Body fluid  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Bodily fluids listed below are found in the bodies of men and/or women. Some may be found in animals as well. They include fluids that are excreted or secreted from the body as well as fluids that normally are not. A selected number of these respective fluids would include:

Feces, while not generally classed as a body fluid, are often treated similarly to body fluids, and are sometimes fluid or semi-fluid in nature.

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Body fluids in art

abjection, body fluids in art

A relatively new trend in contemporary art is to use body fluids in art, though there have been rarer uses of blood (and perhaps feces) for quite some time, and Marcel Duchamp used semen decades ago in such works as the Wayward Landscape.

Body fluids and health

Modern medical hygiene and public health practices also treat body fluids as unclean. This is because they can be vectors for infectious diseases, such as sexually transmitted diseases or blood-borne diseases.

Safer sex practices try to avoid exchanges of body fluids.


Bodily fluids in religion and history

Bodily fluids are regarded with varying levels of disgust among world cultures, including the Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) and Hinduism. In Hinduism substances that have left the body are considered unclean, although there are some sects which smear cremated body ash on their foreheads as symbolic gestures.

Feces and urine have been used by religions on every continent for atonement, rites of passage, and funerary rites.

One interesting example is the alleged consumption of some ancient sects of the urine of people intoxicated with hallucinogenic mushrooms or creepers, as the urine contained high concentrations of the drug and could be "re-used."

Attitudes concerning bodily fluids aside, there is a long human history of their use in religion, medicine, art, sex, and folklore. Some believe that the tradition of shaking hands with the right hand stems from using the left hand to clean up after defecation, as a result, shaking hands with the left hand is considered insulting in many cultures.

Bodily fluids in popular culture

In Western culture, many people find bodily fluids distasteful or even taboo. Not surprisingly, therefore, they have long been a popular subject for comedy. Perhaps the most famous appearance of bodily fluids in popular culture was in the 1964 Stanley Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, in which the character of "General Jack D. Ripper" (played by Sterling Hayden) worries obsessively about a global Communist conspiracy to "sap and impurify" the "precious bodily fluids" of Americans through water fluoridation.

In MPAA and ESRB ratings of movies and video games, respectively, the depiction of blood is frequently enough to raise the rating to exclude children. In the ESRB system, for example, bloodless "fantasy violence" is considered suitable for games rated Everyone, but games involving more than "minimal and/or infrequent" bloodshed are rated Teen.

See also

References




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Body fluid" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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