在商代,比顽童已经成为乱风的一种,所以伊尹在对太甲的训诫里不得不加以特别提醒。


The book of Shang 《商书伊训》 had the earliest ancient Chinese records of homosexuality. It mentioned that there were "3 environments and 10 crimes". Amongst the 3 environments, there were "decadent environment", one of which is playing with boys (i.e. homosexuality). From that, we can know that Shang dynasty already had homosexuality and Yiyin appeared to be cautious of the teaching of Taijia.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#7 William O'Chee

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 10:28 AM

I think homosexuality was considered a personal hobby in ancient China, very much like in ancient Greece.

It s fair to say that homosexuality was much more complex in Classical Greece. Homosexuality could be both natural and unnatural at the same time, depending upon how it was practised (not necessarily with whom it was practised).

#8 Mei Houwang

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 11:57 AM

It mentioned that there were "3 environments and 10 crimes". Amongst the 3 environments, there were "decadent environment", one of which is playing with boys (i.e. homosexuality). From that, we can know that Shang dynasty already had homosexuality and Yiyin appeared to be cautious of the teaching of Taijia.


If it's about playing with "boys", then how would you know that they weren't thinking about pedophiles rather than homosexuals?

#9 ghostexorcist

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 12:58 PM

If it's about playing with "boys", then how would you know that they weren't thinking about pedophiles rather than homosexuals?

Pedophilia (the disorder) is a modern concept. I think a better term is Pederasty. This was not frowned upon in the ancient world. For parallels in ancient Greek culture, see here. For ancient Japan, see here.

#10 Mei Houwang

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 02:26 PM

Pedophilia (the disorder) is a modern concept. I think a better term is Pederasty. This was not frowned upon in the ancient world. For parallels in ancient Greek culture, see here. For ancient Japan, see here.


True, but the same could be said about what we term as "homosexuality". However, there were critiques that looked down on either pedophile or homophobic tendencies, but we just can't be sure which it is, or if it's something in between. For example, the original Bible accused men of laying with boy prostitutes(many current translations switched "boy prostitute" with "males"). Was this accusation against sex with children, homosexual sex, or sex with prostitutes? Who knows?

#11 mariusj

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 06:49 PM

I thought the concept of gay came about during the Northen and Southern Dynasty? (南北朝) You mean that homosexuality was publicly known during the Warring States period? Wow.. We were that advanced...

Yes.
龍陽君


The book of Shang 《商书伊训》 had the earliest ancient Chinese records of homosexuality. It mentioned that there were "3 environments and 10 crimes". Amongst the 3 environments, there were "decadent environment", one of which is playing with boys (i.e. homosexuality). From that, we can know that Shang dynasty already had homosexuality and Yiyin appeared to be cautious of the teaching of Taijia.

I am pretty sure your definition is not correct.
Yi Xun said
敢有恒舞于宫,酣歌于室,时谓巫风,敢有殉于货色,恒于游畋,时谓淫风。敢有侮圣言,逆忠直,远耆德,比顽童,时谓乱风。惟兹三风十愆,卿士有一于身,家必丧;邦君有一于身,国必亡。臣下不匡,其刑墨,具训于蒙士。
We can divide these three environments [or habit]into 3 kind, with all the actions in each habit similar to each other.
You can see from the first part,敢有恒舞于宫,酣歌于室,时谓巫风, dancing, drinking, singing, as same with the second part.
Now, we see有侮圣言,逆忠直,远耆德,比顽童. First, to insult or disregard the words of the sages, to disregard the honest, to distant from the wise, and lastly 比顽童, TO BE CHILDISH seems farm more like a proper continuation of to insult the words of the sages, to disregard the honest, distant from the wise, and be childish compare to to insult the words of the sages to disregard the honest to distant yourself from the wise and to have sex with boys.
Note, 顽 =\= play. Playful, but not play with.

#12 mariusj

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 06:53 PM

True, but the same could be said about what we term as "homosexuality". However, there were critiques that looked down on either pedophile or homophobic tendencies, but we just can't be sure which it is, or if it's something in between. For example, the original Bible accused men of laying with boy prostitutes(many current translations switched "boy prostitute" with "males"). Was this accusation against sex with children, homosexual sex, or sex with prostitutes? Who knows?

As far as the bible is concern, it is against unnatural sex.
As for what unnatural sex is, you have to talk to someone who have a degree.

:b_evil: :b_evil: :b_evil: :b_evil: :b_evil: :b_evil:






Personally, my opinion of what is unnatural sex is if you can fit it, it is not unnatural, if you have to make new openings, that is fairly unnatural.

:b_evil: :b_evil: :b_evil: :b_evil: :b_evil: :clapping:

#13 mohistManiac

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 01:47 AM

In a very Confucianist society (such as Japan to be included in the list) the implication is that homosexuality would have been very prevalent in a time of power struggle even when such a thing may not be openly admitted due to whatever stigma the society will attach to the persons practicing the physical and mental rituals of this gender construction. This is because in the hierarchical stratification of power relations in a perpetually tense environment such as that of feudal Japan causes more developments of gender identification amongst the masses than just purely male versus female, eldest versus youngest, ruler versus peasant etc. but will often entangle more gender varieties among the masses that are not readily apparent. An elder if being poor will therefore defer to the authority of the youngest sibling that has money which supports him or her. However in a massive camp of the all male samurai elite the one that is most physically skilled though often being younger and physically more vital must be seen as more womanly because the legitimacy of authority must reside in the hands of the most mentally prepared/experienced /"Confucianist" otherwise there would not stand a cohesive order of warrior elite ready to heed the commands of the ruler whose power is cross generational and therefore most elderly and absolute. The movie Gohatto basically demonstrates this.
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#14 bloodmerchant

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:05 PM

I believe that Confucianism tolerates homosexuality, but generally disagreed with it because it opposes the Confucian notion of passing down the family line, or continuing the bloodline. It's not as if they actively hunted homosexuals and force them to have children. Nevertheless, there were some Confucian individuals who were homosexual at the time. But Taoists did embrace homosexual individuals, basing it in the balance of yin and yang within a person, so a male homosexual is said to have more yin power than yang power.

Edited by bloodmerchant, 21 September 2010 - 04:06 PM.

吳王夫差將伐齊,子胥曰:不可。夫齊之與吳也,習俗不同,言語不通,我得其地不能處,得其民不得使。夫吳之與越也,接土鄰境,壤交通屬,習俗同,言語通,我得其地能處之,得其民能使之。
─伍子胥 《知化》,《呂氏春秋》

#15 CodyBahir

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 01:32 AM

A little late reply, but I just saw this thread...

For example, the original Bible accused men of laying with boy prostitutes(many current translations switched "boy prostitute" with "males"). Was this accusation against sex with children, homosexual sex, or sex with prostitutes? Who knows?


Actually, (I assume you are referring to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) where it EXPLICITLY forbade man on man sexual intercourse, (nothing to do with prostitutes or children) as the word used is zachar זכר meaning "male" (even used for grammar) refer to Leviticus 18:22 and 21:13.

If there IS a translation that says male prostitutes...that would be the inaccurate one. Unless perhaps you are referring to manuscripts older than the received text, (Qumran?) but that is out of my realm of knowledge.

But again, the idea of homosexuality as an identity, is absent from the Old Testament




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