Relationships

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Posted by r2d2 02/27/2009 @ 10:37

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New Moon official trailer, Twilight and relationships - Examiner.com
Twilight books (by Stephenie Meyers) and movies are still the craze-- but what does the series say about sex and relationships? (Warning: some spoilers for the books follow.) Do we really need to analyze it? Yes, yes we do....
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Put another way, customer relationships with mobile providers are about on a par with their relationships with airlines and retailers. So what can wireless providers do to enhance their customer relationships? Recognize the value some customers...
Healthy love life can ease work-related stress - Times of India
“The relationship reduces the negative effects of this kind of stress on our health. But poor relationships will amplify the negative effects", said Andersson Arnten. “A positive approach and successful stress-management techniques also help to reduce...
Synthes' relationship with surgeons questioned - Philadelphia Inquirer
The indictment casts a spotlight on the cozy and lucrative relationships between doctors and makers of drugs and medical devices. The allegations, if true, also illustrate how a company can exploit regulatory gray areas to boost sales while undermining...
Metavante and First National Bank of Omaha Renew Prepaid Relationship - EON
Extending a relationship that began in 2005, First National Bank of Omaha will continue offering its smartOne Prepaid Solutions products and services with account processing and real-time account validation services from Metavante....
Headhunter for Relationships Opens Its Doors in Charlotte - SYS-CON Media (press release)
When found, the candidates are interviewed and complete an in-depth profile that explores values, lifestyle preferences, likes, dislikes, and a number of other qualities important to the success of a relationship. "I consider myself a headhunter for...
Your relationship with yourself... loving your body here and now - Examiner.com
For many years, though, I hated everything about my body that didn't resemble perfection and blamed all of those 'flaws' for relationships that went south and the way I felt about myself. The truth is, though, my self loathing was the heart of...
NO SPOLERS!!!! (kinda,just plot and info) - MovieWeb
Both stories are well written and actually evoke some emotion throughout the move as you begin to feel invested in the relationships with the humans to humans, humans to robots, and robots to robots. I do not want to go into the full story because I...
Building a relationship with grandparents who live far, far away - Examiner.com
And it is never too early to start building a strong relationship with one's extended families, especially one's grandparents. A child's strongest attachments are formed within the first two years of life and are the result of consistent nurturing...
Companies Confusing Supplier Performance with Supplier ... - Supply & Demand Chain Executive
By Editorial Staff London — June 22, 2009 — Many organizations see supplier relationship management (SRM) as a process focused on monitoring the performance of their suppliers rather than as a collaborative, two-way relationship that can deliver value...

Child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which a child is abused for the sexual gratification of an adult or older adolescent. In addition to direct sexual contact, child sexual abuse also occurs when an adult indecently exposes their genitalia to a child, asks or pressures a child to engage in sexual activities, displays pornography to a child, or uses a child to produce child pornography.

Effects of child sexual abuse include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, propensity to re-victimization in adulthood, and physical injury to the child, among other problems. Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest, and can result in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest.

Approximately 15% to 25% of women and 5% to 15% of men were sexually abused when they were children. Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approximately 30% are relatives of the child, most often fathers, uncles or cousins; around 60% are other acquaintances such as friends of the family, babysitters, or neighbors; strangers are the offenders in approximately 10% of child sexual abuse cases. Most child sexual abuse is committed by men; women commit approximately 14% of offenses reported against boys and 6% of offenses reported against girls. Most offenders who abuse pre-pubescent children are pedophiles, however a small percentage do not meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia.

Child sexual abuse can result in both short-term and long-term harm, including psychopathology in later life. Psychological, emotional, physical, and social effects include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety,, eating disorders, poor self-esteem, dissociative and anxiety disorders; general psychological distress and disorders such as somatization, neurosis, chronic pain, sexualized behavior, school/learning problems; and behavior problems including substance abuse, destructive behavior, criminality in adulthood and suicide. A specific characteristic pattern of symptoms has not been identified and there are several hypotheses on the causality of these associations.

Long term negative effects on development leading to re-victimization in adulthood are also associated with child sexual abuse. Studies have established a causal relationship between childhood sexual abuse and certain specific areas of adult psychopathology, including suicidality, antisocial behavior, PTSD, anxiety and alcoholism. Adults with a history of abuse as a child, especially sexual abuse, are more likely than people with no history of abuse to become frequent users of emergency and medical care services A study comparing middle-aged women who were abused as children with non-abused counterparts found significantly higher health care costs for the former.

Sexually abused children suffer from more psychological symptoms than children who have not been abused; studies have found symptoms in 51% to 79% of sexually abused children. The risk of harm is greater if the abuser is a relative, if the abuse involves intercourse or attempted intercourse, or if threats or force are used. The level of harm may also be affected by various factors such as penetration, duration and frequency of abuse, and use of force. The social stigma of child sexual abuse may compound the psychological harm to children, and adverse outcomes are less likely for abused children who have supportive family environments..

Young children who are abused sexually by adult females may incur double traumatization due to the widespread denial of female-perpetrated child sexual abuse by non-abusing parents, professional caregivers and the general public. Turner and Maryanski in Incest: Origins of the Taboo (2005), suggest that mother-son incest causes the most serious damage to children in comparison to mother-daughter, father-daughter and father-son child incest. Crawford asserts that our socially repressed view of female and maternal sexuality conceals both the reality of female sexual pathologies and the damage done by female sexual abuse to children.

Child abuse, including sexual abuse, especially chronic abuse starting at early ages, has been found to be related to the development of high levels of dissociative symptoms, which includes amnesia for abuse memories. The level of dissociation has been found to be related to reported overwhelming sexual and physical abuse. When severe sexual abuse (penetration, several perpetrators, lasting more than one year) had occurred, dissociative symptoms were even more prominent.

Child sexual abuse independently predicts the number of symptoms for PTSD a person displays, after controlling for possible confounding variables, according to Widom (1999), who wrote "sexual abuse, perhaps more than other forms of childhood trauma, leads to dissociative problems ... these PTSD findings represent only part of the picture of the long-term psychiatric sequelae associated with early childhood victimization ... antisocial personality disorder, alcohol abuse, and other forms of psychopathology." Children may develop symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder resulting from child sexual abuse, even without actual or threatened injury or violence.

Because child sexual abuse often occurs alongside other possibly confounding variables, such as poor family environment and physical abuse, some scholars argue it is important to control for those variables in studies which measure the effects of sexual abuse. In a 1998 review of related literature, Martin and Fleming, state "The hypothesis advanced in this paper is that, in most cases, the fundamental damage inflicted by child sexual abuse is due to the child's developing capacities for trust, intimacy, agency and sexuality, and that many of the mental health problems of adult life associated with histories of child sexual abuse are second-order effects." Other studies have found an independent association of child sexual abuse with adverse psychological outcomes.

Kendler et al. (2000) found that most of the relationship between severe forms of child sexual abuse and adult psychopathology in their sample could not be explained by family discord, because the effect size of this association decreased only slightly after they controlled for possible confounding variables. Their examination of a small sample of CSA-discordant twins also supported a causal link between child sexual abuse and adult psychopathology; the CSA-exposed subjects had a consistently higher risk for psychopathologic disorders than their CSA non-exposed twins.

A 1998 meta-analysis by Rind et al generated controversy by suggesting that child sexual abuse does not always cause pervasive harm; that some college students reported such encounters as positive experiences; and that the extent of psychological damage depends on whether or not the child described the encounter as "consensual." The study was criticized in published reviews by scientists for flawed methodology and conclusions, though its publication by peer-review has been tacitly or implicitly defended. Following extensive publicity, the US Congress condemned the study for its conclusions and for providing material used by pedophile organizations to justify their activities. Russell (1999) speculated that the perception of a sexually abusive event as 'positive' could stem from a mechanism for coping with traumatic experiences, a form of rationalization.

Depending on the age and size of the child, and the degree of force used, child sexual abuse may cause internal lacerations and bleeding. In severe cases, damage to internal organs may occur, which, in some cases, may cause death. Herman-Giddens et al. found six certain and six probable cases of death due to child sexual abuse in North Carolina between 1985–1994. The victims ranged in age from 2 months to 10 years. Causes of death included trauma to the genitalia or rectum and sexual mutilation.

Child sexual abuse may cause infections and sexually transmitted diseases. Depending on the age of the child, due to a lack of sufficient vaginal fluid, chances of infections are higher. Vaginitis has also been reported.

Research has shown that traumatic stress, including stress caused by sexual abuse, causes notable changes in brain functioning and development. Various studies have suggested that severe child sexual abuse may have a deleterious effect on brain development. Ito et al. (1998) found "reversed hemispheric asymmetry and greater left hemisphere coherence in abused subjects;" Teicher et al. (1993) found that an increased likelihood of "ictal temporal lobe epilepsy-like symptoms" in abused subjects; Anderson et al. (2002) recorded abnormal transverse relaxation time in the cerebellar vermis of adults sexually abused in childhood; Teicher et al. (1993) found that child sexual abuse was associated with a reduced corpus callosum area; various studies have found an association of reduced volume of the left hippocampus with child sexual abuse; and Ito et al. (1993) found increased electrophysiological abnormalities in sexually abused children.

Some studies indicate that sexual or physical abuse in children can lead to the overexcitation of an undeveloped limbic system. Teicher et al. (1993) used the "Limbic System Checklist-33" to measure ictal temporal lobe epilepsy-like symptoms in 253 adults. Reports of child sexual abuse were associated with a 49% increase to LSCL-33 scores, 11% higher than the associated increase of self-reported physical abuse. Reports of both physical and sexual abuse were associated with a 113% increase. Male and female victims were similarly affected.

Navalta et al. (2006) found that the self-reported math Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of their sample of women with a history of repeated child sexual abuse were significantly lower than the self-reported math SAT scores of their non-abused sample. Because the abused subjects verbal SAT scores were high, they hypothesized that the low math SAT scores could "stem from a defect in hemispheric integration." They also found a strong association between short term memory impairments for all categories tested (verbal, visual, and global) and the duration of the abuse.

Incest between a child or adolescent and a related adult has been identified as the most widespread form of child sexual abuse with a huge capacity for damage to a child. One researcher stated that more than 70% of abusers are immediate family members or someone very close to the family. Another researcher stated that about 30% of all perpetrators of sexual abuse are related to their victim, 60% of the perpetrators are family acquaintances, like a neighbor, babysitter or friend and 10% of the perpetrators in child sexual abuse cases are strangers. Child sexual abuse offenses where the perpetrator is related to the child, either by blood or marriage, is a form of incest described as intrafamilial child sexual abuse.

The most-often reported form of incest is father-daughter and stepfather-daughter incest, with most of the remaining reports consisting of mother/stepmother-daughter/son incest. Father-son incest is reported less often, however it is not known if the prevalence is less, because it is under-reported by a greater margin. Prevalence of parental child sexual abuse is difficult to assess due to secrecy and privacy; some estimates show 20 million Americans have been victimized by parental incest as children.

Children who received supportive responses following disclosure had less traumatic symptoms and were abused for a shorter period of time than children who did not receive support In general, studies have found that children need support and stress-reducing resources after disclosure of sexual abuse Negative social reactions to disclosure have actually been found to be harmful to the survivor’s well being One study reported that children who received a bad reaction from the first person they told, especially if the person was a close family member, had worse scores as adults on general trauma symptoms, post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, and dissociation Another study found that in most cases when children did disclose abuse, the person they talked to did not respond effectively, blamed or rejected the child, and took little or no action to stop the abuse Although hearing a victim’s disclosure might be uncomfortable, for the sake of the victim’s well-being, it is important to be able to respond effectively. Showing that you understand and take seriously what the child is saying is an important first step.

The goal of treatment is not only to treat current mental health issues, but to prevent future ones.

Children often present for treatment in one of several circumstances, including criminal investigations, custody battles, problematic behaviors, and referrals from CPS.

The three major modalities for therapy with children and teenagers are family therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy. Which course is used depends on a variety of factors that must be assessed on a case by case basis. For instance, treatment of young children generally requires strong parental involvement, and can benefit from family therapy. Adolescents tend to be more independent, can benefit from individual or group therapy. The modality also shifts during the course of treatment, for example group therapy is rarely used in the initial stages, as the subject matter is very personal and/or embarrassing.

Major factors that affect both the pathology and response to treatment include the type and severity of the sexual act, its frequency, the age at which it occurred, and the child’s family of origin.

Adults with a history of sexual abuse often present for treatment with a secondary mental health issue, which can include substance abuse, eating disorders, personality disorders, depression, and conflict in romantic or interpersonal relationships.

Generally the approach is to the present problem, rather than the abuse itself. Treatment is highly varied and depends on the person’s specific issues. For instance, a person with a history of sexual abuse suffering from severe depression would be treated for depression. However, there is often an emphasis on cognitive restructuring due to the deep-seated nature of the trauma. Some newer techniques such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) have been shown to be effective to this end.

Sexual abuse is associated with many sub-clinical behavioral issues as well, including re-victimization in the teenage years, a bipolar-like switching between sexual compulsion and shut-down, and distorted thinking on the subject of sexual abuse (for instance, that it is common and happens to everyone). When first presenting for treatment, the patient can be fully aware of their abuse as an event, but their appraisal of it is often distorted, such as believing that the event was unremarkable (a form of isolation). Frequently, victims do not make the connection between their abuse and their present pathology.

Female victims who were abused before age 12 also will sometimes have a curious vocal inflection recognizable by clinicians, reminiscent of a child speaking, though at present this has not been studied or explained.

Offenders are more likely to be relatives or acquaintances of their victim than strangers. A 2006–2007 Idaho study of 430 cases found that 82% of juvenile sex offenders were known to the victims (acquaintances 46% or relatives 36%).

More offenders are male than female, though the percentage varies between studies. The percentage of incidents of sexual abuse by female perpetrators that come to the attention of the legal system is usually reported to be between 1% and 4%. Studies of sexual misconduct in US schools with female offenders have shown mixed results with rates between 4% to 43% of female offenders. Maletzky (1993) found that, of his sample of 4,402 convicted pedophilic offenders, 0.4% were female. Another study of a non-clinical population found that, among those in the their sample that had been molested, as much as a third were molested by women.

In U.S. schools, educators who offend range in age from "21 to 75 years old, with an average age of 28" with teachers, coaches, substitute teachers, bus drivers and teacher's aides (in that order) totaling 69% of the offenders.

Offenses may be facilitated by cognitive distortions of the offender, such as minimization of the abuse, victim blaming, and excuses.

Early research in the 1970s and 80s began to classify offenders based on their motivations and traits. Groth and Birnbaum (1978) categorized child sexual offenders into two groups, "fixated" and "regressed." Fixated were described as having a primary attraction to children, whereas regressed had largely maintained relationships with other adults, and were even married. This study also showed that adult sexual orientation was not related to the sex of the victim targeted, e.g. men who molested boys had previously had adult heterosexual relationships.

Causal factors of child sex offenders are not known conclusively. The experience of sexual abuse as a child was previously thought to be a strong risk factor, but research does not show a causal relationship, as the vast majority of sexually abused children do not grow up to be adult offenders, nor do the majority of adult offenders report childhood sexual abuse. The US Government Accountability Office concluded, "the existence of a cycle of sexual abuse was not established." Prior to 1996, there was greater belief in the theory of a "cycle of violence," because most of the research done was retrospective—abusers were asked if they had experienced past abuse. Even the majority of studies found that most adult sex offenders said they had not been sexually abused during childhood, but studies varied in terms of their estimates of the percentage of such offenders who had been abused, from 0 to 79 percent. More recent prospective longitudinal research—studying children with documented cases of sexual abuse over time to determine what percentage become adult offenders—has demonstrated that the cycle of violence theory is not an adequate explanation for why people molest children.

The term "pedophilia" refers to persistent feelings of attraction in an adult or older adolescent toward prepubescent children, whether the attraction is acted upon or not. A person with this attraction is called a "pedophile".

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 95% of child sexual abuse incidents are committed by the 88% of child molestation offenders who meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia; and pedophilic child molestors commit ten times more sexual acts against children than non-pedophilic child molestors. This report was confined to victims 12 and under with offenders over 18. On the other hand, when offenses against adolescents and teenagers were included, Okami and Goldberg (1992), and Kevin Howells (1981), state that most data they had reviewed suggest that pedophiles make up a minority of incarcerated child sex offenders.

In law enforcement, the term "pedophile" is generally used to describe those accused or convicted of child sexual abuse under sociolegal definitions of child (including both prepubescent children and adolescents younger than the local age of consent); however, not all child sexual offenders are pedophiles and not all pedophiles engage in sexual abuse of children. Law enforcement and legal professionals have begun to use the term predatory pedophile, a phrase coined by children's attorney Andrew Vachss, to refer specifically to pedophiles who engage in sexual activity with minors. The term emphasizes that child sexual abuse consists of conduct chosen by the perpetrator.

When a prepubescent child is sexually abused by one or more other children or adolescent youths, and no adult is directly involved, it is defined as child-on-child sexual abuse. The definition includes any sexual activity between children that occurs without consent, without equality, or as a result of coercion, whether the offender uses physical force, threats, trickery or emotional manipulation to compel cooperation. When sexual abuse is perpetrated by one sibling upon another, it is known as "intersibling abuse", a form of incest.

Unlike research on adult offenders, a strong causal relationship has been established between child and adolescent offenders and these offenders' own prior victimization, by either adults or other children.

Child sexual abuse occurs frequently in Western society. The rate of prevalence can be difficult to determine. In the UK it is estimated at about 8% for boys and 12% for girls. The estimates for the United States vary widely. A literature review of 23 studies found rates of 3% to 37% for males and 8% to 71% for females, which produced an average of 17% for boys and 28% for girls, while a statistical analysis based on 16 cross-sectional studies estimated the rate to be 7.2% for males and 14.5% for females. The US Department of Health and Human Services reported 83,600 substantiated reports of sexually abused children in 2005. Including incidents which were not reported would make the total number even larger.

Surveys have shown that one fifth to one third of all women reported some sort of childhood sexual experience with a male adult. A 1992 survey studying father-daughter incest in Finland reported that of the 9,000 15-year old high school girls who filled out the questionnaires, of the girls living with their biological fathers, 0.2% reported father-daughter incest experiences; of the girls living with a stepfather, 3.7% reported sexual experiences with him. The reported counts included only father-daughter incest and did not include prevalence of other forms of child sexual abuse. The survey summary stated, "the feelings of the girls about their incestual experiences are overwhelmingly negative." Others argue that prevalence rates are much higher, and that many cases of child abuse are never reported. One study found that professionals failed to report approximately 40% of the child sexual abuse cases they encountered A study by Lawson & Chaffin indicated that many children who were sexually abused were "identified solely by a physical complaint that was later diagnosed as a venereal disease...Only 43% of the children who were diagnosed with venereal disease made a verbal disclosure of sexual abuse during the initial interview." It has been found in the epidemiological literature on CSA that there is no identifiable demographic or family characteristic of a child that can be used to bar the prospect that a child has been sexually abused.

Significant under reporting of sexual abuse of boys by both women and men is believed to occur due to sex stereotyping, social denial, the minimization of male victimization, and the relative lack of research on sexual abuse of boys. Sexual victimization of boys by their mothers or other female relatives is especially rarely researched or reported. Sexual abuse of girls by their mothers, and other related and/or unrelated adult females is beginning to be researched and reported despite the highly taboo nature of female-female child sex abuse. In studies where students are asked about sex offenses, they report higher levels of female sex offenders than found in adult reports. This under-reporting has been attributed to cultural denial of female-perpetrated child sex abuse, because "males have been socialized to believe they should be flattered or appreciative of sexual interest from a female" and because female sexual abuse of males is often seen as 'desirable' and/or beneficial by judges, mass media pundits and other authorities.

In one survey, 2.5% of Taiwanese adolescents report having experienced childhood sexual abuse.

Nineteen percent of the world's children live in India, which constitutes 42 percent of India’s total population.

In 2007 the Ministry of Women and Child Development published the "Study on Child Abuse: India 2007." It sampled 12447 children, 2324 young adults and 2449 stakeholders across 13 states. It looked at different forms of child abuse: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Emotional Abuse and Girl Child Neglect in five evidence groups, namely, children in a family environment, children in school, children at work, children on the street and children in institutions.

The study's main findings included: 53.22% of children reported having faced sexual abuse. Among them 52.94% were boys and 47.06% girls. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest percentage of sexual abuse among both boys and girls, as well as the highest incidence of sexual assaults. 21.90% of child respondents faced severe forms of sexual abuse, 5.69% had been sexually assaulted and 50.76% reported other forms of sexual abuse. Children on the street, at work and in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault. The study also reported that 50% of abusers are known to the child or are in a position of trust and responsibility and most children had not reported the matter to anyone.

Child sexual abuse is outlawed in every developed country, generally with severe criminal penalties, including in some jurisdictions, life imprisonment or capital punishment. An adult's sexual intercourse with a child below the legal age of consent is defined as statutory rape, based on the principle that a child is not capable of consent and that any apparent consent by a child is not considered to be legal consent.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international treaty that legally obliges states to protect children's rights. Articles 34 and 35 of the CRC require states to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This includes outlawing the coercion of a child to perform sexual activity, the prostitution of children, and the exploitation of children in creating pornography. States are also required to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children. As of November 2008, 193 countries are bound by the CRC, including every member of the United Nations except the United States and Somalia.

Child sexual abuse has gained public attention in the past few decades and has become one of the most high-profile crimes. Since the 1970s the sexual abuse of children and child molestation has increasingly been recognized as deeply damaging to children and thus unacceptable for society as a whole. While sexual use of children by adults has been present throughout history, it has only become the object of significant public attention in recent times.

The first published work dedicated specifically to child sexual abuse appeared in France in 1857: Medical-Legal Studies of Sexual Assault (Etude Médico-Légale sur les Attentats aux Mœurs), by Auguste Ambroise Tardieu, the noted French pathologist and pioneer of forensic medicine (Masson, 1984, pp. 15–25).

Child sexual abuse became a public issue in the 1970s and 1980s. Prior to this point in time sexual abuse remained rather secretive and socially unspeakable. Studies on child molestation were nonexistent until the 1920s and the first national estimate of the number of child sexual abuse cases was published in 1948. By 1968 44 out of 50 U.S. states had enacted mandatory laws that required physicians to report cases of suspicious child abuse. Legal action began to become more prevalent in the 1970s with the enactment of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974 in conjunction with the creation of the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect. Since the creation of the Child Abuse and Treatment Act, reported child abuse cases have increased dramatically. Finally, the National Abuse Coalition was created in 1979 to create pressure in congress to create more sexual abuse laws.

In 1986, Congress passed the Child Abuse Victims' Rights Act, giving children a civil claim in sexual abuse cases. The number of laws created in the 1980s and 1990s began to create greater prosecution and detection of child sexual abusers. During the 1970s a large transition began in the legislature related to child sexual abuse. Megan's Law which was enacted in 2004 gives the public access to knowledge of sex offenders nationwide.

In the United States growing awareness of child sexual abuse has sparked an increasing number of civil lawsuits for monetary damages stemming from such incidents. Increased awareness of child sexual abuse has encouraged more victims to come forward, whereas in the past victims often kept their abuse secret. Some states have enacted specific laws lengthening the applicable statutes of limitations so as to allow victims of child sexual abuse to file suit sometimes years after they have reached the age of majority. Such lawsuits can be brought where a person or entity, such as a school, church or youth organization, was charged with supervising the child but failed to do so with child sexual abuse resulting. In the Catholic sex abuse cases the various Roman Catholic Diocese in the United States have paid out approximately $1 billion settling hundreds of such lawsuits since the early 1990s. As lawsuits can involve demanding procedures there is a concern that children or adults who file suit will be re-victimized by defendants through the legal process, much as rape victims can be re-victimized by the accused in criminal rape trials. The child sexual abuse plaintiff's attorney Thomas A. Cifarelli has written that children involved in the legal system, particularly victims of sexual abuse and molestation, should be afforded certain procedural safeguards to protect them from harassment during the legal process.

On June 30, 2008 in the nation of Zambia the issue of teacher-student sexual abuse and sexual assault was brought to the attention of the High Court of Zambia where a landmark case decision, with presiding Judge Philip Musonda, awarded $45million Zambian Kwacha ($13,000 USD) to the plaintiff, a 13 yr. old girl-student for sexual abuse and rape by her school teacher. This claim was brought against her teacher as a "person of authority" who, as Judge Musonda stated, "had a moral superiority (responsibility) over his students" at the time.

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Love

Fraternal love (Prehispanic sculpture from 250–900 A.D., of Huastec origin). Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. The word love is both a verb and a noun. Love is not a single feeling but an emotion built from two or more feelings. Anything vital to us creates more than one feeling, and we also have feelings about our feelings (and thoughts about our feelings). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.

As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual emotional closeness of familial and platonic love to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.

The English word "love" can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Often, other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that English relies mainly on "love" to encapsulate; one example is the plurality of Greek words for "love." Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus make it doubly difficult to establish any universal definition.

Although the nature or essence of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn't love. As a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like), love is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral apathy); as a less sexual and more emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with lust; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is commonly contrasted with friendship, although other definitions of the word love may be applied to close friendships in certain contexts.

When discussed in the abstract, love usually refers to interpersonal love, an experience felt by a person for another person. Love often involves caring for or identifying with a person or thing, including oneself (cf. narcissism).

In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, although the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry.

A person can be said to love a country, principle, or goal if they value it greatly and are deeply committed to it. Similarly, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be borne not of interpersonal love, but impersonal love coupled with altruism and strong political convictions. People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things. If sexual passion is also involved, this condition is called paraphilia.

Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love that are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.

Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the last century, the science of psychology has written a great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, neuroscience, and biology have added to the understanding of the nature and function of love.

Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst. Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust exposes people to others; romantic attraction encourages people to focus their energy on mating; and attachment involves tolerating the spouse (or indeed the child) long enough to rear a child into infancy.

Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.

Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin to a greater degree than short-term relationships have.

The protein molecule known as the nerve growth factor (NGF) has high levels when people first fall in love, but these return to previous levels after one year.

Psychology depicts love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg formulated a triangular theory of love and argued that love has three different components: intimacy, commitment, and passion. Intimacy is a form in which two people share confidences and various details of their personal lives, and is usually shown in friendships and romantic love affairs. Commitment, on the other hand, is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. The last and most common form of love is sexual attraction and passion. Passionate love is shown in infatuation as well as romantic love. All forms of love are viewed as varying combinations of these three components. American psychologist Zick Rubin seeks to define love by psychometrics. His work states that three factors constitute love: attachment, caring, and intimacy.

Following developments in electrical theories such as Coulomb's law, which showed that positive and negative charges attract, analogs in human life were developed, such as "opposites attract." Over the last century, research on the nature of human mating has generally found this not to be true when it comes to character and personality—people tend to like people similar to themselves. However, in a few unusual and specific domains, such as immune systems, it seems that humans prefer others who are unlike themselves (e.g., with an orthogonal immune system), since this will lead to a baby that has the best of both worlds. In recent years, various human bonding theories have been developed, described in terms of attachments, ties, bonds, and affinities.

Some Western authorities disaggregate into two main components, the altruistic and the narcissistic. This view is represented in the works of Scott Peck, whose work in the field of applied psychology explored the definitions of love and evil. Peck maintains that love is a combination of the "concern for the spiritual growth of another," and simple narcissism. In combination, love is an activity, not simply a feeling.

Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst; psychology sees love as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. There are probably elements of truth in both views. Certainly love is influenced by hormones (such as oxytocin), neurotrophins (such as NGF), and pheromones, and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love. The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love: sexual attraction and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of companionate love and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate); companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.

Studies have shown that brain scans of those infatuated by love display a resemblance to those with a mental illness. Love creates activity in the same area of the brain that hunger, thirst, and drug cravings create activity in. New love, therefore, could possibly be more physical than emotional. Over time, this reaction to love mellows, and different areas of the brain are activated, primarily ones involving long-term commitments. Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, suggests that this reaction to love is so similar to that of drugs because without love, humanity would die out.

In Confucianism, lian is a virtuous benevolent love. Lian should be pursued by all human beings, and reflects a moral life. The Chinese philosopher Mozi developed the concept of ai (愛) in reaction to Confucian lian. Ai, in Mohism, is universal love towards all beings, not just towards friends or family, without regard to reciprocation. Extravagance and offensive war are inimical to ai. Although Mozi's thought was influential, the Confucian lian is how most Chinese conceive of love.

Gănqíng (感情) is the "feeling" of a relationship, vaguely similar to empathy. A person will express love by building good gănqíng, accomplished through helping or working for another and emotional attachment toward another person or anything.

Zaolian (Simplified: 早恋, Traditional: 早戀, pinyin: zǎoliàn), literally "early love," is a contemporary term in frequent use for romantic feelings or attachments among children or adolescents. Zaolian describes both relationships among a teenage boyfriend and girlfriend as well as the "crushes" of early adolescence or childhood. The concept essentially indicates a prevalent belief in contemporary Chinese culture, which is that, due to the demands of their studies (especially true in the highly competitive educational system of China), youth should not form romantic attachments lest their jeopardize their chances for success in the future. Reports have appeared in Chinese newspapers and other media detailing the prevalence of the phenomenon and its perceived dangers to students and the fears of parents.

In Japanese Buddhism, ai (愛) is passionate caring love, and a fundamental desire. It can develop towards either selfishness or selflessness and enlightenment.

Amae (甘え), a Japanese word meaning "indulgent dependence," is part of the child-rearing culture of Japan. Japanese mothers are expected to hug and indulge their children, and children are expected to reward their mothers by clinging and serving. Some sociologists have suggested that Japanese social interactions in later life are modeled on the mother-child amae.

Greek distinguishes several different senses in which the word "love" is used. For example, Ancient Greek has the words philia, eros, agape, storge, and xenia. However, with Greek (as with many other languages), it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words totally. At the same time, the Ancient Greek text of the Bible has examples of the verb agapo having the same meaning as phileo.

Storge (στοργή storgē) is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring.

Xenia (ξενία xenía), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in Ancient Greece. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude. The importance of this can be seen throughout Greek mythology—in particular, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

In Turkish, the word "love" comes up with several meanings. A person can love a god, a person, parents, or family. But that person can "love" just one person from the opposite sex, which they call the word "aşk." Aşk is a feeling for to love, as it still is in Turkish today. The Turks used this word just for their romantic loves in a romantic or sexual sense. If a Turk says that he is in love (aşk) with somebody, it is not a love that a person can feel for his or her parents; it is just for one person, and it indicates a huge infatuation. The word is also common for Turkic languages, such as Kazakh (ғашық).

Amāre is the basic word for to love, as it still is in Italian today. The Romans used it both in an affectionate sense as well as in a romantic or sexual sense. From this verb come amans—a lover, amator, "professional lover," often with the accessory notion of lechery—and amica, "girlfriend" in the English sense, often as well being applied euphemistically to a prostitute. The corresponding noun is amor, which is also used in the plural form to indicate love affairs or sexual adventures. This same root also produces amicus—"friend"—and amicitia, "friendship" (often based to mutual advantage, and corresponding sometimes more closely to "indebtedness" or "influence"). Cicero wrote a treatise called On Friendship (de Amicitia), which discusses the notion at some length. Ovid wrote a guide to dating called Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love), which addresses, in depth, everything from extramarital affairs to overprotective parents.

Complicating the picture somewhat, Latin sometimes uses amāre where English would simply say to like. This notion, however, is much more generally expressed in Latin by placere or delectāre, which are used more colloquially, the latter used frequently in the love poetry of Catullus.

Diligere often has the notion "to be affectionate for," "to esteem," and rarely if ever is used for romantic love. This word would be appropriate to describe the friendship of two men. The corresponding noun diligentia, however, has the meaning of "diligence" or "carefulness," and has little semantic overlap with the verb.

Caritas is used in Latin translations of the Christian Bible to mean "charitable love"; this meaning, however, is not found in Classical pagan Roman literature. As it arises from a conflation with a Greek word, there is no corresponding verb.

The Christian understanding is that love comes from God. The love of man and woman—eros in Greek—and the unselfish love of others (agape), are often contrasted as "ascending" and "descending" love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing.

There are several Greek words for "love" that are regularly referred to in Christian circles.

Christian theologians see God as the source of love, which is mirrored in humans and their own loving relationships. Influential Christian theologian C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Four Loves.

Benedict XVI wrote his first encyclical on "God is love." He said that a human being, created in the image of God, who is love, is able to practice love; to give himself to God and others (agape) and by receiving and experiencing God's love in contemplation (eros). This life of love, according to him, is the life of the saints such as Teresa of Calcutta and the Blessed Virgin Mary and is the direction Christians take when they believe that God loves them.

In Buddhism, Kāma is sensuous, sexual love. It is an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, since it is selfish.

Karuṇā is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others. It is complementary to wisdom and is necessary for enlightenment.

Adveṣa and maitrī are benevolent love. This love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. This is quite different from ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex and which rarely occurs without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others' welfare.

The Bodhisattva ideal in Mahayana Buddhism involves the complete renunciation of oneself in order to take on the burden of a suffering world. The strongest motivation one has in order to take the path of the Bodhisattva is the idea of salvation within unselfish, altruistic love for all sentient beings.

In Hinduism, kāma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kamadeva. For many Hindu schools, it is the third end (artha) in life. Kamadeva is often pictured holding a bow of sugar cane and an arrow of flowers; he may ride upon a great parrot. He is usually accompanied by his consort Rati and his companion Vasanta, lord of the spring season. Stone images of Kaama and Rati can be seen on the door of the Chenna Keshava temple at Belur, in Karnataka, India. Maara is another name for kāma.

In contrast to kāma, prema—or prem—refers to elevated love. Karuna is compassion and mercy, which impels one to help reduce the suffering of others. Bhakti is a Sanskrit term, meaning "loving devotion to the supreme God." A person who practices bhakti is called a bhakta. Hindu writers, theologians, and philosophers have distinguished nine forms of bhakti, which can be found in the Bhagavatha-Purana and works by Tulsidas. The philosophical work Narada Bhakti Sutras, written by an unknown author (presumed to be Narada), distinguishes eleven forms of love.

In a sense, love does encompass the Islamic view of life as universal brotherhood that applies to all who hold the faith. There are no direct references stating that God is love, but amongst the 99 names of God (Allah), there is the name Al-Wadud, or "the Loving One," which is found in Surah 11:90 as well as Surah 85:14. It refers to God as being "full of loving kindness." All who hold the faith have God's love, but to what degree or effort he has pleased God depends on the individual itself.

Ishq, or divine love, is the emphasis of Sufism. Sufis believe that love is a projection of the essence of God to the universe. God desires to recognize beauty, and as if one looks at a mirror to see oneself, God "looks" at itself within the dynamics of nature. Since everything is a reflection of God, the school of Sufism practices to see the beauty inside the apparently ugly. Sufism is often referred to as the religion of love. God in Sufism is referred to in three main terms, which are the Lover, Loved, and Beloved, with the last of these terms being often seen in Sufi poetry. A common viewpoint of Sufism is that through love, humankind can get back to its inherent purity and grace. The saints of Sufism are infamous for being "drunk" due to their love of God; hence, the constant reference to wine in Sufi poetry and music.

Judaism employs a wide definition of love, both among people and between man and the Deity. Regarding the former, the Torah states, "Love your neighbor like yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). As for the latter, one is commanded to love God "with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might" (Deuteronomy 6:5), taken by the Mishnah (a central text of the Jewish oral law) to refer to good deeds, willingness to sacrifice one's life rather than commit certain serious transgressions, willingness to sacrifice all of one's possessions, and being grateful to the Lord despite adversity (tractate Berachoth 9:5). Rabbinic literature differs as to how this love can be developed, e.g., by contemplating divine deeds or witnessing the marvels of nature.

As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: "See life with the wife you love" (Ecclesiastes 9:9). The biblical book Song of Solomon is considered a romantically phrased metaphor of love between God and his people, but in its plain reading, reads like a love song.

The 20th-century Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point of view as "giving without expecting to take" (from his Michtav me-Eliyahu, Vol. 1). Romantic love per se has few echoes in Jewish literature, although the Medieval Rabbi Judah Halevi wrote romantic poetry in Arabic in his younger years (he appears to have regretted this later).

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Causality

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Causality denotes a necessary relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the direct consequence of the first.

While this informal understanding suffices in everyday use, the philosophical analysis of how best to characterize causality extends over millennia. In the western philosophical tradition explicit discussion stretches back at least as far as Aristotle, and the topic remains a staple in contemporary philosophy journals.

Though cause and effect are typically related to events, other candidates include processes, properties, variables, facts, and states of affairs; which of these make up the correct causal relata, and how best to characterize the nature of the relationship between them, has as yet no universally accepted answer, and remains under discussion.

In his Posterior Analytics and Metaphysics, Aristotle wrote, "All causes are beginnings...", "... we have scientific knowledge when we know the cause...", and "... to know a thing's nature is to know the reason why it is..." This formulation set the guidelines for subsequent causal theories by specifying the number, nature, principles, elements, varieties, order of causes as well as the modes of causation. Aristotle's account of the causes of things is a comprehensive model.

Additionally, things can be causes of one another, reciprocally causing each other, as hard work causes fitness, and vice versa - although not in the same way or by means of the same function: the one is as the beginning of change, the other is as its goal. (Thus Aristotle first suggested a reciprocal or circular causality - as a relation of mutual dependence, action, or influence of cause and effect.) Also; Aristotle indicated that the same thing can be the cause of contrary effects - as its presence and absence may result in different outcomes. In speaking thus he formulated what currently is ordinarily termed a "causal factor," e.g., atmospheric pressure as it affects chemical or physical reactions.

Aristotle marked two modes of causation: proper (prior) causation and accidental (chance) causation. All causes, proper and incidental, can be spoken as potential or as actual, particular or generic. The same language refers to the effects of causes; so that generic effects assigned to generic causes, particular effects to particular causes, and operating causes to actual effects. It is also essential that ontological causality does not suggest the temporal relation of before and after - between the cause and the effect; that spontaneity (in nature) and chance (in the sphere of moral actions) are among the causes of effects belonging to the efficient causation, and that no incidental, spontaneous, or chance cause can be prior to a proper, real, or underlying cause per se.

All investigations of causality coming later in history will consist in imposing a favorite hierarchy on the order (priority) of causes; such as "final > efficient > material > formal" (Aquinas), or in restricting all causality to the material and efficient causes or, to the efficient causality (deterministic or chance), or just to regular sequences and correlations of natural phenomena (the natural sciences describing how things happen rather than asking why they happen)..

Causality has taken many journeys in the minds of men for over 3000 years. Determinism and existentialism are but a few of the manifestations of this journey.

The deterministic world-view is one in which the universe is no more than a chain of events following one after another according to the law of cause and effect. To hold this worldview, as an incompatibilist, there is no such thing as "free will". However, compatibilists argue that determinism is compatible with, or even necessary for, free will.

Existentialists have suggested that people have the courage to accept that while no meaning has been designed in the universe, we each can provide a meaning for ourselves.

Though philosophers have pointed out the difficulties in establishing theories of the validity of causal relations, there is yet the plausible example of causation afforded daily which is our own ability to be the cause of events. This concept of causation does not prevent seeing ourselves as moral agents.

Theories of causality in Indian philosophy focus mainly on the relationship between cause and effect. The various philosophical schools (darsanas) provide different theories.

The doctrine of satkaryavada affirms that the effect inheres in the cause in some way. The effect is thus either a real or apparent modification of the cause.

The doctrine of asatkaryavada affirms that the effect does not inhere in the cause, but is a new arising.

The Buddha, and subsequent Buddhist thinkers such as Nagarjuna, rejected both, instead proposing a middle way.

See Nyaya for some details of the theory of causation in the Nyaya school.

Causes are often distinguished into two types: Necessary and sufficient.

If x is a necessary cause of y, then the presence of y necessarily implies the presence of x. The presence of x, however, does not imply that y will occur.

If x is a sufficient cause of y, then the presence of x necessarily implies the presence of y. However, another cause z may alternatively cause y. Thus the presence of y does not imply the presence of x.

J. L. Mackie argues that usual talk of "cause", in fact, refers to INUS conditions (insufficient and non-redundant parts of unnecessary but sufficient causes). For example; consider the short circuit as a cause of the house burning down. Consider the collection of events, the short circuit, the proximity of flammable material, and the absence of firefighters. Considered together these are unnecessary but sufficient to the house's destruction (since many other collection of events certainly could have destroyed the house). Within this collection; the short circuit is an insufficient but non-redundant part (since the short circuit by itself would not cause the fire, but the fire will not happen without it with everything else being equal). So the short circuit is an INUS cause of the house burning down.

Conditional statements are not statements of causality. An important distinction is that statements of causality require the antecedent to precede the consequent in time, whereas conditional statements do not require this temporal order. Confusion commonly arises since many different statements in English may be presented using "If ..., then ..." form (and, arguably, because this form is far more commonly used to make a statement of causality). The two types of statements are distinct, however.

The first is true since both the antecedent and the consequent are true. The second is true because the antecedent is false and the consequent is true. The third is true because both the antecedent and the consequent are false. These statements are trivial examples. Of course, although none of these statements expresses a causal connection between the antecedent and consequent, they are nonetheless all true because no statement has the combination of a true antecedent and false consequent. Logic requires only that truth not be deceptive.

In the first case, it would not be correct to say that A's being a triangle caused it to have three sides, since the relationship between triangularity and three-sidedness is that of definition. The property of having three sides actually determines A's state as a triangle. Nonetheless, even when interpreted counterfactually, the first statement is true.

A full grasp of the concept of conditionals is important to understanding the literature on causality. A crucial stumbling block is that conditionals in everyday English are usually loosely used to describe a general situation. For example, "If I drop my coffee, then my shoe gets wet" relates an infinite number of possible events. It is shorthand for "For any fact that would count as 'dropping my coffee', some fact that counts as 'my shoe gets wet' will be true". This general statement will be strictly false if there is any circumstance where I drop my coffee and my shoe doesn't get wet. However, an "If..., then..." statement in logic typically relates two specific events or facts -- a specific coffee-dropping did or did not occur, and a specific shoe-wetting did or did not follow. Thus, with explicit events in mind, if I drop my coffee and wet my shoe, then it is true that "If I dropped my coffee, then I wet my shoe", regardless of the fact that yesterday I dropped a coffee in the trash for the opposite effect --the conditional relates to specific facts. More counterintuitively, if I didn't drop my coffee at all, then it is also true that "If I drop my coffee then I wet my shoe", or "Dropping my coffee implies I wet my shoe", regardless of whether I wet my shoe or not by any means. This usage would not be counterintuitive if it were not for the everyday usage. Briefly, "If X then Y" is equivalent to the first-order logic statement "A implies B" or "not B-and-not-A", where A and B are predicates, but the more familiar usage of an "if A then B" statement would need to be written symbolically using a higher order logic using quantifiers ("for all" and "there exists").

Translating causal into counterfactual statements would only be beneficial if the latter were less problematic than the former. This is indeed the case, as is demonstrated by the structural account of counterfactual conditionals devised by the computer scientist Judea Pearl (2000). This account provides clear semantics and effective algorithms for computing counterfactuals which, in contrast to Lewis' closest world semantics does not rely on the ambiguous notion of similarity among worlds. For instance, one can compute unambiguously the probability that John would be alive had he not smoked given that, in reality, John did smoke and did die. The quest for a counterfactual interpretation of causal statements is therefore justified.

One problem Lewis' theory confronts is causal preemption. Suppose that John did smoke and did in fact die as a result of that smoking. However, there was a murderer who was bent on killing John, and would have killed him a second later had he not first died from smoking. Here we still want to say that smoking caused John's death. This presents a problem for Lewis' theory since, had John not smoked, he still would have died prematurely. Lewis himself discusses this example, and it has received substantial discussion (cf.). A structural solution to this problem has been given in .

Interpreting causation as a deterministic relation means that if A causes B, then A must always be followed by B. In this sense, war does not cause deaths, nor does smoking cause cancer. As a result, many turn to a notion of probabilistic causation. Informally, A probabilistically causes B if A's occurrence increases the probability of B. This is sometimes interpreted to reflect imperfect knowledge of a deterministic system but other times interpreted to mean that the causal system under study has an inherently chancy nature.

When experiments are infeasible or illegal, the derivation of cause effect relationship from observational studies must rest on some qualitative theoretical assumptions, for example, that symptoms do not cause diseases, usually expressed in the form of missing arrows in causal graphs such as Bayesian Networks or path diagrams. The mathematical theory underlying these derivations relies on the distinction between conditional probabilities, as in P(cancer | smoking), and interventional probabilities, as in P(cancer | do(smoking)). The former reads: "the probability of finding cancer in a person known to smoke" while the latter reads: "the probability of finding cancer in a person forced to smoke". The former is a statistical notion that can be estimated directly in observational studies, while the latter is a causal notion (also called "causal effect") which is what we estimate in a controlled randomized experiment.

The theory of "causal calculus" permits one to infer interventional probabilities from conditional probabilities in causal Bayesian Networks with unmeasured variables. One very practical result of this theory is the characterization of confounding variables, namely, a sufficient set of variables that, if adjusted for, would yield the correct causal effect between variables of interest. It can be shown that a sufficient set for estimating the causal effect of X on Y is any set of non-descendants of X that d-separate X from Y after removing all arrows emanating from X. This criterion, called "backdoor", provides a mathematical definition of "confounding" and helps researchers identify accessible sets of variables worthy of measurement.

Type 1 and type 2 represent the same statistical dependencies (i.e., X and Z are independent given Y) and are, therefore, indistinguishable. Type 3, however, can be uniquely identified, since X and Z are marginally independent and all other pairs are dependent. Thus, while the skeletons (the graphs stripped of arrows) of these three triplets are identical, the directionality of the arrows is partially identifiable. The same distinction applies when X and Z have common ancestors, except that one must first condition on those ancestors. Algorithms have been developed to systematically determine the skeleton of the underlying graph and, then, orient all arrows whose directionality is dictated by the conditional independencies observed .

Alternative methods of structure learning search through the many possible causal structures among the variables, and remove ones which are strongly incompatible with the observed correlations. In general this leaves a set of possible causal relations, which should then be tested by designing appropriate experiments. If experimental data is already available, the algorithms can take advantage of that as well. In contrast with Bayesian Networks, path analysis and its generalization, structural equation modeling, serve better to estimate a known causal effect or test a causal model than to generate causal hypotheses.

For nonexperimental data, causal direction can be hinted if information about time is available. This is because (according to many, though not all, theories) causes must precede their effects temporally. This can be set up by simple linear regression models, for instance, with an analysis of covariance in which baseline and follow up values are known for a theorized cause and effect. The addition of time as a variable, though not proving causality, is a big help in supporting a pre-existing theory of causal direction. For instance, our degree of confidence in the direction and nature of causality is much greater when supported by data from a longitudinal study than by data from a cross-sectional study.

The Nobel Prize holder Herbert Simon and Philosopher Nicholas Rescher claim that the asymmetry of the causal relation is unrelated to the asymmetry of any mode of implication that contraposes. Rather, a causal relation is not a relation between values of variables, but a function of one variable (the cause) on to another (the effect). So, given a system of equations, and a set of variables appearing in these equations, we can introduce an asymmetric relation among individual equations and variables that corresponds perfectly to our commonsense notion of a causal ordering. The system of equations must have certain properties, most importantly, if some values are chosen arbitrarily, the remaining values will be determined uniquely through a path of serial discovery that is perfectly causal. They postulate the inherent serialization of such a system of equations may correctly capture causation in all empirical fields, including physics and economics.

Some theorists have equated causality with manipulability. Under these theories, x causes y just in case one can change x in order to change y. This coincides with commonsense notions of causations, since often we ask causal questions in order to change some feature of the world. For instance, we are interested in knowing the causes of crime so that we might find ways of reducing it.

These theories have been criticized on two primary grounds. First, theorists complain that these accounts are circular. Attempting to reduce causal claims to manipulation requires that manipulation is more basic than causal interaction. But describing manipulations in non-causal terms has provided a substantial difficulty.

The second criticism centers around concerns of anthropocentrism. It seems to many people that causality is some existing relationship in the world that we can harness for our desires. If causality is identified with our manipulation, then this intuition is lost. In this sense, it makes humans overly central to interactions in the world.

Some attempts to save manipulability theories are recent accounts that don't claim to reduce causality to manipulation. These accounts use manipulation as a sign or feature in causation without claiming that manipulation is more fundamental than causation.

Some theorists are interested in distinguishing between causal processes and non-causal processes (Russell 1948; Salmon 1984). These theorists often want to distinguish between a process and a pseudo-process. As an example, a ball moving through the air (a process) is contrasted with the motion of a shadow (a pseudo-process). The former is causal in nature while the latter is not.

Salmon (1984) claims that causal processes can be identified by their ability to transmit an alteration over space and time. An alteration of the ball (a mark by a pen, perhaps) is carried with it as the ball goes through the air. On the other hand an alteration of the shadow (insofar as it is possible) will not be transmitted by the shadow as it moves along.

These theorists claim that the important concept for understanding causality is not causal relationships or causal interactions, but rather identifying causal processes. The former notions can then be defined in terms of causal processes.

Using the scientific method, scientists set up experiments to determine causality in the physical world.

In addition, many scientists in a variety of fields disagree that experiments are necessary to determine causality. For example, the link between smoking and lung cancer is considered proven by health agencies of the United States government, but experimental methods (for example, randomized controlled trials) were not used to establish that link. This view has been controversial. In addition, many philosophers are beginning to turn to more relativized notions of causality. Rather than providing a theory of causality in toto, they opt to provide a theory of causality in biology or causality in physics.

Physicists conclude that certain elemental forces: gravity, the strong and weak nuclear forces, and electromagnetism are said to be the four fundamental forces which are the causes of all other events in the universe. Causality is hard to interpret to ordinary language from many different physical theories. One problem is typified by the moon's gravity. It isn't accurate to say, "the moon exerts a gravitic pull and then the tides rise." In Newtonian mechanics gravity, rather, is a law expressing a constant observable relationship among masses, and the movement of the tides is an example of that relationship. There are no discrete events or "pulls" that can be said to precede the rising of tides. Interpreting gravity causally is even more complicated in general relativity. Another important implication of Causality in physics is its intimate connection to the Second Law of Thermodynamics (see the fluctuation theorem). Quantum mechanics is yet another branch of physics in which the nature of causality is somewhat unclear.

The treatment of the concept of causality within the Second Law of Thermodynamics yields a loss in the translation. The statistical basis of the maintenance of the exchange of entropy confines the subject to an extent such that the observer loses perspective. The 2nd Law states that "in an isolated system, entropy cannot decrease". This is a corollary of the concept that an effect cannot be greater than the cause.

A causal system is a system with output and internal states that depends only on the current and previous input values. A system that has some dependence on input values from the future (in addition to possible past or current input values) is termed an acausal system, and a system that depends solely on future input values is an anticausal system. Acausal filters, for example, can only exist as digital filters, because these filters can extract future values from a memory buffer or a file.

A. B. Hill built upon the work of Hume and Popper and suggested that the following aspects of an association be considered in attempting to distinguish causal from noncausal associations: 1) strength, 2) consistency, 3) specificity, 4) temporality, 5) biological gradient, 6) plausibility, 7) coherence, 8) experimental evidence, and 9) analogy.

The above theories are attempts to define a reflectively stable notion of causality. This process uses our standard causal intuitions to develop a theory that we would find satisfactory in identifying causes. Another avenue of research is to empirically investigate how people (and non-human animals) learn and reason about causal relations in the world. This approach is taken by work in psychology. It also is possible to tackle causalities in surveys with a technique of elaboration. Given a relationship between two variables, what can be learned by introducing a third variable into the analysis (Rosenberg, 1968, xiii)? So elaboration is a device of the analysis that results in different kinds of relationships between variables e.g. suppression, extraneous, and distorter relations.

The intention behind the cause or the effect can be covered by the subject of action (philosophy). See also accident; blame; intent; and responsibility.

According to Jacques Lacan (seminar X, "L'Angoisse", 1962-63, ch. XVI), the cause is the shadow of the blind spot in our knowledge. Its secret must be searched in anxiety (angoisse), and in the function of the object. Every time we consider something that is brought into the field of knowledge, desire is present, and the function of the cause makes its appearance. Desire is always to desire the body, the body of the other. The cause is related to the body. Lacan stresses the importance of the Bible, the Jewish Bible, because it is there very clearly, we pay the debt with our body, with parts of the body. Lacan says ti semitic feelings may be based in the fact that Jewish tradition forces us to see the importance of the debt and its relation with the body.Shylock is the presence of this structure: to pay with our flesh. And the function of the cause is in direct relationship with it.

In the discussion of history, events are often considered as if in some way being agents that can then bring about other historical events. Thus, the combination of poor harvests, the hardships of the peasants, high taxes, lack of representation of the people, and kingly ineptitude are among the causes of the French Revolution. This is a somewhat Platonic and Hegelian view that reifies causes as ontological entities. In Aristotelian terminology, this use approximates to the case of the efficient cause.

According to law and jurisprudence, legal cause must be demonstrated in order to hold a defendant liable for a crime or a tort (ie. a civil wrong such as negligence or trespass). It must be proven that causality, or a 'sufficient causal link' relates the defendant's actions to the criminal event or damage in question.

Sometimes the argument is made in non-temporal terms. The chain doesn't go back in time, it goes downward into the ever-more enduring facts, and thus toward the timeless.

Critics of this argument point out problems with it. The Big Bang theory states that it is the point in which all dimensions came into existence, the start of both space and time. Then, the question "What was there before the Universe?" makes no sense; the concept of "before" becomes meaningless when considering a situation without time, and thus the concepts of cause and effect so necessary to the cosmological argument no longer apply. This has been put forward by Stephen Hawking, who said that asking what occurred before the Big Bang is like asking what is north of the North Pole. However, some cosmologists and physicists do attempt to investigate what could have occurred before the Big Bang, using such scenarios as the collision of branes to give a cause for the Big Bang.

A question related to this argument is which came first, the chicken or the egg?

For example, if a person always does good deeds then it is believed that he or she will be "rewarded" for his or her behavior with fortunate events such as avoiding fatal accident or winning the lottery. If he or she always commits antagonistic behaviors, then it is believed that he will be punished with unfortunate events.

According to Buddhism, inequality amongst living beings is due not only to heredity, environment, "nature and nurture", but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate.

He then explained the cause of such differences in accordance with the law of cause and effect.

Some modern religious movements have postulated along the lines of philosophical idealism that causality is actually reversed from the direction normally presumed, and that causality does not proceed inward, from external random causes toward effects on a perceiving individual, but rather outward, from a perceiving individual's causative mental requests toward responsive external physical effects that only seem to be independent causes. Such thought gives rise to new causality principles such as the doctrine of responsibility assumption.

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Romance (love)

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Romance is a general term that refers to a celebration of life often through art, music and the attempt to express love with words or deeds. It also refers to a feeling of excitement associated with love. Historically, the term "romance" did not necessarily imply love relationships, but rather was seen as an artistic expression of one's innermost desires; sometimes including love, sometimes not. Romance is still sometimes viewed as an expressionistic, or artful form, but within the context of "romantic love" relationships it usually implies an expression of one's love, or one's deep emotional desires to connect with another person. "Romance" in this sense can therefore be defined as attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something or someone, in literature similar exaggerated narration is called romance.

All usages of platonic love precludes sexual relations, yet only in the modern usage does it take on a fully asexual sense, rather than the classical sense in which sexual drives are sublimated. Sublimation often tends to be forgotten in casual thought about love; it can be found in psychology and Nietzsche. Unrequited love can be romantic, if only in a comic or tragic sense, or in the sense that sublimation itself is comparable to romance, where the spirituality of both art and egalitarian ideals is combined with strong character and emotions. This situation is typical of the period of Romanticism, but that term is distinct from any romance that might arise within it.

In romantic love, according to the more modern Western definitions of the term, lovers often transcend worldly qualities, not only seeking deeper love, but perhaps also raising questions about a more ultimate meaning (not an uncommon sort of question in any case). This criticism of love is far from new in philosophy, but owes a great debt to Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard. Schopenhauer wrote at length about the conflict between reproductive instincts and personal fulfillment, and preceded Freud in this regard. This area of concern, related to philosophical and religious questions of identity and personhood, is addressed below (5). Furthermore, romance is not only dispersed with and even inherently related to family life, but often is to some extent or entirely free, in the sense free of interruption, or in some more radical sense, as free from various customs and traditions.

Also, romance is, or has become, a major aspect of postmodernity, and its criteria primarily includes fashion and irony. Sexual revolutions have brought such changes about. Wit or irony encompass the inherent instability of romance, fine-tuned to its late modern peculiarities. This phenomenon is often expressed in popular culture as "throwing game." Love and marriage clearly were always ironic, but not to this degree. In Marxism the romantic might be considered an example of alienation. In his theory of mimetic desire, Girard attempts to make sense of such phenomena, focusing on the conflict between romance's individuality and jealousy. Yet in its independent mode (i.e., rather than as a change within a relationship) it tends to be a tragic region lying somewhere between on the one hand an ethical, and on the other hand an ascetic (or possibly debauched) life, combining significance with ennui.

Romantic love is a relative term, that distinguishes moments and situations within interpersonal relationships. There is often, initially, more emphasis on the emotions (especially those of love, intimacy, compassion, appreciation, and general "liking") rather than physical pleasure. But romantic love in the abstract sense of the term, is traditionally referred to as involving a mix of emotional and sexual desire for another as a person. However, Lisa Diamond, a University of Utah psychology professor, proposes that sexual desire and romantic love are functionally independent and also, as an additional claim to the topic, that romantic love is not intrinsically oriented to same-gender or other-gender partners; and that the links between love and desire are bidirectional as opposed to unilateral. Furthermore, Diamond does not state that one's sex has priority over another sex in romantic love because, as already mentioned, her theory suggests it is possible for someone who is homosexual to fall in love with someone of the opposite gender, and for someone who is heterosexual to fall in love with someone of the same gender.

If one thinks of romantic love not as simply erotic freedom and expression, but as a breaking of that expression from a prescribed custom, romantic love is modern. There may have been a tension in primitive societies between marriage and the erotic, but this was mostly expressed in taboos regarding the menstrual cycle and birth.

Before the 18th century, as now, there were many marriages that were not arranged, and arose out of more or less spontaneous relationships. But also after the 18th century, illicit relationships took on a more independent role. In bourgeois marriage, illicitness may have become more formidable and likely to cause tension. In Ladies of the Leisure Class, Bonnie G. Smith depicts courtship and marriage rituals that may be viewed as oppressive to both men and women. She writes "When the young women of the Nord married, they did so without illusions of love and romance. They acted within a framework of concern for the reproduction of bloodlines according to financial, professional, and sometimes political interests." Subsequent sexual revolution has lessened the conflicts arising out of liberalism, but not eliminated them.

Anthropologists such as Claude Levi-Strauss show that there were complex forms of courtship in ancient as well as contemporary primitive societies. But there may not be evidence that members of such societies formed love relationships distinct from their established customs in a way that would parallel modern romance.

Romantic love is then a relative term within any sexual relationship, but not relative when considered in contrast with custom. Within an existing relationship romantic love can be defined as a temporary freeing or optimizing of intimacy, either in a particularly luxurious manner (or the opposite as in the "natural"), or perhaps in greater spirituality, irony, or peril to the relationship. It may seem like a contradiction that romance is opposed to spirituality and yet would be strengthened by it, but the fleeting quality of romance might stand out in greater clarity as a couple explore a higher meaning.

The cultural traditions of marriage and betrothal are the most basic customs in conflict with romance, however it is possible that romance and love can exist between the partners within those customs. Shakespeare and Kierkegaard describe similar viewpoints, to the effect that marriage and romance are not harmoniously in tune with each other. In Measure for Measure, for example, "...there has not been, nor is there at this point, any display of affection between Isabella and the Duke, if by affection we mean something concerned with sexual attraction. The two at the end of the play love each other as they love virtue." Isabella, like all women, needs love, and she may reject marriage with the Duke because he seeks to beget an heir with her for her virtues, and she is not happy with the limited kind of love that implies. Shakespeare is arguing that marriage because of its purity can not simply incorporate romance. The extramarital nature of romance is also clarified by John Updike in his novel Gertrude and Claudius, as well as by Hamlet. It is also found in the film Braveheart, or rather in the life of Isabella of France.

Romance can also be tragic in its conflict with society. Tolstoy also focuses on the romantic limitations of marriage, and Anna Karenina prefers death to being married to her fiancée. Furthermore, in the speech about marriage that is given in Kierkegaard's Either/Or, Kierkegaard attempts to show that it is because marriage is lacking in passion fundamentally, that the nature of marriage, unlike romance, is explainable by a man who has experience of neither marriage nor love.

In the following excerpt, from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Romeo, in saying "all combined, save what thou must combine By holy marriage" implies that it is not marriage with Juliet that he seeks but simply to be joined with her romantically. That "I pray That thou consent to marry us" implies that the marriage means the removal of the social obstacle between the two opposing families, not that marriage is sought by Romeo with Juliet for any other particular reason, as adding to their love or giving it any more meaning.

The concept of romantic love was popularized in Western culture by the game of courtly love. Troubadours in the Middle Ages engaged in (usually extramarital) trysts with women as a game created for fun - and not for marriage. Since at the time marriage had little to do with love, courtly love was a way for people to express the love not found in their marriage. "Lovers" in the context of courtly love did not refer to sex, but rather the act of emotional loving. These "lovers" had short trysts in secret, which escalated mentally, but never physically. Rules of the game were even codified. For example, De amore (or The Art of Courtly Love, as it is known in English) written in the 12th century lists such rules as "Marriage is no real excuse for not loving", "He who is not jealous cannot love", "No one can be bound by a double love", and "When made public love rarely endures".

Some believe that romantic love evolved independently in multiple cultures. For example, in an article presented by Henry Gruenbaum, he argues "therapists mistakenly believe that romantic love is a phenomenon unique to Western cultures and first expressed by the troubadours of the Middle Ages".

The more current and Western traditional terminology meaning "court as lover" or the general idea of "romantic love" is believed to have originated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, primarily from that of the French culture. This idea is what has spurred the connection between the words "romantic" and "lover", thus coining the English phrase "romantic love" (i.e "loving like the Romans do".) But the precise origins of such a connection are unknown. Although the word "romance", or the equivalents thereof, may not have the same connotation in other cultures, the general idea of "romantic love" appears to have crossed cultures at one point in time or another.

John Gray is noted primarily for his claims that gender differences are the primary causes for many of the conflicts, problems, or issues between people of opposite sex in romantic relationships. However, in most of his material he neglects to mention instances that are similar between parties of same sex not involved romantically. John Gray does not seem to argue for differences in training, education, personal beliefs systems, personal experiences and attributive personality traits as being a collective unit of causes toward disruptions, disputes, and conflicts in any type of relationship, rather he focuses his theories primarily on the more traditional approach of gender based stereotypes. One factor, however, that is an observable trait dealing with gender differences is that of physical appearance. In fact, in terms of physical appearance, the concerns about attractiveness vary so widely between the sexes that it is difficult to examine the specific terms and variables common to both genders. But if we were to observe human behaviour only, there are certain trait characteristics that can be viewed as identical and/or similar between opposite sexes, whether involved romantically or not. The geniality and humanness characteristic of a society, however, appear to always cross gender boundaries at some level. In Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Gray argued for reciprocity, by focusing on gender differences. In this way he popularized the view that men and women have special emotional needs belonging to their sex, and that an understanding of these might contribute to the conditions for relationships, and so also to romance.

Several MRI studies have been conducted to discover the reaction of subjects to images of an individual with whom they are in love. Scientists found that "love" activated the right ventral tegmental area (VTA) and dorsal caudate body of the brain, which are regions associated with motivation to win a reward. Sorely lacking in these studies, however, is an investigation into the ways that different genders' brains react to love.

Greek philosophers and authors had many theories of love, some of which are presented in Plato's Symposium where six Athenian friends including Socrates drink wine and each give a speech praising the deity Eros. When his turn comes, Aristophanes says in his mythical speech that sexual partners seek each other because they are descended from beings with spherical torsos, two sets of human limbs, genitalia on each side, and two faces back to back. Their three forms included the three permutations of pairs of gender (i.e. one masculine and masculine, another feminine and feminine, and the third masculine and feminine) and they were split by the gods to thwart the creatures' assault on heaven, recapitulated, according to the comic playwright, in other myths such as the Aloadae. This story is relevant to modern romance partly because of the image of reciprocity it shows between the sexes. In the final speech before Alcibiades arrives, Socrates gives his encomium of love and desire as a lack of being, namely, the being or form of beauty. Deleuze linked this idea of love as a lack mainly to Freud, and Deleuze often criticized it.

Attraction, often based simply on common interests, can also appear mysterious and irrational, but therapists and support groups of many kinds attempt to analyze the process. Though there are many theories of romantic love such as that of Robert Sternberg in which it is merely a mean combining liking and sexual desire, the major theories involve far more insight. For most of the 20th century, Freud's theory of the family drama dominated theories of romance and sexual relationships. This has given rise to a few counter-theories. Theorists like Deleuze counter Freud and Lacan by attempting to return to a more naturalistic philosophy.

René Girard, for example, argues that romantic attraction is a product of rivalry, particularly in a triangular form, a view mostly popularized in Girard's theory of mimetic desire, controversial because of its alleged sexism. The view has to some extent supplanted its predecessor, Freudian Oedipal theory. It may find even some spurious support in the supposed attraction of women to "bad" men, i.e., implying the deflection of male aggression back toward a man and his rival, rather than their beloved. As a technique of attraction, often combined with irony, it is sometimes advised that one feign toughness and disinterest, but it can be a trivial or crude idea to promulgate to men, and it is not given with much understanding of mimetic desire in mind.

Girard, in any case, downplays romance's individuality in favor of jealousy and the love triangle, arguing that romantic attraction arises primarily in the observed attraction between two others. A natural objection is that this is circular reasoning, but Girard means that a small measure of attraction reaches a critical point insofar as it is caught up in mimesis. Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, and The Winter's Tale are the best known examples. Mimetic desire is often challenged by feminists, such as Toril Moi, who argue that it does not account for the woman as inherently desired.

Though the centrality of rivalry is not itself a cynical view, it does emphasize the mechanical in love relations. In that sense, it does resonate with capitalism and a cynicism native to post-modernity. Romance, in this context, for example, leans more on fashion and irony, though these were important for it in less emancipated times. Sexual revolutions have brought change to these areas. Wit or irony therefore ecompass an instability of romance that is not entirely new but has a more central social role, fine-tuned to certain modern peculiarities and subversion originating in various social revolutions, culminating mostly in the 1960s.

Almost all psychological research suggests that romantic love lasts for about a year, and then it is replaced by a more enduring form of love called companionate love. In companionate love, basic friendship and trust are essential, but romantic feelings basically disappear. However, new research suggests that some couples keep romantic feelings alive for much longer.

Even though there often appears to be traces of romance and love being intertwined in various cultures and societies throughout history, Gary Zukav, best selling author of Seat of the Soul and Soul Stories, views romantic love as being an illusion, stating that the concept of romantic love can never be truly fulfilling. He states that "Romance is your desire to make yourself complete through another person rather than through your own inner work.", thus isolating the idea of romance from the concept of "true love." His argument is that "real love" is more beneficial than romantic involvement alone.

Romantic love may, then, be a sexual love that attempts to transcend, in some cases entirely, mere needs driven by physical appearances, lust, or material and social gain. This transcending, ultimately, implies not just that personality is more essential, which could be considered a truism, and a view that might appear without much regard to virtue, ranging from the noble to the most shallow character. Rather, romance tends to strive to see, or suppose it can see, personality as attractive in a fundamentally higher sense. In some religions, all forms of love (and art) may be regarded as indirectly seeking God--and therefore adding to a relationship with God--whereas at the same time, such lesser objects of love are sometimes regarded as distinct from God and an obstacle in the path of spirituality.

Not only theologians, but many philosophers debate this, especially in continental philosophy in existentialism, and in analytic philosophy, in views such as emotivism. Things lesser than personality, however, as well as the practical aspects of personality, always play a role in romance's arousal and justification.

Romance then, raises questions of emotivism (or in a more pejorative sense, nihilism) such as whether spiritual attraction, of the world, might not actually rise above or distinguish itself from that of the body or aesthetic sensibility. While Buddha taught a philosophy of compassion and love, still in his philosophy of anatman or non-self spiritual appearances are of a piece with the world and essentially empty. The contradiction between compassion and anatman seems to be a part of Buddhism. In that case a seemingly negative insight can result in very different overall views, for example if one compares Buddha and Shakespeare with Nietzsche. Kierkegaard also addressed these ideas in works such as Either/Or and Stages on Life's Way.

Romantic love is contrasted with platonic love which in all usages precludes sexual relations, yet only in the modern usage does it take on a fully asexual sense, rather than the classical sense in which sexual drives are sublimated. Sublimation tends to be forgotten in casual thought about love aside from its emergence in psychoanalysis and Nietzsche. Unrequited love can be romantic, if only in a comic or tragic sense, or in the sense that sublimation itself is comparable to romance, where the spirituality of both art and egalitarian ideals is combined with strong character and emotions. This situation is typical of the period of romanticism, but that term is distinct from any romance that might arise within it.

The "tragic" contradiction between romance and society is most forcibly portrayed in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, in Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The female protagonists in such stories are driven to suicide as if dying for a cause of freedom from various oppressions of marriage. Even after sexual revolutions, on the other hand, to the extent that it does not lead to procreation (or child-rearing, as it also might exist in same-sex marriage), romance remains peripheral, though it may have virtues in the relief of stress, as a source of inspiration or adventure, or in development and the strengthening of certain social relations. It is difficult to imagine such tragic heroines, however, as having such practical considerations in mind.

Reciprocity of the sexes appears in the ancient world primarily in myth (where it is in fact often the subject of tragedy, for example in the myths of Theseus and Atalanta). Noteworthy female freedom or power was then the exception rather than the rule, though this is a matter of speculation and debate. At the same time Christianity has had another effect on romance, by asserting the spirituality of marriage. This is at least slightly ironic, since religion is the origin of much liberation and emancipation.

Later modern philosophers such as La Rochefoucauld, Hume and Rousseau also focused on morality, but desire was central to French thought, and Hume himself tended to adopt a French worldview and temperament. Desire in this milieu meant a very general idea termed "the passions," and this general interest was distinct from the contemporary idea of "passionate" now equated with "romantic." Love was a central topic again in the subsequent movement of Romanticism, which focused on such things as absorption in nature and the absolute, as well as platonic and unrequited love in German philosophy and literature.

Philosophers and authors interested in the nature of love, which may not have been mentioned in this article are Jane Austen, Stendhal, Schopenhauer, George Meredith, Proust, D. H. Lawrence, Freud, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Hemingway, Henry Miller, Deleuze and Alan Soble.

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Polyamory

Start of polyamory contingent at San Francisco Pride 2004.

Polyamory (from Greek πολυ and Latin amor ) is the desire, practice, or acceptance of having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. The term polyamory is sometimes abbreviated to poly, and is sometimes described as consensual, ethical, or responsible non-monogamy. The word is sometimes used more broadly to refer to any sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies.

Polyamory can refer to the practice or status of a relationship at a given time, or used as a description of a lifestyle, philosophy or relationship orientation (much like gender orientation), rather than of an individual's actual relationship status at a given moment. It is an umbrella term that covers many orientations and modes of relationship. There is fluidity in its definition to accommodate the different shades of meaning which might be covered. Polyamorous relationships are themselves varied, reflecting the choices and philosophies of the individuals concerned.

Polyamory differs from polygamy, although the two terms are occasionally used incorrectly as if they are interchangeable. Polygamy more accurately refers to specific structures of recognized relationships, while polyamory is a personal outlook grounded in such concepts as choice, trust, equality of free will, and the idea of compersion, and newer cultural traditions distinct from the religious and cultural traditions of polygamy.

The defining characteristic of polyamory is belief in the possibility of, and value of, multiple romantic loving relationships carried out "with the knowledge and consent of all partners concerned." What distinguishes polyamory from traditional forms of non-monogamy (i.e. "cheating") is an ideology that openness, goodwill, intense communication, and ethical behavior should prevail among all the parties involved. Some consider polyamory to be, at its root, the generalization of romantic couple-love beyond two people into something larger.

People who identify as polyamorous typically reject the view that sexual and relational exclusivity are necessary for long-term loving relationships. Those who are open to, or emotionally suited for, a polyamorous lifestyle may be single or in monogamous relationships, but are more typically involved in multiple long term relationships.

Polyamorous relationships, in practice, are highly varied and individualized. Ideally they are built upon values of trust, loyalty, negotiation, and compersion, as well as rejection of jealousy, possessiveness, and restrictive cultural standards. Such relationships are often more fluid than the traditional "dating and marriage" model of long-term relationships, and the participants in a polyamorous relationship may not have preconceptions as to duration.

Sex is not necessarily a primary focus in polyamorous relationships. Polyamorous relationships commonly consist of groups of more than two people seeking to build a long-term future together on mutually agreeable grounds, with sex as only one aspect of their relationship.

Polyamory is a hybrid word: poly is Greek for many (or multiple) and amor is Latin for love. The word has been coined, seemingly independently, by several people, including Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, whose article "A Bouquet of Lovers" (1990) is widely cited as its source even though the word did not appear in the article (see below), and Jennifer Wesp who created the Usenet newsgroup alt.polyamory in 1992. . The Oxford English Dictionary cites a proposal for alt.polyamory as the first verified appearance of the word. However, even outside polygamous cultures such relationships existed well before the name was coined; for one example dating from the 1920s, see William Moulton Marston.

The word "polyamory" does not actually appear in "A Bouquet of Lovers", referenced above. The article uses "polyamorous", but in its original version introduced the term in hyphenated form, "poly-amorous". The article consistently uses "polygamy" as the counterpart to "monogamy". This indicates that at the time, the author was not yet using the word "polyamory", and did not consider "polyamorous" an established word either. There are no verifiable sources showing the word "polyamory" in common use until after alt.polyamory was created. The older term polyfidelity, a subset of polyamory, was coined decades earlier at Kerista.

Most definitions center on the concepts of being open to, or engaging in, a lifestyle that potentially encompasses multiple loving relationships (of whatever form) where all parties are informed and consenting to the arrangement. However, no single definition of "polyamory" has universal acceptance; two common areas of difference arise regarding the degree of commitment (when does swinging become polyamory?) and whether it represents a viewpoint or a relational status quo (is a person open to the idea, but without partners at present, still "polyamorous"?). Similarly, an open relationship in which all participants are long-term friends might be considered "polyamorous" under broader usages of the word, but excluded from some of the tighter usages, since polyamorous relationships may or may not also be polyfidelitous (non-open, or faithful within the relationship).

2). What's polyamory, then? (Glad you asked that. ;-) ) Polyamory means "loving more than one". This love may be sexual, emotional, spiritual, or any combination thereof, according to the desires and agreements of the individuals involved, but you needn't wear yourself out trying to figure out ways to fit fondness for apple pie, or filial piety, or a passion for the Saint Paul Saints baseball club into it. "Polyamorous" is also used as a descriptive term by people who are open to more than one relationship even if they are not currently involved in more than one. (Heck, some are involved in less than one.) Some people think the definition is a bit loose, but it's got to be fairly roomy to fit the wide range of poly arrangements out there.

The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. This term was meant to be inclusive, and in that context, we have never intended to particularly exclude "swinging" per se, if practitioners thereof wished to adopt the term and include themselves... The two essential ingredients of the concept of polyamory are more than one; and loving. That is, it is expected that the people in such relationships have a loving emotional bond, are involved in each other's lives multi-dimensionally, and care for each other. This term is not intended to apply to merely casual recreational sex, anonymous orgies, one-night stands, pick-ups, prostitution, "cheating," serial monogamy, or the popular definition of swinging as "mate-swapping" parties.

The terms primary (or primary relationship(s)) and secondary (or secondary relationship(s)) are often used to indicate a hierarchy of different relationships or the place of each relationship in the speaker's life. Thus, a woman with a husband and another partner might refer to the husband as her "primary". (Of course, this is in addition to any other term of endearment). Some polyamorous people use this as an explicit hierarchy of relationships, while others consider it insulting to the people involved, believing that a person's partners should be considered equally important. Another model, sometimes referred to as intimate network, includes relationships that are of varying significance to the people involved, but are not explicitly labeled as "primary" or "secondary." Within this model, any hierarchy may be fluid and vague, or nonexistent.

Although people who are polyamorous have adopted a number of symbols, none has universal recognition. The most common symbol is the red and white heart (♥) combined with the blue infinity sign (∞).

The symbol in the center of the flag is a gold Greek lowercase letter “pi” (π), as the first letter of "polyamory" . The letter's gold color represents the value that people who are polyamorous place on the emotional attachment to others, be the relationship friendly or romantic in nature, as opposed to merely primarily physical relationships.

The symbol of ILIC (Infinite Love in Infinite Combinations) is a reference to the Star Trek kol-ut-shan or symbol of philosophy of Vulcan IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations).

Another is the image of a parrot, since "Polly" is a common name for these birds. Author Mystic Life describes this symbol an ironic reference to Parrot monogamy.

The expression open relationship denotes a relationship in which participants may have sexual connections with others. When a married couple makes such an agreement, it may be termed an open marriage. Some forms of polyamorous relationship are not "open" (e.g. polyfidelity). And some open relationships may be open only sexually, while exclusive emotionally. However, there is broad overlap between open relationships and polyamory.

It is possible for a person with polyamorous relationships to also engage in casual sex, traditional swinging, and other open relationships. Sometimes polyamorous people have been known to engage in infidelities or secret affairs, although this is no better accepted in polyamorous communities than in monogamous ones.

Egalitarian polyamory is more closely associated with values, subcultures and ideologies that favor individual freedoms and equality in sexual matters — most notably, those reflected by sexual freedom advocacy groups such as Woodhull Freedom Foundation & Federation, NCSF and ACLU . However, polygamy advocacy groups and activists and egalitarian polyamory advocacy groups and activists can and do work together cooperatively. In addition, the two subcommunities have many common issues (poly parenting, dealing with jealousy, legal and social discrimination, etc.), the discussion and resolution of which are of equal interest to both subcommunities regardless of any cultural differences that may exist. Moreover, there is considerable cultural diversity within both subcommunities. Religiously motivated polygamy has its Islamic, Mormon fundamentalist, Christian Plural Marriage, Jewish and other varieties; similarly, many egalitarian polyamorists have cultural ties to Naturism, Neo-Pagans, BDSM, Modern Tantra, and other special interest groups. For example, egalitarian polyamory and BDSM often face similar challenges (e.g. negotiating the ground rules for unconventional relationships, or the question of coming out to family and friends), and cross-pollination of ideas takes place between the two.

In most countries, it is legal for three or more people to form and share a sexual relationship (subject sometimes to laws against homosexuality). However, no Western countries permit marriage among more than two people. Nor do they give strong and equal legal protection (e.g. of rights relating to children) to non-married partners — the legal regime is not comparable to that applying to married couples. Individuals involved in polyamorous relationships are considered by the law to be no different from people who live together, or "date", under other circumstances. Usually one couple, at most, can be "married" under civil and/or religious law.

Having multiple non-marital partners, even if married to one, is legal in most U.S. jurisdictions; at most it constitutes grounds for divorce if the spouse is non-consenting (or claims to be), or feels that the interest in a further partner has destabilized the marriage. There are exceptions to this: in North Carolina, a spouse can sue a third party for causing "loss of affection" in or "criminal conversation" (adultery) with their spouse, and more than twenty states in the US have laws against adultery although they are infrequently enforced. Some states were prompted to review their laws criminalizing consensual sexual activity in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. One reading of Justice Kennedy's opinion in Lawrence is that states may not constitutionally burden any private, consensual sexual activity between adults. Such a reading would throw laws against fornication, adultery, and even adult incest into question.

New Jersey's 2004 Domestic Partnership Act could in theory be used to legally connect more than two persons (albeit imperfectly), perhaps using a combination of marriage and domestic partnership. However, no case law in support of this theory as yet exists.

At present, the extension to multiple-partner relationships of laws that use a criterion similar to that adopted in the UK, i.e. "married or living together as married" remains largely untested. That is, it is not known whether these laws could treat some trios or larger groups as common-law marriages.

When a relationship ends, non-consensual non-fidelity ("cheating") is often grounds for an unfavorable divorce settlement, and non-fidelity generally could easily be seized upon as a prejudicial issue by an antagonistic partner.

Separate from polyamory as a philosophical basis for relationship, are the practical ways in which people who live a polyamorous lifestyle arrange their lives, the issues they face, and how these compare to those living a monogamous lifestyle.

Relationships classed as polyamorous involve an emotional bond and often a longer term intent, though these distinctions are a topic open to debate and interpretation. Many people in the swinging and polyamory communities see both practices as part of a broader spectrum of open intimacy and sexuality.

Whether children are fully informed of the nature of their parents' relationship varies, according to the above considerations and also to whether the parents are "out" to other adults.

Parents involved in polyamorous relationships often keep it a secret because of the risk that it will be used by an ex-spouse, or other family member, as grounds to deprive them of custody of and/or access to their children. The fear is that it will be used in family disputes much as homosexuality has been used in the past.

In 1998, a Tennessee court granted guardianship of a child to her grandmother and step-grandfather after the child's mother April Divilbiss and partners outed themselves as polyamorous on MTV. After contesting the decision for two years, Divilbiss eventually agreed to relinquish her daughter, acknowledging that she was unable to adequately care for her child and that this, rather than her polyamory, had been the grandparents' real motivation in seeking custody. The Tennessee case is not necessarily normative for the entirety of the United States, since family law varies significantly from state to state, and sometimes even within a state. US state law is, of course, not normative for laws of other countries.

As with many lifestyles, there is considerable active discussion about philosophical approaches to polyamory.

In 1929, Marriage and Morals, written by the philosopher, mathematician, and Nobel Prize winner Bertrand Russell, offered a strong precedent to the philosophy of polyamory. At the time of publication, Russell's questioning of the Victorian notions of morality regarding sex and marriage prompted vigorous protests and denunciations, but several intellectuals, led by John Dewey, spoke out against this treatment.

A sixth reason, a couple's response to a failure of monogamy, by reaching a consensus to accept the additional relationship, is identified by other authors.

While openly polyamorous relationships are relatively rare (Rubin, 1982), there are indications that private polyamorous arrangements within relationships are actually quite common. Blumstein and Schwartz (1983, cited in Rubin & Adams, 1986) noted that of 3,574 married couples in their sample, 15-28% had "an understanding that allows nonmonogamy under some circumstances. The percentages are higher among cohabitating couples (28%), lesbian couples (29%) and gay male couples (65%)" (p. 312).

Its conclusions, summarized, were that "Sweeping changes are occurring in the sexual and relational landscape" (including 'dissatisfaction with limitations of serial monogamy, i.e. exchanging one partner for another in the hope of a better outcome') ... that clinicians need to start by "recognizing the array of possibilities that polyamory encompasses" and "examine the culturally based assumption that only monogamy is acceptable" and how this bias impacts on the practice of therapy ... the need for self-education about polyamory" ... basic understandings about the "rewards of the poly lifestyle" and the common social and relationship challenges faced by those involved ... and the "shadow side" of polyamory – the potential existing for coercion, strong emotions in opposition, and/or jealousy.

The paper also states that the configurations a therapist would be "most likely to see in practice" are individuals involved in primary-plus arrangements, monogamous couples wishing to explore non-monogamy for the first time, and poly singles.

Many religions discourage sex outside marriage (or, in some cases, a committed relationship closely resembling marriage). As a consequence, those religions effectively prohibit or permit polyamory to the same degree that they prohibit or permit polygamy. Even where polygamy is permitted, it is often limited to a rigidly-defined form of plural marriage — most commonly polygyny.

At the beginning of the 21st century, polygyny remained common in some parts of the Islamic world but was not recognized by most branches of Christianity and Judaism. There are many scriptural references in the Old Testament to polygyny, such as the story of King Solomon, an important figure to all three major Abrahamic religions. Buddhism and Hinduism do not take a stance for or against.For further discussion and some exceptions see Polygamy and religion.

While most religions offer guidance about sex and family, religious leaders have said relatively little about polyamory, possibly due to its low public profile compared to other relational/ethical issues such as homosexuality.

In a 2007 editorial by the Chinese newspaper the Shanghai Daily, the moralistic argument was advanced that marriage, a vehicle for true love, should engender the "obligation to give themselves totally and exclusively, to this one person" in order to have meaning, and in consequence of this, all extramarital activity was "worse than immoral. It's unashamed... Mutual conspiracy", and that the concept of mutual consent was "not worth refutation". Even if the partners were honest and supportive of each other, the writer stated that "marriage is considered the consecration of true love", and there was a spirit of marriage which had been betrayed.

In The Ethical Slut, Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (writing as 'Catherine Liszt') described an argument against polyamory to the effect that, when one's love is divided among multiple partners, the love is lessened. They referred to this as a "starvation economy" argument, because it treats love as a scarce commodity (like food or other resources) that can be given to one person only by taking it away from another. This is sometimes called a "Malthusian argument", after Malthus' writings on finite resources.

Critics counter that even if love is not a finite resource, time and energy still are.

The problem of confirmation bias makes it impossible to accurately gauge the stability of polyamorous relationships without carefully-conducted scientific investigation. The complex nature of polyamory presents difficulties in structuring such research. For instance, polyamorists may be reluctant to disclose their relationship status due to potential negative consequences, and researchers may be unfamiliar with the full range of polyamorous behaviours, leading to poorly-framed questions that give misleading results.

While predating the term polyamory, some research has been done on the stability of some forms of what might be considered polyamorous relationships in the Netherlands. Weitzman lists a study by Rubin and Adams in 1986 which found no differences in marital stability based on sexual exclusivity in married relationships.

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Source : Wikipedia