To those who are sex-negative, also known as antisexualists, or derogatorily as "prudes", "Puritanical", or "Victorian", sex is often seen as something too sacred to allow the casual or irreverent exercise of it.
Some proponents of sex-positivity claim that under the Western, Christian tradition, sex is seen as a destructive force except when it is redeemed by the saving grace of procreation, and sexual pleasure is seen as sinful. Sexual acts are ranked hierarchically, with procreative marital heterosexuality at the top of the hierarchy and masturbation, homosexuality and other sexualities that deviate from societal norms closer to the bottom. Medicine and psychiatry, as well as an argued degradation of culture, are said to have also contributed to sex-negativity, as they may, from time to time, designate some forms of sexuality that appear on the bottom of this hierarchy as being pathological (see Mental illness).
- Rubin, Gayle (1984). "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality". In Carole S. Vance (Ed.), Pleasure and Danger: exploring female sexuality, pp. 267-319. Boston (Routledge & Kegan Paul). ISBN 0-7100-9974-6