The Amish & Sex. It's All About Traditions, Superstitions & Abuse?
To those living near Amish communities, seeing the people that fascinate many around the world, is the norm. But to others, it’s something like they’ve never seen before. Simply they can be described as simple, god-abiding people who stay away from the modern world and live by the land. And why many are curious about their lives, others are more interested in other aspects of human life such as sex and attraction and how the things that are seen as something normal, are perceived by the Amish, especially the youth. What are their outlooks on the desires of the flesh? And is sexual abuse an open secret within the communities? Read on to find out.
Amish Outlook On Things
In North America, there are about 342,000 Amish who are dispersed across rural areas of states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Here it is worth pointing out that each community has its own bylaws, which would be completely different in another. To those who never had any contact with them, their ways may seem strange and to some even consider them sub-human at times. However, those who have had contact with them by either living in the same area or working for the Amish have talked about them. Upon being asked what is their relationship with regards to sex, one person taking to Quora had answered that for the most part, they would say that the Amish had similar sexual feelings like any other person on earth. But for some, they were taught to control those urges until marriage, and in others, they were encouraged to let loose and experiment a little bit. What are the consequences of that? Read on to find out.
The Amish - Inbreeding An Issue?
One question many people ask, seeing the figures of the number of Amish people around is does inbreeding occur? And while to some that might be seen as an insensitive question, it was one of the many answered by Amish America whose sites try to educate people about the way of the Amish. As it is written on the site, given that the population pool is limited, and a few outsiders join the community, it is not surprising that married couples might be distantly or even more closely related to each other such as being second cousins. The site also notes that the people are aware of the potential hazards of endogamy, and in some smaller settlements, finding a marriage partner for the young people, can be an issue which is why the youth of courting age may be encouraged to visit other communities. Though here the information site also points out that for the most part cousin marriages are widely discouraged, however in a limited, largely closed population, more distant relations inevitably do wed.
The Amish - Sex Education
It is common now that most schools offer some sort of sex education classes or seminars for their students so that they learn how to use protection as well as learn more about their own bodies. However, Amish schools do not provide formal sex education. Adults purposely ignore any mention of the subject especially if there are children present so when it comes to some formal education, very little in this topic is given to the ordinary Amish child. Though obviously, like any kids, Amish or not, they will often talk among themselves, with other kids their age, and piece by piece gather the information themselves. Also when it comes to working with farm animals, they might also be curious and ask their parents about how animals reproduce. But even without education, the youth experiment in their own ways, read on to find out more. Some people who had worked alongside the Amish had pointed out that what parents tell their children depends on the community. If they are in the “Plain/ultra-conservative” communities then they will avoid it at all costs, but if they are in the “Faster” communities then parents might talk with their children so that their knowledge helps them avoid temptation.
The Amish - Birth Control
Most Amish see children as a gift from God and large families are valued by them, so naturally most would assume that they are against all forms of birth control. And here you would be right for the most part. They officially oppose artificial methods of birth control, basing their beliefs on Biblical principles and the injunction to “be fruitful and multiply” found in the book of Genesis. But despite all that, this does not mean that all Amish abstain from using birth control. Though in recent years, a drop in Amish family sizes had been noted that would suggest that couples are using some sort of birth control, though only natural such as the ‘rhythm method’, and it had also been reported that some older women might undergo sterilization. An author of a book about the Amish, Donald Kraybill, says their use of birth control is “minimal” but recently there has been an increased use in certain cases as a “modernizing trend—a shift from fate to choice”.
The Amish - Birth Control Opinions
But while there has been an increased use of birth control in one way or another how do most people feel about t? One older Amish woman had spoken about the topic and said, “Artificial birth control is wrong if used for selfish reasons, but it’s okay for married couples if used for health or emotional reasons, but only barrier methods.” Though many use some sort of control despite having a conscience against most don’t use the pill because to them it is seen as taking away a life. A survey that was taken among a community in Holmes County had indicated that over three-fourths of respondents “strongly disagree” or “disagree” with birth control, however, 13% “somewhat agree with” the use of birth control. But could there be some other reason for not using any birth control? Read on to find out!
The Amish - Premarital Sex
Despite the fact that most Amish children are taught from a young age to abstain from sex until marriage, like any other teens or young adults they want to experiment. So of course, just like any other community, premarital sex may occur in Amish relationships. And due to either lack of knowledge or access to birth control, these encounters do result in a pregnancy. That then results in accelerated or out-of-season weddings, given that most Amish weddings take place in either fall or winter as this is the season where not much farm work needs to be done. In some communities, it is even encouraged the youth ‘experiments’ because if the relationship ends in pregnancy the young get married and many see this as keeping the young people in the church or gaining new members if one person is from outside of the Amish community. Though if intimate relations had occurred out of wedlock, the Amish couples may be obliged to make a confession before they are baptized or take their marital vows.
The Amish - LGBT+ Community
Seeing that the world is getting more and more progressive and more people have stopped seeing members of the LGBT+ community as heretics or sinners, accepting that it is normal, the Amish don’t quite have the same outlook. Given that they are a group of people that abide by the bible, they see homosexuality as a sin, and open homosexual relationships are not condoned or seen among the Amish, which has many asking what would happen if someone in the community was a part of the LGBT+ community. Statistically speaking that most certainly has happened in the past but here there are only two ways this could go. Either the individual would have to leave the church, which as a result would mean leaving their families, churches, communities, and the life they had known so far or they just suppress it and present a heterosexual self. If they wish to do the latter, they may seek counseling or otherwise just keep their preferences secret. Though where sexual relations of any kind are concerned among the Amish, the community faces some dark problems which you can find out more about on the next page.
The Amish - Child Sex Assault Cases
In one of their articles, Cosmopolitan magazine had run a story about the sexual abuse among the Amish communities. While researching for their story they had identified 52 official cases of Amish child sexual assault in seven states over the past two decades. However, as they stated there most certainly are more because virtually every victim they had spoken with, some men but mainly women had said that they were dissuaded by their family or church leaders from reporting their abuse to police or had been conditioned not to seek outside help. Given that many Amish don’t get any sort of sexual education as we previously pointed out, they might not even be aware of what’s happening, and as Judge Craig Stedman told reporters, many women don’t even know the proper names for their body parts.
The Amish - Deal With It Themselves
Though as it turns out, things like this are a poorly kept secret. One woman that spoke with the Cosmopolitan reporter had said that when their community had learned that their father had sexually assaulted her, he was “shunned” for six weeks. That is a common form of discipline in which the accused is socially ostracized and forbidden from eating at the same table as church members. After the “shunning” period is up, the person confesses in church, and the community is strongly compelled to forgive and forget that the “sin” ever happened. As one of the victims revealed after that period, things in her house went back to how they were before and everyone had acted as if nothing had happened. But other victims had revealed that they were intimidated and threatened with ex-communication if they had said anything and for those who know no other way of life, that could be enough for them to stay silent. Though in recent years, especially following the #MeToo movement, more Amish women are speaking up, maybe not via social media, but among themselves, they are sharing their stories and what they can do to get help.
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