In Christianity sexual life outside marriage is banned and for ages it was like that in Europe and the Western world, I want to know at which age this start to became popular that people will have relationship and girlfriends instead of being married.

closed as unclear what you're asking by called2voyage, Mark C. Wallace, Pieter Geerkens, Steve Bird, SMS von der Tann Jul 13 '16 at 12:32

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    That development is quite recent, mid-20th century. Germany, for example, had a major revision of related jurisdiction between 1969 and 1974, with another revision in 1998, which step by step stopped penalizing e.g. pre- and extramarital sex, homosexuality etc.; exact dates vary between the individual states. It's hard to argue "popularity" when any statistics might be influenced by the fact that you're talking about criminal behaviour, so I would take such legislation as an indicator as to when mindsets changed -- and for the better, I might add. – DevSolar Jul 11 '16 at 9:13
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    It seems to have been extremly popular in Ancient Rome, and also in the late Middle Ages. There seems to be some cyclic aspect to this; Victorian mores were quite certainly more repressive than 18th century mores. But DevSolar is right that extra-marital sex was criminalised until recently (last quarter of the 20th century, I would say). And, as we can see by the increasing popularity of illegal drugs, popularity and legality are different issues - one could argue that extra-marital sex has been consistently popular during the ages, regardless of it being legal or safe... – Luís Henrique Jul 11 '16 at 10:37
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    Throughout history people have had extramarital relations. (see Hamilton for example) While Christianity may have discouraged extramarital relations, the ban was never effective. "shotgun marriages", mistresses, "backdoor men", have existed throughout time. If the ban had been effective, 2/3 of all western literature would be shorter. I suspect that printing would have died during Georgian England were it not for speculation about natural sons. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 11 '16 at 12:27
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    Perhaps I misunderstood the question and you're really asking about the sexual revolution. The creation of reliable birth control that did not require male participation resulted in a dramatic revision of sexual mores. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 11 '16 at 12:54
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    When: Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. Why: because sex is fun. Really, do we need to say anymore than this? – Pieter Geerkens Jul 12 '16 at 1:48

In the late sixties. This is called "sexual revolution", and some social scientists explain it by invention of reliable and convenient contraceptives ("the Pill"). Of course, decline in religion is also an important ingredient, but this process began much earlier, I mean in Western Europe.

In other parts of the world this happened later. For example in the countries of the former Soviet Union in the 1980-90. I mean sexual relations without marriage were quite common already in 1960-70, but they were not socially acceptable: people had to hide them. In the 1980-90 this became completely normal.

  • +1 with the twist that there were also bouts of sexual liberation earlier on. For instance in ancient Greece, where the Cynics had no qualms about having sex with whoever wherever, and with en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece - not to mention the spread of syphilis in the late 15th/early 16th century, which was in part but not only spread by troops raping civilians. – Denis de Bernardy Jul 11 '16 at 22:47
  • The question mentions "christian values", so I interpreted it as related to the recent times, in any case, after the introduction of Christianity. – Alex Jul 13 '16 at 21:36
  • Very fair point, yes. It still seems to me though that the spread of syphilis suggests that sexual liberation was high then, because no amount of raping can reasonably explain the spread. Also, I vaguely recollect that Renaissance universities were pretty crazy back then - even compared to our own nowadays, in that wine and beer allowances were part of the package. It's hard to argue that Europe wasn't Christian in either period. This in no way discounts your answer's merits. Just wanted to point out (as done in a comment on the question) that it varied depending on the period before that. – Denis de Bernardy Jul 13 '16 at 22:53

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