Taboo

Topics: Homosexuality, Religion, Prostitution Pages: 2 (623 words) Published: August 29, 2014
Taboo

A taboo the prohibition of an action or topic of discussion based on social or religious custom. Most societies around the world consider some things taboo, however these things have changed significantly over time. No taboo is completely universal, in fact some cultures engage in customs we would find strictly taboo.

There is no taboo that is currently known to be universal. There are societies around the world that practice what would be strictly taboo in our society. Polygamy is the practice of having more than one husband or wife at the same time. This custom is considered taboo in most modern societies but is still practiced by many cultures around the world. Polygamy is even present in the USA. The church of the Latter Day Saints is a prime example. The founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith was known to practice and preach polygamy to his following. The practice was accepted by the church during the 19th and early 20th century until it was abandoned following criticism from the United States government. Despite the practice being abandoned some Mormon fundamentalists believe that the custom should be continued. Bigamy is currently illegal in the USA but religious groups are still practicing it. In these polygamist families the additional marriages are often performed in private religious ceremonies.

What is considered taboo has changed over the years. One taboo that is slowing beginning to change is swearing. The acceptance of swearing can depend on culture, class and generation. Though it has been present for a very long time it is still treated as taboo in particular groups. Which words are considered taboo is indicative of which culture is being observed. For example in today’s society most western civilisations consider words that are derogatory to a particular group to be taboo. However, the words that are slowly becoming more common and less offensive are traditional swear words.

In Ancient Rome, homosexuality...
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