Sex and Culture

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"Sex and Culture" by J. D. Unwin

Sex and Culture is a book by J. D. Unwin concerning the correlation between a country's cultural achievement and its sexual restraint. Published in 1934, the book concluded with the theory that as societies develop, they become more sexually liberal, diminishing the Social entropy of the society, along with its "creative" and "expansive" energy, or capabilities to produce culture and gain power.[1][2]


In Sex and Culture, Urwin studies 80 different nations and 6 civilizations throughout history, examines their individual rises and falls, and concluded that the causes of which were largely determined by the loosening of sexual conventions and lessening of monogamous relationships. He purported that through stricter sex conventions and abstinence, nations could channel their sexual energy into aggressive expansion, conquering "less energetic" countries, as well as art, science, and reform.[3] Unwin also categorized the civilizations he evaluated into four categories to assess their developmental status in comparison to each other. The categories are Zoistic, the lowest ranking class, and most sexually liberated, Urwin argues that Zoistic societies have the least amount of social and mental energy. The next class is Monistic', followed by the Deistic societies, and finally, the Rationalistic, or most developed, which exercises the most sexual restraint and expresses the most energy. The book concludes with the assertion that, in order to maintain a "Rational", energetic, society, sexual drive should be controlled and shifted to more productive work, and that women should enjoy the same legal rights as men.[4]


  1. ^ Carnot, Sadi (2017). "Joseph Unwin". Hmolpedia. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Any human society is free to choose either to display great energy or to enjoy sexual freedom; the evidence is that it cannot do both for more than one generation." Unwin, J. D. (1934) Sex and Culture. London: Oxford University Press, p. 412.
  3. ^ Huxley, Aldous (1938). Ends and Means: An Enquiry Into the Ideals and Into the Methods Employed for their Realization. Transaction Publishers. p. 362.
  4. ^ Unwin, Joseph D. (1934). Sex and Culture. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1979867046.