Religion has a lot to do with sexuality. The main religions generally have conservative opinions about sexuality. Churches and religious communities have generally put up resistance against changes in the sexual system.
Differences between religions
Birth control and abortion, sexual deviations, pornography, masturbation and adultery, prostitution, gender roles, nudity, population policy, free love, and all sorts of related topics have been and are still condemned by the spokesmen of religious communities. Not that all religions are the same. There are gradations: Protestantism is a little less conservative than Roman Catholicism, which is more modern than Islam, which is more advanced than Hinduism and a diversity of ‘nature’ religions.
Barbaric customs like circumcision as a ritual confirmation of the sexual order, stoning adulterous women, witch burning (people who were accused of sexual interaction with the devil), the cruel killing of rapists or paraphiliacs, have been and are defended with arguments rooted in religious conviction. In general, religion represents a moralistic discourse on sexuality, condemnatory and hostile towards anything outside procreative non-pleasurable sex within marriage.
Sex and religion: control system
In the Western world religious power has diminished over the last 200 years, but indirectly it still plays a very important role in personal and public life, even among people who do not go to church. This demonstrates that religion is not the cause of a restricted sexual morality. The typical sexual order is much older. Most primitive forms of superstition emphasize the difference between men and women and the scrupulous restriction of sexual pleasure and intercourse to procreation and family formation. This social and individual control system goes much further back in our evolution and can only be explained from the natural sexual system that connects us with the animal world.
Sex and religion: human culture
Thus, religion as a typical characteristic of human culture illustrates once more how ‘culture’ is rooted in ‘nature’. Instead of being a typical ‘human’ and creation, religion represents the natural impulses and fears that we have inherited over hundreds of thousands of years. This point can be illustrated by looking at creation stories, god, the holy family, and the relationship between religion and emotion.