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Fornication typically refers to consensual sexual intercourse between two people not married to each other. For many people, the term carries a moral or religious association, but the significance of sexual acts to which the term is applied varies between religions, societies and cultures. The definition is often disputed. In modern usage, the term is often replaced with the more judgment-neutral terms premarital sex, sex before marriage, or extramarital sex.
Etymology and usage 
The word derives from Latin, fornix meaning "arch", supposedly as a euphemism for "brothel". The first recorded use in English is in the Cursor Mundi, c. 1300; the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) records a figurative use as well: "The forsaking of God for idols".
"Fornicated" as an adjective is still used in botany, meaning "arched" or "bending over" (as in a leaf). John Milton plays on that and its sexual meaning in The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty (1642): "[She] gives up her body to a mercenary whordome under those fornicated [ar]ches which she cals Gods house." In architecture, the term refers to vault; this usage, by way of prostitutes in Rome who supposedly "frequented the vaulted arcades surrounding the Colosseum", has given rise to its current meaning.
In the English translations of the Bible the Greek term πορνεία (porneia) has given rise to some dispute. The traditional translation of the term into English has been fornication, but has also been translated as whoredom. More recent translations have preferred the alternate translation of sexual immorality or simply immorality.
Paul the Apostle expressed the view that a person's body belongs to God and is God's temple (1 Corinthians 6:13, 3:16) and that fornication is sinful (1 Corinthians 6:18), on an equal level as adultery. (1 Corinthians 6:9) Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 7:1 that sexual abstinence is an acceptable practice for men.
According to classicist Evelyn Stagg and New Testament scholar Frank Stagg, the New Testament holds that sex is reserved for marriage. They maintain that the New Testament teaches that sex outside of marriage is a sin of adultery if either sexual participant is married, otherwise the sin of fornication if both sexual participants are unmarried. An imperative given in 1 Corinthians says, "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins people commit are outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies."
Some have theorized that the New Testament was not against sex before marriage. The discussion turns on two Greek words — moicheia (μοιχεία, adultery) and porneia (el:πορνεία, fornication see also pornography). The first word is restricted to contexts involving sexual betrayal of a spouse; however, the second word is used as a generic term for illegitimate sexual activity. Elsewhere in 1 Corinthians , incest, homosexual intercourse (according to some interpretations) and prostitution are all explicitly forbidden by name (however, the Septuagint uses "porneia" to refer to male temple prostitution). Paul is preaching about activities based on levitical sexual prohibitions in the context of achieving holiness. The theory suggests it is these, and only these behaviours that are intended by Paul's prohibition in chapter seven.
Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.
A daughter keeps her father secretly wakeful... while a virgin, lest she be defiled or become pregnant in her father's house.
Across all four schools of Sunni practice, and the two schools of Shi'a practice, the term zina signifies voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and a woman not married to one another, regardless of whether one or both of them are married to other persons or not. It does not - in contrast with the usage prevalent in most Western languages - differentiate between the concepts of adultery (i.e., sexual intercourse of a married man with a woman other than his wife, or of a married woman with a man other than her husband) and fornication (i.e., sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons).
Islamic law prescribes punishments for both Muslim and non-Muslim men and women for the act of Zina as interpreted from the Qur'an and the Hadith. In principle it is an extremely difficult offence to prove, requiring four respectable witnesses to the actual act of penetration.
Fornication laws are mostly tied to religion and the legal and political traditions within the particular jurisdiction. Laws differ greatly from country to country.
In some Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Oman, Mauritania, United Arab Emirates, Qatar,Sudan, Yemen, any form of sexual activity outside marriage is illegal.
||The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2013)|
United Kingdom 
In England in 1650, during the ascendancy of the Puritans, fornication was made a felony. At the Restoration in 1660, this statute was not renewed, and prosecution of the mere act of fornication itself was abandoned. However, notorious and open lewdness, when carried to the extent of exciting public scandal, continued to be an indictable offence at common law.
United States of America 
Premarital sex, adultery, and other ethical issues arising from sexual relations between consenting heterosexuals who have reached the age of consent have generally been viewed as matters of private morality, and so, have not generally been prosecuted as criminal offenses in the common law. This legal position was inherited by the United States from the United Kingdom. Later, some jurisdictions, a total of 16 in the southern and eastern United States, as well as the states of Wisconsin and Utah passed statutes creating the offense of fornication that prohibited (vaginal) sexual intercourse between two unmarried people of the opposite sex. Most of these laws either were repealed, were not enforced, or were struck down by the courts in several states as being odious to their state constitutions. See also State v. Saunders, 381 A.2d 333 (N.J. 1977), Martin v. Ziherl, 607 S.E.2d 367 (Va. 2005).
Some acts may be prohibited under criminal laws defining the offense of sodomy, rather than the laws defining the offense of fornication. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) rendered the states' remaining laws related to sodomy unenforceable. Lawrence v. Texas is also presumed by many to invalidate laws prohibiting fornication: the decision declared sodomy laws unconstitutional, saying that they interfered with private, consensual, non-commercial intimate relations between unrelated adults, and therefore were odious to the rights of liberty and privacy, such rights being retained by the people of the United States.
See also 
||This article uses bare URLs for citations. (January 2013)|
- "Fornication". Student Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Fornix, n.". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. 2001.
- "Fornication, n.1". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. 2001.
- "Fornicated, adj.". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. 2001.
- O'Gorman, James F. (1998). ABC of Architecture. U of Pennsylvania P. pp. 106–107. ISBN 9780812216318. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Vine's Dictionary of New Testament Words
- Young's Literal Translation
- The English Standard Version : ChristianCourier.com
- Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1978. ISBN 0-664-24195-6
- John Shelby Spong, The Living Commandments.
- arsenokoitēs (masc. noun of fem. 1st declension), literally a man who shares a bed with other men (see LSJ and BDAG).
- Syriac- Christian and Rabbinic Notions of Holy Community and Sexuality Naomi Koltun-Fromm April 2006 pdf
- Catechism of the Catholic Church - The sixth commandment
- Sirach 42:10 - RSV - without Study Resources - Study Desk
- Human Rights Voices - Pakistan, August 21, 2008
- Ernesto Londoño (09/09/2012). "Afghanistan sees rise in ‘dancing boys’ exploitation". The Washington Post (DEHRAZI, Afghanistan).
- AIDSPortal - Home
- United Nations Human Rights Website - Treaty Bodies Database - Document - Summary Record - Kuwait
- Culture of Maldives - history, people, clothing, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social
- BBC News - Morocco: Should pre-marital sex be legal?
- 2010 Human Rights Report: Mauritania
- Education in Dubai
- Briton faces jail for sex on Dubai beach - Middle East - World - The Independent
- "Sex outside of marriage is a criminal offense here," PH ambassador to Qatar warns Pinoys | The Feed | SPOT.ph
- Sudan must rewrite rape laws to protect victims | Reuters
- UNHCR | Refworld | Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa - Yemen
- "Fornication". New International Encyclopedia. 1906.
- Jim Thompson, The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, Vol. 49, No. 4 (Nov. – Dec., 1958), pp. 350–356
- Jim Thompson The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, Vol. 49, No. 4 (Nov. – Dec., 1958), pp. 350–356, 353
- "Utah Code, Title 76, Chapter 07. Offenses Against the Family".