Sexual norm  

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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.

A sexual norm can refer to a personal or a social norm. Most cultures have social norms regarding sexuality, and define normal sexuality to consist only of certain legal sex acts between individuals who meet specific criteria of age, relatedness or social role and status.

In most societies, the term 'normal' is actually a spectrum. In other words, rather than each act being simply classified as "acceptable" or "not acceptable", in practice many acts are viewed as "more or less accepted" by different people, and the opinion on how normal or acceptable they are greatly depends on the individual making the opinion as well as the culture itself. Based on information gained from sexological studies, a great many ordinary people's sex lives are very often quite different from popular beliefs about normal, in private.

If non-restrictive sexual norms are regarded positively, they may be called sexual freedom, "sexual liberation" or "free love". If they are regarded negatively, they may be called "sexual licence" or "licentiousness". Restrictive social norms, if judged negatively, are called sexual oppression or "compulsory heterosexuality;" if the restrictive norms are judged positively, they may be regarded as encouraging chastity, "sexual self-restraint" or "sexual decency", and negative terms are used for the targeted sexuality, e.g. sexual abuse and perversion.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sexual norm" 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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