Monday, September 22, 2008

Homosexuality and Taoism

It is difficult to determine a single position on homosexuality in Taoism, as the term Taoism is used to describe a number of disparate religious traditions, from organised religious movements such as Quanzhen to Chinese folk religion and even a school of philosophy. The vast majority of adherents live in China and among Chinese Diaspora communities elsewhere, and so attitudes to homosexuality within Taoism often reflect the values and sexual norms of broader Chinese society .

The Taoist tradition holds that males need the energies of females, and vice versa, in order to bring about balance, completion and transformation. These energies thought to be best obtained through heterosexual relations. Passionate homosexual expression is usually discouraged because it is believed to not lead to human fulfillment.

Taoism stresses the relationship between yin and yang: two opposing forces which maintain harmony through balance. Heterosexuality is seen as the physical and emotional embodiment of the harmonious balance between yin and yang.

However, Taoist nuns are said to have exchanged love poems during the Tang dynasty.

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