Talk:Adultery

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Old talk[edit]

Adultery is generally defined as sexual intercourse between a married person and someone not married to them. Historically adultery has been subject to severe sanctions including the death penalty

This is far from clear: Illlllllllllllllllllllllllll--206.116.247.246 00:37, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)ntercourse between a married woman and a man not her husband is adultery, ok. But who is guilty of adultery? Only the woman? Or also the man? In other words: can an unmarried person commit adultery?

A Biblical example: If the wife of Potiphar had succeeded in seducing Joseph, would he then have committed adultery? (Gen.39)

As the word is most often defined, only a married person can commit adultery: adultery is sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their lawful spouse. In your example, the wife of Potiphar would have been guilty of adultery: Joseph would have been guilty of fornication. -- Someone else 08:48 Feb 9, 2003 (UTC)
This is clearly false; the Torah is quite clear that both parties are guily. If the woman is raped, onlythe man is guilty. Plus, in the prohibited relations, it states both parties are guilty. This is all black-on-white.
Fornification is a Chrsitian term. There is nothing in the Jewish Bible about it, except Harlotry, which according to SOME opinions refers to that. And at any rate, it only applies to Jews, and it is not clear then Joseph would have been considered Jewish for legal purposes. (Recall that Jacob married two sisters; the law had not yet been given yet.Mzk1 (talk) 21:16, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Adulteration is the mixing of type. In relation to marriage, it is the sharing of sex with another, and to a higher degree the mixing of race in sex.

Marriage being the unity created from sexual encounter, not a certificate of unity which is just the public announcement thereof.

TheLookOutOne 21:40, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


Is there a reason this is a separate article from infidelity? I think that the two should be merged with a redirect. -Branddobbe 08:13, Jan 24, 2004 (UTC)

I'm probably biased. In any event, adultery is but a subset of infidelity -- and that article now includes other meanings. ♥ «Charles A. L.» 18:28, Apr 22, 2004 (UTC)

They aren't the same thing. Infidelity is "unfaithfullness to a sexual partner", and marriage is not a requirement. Adultery is a married eoman having sexual relations with someone other than her husband. A married man having sex with an unmarried woman would not be adultery, but would be infidelity (unless he had approval of his wife first). Atom 22:32, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


Open marriages: some may consider them to be adulterous (like me, for instance). So I changed it to read "the resulting sexual relationships are generally not considered adulterous, at least from a non-legal standpoint". If someone else thinks that "non-legal" means also "excluding considerations of moral law" and wants to remove my "generally", that's fine by me. Incidentally, I also corrected the grammar on that one; adulterous is the adjective associated with adultery, not adultery. Wooster 17:29, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

cukold[edit]

This is a term I have never before heard. When a spouse cheats, he is most commonly termed a cheater or a cheat in my part of the U.S. ~~CiaraBeth

As I understand it it actually means a woman who sleeps with someone outside her marriage in the hopes of getting pregnant with him, for his better genes, but leaving her husband to financially supporting him... whether these are the motives or not, the numbers of men unknowingly raising children who are not biologically theirs is staggering.


Cuckhold is an older term that has taken on a new meaning in some circles of our society. As more a slang useage as anything else, it's referring to a spouse (generally the husband) who permits and possibly enjoys their spouse having sex with someone else. Wether that be one or more people, and interacial themes (caucasion couple and African American male) is quite common. It's becoming more and more prevelant, but any solid information or data on it is almost impossible to find.

I know what it means, and I think it still enjoys a limited but continuing usage here in the UK to mean simply a spouse more "sinned against than sinning", if you see what I mean. Wooster 17:29, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

My understanding of cukold (mostly garnered from Othello) is: when a man's wife commits adultery with another person (say Michael Cassio) and EVERYONE knows about it, but not the husband. there is some imagery of the husband growing a horn on his head (much like a unicorn's horn) without him realising this. Everone else sees the horn and knows about it (they laugh behind his back). THis is much like the situation in the movie "Me, myself and Irene" (starring Jim Carey) where a white man and his white wife somehow gives birth to black children. The whole town knew that his wife committed adultery, but the husband still felt that she was faithful. Of course, I am speaking figuratively here with the horn growing on the man's head. It is said that his wife has made a cukold out of him. This my general understanding of Cukold. 211.28.121.35 12:35, 26 December 2005

Well, I have never heard "cukold" or "cuckhold" in normal U.S. conversation, but in The Classics (including Othello as previously mentioned) I always assumed it meant the unwitting husband of the wife whom is adultering, but only if everybody else knows it except him. I suppose it could be considered a word that sounds comedic to describe what is essentially a comedic situation (well, for everybody else). --Pygmalion58

U.S. Military[edit]

"In the U.S. Military, adultery is a chargeable offense."

That sounds kind of interesting. Can someone elaborate on that? --Euniana 12:15, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Done. – Smyth\talk 30 June 2005 19:16 (UTC)
I'm not sure this is strictly true... See: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/justicelawlegislation/a/adultery.htm -SocratesJedi | Talk 08:15, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I'll try to answer this, Military personnell are held to the laws of the Unifrom Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which is a seperate, and additional, set of laws. Generally, these laws are stricter and the punishments more severe than civillian laws, going with the idea that military personnel are held to a higher standard. Adultry is illegal under the UCMJ, and people are tried for it. Common cases that I've heard about (in the Army) are when the persons involved 'bring it to the office' and it disrupts work (i.e. the mission).

Adultery under Sharia[edit]

Would someone please reconstruct the section on adultery under Sharia in complete sentences, with grammar, punctuation and such? I have no idea what is intended here.

FYI Obviously in Islam the Quran has the primary authority as the (believed) revealed scripture, regardless of whether or not people dispute this (which is irrelevant to the article) another well known source of authority for judgements is in books of Hadeeth, not enough people understand how laws are constructed under Islamic rulings (but perhaps thats another topic entirely) my point is that Hadeeth based information and the highly esteemed ruling regarding repentance OBLITERATES the violent interpretations of the Quran by those who insist on killing innocents which goes against the general ethics taught in traditional Islam, which is mostly being twisted politically by some so-called "authorities". The information I have given shows another side of the ruling for the purpose of educating the masses on the former traditions which are becoming displaced by modern socio-political trends for their own nefarious purposes...

This is the disputed text, below:

It was asked of Imam Ibne Timiyah if a man was entitled to the punishment of unlawful sex and he atoned for the sin before the imposition of punishment, would the punishment be condoned by his atonement. He replied; “If one resolves to leave unlawful sex, theft or drinking before the case is produced before the Imam, then it is proper that the punishment will be condoned like it is condoned for the Maharibeen (the wagers of war against Allah and the Apostle and the seditionist) if they repent before coming under the grip of law”. (Majmoo’-ul-Fatawa Sheikh-ul-Islam) Says Ibne Qayyim: “If this is true that Allah does not punish anyone who repents, then it is also true that no punishment should be implemented on a repentant. Allah has made clear that even the Maharibeen are forgiven if they repent before coming under grip. It is despite of the fact that their crime is extremely atrocious. Obviously the lesser offences will in the first place be pardoned if there is true repentance already.” (A’alaam-ul-Muqi’een quoted in Haqeeqat-e-Raj’m P.217).

The sinner, if repentant, is not required to voluntarily report his sin to law. Instead, he should ask forgiveness of Allah and resolve to stay away from the sin in future. ‘The Prophet of Allah said; “Stay away from those loathsome evils, which Allah has forbidden you from. If someone through a slip indulges in any such act then he should remain concealed behind the veil of Allah and ask forgiveness of Him. But if someone will produce his neck before us (i.e. stick to the sinful activities unashamedly and boldly) then we shall enforce the code over him.” (Bulughul Maraam; Kitabul Hudood; Ibne Haj’r Asqalani)

“Said Anas Bin Malik, ‘I was present beside the Prophet (Pbuh) when a man came and said; ‘O Prophet of Allah I have committed a punishable sin, so enact the punishment’. The Prophet (Pbuh) did not ask him any question till it was time for worship. After he had offered the prayer with the Prophet (Pbuh), he again approached him and said; “O Prophet of Allah I have committed a punishable sin, so judge me by the book of Allah”. The Prophet (Pbuh) asked him, ‘ Have you not offered prayer with me’? He replied, ‘Yes’. Then the Prophet (Pbuh) said, ‘Allah has pardoned your sin and your punishment.” (Bukhari).

The Prophet (Pbuh) did not even ask him what crime or sin he had committed. This is because the purpose of punishment in the Islamic system is to punish the consistent and habitual criminal (so that others should learn from his severe punishment and do not dare to follow in his footsteps). edit--in other words to make an example of the crimes of the guilty to forewarn as a severe threat against that behaviour.

The above is based on Quran, Scholarly proofs from Hadith and a citation of Imam Ibne Timiyah a well known source of fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence). These details emphasise that Islam has traditionally had a widely understood concept of compassion, mercy and forgiveness, especially in regards to sincere repentance, meaning that the full punishment ordered by God can be expiated, however the rights of individuals must still be balanced according to the crime (e.g. in the case of rape, violence or abuse). These facts MUST be STRONGLY EMPHASISED both to MUSLIM and NON-MUSLIM in the study of Islamic Laws and Jurisprudence.

(This is especially important given the current climate of so-called "islamic" extremism, terrorism inspired by religiously manipulated hate and Islamaphobic attacks and such on the Prophet Muhammad, the Quran and Islam)

Why get married?[edit]

(This seems like a topic regarding marriage--not adultery)

Can anybody tell me why many men get officially married while, according to various sources, nearly 70 to 80 percent of men commit adultery while being married? In most cases such incident leaves a deep scar in the relationship with the spouse, leading very often to divorce. If 7 out of 10 men cannot keep promise to be loyal to his spouse, why bother getting married? Is it because they are scared that, regarding the social code, they won't be considered as 'correct' to have children without getting married? According to the evolutionary theory, men have the instinct to want to have his own descendents. Why won't we come up with a system so that these men can have children without hurting their spouse by having sexual relationship with someone else?

Why are you limiting it to just men? "According to Peggy Vaughan, author of "The Monogamy Myth," first published in 1989 by Newmarket Press (third edition published 2003). Conservative infidelity statistics estimate that “60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair." Nandesuka 11:45, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Also, do not read much into those statistics. There are websites out there, which condone extra marital relations and even go so far as to give advice on how to do it without getting caught etc. such websites run these sorts of polls, which come back with a 70-80% adultery rate. Do not read too much into those stats. It's definitely not that high across the general population (check any reputable gov. statistics body) -Ben

70-80% does seem rather steep...

I believe that such statistics are groundless. There is no method of obtaining reliable data, even in a sample. Whenever I try to obtain anecdotal material, I am more and more convinced of this. We all know acquaintances, friends, etc., but as far as extrapolating facts to society at large, it cannot be done. We know it is not 1 in a million, but whether 1%, 5%, 55%, we have no way of knowing. At least, that is my opinion. 66.108.4.183 00:54, 10 September 2006 (UTC) Allen
I agree with Allen. I don't believe the 70-80% (or the 40-60%) statistic for a second. --DearPrudence 02:34, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Why get married?![edit]

Til Death Do We Part is a verbal contract that is invalid because it modifies State and Federal law.

How so? --Kraftlos 07:05, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Any promises from one individual to another I.E. verbal contracts, are only legally binding if they do not violate another statue of a overriding jurisdiction, thus the promise to stay married would only be legally binding if state and federal law did not allow for divorce. 24.250.136.154 (talk) 21:53, 14 February 2008 (UTC))

In which case, it would be a well-intentioned promise, which is what marriage is frequently based on; i.e. Faith and Good-will. So being "invalid" by law does not make the context invalid to the persons bequeathed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.104.148.56 (talk) 04:21, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Material removed[edit]

"Wives have usually been more harshly punished that husbands, however this arises from biological necessity - a cheating wife could lead to a husband providing for a child who was not any blood relation of his, whereas a cheating husband would at least not lead to the wife providing for a "cuckoo's child". However the wife's boyfriend would usually suffer the most, particularly if he was of lower social class than the husband - in ancient India if a man had sex with his guru's wife, his penis would be amputated and then he would be roasted alive. In many parts of the world, including Texas up to 1972, if a man found another man having sex with his wife he could legally kill him and incur no penalty."

I am not sure this is sufficiently encyclopdeic. I am not sure that this notion of "biological necessity" is verifiable. I agree that in cultures where the ownership and transmission of property and powerful status is an issue, some form of expectation as to bloodline might be sought (hence, the status of illegitimate). Is there any authority for "cuckoo child? and I really would like to see verifiable authority for this Indian punishment. As to the Texan "law referred to (which is by no means unique): this is not a punishment but a potential legal justification for the husband's reaction so definitely not relevant under the titled heading. David91 01:23, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

The "cuckoo's child" was probably intended as a reference to the cuckoo bird's tendency to lay eggs in another's bird's nest so other birds could raise them at the expense of their own hatchlings. I wouldn't scoff too quickly and I was disappointed that this type of information was excised, as I think it was a driver for why women bore the brunt of responsibility wherein men did not historically. In a patriarchal society (as much of the world is and has been), property etc. is passed down via the father who often has claim of his wife's property as well. As adultery on a woman's part can result in a man caring for and passing his legacy on to children that are not his own, this could be seen as fraud on several different levels. A man who pursues sex outside of marriage is unlikely to have the same thing happen, nor would it matter if it did since it is his property that is the legacy. As demonstrated with Henry VIII, adultery in a queen (and two queens died for this) was considered treason to the crown. I presume that that was intended because of the potential for bringing non-royal children into the line of succession. Even a cursory glance at the king's own life would make it clear that this line of reasoning was not imposed on kings.
I do not think it is subjective to say that women have historically born the bulk of the shame and responsibility for carnel errors (even those that were not consensual). It is a result of culpable deniability. Before DNA tests, a man could always say "I didn't do anything." A woman with an eight month belly doesn't have that luxury. Bear in mind, that I am not condoning this line of reasoning or this behavior. I just don't think it's a violation of NPOV to describe situations and rationalizations that really happened. Stephanie Barr 16:50, 5 January 2007 (UTC)Stephanie Barr 1/05/07

Errors in page[edit]

The commandment not commit adultery is the 7th commandment not the 6th - cf. the Ten Commandments link.

Also the text: "In Old Testament Judaism a man cannot commit adultery in his own marriage." is unclear - the reality is, the 7th commandment applies equally to men & women. People get distracted by the androcentric language, and moan that there is no instance of a married man being condemned for relations with an un-married woman: quite true. But of course the converse is so - no married women with un-married men either; so.

Should be re-phrased: ... In OT Judaism nither men nor women could commit adultery. (which should be spelt neither, not nither!) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.104.148.56 (talk) 04:28, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Of course - by the time of the NT - Helenism had so infected the Jewish mindset that we see only the woman 'caught in the act of adultery' brought to Jesus (John 8) - ie. the man got let off: tragic, but - that's not in the law/text.

HTH.

Well, I'd have to say that how people interpret the law/text is almost as important as what is in the law/text itself. But, yes, from a direct reading, it would appear adultery was wrong for both married men and women, although we can see that enforcement was a bit spotty across genders.

I would point out that there is a slight suggestion that at least one of them was "guilty" (if not all, merely by "association") when Jesus required that he who is without sin should cast the first stone (which none could do, suggesting a connection to their guilt). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.104.148.56 (talk) 04:26, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

POV[edit]

Example from the article: "It need hardly be said that when the parties to adultery are both married the sin is more grievous than when one of them is single. Nor is it sufficient for a married person whose guilty partner in this act was also married to declare in confession the fact simply of having committed adultery." --Tail 18:16, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Another example of violations of NPOV: "Among 'savages' generally adultery is rigorously condemned and punished. But it is condemned and punished only as a violation of the husband's rights." - As best I know, the term 'savages' is not condoned in anthropological or sociological circles. This needs to be fixed.

Explicit Images[edit]

Surely it is possible to have an article on adultry without an explicit painting of the act itself. mennsa 16:19, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Christianity section: extremely unencyclopedic![edit]

Although the Christianity section is supposed to be describing a single perspective, its use of subjective, unencyclopedic language like "Clearly the severity of punishment meted out to the adulterous woman and her seducer among savages did not find their sanction in anything like an adequate idea of the guilt of this crime" is totally inappropriate for Wikipedia, especially as much of the section is unsourced.

And phrases like "As we have seen..." give the impression that the editor is constructing an argument - which again is unencyclopedic and inappropriate.

A lot of this is going to have to be cut.

DanBDanD 18:03, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

This article is copied from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1907. See [1]. (This is mentioned at the bottom of the article.) The particular facts in the article may be accurate, but the way it is written, for example the use of present tense throughout, is problematic. —Centrxtalk • 02:56, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it is accurate to say that Jesus took a softer stance on adultery. There were several instances where he taught more strictly than the laws prescribed. By protecting the adulteress he was neither sanctioning or tolerating her behavior; it was an act of mercy. --Kraftlos 07:01, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I too found the tone and point of view in the Christian section (although I agree with it) to be very unencyclopedic. I have reworked most of it. Soonercary 05:42, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Ah, I like that much better. It seems to be a pretty fair and accurate interpretation and has good citations. Good job! --Kraftlos 09:16, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

This article is pretty poor, in my opinion:

Definition of Adultery[edit]

The definition that was given previously did not include adultery defined as married men having sex with someone other than their spouse. It was obviously from a personal (possibly polygamist) POV. I have changed it to the definition taken directly from the Marriam-Webster's Dictionary so it cannot be disputed. Busterthedogg 05:06, 30 January 2007 (UTC) Busterthedogg

Thanks for the comments. Actually there is no implied or intended POV, it is simply factual. The basis for the word adultery comes from the Hebrew bible. Adultery is was a crime of property. If a man took another man's wife, he was harming his property, and this was a crime. A man, married or not, having sex with an umnarried women was then considered to be fornication, ro a form of immorality, not a property crime.

Laws from England came to the U.S. and are similarly based, for most of our history the laws in most states on adultery were based on english laws, based on the biblical view. Within the past 20 years, the laws changed in some places to apply equally to men and women. This cooincided with the advent of womens rights.

If you want to rewrite the article to be historically accurate from the past to the present, it is hard to not put the fact that for most of history, it has been a property crime. If you want to try to define how it is now, well, in the U.S., it is no longer a crime. I am unsure as to the status in U.K. or australia. In other parts of the world, such as in Islam, it was also once a crime against property, but now applies (but is not enforced) for men and women.

For you to change the article without giving any reference, to suggest that adultery is whatever the current dictionary says is not appropriate. It ignores the long history prior to the past 20 years or so.

If we discuss it further here, we can come to a way to discuss the topic in a way that is historically accurate throughout.

Atom 13:23, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

What year are you living in Atom? The rest of us are living in the year 2007 and the encyclopedia is being wriiten in the year 2007. Thus the definition should be the current definition as given in the dictionary. I think its accurate to include the historical facts about adultery so if you would like to add the historical definition of adultery, you are welcome to but it should be placed under the "history of..." section to keep the article clean. Busterthedogg 20:08, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, consider then that "adultery" is no longer a crime in the United States (since Lawrence v. Texas). The definition you are pushing is historical. Consider that the way that the law is still written in some states (although no longer constitutional) is in the aged old manner that Adultery is only when a man sleeps with a married woman, and not the converse.

I do not believe your interpretation of Lawrence v. Texas is legally accurate. It's true that Justice Scalia suggested that Lawrence v. Texas would have impacts on laws against any number of sexual activities, it is far from clear that adultery laws are in some sense now not implementable. Even now there is an ongoing challenge, if I recall recent news correctly. -SocratesJedi | Talk 07:58, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Here is the current Minnesota state law:

609.36 ADULTERY: Subdivision 1. Acts constituting. When a married woman has sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband, whether married or not, both are guilty of adultery and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

Atom 21:45, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I would like a reference to verify that this is a current law.

Secondly, Minnesota law is not relevant to the rest of North America.

Thirdly, the definition of adultery is not derived from any law, Minnesota or otherwise. A definition is derived from a dictionary.

The definition of adultery according to the Merriam-Websters dictionary is as follows: "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband." http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/adultery . Your edit is completely your own POV and you have not provided any evidence to support otherwise.Busterthedogg 01:05, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Why do you think it is derived from a dictionary? Do we use the dictionary on all of the other of our articles, and restrict the article to just what is in the dictionary? Including historical detail?

Minnesota is an example to illustrate that theer are, indeed, current laws on the books of various states that still reflect the older historical view. The laws on ALL states were like that once, and slowly changed over time.

The article is about adultery. All aspects of that are on topic. Current, past, unusual aspects, all of them are allowed in the article. The wikipedia policy WP:NPOV allows alternative views on a subject, if they can be cited. No one has suggested that your Merriam-Webster definition does not have a place in the article. I added a wiktionary entry to allow the same thing. the NPOV policy does not allow the enforcing of one view. Coming along and removing all of the relevant material in the article to only reflect you view isn't policy. Feel free to add the detail that you can cite to the article. Atom 01:15, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

There you go, Atom, I added Minnesota Law. I never removed all of your material - it was revised according to Wiki policy. YOU removed all of my edits completely. I suggest keeping the Merriam-Webster definition. Busterthedogg 01:24, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I expanded on your idea by adding a couple of other states with unusual adultery laws. And I added a couple of definitions, and made your Merriam-Webster defiition more visible. I hope that satisfies everyone. Atom 02:06, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I have condensed all of this information into the lead paragraph with citations breaking off of this in an effort to respond to the tone warning and fixing the problem that the lead section was way too large. I fully agree with the definition of adultery as being symmetrically defined for women and men, but the adultery law in Minnesota is a citable example of when that is false so, for now, I feel it is appropriate to include also. I do not think, however, that historical considerations should be fully developed in the lead paragraph since the most commonly accepted definition of adultery is that of an extramarital sexual relationship in which either the husband or wife is involved (but as we pointed out exceptions exist). The historical development over time should be fleshed out later in the article and I included a reference to that and that history appears already to be present.
I feel that this now written in a concise, informative, encyclopedic tone that gives emphasis to the modern definition, but notes the variance over time and space of the definition. As such, I believe it is now in NPOV. Let's continue to have a dialog about the page, however. I feel that it can be constructive. -SocratesJedi | Talk 08:03, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to have stepped on your toes. As I said on my tal page in our discussion. Go ahead an edit it now if you like, I think I reintegrated your changes. I'm sure as it is the way thast I like that ytour preferences will be different. I am okay with compromising, as long as we don't lose key elements.
Very reasonable; I was just alarmed at seeing changes outright reverted rather than changed before your integration passes. I'm very interested in consensus and compromise and glad to see you are too. -SocratesJedi | Talk 11:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
You commented that "that gives emphasis to the modern definition..." but my point is that there is no "modern definition". There has never been an agreed upon definition, except that all definitions revolve around the base element of a man messing with someone elses chattel(wife). The way that is written in modern times is pretty similar to teh Minnesota law I quoted. Other jurisdictions changed with the advent of womens rights, and consider a married man who has sex outside his marriage as adulterous, even if the woman is not married. This is a minority view though, not the "modern" view. Consider the context that a) Lawrence v. Texas invalidates all U.S. laws regarding sodomy, adultery and fornication. So Adultery is not illegal in the U.S. b) I am not sure what the current count is, but only 24, 25 or 26 states even have an adultery law on their books in the U.S. In other countries (France for example) Adultery is practically an institution. Saying that a married man having sex with his unmarried Mistress is adultery would be laughed at. (infidelty maybe, but that is not the same as adultery.) Certainly current sha'ria law would be very strict against adultery. But, consider that they have a method for "temporary" marriage, and allow multiple wives. So their view on adultery is very strict, and very different from western society. But, it is still based on the same abrahamic laws that of Jewish laws "Jewish law treats adultery with utmost severity, but defines it more narrowly than military law. Adultery occurs under Jewish law only when the woman involved is married "[2]. These are all modern views, not just historical views.
I am not a legal scholar, but I believe that your interpretation of Lawrence v. Texas is far too broad. Although Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent that it threatened many other U.S. sexual laws including adultery, I do not believe that the clearly established right to privacy between two consenting partners directly implies that that the state has no right to object to adultery. It does not seem apparent to me that legal scholars are interpreting the right to privacy as obliterating the state's interest in protecting marriage. (That said, I'm really not trying to push a POV here. I agree the adultery laws ought to be invalidated, but I don't think that Lawrence v. Texas quite does that. I'm arguing against my own POV for the purposes of this post in the interest of what I think is correct). Do you agree with this sentiment or, if not, would it be possible to include in the article citations indicating that this is the consensus or accepted interpretation of Lawrence v. Texas? Otherwise, I think it is premature to make those claims. -SocratesJedi | Talk 11:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

The way I see it is that the problem we have is that Adultery is very serious in all cultures. Even though Adultery is now technically legal in the U.S., and the laws ignored prior to that for 30 years, it still is very serious culturally. But, every state, every country, every religion has a different way of expressing that, with very little commonality. (The commnality hisrotically, and currently being what is stated abive regarding Jewish law). Also, we have people on Wikipedia from many different places, and due to the serious nature, they think that the way that their locality views this serious act must certainly be the predominate view. So, a number of people keep trying to push the view that adultery is "any" extra-marital sexual intercourse. As I have said elsewhere, extra-marital also applies to two non-married people, which is not adultery. And in some places sexual intercourse is not necessary, extra-marital oral sex or co-habitation is considered to be adultery. And most people feel that, as we are all fair and reasonable people, the law certtainly SHOULD apply equally to men and women. Because of the advent of equal rights for women, the laws in some places did start to change in that direction. (before they were removed from the books in many states, and then invalidated entirely). But that was a recent trend, and does not reflect the broad, historical, or world view.

I agree that "extramarital sexual intercourse" is too broad for exactly the reason you describe. The alternative descriptions seem linguistically awkward, but perhaps they are more accurate. Perhaps the wording we might go with is a "an extramarital sexual relationship between two people at least one of whom is married"? or even "an extramarital sexual relationship between a married person and person to which they are not married"? (1) seems better to my eyes, but what about yours? Would you propose an alternative definition
I do still strongly believe that adultery does not, in most jurisdictions, apply only to married women having sexual relations outside of marriage; although I clearly acknowledge that there are exceptions and they should certainly be included. I think there is strong evidence of this given the prevalence of symmetric definitions found in dictionaries (as have been included on this page; Wordnet and marriam-webester, etc). Certainly, I feel that this is the colloquial sense (have you considered simply talking to people around you about what it means?). I would be open to challenge on this if you could cite, for example, French law (or something non-US at any rate) that indicated clearly the arried-woman-only view of adultery as being enshrined in law. Further, I doubt Minnesotan law is currently being enforced and the law may simply be an older way that, while historically accurate, no longer is. All that I want here, really, is to have the most common definition be the one which leads the article and I don't think there is enough evidence to claim the married-woman-only version of adultery is correct, but I do think there is significant evidence that the symmetric version is most "modern". That is to say, I no longer believe that adultery is widely viewed as a crime against property in most of the world, but clearly there may be exceptions (e.g. Sharia law, etc).
I am concerned about your cohabitation claim; even the citation you give to the Minnesotan law clearly indicates that some type of "lewd" behavior must be occuring above and beyond cohabitation. I feel we probably ought to remove this claim unless better evidence can be cited. -SocratesJedi | Talk 11:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Regardless of how we feel about how the law should have been, the article, in order to be encylopedic, and NPOV needs to present the wider view, not try to take a moral view of how we *ought* to view the term if we were all good christians. The fact is that as serious as adultery has always been, it is not illegal in many places, where there are laws they vary widely, and culturally adultery is overlooked in most western societies. Islamic societies have their own way of getting around the rules. Trying to suggest that adultery is the narrow perspective of "extra-marital" sexual intercourse is just incorrect. Atom 10:43, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I am trying to adhere to NPOV here. Indeed, as an atheist I have no compelling interest in ensuring people read things like "good christians". I fully agree that we need to indicate it is not illegal in many places and that it's definition varies quite widely, but it seems to me the most common definition is symmetric with regard to which partner (husband or wife) is involved in the extramarital relationship. I believe this should be acknowledge in the opening paragraph, as I tried to do, and then expanded upon throughout the article which was the entire point of my edits before your revert. -SocratesJedi | Talk 11:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Your edits look great, SocratesJedi. Busterthedogg 00:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Tone flag[edit]

I've done some work to condense the definitions into an integrated paragraph at the beginning of the article that still preserves all of the links and contains all the relevant information in an effort to conform to the more formal tone requested by the tone flag on the page. I have also removed that warning being satisfied with the improvements to the article. Further work should still be done though, I think. -SocratesJedi | Talk 06:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Joke![edit]

Do children enjoy Childrenry as much as Adults enjoy Adultery? --CyclePat 06:12, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


References tag[edit]

I don't want to disturb the article while another editor is working, but before I forget: we should add a <references /> tag to the main page under sources so that all of the nicely sited <ref> tags show up. -SocratesJedi | Talk 10:19, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I saw this was done; thanks! -SocratesJedi | Talk 10:37, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Atom's POV and poor grammar[edit]

I originally revised this article and Atom reverted it back to his POV and poor grammatical errors. I have since corrected it. Busterthedogg 00:15, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

In your own words, Atom :"Coming along and removing all of the relevant material in the article to only reflect you view isn't policy. Feel free to add the detail that you can cite to the article." Maybe you should take your own advice... Busterthedogg 00:20, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean? I worked very hard to include your Merriam-Webster definition in the main body of the article. NPOV means including all views. You keep hacking the article to push one view. Atom 01:00, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

You are confused, my friend. You seem to only be pushing the Minnesota POV Busterthedogg 01:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Atom, according to Wiki, your statements MUST have citations. Busterthedogg 00:51, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

The section you removed gave the Wikilink to Lawrence v. texas. The other information is in that article too. Wikilinks are valid citations, of course. Atom 01:00, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

No, they're not; at best, they're bad style, we need to cite the orignal source of those wikipedia articles if we're going to repeat claims made in them. In this case, the claim being made in this article is not even being made in the Lawrence v Texas article. -SocratesJedi | Talk 01:04, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Ummm, maybe you should look up the definition for the word "citation" Atom, because you are obviously misinformed. Busterthedogg 01:02, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

The Lawrence v. Texas claim[edit]

Our own internal article on Lawrence v Texas says

The Court has not ruled on statutes prohibiting adult incest, polygamy, adultery, prostitution, and other forms of sexual intimacy between consenting adults. Lawrence may have created a slippery slope for these laws to eventually fall. Conservative critics argue that the Court's doctrine in areas of sexual intimacy will not be entirely consistent internally until these issues are dealt with explicitly.

So I have removed the unsourced claim:

Only 26 U.S. States have laws on the books regarding adultery. Since the Lawrence v. Texas ruling, it is likely that all laws regarding sodomy, fornication and adultery are no longer constitutional.

I think this should probably only be re-included if we can find a well-known and reputable external legal scholar that supports this viewpoint which I do not believe will be found. Agreed, no?

I do not think that we should cite other ares of Wikipedia in this regard. If we want to cite the same information as is on other Wikipedia pages we should re-cite the original source used on the other Wikipedia page rather than citing one of our own internal pages or projects. Agreed?-SocratesJedi | Talk 01:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree - good work, SocratesJedi. Busterthedogg 01:07, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Reference in First Line[edit]

I have a concern about the two references in the first line. I understand the one reference as it is exact wording, but the second reference to the Merriam-Webster's dictionary, does this need to be there? I'm not sure if it is relevant to the first line. Or should we add more from the M-W defintion? Thoughts? Busterthedogg 01:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I thought there were both of the same general spirit and tended to reinforce each other. If you're concerned about them, though, feel free to eliminate one of them. -SocratesJedi | Talk 01:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, it might be too general. Mind if I add "between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband"? Busterthedogg 01:20, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Never mind, its redundant w/the word "extramarital". I think it works, just as it is. Busterthedogg 01:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm not so sure. "Extramarital" could be construed to include two people neither of whom is married, but I think the meaning is likely to be understood and we do have the thing about "fornication" (although that word seems awkward to me, but that's probably a bias I should beware) to contrast the meaning of "at least one of whom is married" which I think is implied. If you think it's clear, leave it; otherwise, edit until more clear. -SocratesJedi | Talk 02:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Fornication...[edit]

A recent version by Atom claimed that fornication was either:

  1. Sex between unmarried people
  2. Sex between a married man and an unmarried woman

The first definition does not bother me, but the second one I am convinced is not supportable. I cite the following definitions in support of my case that the second definition is not supported.

Execute a simple search through the web and talk with people you know personally. Ask them what their understanding of the word adultery is. If there were previous historical definitions that need to be accounted for, they can certainly be mentioned, but their place is not in the lead line of this article.

Do we have consensus here that the second definition is not invalid? Indeed, that the second definition would in most jurisdictions and in most cultures constitute adultery? -SocratesJedi | Talk 21:02, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Your first ref says: "fornication (voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other ". And how does that conflict with what I said? Isn't sexual intercourse between a married man man and an unmarried women between two people who are not married to each other?

-It conflicts with what you said because that definition would also include sexual intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman. The implication of your edits is that that would not be included. -SocratesJedi | Talk 21:52, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I must be missing something. I suggested that sexual intercourse between a married man and an unmarried women was fornication, which it is. A more specific definition might be adultery, but that would not be correct. Atom 22:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

The key element of adultery is sexual intercourse involving a married woman, and another man, not her husband. The origination was based on property rights. It is sexist, it is unfair, but it is accurate. Only recently have views about that changed. Not recent enough that the age old definition has vanished yet.

No, I dispute this entirely. The key element of adultery is sexual intercourse in involving one married person and another person to whom they are not married having sexual relations. This is the most common sense of the word. I have no objection to having historical definitions in appropriate context, however. -SocratesJedi | Talk 21:52, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, of course we should have historical. You are right that your definition is more common in the U.S. your definition is not incorrect, it is just a new and different perspective than it has been in the past. Just because it is used more commonly now in the U.S. does not make it "the common sense of the word". The definition I gave may be *less* accepted than it once was but it is not only historical, as current laws still give that definitions. The cites I gave were the Jewish laws, as well as the Minnesota State law. If both views are currently completely accurate, then they are different, but applicable POV's, and the article should express that they are. If you want to say that the defininition you use is more common in the U.S., or Western society than in the past, I don;t think that there is a problem with that. But, trying to say that it is the "right" definition is completely contrary to NPOV " It should also not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions."
We can discuss what weight different POV's should have, but trying to say that my POV should not be there, when it is a current and actively used definition in law (not just culturage usage) would not be fair. Atom 22:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


Your last ref doesn't work. (points to "foreign")

What are you talking about the last reference doesn't work? Wikipedia is emphatically not America-centric. Perhaps what you meant is that you thought it was giving you a definition for foreign; the definition for fornication is a bit down the page. -SocratesJedi | Talk 21:52, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I clicked on it, and got "foreign" I could not find fornicate, and so I searched, and still could not find it. Atom 22:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Anectdotal evidence by asking your friends is not encyclopedic. And they are likely to give you a definition of what they see as "infidelity", not as to what historically, or legally "Adultery" is. The point of the article is to illuminate and educate. In fact, many people do *not* know the history behind the word, and that it has been (what would now be called) "sexist". The article should explain that as unusual as it sounds, that it is true! And explain the origins of the term, and how that came to be so. (Adultery as a crime of stealing or using a mans property). You keep trying to suggest that since the definition I suggest doesn't make sense to you, that it must not be so. That's why we try to explain such things in an encyclopedia! For a moment, consider that what I am suggesting might actually be one of those very unusual but true things you hear about rfom time to time, and spend energy to see if it is accurate, rather than insisting because a recent dictionary shows recent conventional usage, that wee must use that as our definition, and in violation of NPOV, block another (older, more conventional) POV. Atom 21:20, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Certainly, I would not ask you to include something in Wikipedia solely on the basis of anecdotal evidence; what I'm trying to convince you of is that claiming that adultery between a married woman and an unmarried man only is prima facie ridiculous in modern usage. Also, I certainly do not object in any way to having an explanation of historical usage and the fact that it used to be considered a property-type crime. I am not pushing any type of anti-sexist POV here; I am disputing the definition you are attempting to give having reviewed sources on the matter. -SocratesJedi | Talk 21:52, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
    • sighs** What I am trying to convince you of is that your assertion and determination that something still in current usage, widespread culturally alive, and recognized by culture and law, and also happens to be the view held since Moses 3660 years ago could hardly be called prima facie "ridiculous". How could you mean that and be correct? What you mean is you have a viewpoint and you think that of course, everyone else thinks that too. I can guarantee you that none of the Jewish people you know think that. (They may think that a married man having sex with an unmarried women is infidelity, and wrong, and sexual immorrality, but it isn't "adultery".) That view is widespread in altered forms in many cultures and jurisdictions. How do you think they view it in Greece, or Italy, or France? Do you think a married business man with a mistress in France is adulterous? (His wife may be angry, and she may divorce him, but he is not violating the law of adultery, she is angry because of his infidelity.) So, it is *not* merely historical, it is active in culture and law *today*, even if less so than in the past. Atom 22:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
If these things remain active in culture and law then cite them. A citation from prominent religious leaders as to the nature of adultery or national legal traditions would be fine. I'm just concerned that this article is making claims that are counter to my experience without citation and I can not independently verify that these claims are valid. All I want is accuracy and verifiability. I'm fully willing to be wrong and admit it if I am, but want to pursue this until I do think that, which I don't. I'm not certain your French compasion is apt either. Perhaps there is greater tolerance in France (or perhaps not?), but that still wouldn't modify the underlying meaning? I don't know; let's look at French law or something. -SocratesJedi | Talk 22:27, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, the Minnesota State Law citation is one I already gave. It is common in cultural use to confuse the terms of infidelity and adultery. I can find Jewish Law citation, and maybe some others. The jewish law is well known, but a citation is certainly more solid. Atom 22:28, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
  • You're WAY outside of the real argument. Fornication is the act of two people who are not married to each other having sexual relations. It's in several dictionaries and a quick web search will show this. It does not matter if one is married and the other is not or if they're both married to other people, or if neither of them are married. It also does not matter if the definition overlaps with adultery, they aren't exclusive terms. The initial version cited is absolutely correct. HOWEVER, it foolish to point out the married man w/ unmarried woman thing seperately, and it's questionable whether it belongs at the top of the adultery page. If you are going to mention fornication, then the full definition should simply be mentioned, sex between people who are not married to one another. This covers EVERY situation. Xenon Zaleo 22:41, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your support. I think the point is now moot. The article is on adultery, and discussing fornication here seems a waste of time. (we should remove discussion of fornication altogether. Peole can read the fornication article if they want to know more about that). The original issue was in trying to accurately define adultery. NOw that both common definitions are included in the Intro, their seems to be no argument any longer. Atom 13:32, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Claim of POV[edit]

I changed the definition to be accurate, again. Your claim that it is POV is only accurate in that any perspective is a POV. This one happens to be the commonly accepted definition of adultery. I am aware that the tranditional definition of adultery, where a married woman who sleeps with someone else is adultery, where a married man who sleeps with an unmarried woman is not adultery. It is clearly sexist, and unfair. But, your or my opinion on what the definition should have been historically is not important. It is important to express that the perspective that adultery did not apply to married men who had sex with unmarried women is the factual origins, and the current definition in many places. Most current people would consider that in either way, it is infidelity. But, infidelity and adultery are two different, although similar things.

If you suggest that I need a reference to show that my POV exists, certainly both current Jewish law, as well as the Minnesota law both suffice to show that it was both historically true, as well as currently the case. I can tie the references closer to the words, but it this definition is broadly accepted. Any google search will turn up a large number of supporting references.

You'll note that I did not change the definition to say that this perspective was the ONLY definition, nor even the correct definition, (although it is the predominant definition). The few state laws that still exist, and defines adultery as either spouse having extramarital sex is the minority position, and very recent (20-50 years or so).

So, I am not sure why you insist on taking out my perspective, as it is not only cited and accurate, but the way that it has been defined for more than 3000 years.

The policy on NPOV actually suggests that to be neutral, all cited pov's should be allowed, and balanced.

The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one. It should also not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions.

Note that your preferred text says:

Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse. Some legal jurisdictions define it more broadly to include varying levels of extramarital sexual relations. Most often, it is distinguished from sexual relationships between two people both who whom are unmarried which is known as fornication.

And mine says:

Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse. Some legal jurisdictions define it more broadly to include varying levels of extramarital sexual relations. Most often, it is distinguished from sexual relationships between two people both who whom are unmarried, or between a married man and an unmarried woman which is known as fornication.

When you remove my words, you remove a significant published point of view. Your quote limits to one POV, my quote gives both POV's. Mine does not eliminate or alter your definition.

Actually, your quote is innacurate, as it says "Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse." Which is, of course innacurate, as two unmarried people having relations are having extramarital sexual intercourse, but that is not adultery.

Also, the NPOV says:

NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a verifiable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each.

As my POV is currently accurate, and has been historically accurate at least back to the time of Moses (1648 B.C., 3650 years ago), and has been the predominant view through most of recorded history, and the view you espouse is less than 50 years old, and not widespread, I think that mine would probably be considered to be predominant, and more prominent, wouldn't you?

Regards, Atom 21:10, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Refs:
  • "Jewish law treats adultery with utmost severity, but defines it more narrowly than military law. Adultery occurs under Jewish law only when the woman involved is married "[3]
  • "Gold argues that there exists a double standard: Halakha defines adultery as a sexual encounter between a married woman and a man not her husband. An affair between a married man and a single woman is not considered adultery."[4]
  • "The only way a man could be an adulterer, under biblical law, was if he had relationships with a MARRIED women (i.e. another man's property). Relations with any unmarried women did not constitute adultery for a man."[5]
"Adultery is banned in the Ten Commandments and was a criminal offense in almost every European country until recently. Ireland abolished such a law in 1981, France in 1975, Italy in 1969. In the United States, 23 states still have such laws on the books. "[6]
"California "Sexual intercourse by a married woman with a man other than her husband [is] regarded as an offense against public morals, not merely as a breach of the obligation of marriage" West's California Digest. " There is no longer a law against adultery in California.
I'll scan for more, later. 75.72.29.120 23:49, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


Request for comments[edit]

Please place responses to the RFC here 23:13, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with SocratesJedi 100%:

"Your first ref says: "fornication (voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other ". And how does that conflict with what I said? Isn't sexual intercourse between a married man man and an unmarried women between two people who are not married to each other? (Atom)

-It conflicts with what you said because that definition would also include sexual intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman. The implication of your edits is that that would not be included. -SocratesJedi | Talk 21:52, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I must be missing something. I suggested that sexual intercourse between a married man and an unmarried women was fornication, which it is. A more specific definition might be adultery, but that would not be correct. Atom 22:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC) The key element of adultery is sexual intercourse involving a married woman, and another man, not her husband. The origination was based on property rights. It is sexist, it is unfair, but it is accurate. Only recently have views about that changed. Not recent enough that the age old definition has vanished yet. (Atom)

No, I dispute this entirely. The key element of adultery is sexual intercourse in involving one married person and another person to whom they are not married having sexual relations. (SocratesJedi).

SocratesJedi is correct and has provided the evidence to prove it. You continue arguing your POV, Atom, yet you have provided no citations to support your statments. Several people have provided evidence against your argument. Wikipedia is not a tool for battle. If you continue adding your POV statments to the article, I will report you to the Wiki authorities. Busterthedogg 00:27, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Please read the comments in the section above where I give the references. Might as well try to read my comments and understand them too while you are there. Especially where I discuss NPOV, and how the policies are made to include different POV's in the same article. Then read the reference in the article where I quoted and cited the MN state law regarding adultery.

Let's prepare any real RfC respondents with the basic issue, okay? user:atomaton:Atom

Are you living in a fantasy world, Atom? Looks to me that the above RFC respondent is a real RFC respondent. Busterthedogg

I'm not sure what your comment means, could you clarify? SocratesJedi and you are the only ones that had commented prior to this. You two, and myself are the people involved in the dispute. As of this writing, the only response has been a question from Badger151 (which is below) made after my comment, was in response to yourself and SocratesJedi. Atom 02:28, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Issue at hand[edit]

The policy on NPOV suggests that to be neutral, all cited pov's should be allowed, and balanced.

The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one. It should also not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions.

Note that your preferred text says:

"Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse. Some legal jurisdictions define it more broadly to include varying levels of extramarital sexual relations. Most often, it is distinguished from sexual relationships between two people both who whom are unmarried which is known as fornication."

And mine says:

"Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse. Some legal jurisdictions define it more broadly to include varying levels of extramarital sexual relations. Most often, it is distinguished from sexual relationships between two people both who whom are unmarried, or between a married man and an unmarried woman which is known as fornication."

My earlier text said: "Adultery is strictly and historically defined as consensual sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man other than her lawful husband; meaning only the carnal intercourse of a wife with a man who is not her lawful husband. Both the married woman and the man, married or unmarried, are considered guilty of adultery if they engage in such an act. The intercourse of a married man with a single woman is not accounted as adultery, but philandery. "

But that was removed.

When you remove my words, such as here, and here, here, here, here and here, as well as a few other places, you remove a vcalid, cited, and historically well known and accurate definition, to limit it to your POV only. You remove a significant published point of view. Your quote limits to one POV, my quote gives both POV's. Mine does not eliminate or alter your definition.

Also, the NPOV says:

"NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a verifiable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each."

As my POV is currently accurate, and has been historically accurate at least back to the time of Moses (1648 B.C., 3650 years ago), and has been the predominant view through most of recorded history, and the view you espouse is less than 50 years old, and not widespread, I think that mine would probably be considered to be predominant, and more prominent, wouldn't you?

I'm happy to just share both POV's, and explain their background in the article. Trying to limit the definition to one POV, as you are doing, isn't acceptable. Atom 01:11, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Comments from RfC respondents[edit]

Hmm... - I've read the commentary above, but I'm a little lost as to the actual issues here (several of the statements appear to be unsigned, and the arguments thus run into each other and so are confusing) But, if I am correctly reading everything, I sense that the issues are:

  1. does the definition of fornication include sexual intercourse between a married woman and any man who is not her husband?
  2. does the definition of adultery only include sexual intercourse between a married woman and any man that is not her husband?

Is this correct? --Badger151 01:33, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

From my understanding, you have summarized correctly. -SocratesJedi | Talk 04:32, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Well the current edit of the article is a compromise but not too bad. SocratesJedi has done a good job of trying to keep to general facts without specifiying a particular view.

1) Fornication is incidental. That is the topic of a different article. The limited way that it is used here: "Most often, it is distinguished from sexual relationships between two people both who whom are unmarried, which is known as fornication." is accurate. The fact that generally speaking, all adultery is a form of fornication also, and that things not cover by adultery (such as a married man and an unmarried woman, in some historical contexts, and some current legal contexts) would therefore also be called fornication) is not relevant here. (The term Fornication is a more general term, and Adultery a more specific term.) Presenting a POV that the correct definition of adultery considers a married man and an unmarried woman to be adultery would not be acceptable, as that is one definition of several. Fornication is best left to the fornication article. SocratesJedi's method of using it here to help the reader understand the context of adultery is good.

2) Your understanding of #2 is flawed. To be correct, you should have said: "does the definition of adultery only include sexual intercourse between a married person with someone other than their spouse?

The issue here is that if you read the article, it described (in previous edits, for a long time) the definition of adultery as a man having sexual intercourse with a married woman. This is a correct definition. It implies that a married man having sex with an unmarried woman was not adultery. Historically this is accurate. Someone felt that this was not correct, that the more recent usage of "A married person having sexual relations with someone other than their spouse". I didn't, and don't object to that being one of several POV's. The problem was, is that the previous POV was removed, and this POV put in as *the* factual and accurate definition, and the historical (and still current, in some places) definition was supressed as "not correct" or "ridiculous". If we present both POV's as existing definitions, I am fine. (Well, one small point is that male-male sodomy in most places is not considered to be adultery (if one of the men is married) but the definition above imples that it is. But that is a different topic than the RfC.

In my view, the following POV's are accurate and correct, but differ:

Since the first view has been historically accurate from Moses, through Rome, and still exists in the current day (although in decline) it is the predominant view.

The second view is more recent, certainly in the few U.S. States that still have adultery laws (it is no longer illegal in 24 or 25 states -- depending on your reference) it seems to be predominant. The law against adultery has been repealed in most european states. The effects of Lawrence v. Texas are speculative, and not appropriate for this article.

The current reading of the article now is: "Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse by a married person with someone other than their spouse. Although some legal jurisdictions can take a broader view to include extramarital oral sex, or even co-habitation.

It is, of course, accurate. It is, of course, only one view. The previous definition (which also is correct) was replaced with this view by an editor recently. I assume that the editor who replaced it did that in good faith. It just is not in accordance with WP:NPOV that says:

"The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one"

So, in summary, your statement regarding #2 was not correct. The basic issue here is that we should enforce NPOV correctly, and not present the "popular" view as being the truth.

Atom 15:59, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Once again Atom, you have proved yourself to be a simpleton. To clarify, the "popular view" (the one that has all the refferences and citations) that you referred to above also means NPOV, which is based on fact not opinion. Your very unpopular POV is a biased POV. Its quite simple really, but you are obviously having a difficult time grasping this concept. Can anyone else explain this any clearer to Atom? If so, please do. He needs all the help he can get at this point. Busterthedogg 22:39, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure who is the simpleton here, but it is not me. Have you actually read the WP:NPOV? "A" POV is when one point of view is given. An article with a Neutral POV (NPOV) is when you allow multiple, sometimes conflicting points of view in the same article. It isn't where you try to write an article to only express one "neutral" view. Whether your view, or my view (both factual and both cited) are popular/unpopular, or "biased" is not pertinent. If it is a citeable view, then it is allowed in the article. I would love for someone to explain NPOV, especially if they can explain better than my exact quotes from the policy given above. Maybe then you would get it. Please save us some time and go read the policy yourself, would you? Policy quite clearly expresses that what I advocate, the expressing of all citeable views, and a balancing of the article based on those views is required. Your attempt to give your view as truth, label it as "neutral" and prohibit any other view, is *not* supported by policy. Atom 02:39, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that anyone is a simpleton here. The sense I'm getting is that we're caught in a language in flux Adultery appears to have originally referred only to sexual relations between a married or betrothed woman and a man who is not her husbad or husband-to-be. Specifically excluded from this definition is any relation between a married man and an unmarried woman. Lesbian relationships involving a married woman do not appear to be addressed. (Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary, ("adultery." Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary. 03 Feb. 2007. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/adultery>)
But I typed adultery into dictionary.com,[7] and into a few online law dictionaries,[8] and with the single exception of Easton's, they uniformly defined adultery to mean sex between a married man and a woman who is not his wife, or between a married woman and a man who is not her husband.
I also looked through some of the references given above by User:75.72.29.120. References # 3 and 4 state, correctly I assume, that biblical law discriminates between married women and married men. Refference # 6 mentions that several nations had laws against adultery, but doesn't seem to address the issue we're concerned with here; that reference may have been changed between when User:75.72.29.120 posted it and when I read it. Refference # 5 is the most interesting. It states, as is noted by User:75.72.29.120, that "The only way a man could be an adulterer, under biblical law, was if he had relationships with a MARRIED women [sic] (i.e. another man's property). Relations with any unmarried women did not constitute adultery for a man", which appears to support the view that adultery only reffers to situations involving married women; but it goes on to say "So much Rabbinic legislation has been effected in the past 2000 years that our standards regarding sexual relations and marriage are much more stringent today ... men as well as women who have relations outside of marriage are adulterers."
So, the only current references I'm seeing that limit adultery to married women are those that refer to biblical law; to the extent that biblical law is current, then (and I expect that for some people, it is very current) adultery does still carry this older, alternate definition. I don't get the sense that this is the common definition, but it seems to be legitimate.
Also important is the historical meaning of the word - as an encyclopedia we may well have a duty to discuss the original meaning of the word, particularly as it reflects broad, sweeping changes in society; this is a word that has witnessed major changes in morality, and reflects that in its two definitions. It seems to me, therefor, that we should be listing the primary definition of adultery as "sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse," or something similar (which is how tha article now reads, I think), but either immediately before or after this we should mention the original meaning of the word and that biblical law continues to use this definition. Would this work? --Badger151 06:34, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it would work fine. I don't care to haggle over whether the older or the more recent definition is predominant, as long as the article is NPOV. Also, the Minnesota state law reference, and the California law (now defunct) reference refer to existing, and very recent interpretations that you say are historical/religious. That definition of adultery also existed in many cultures over the past 3650 years since Moses, not just in religious law (which was its origin), including off and on throughout rome, and into european culture (laws there also now defunct). Some could say that that 3650 year old definition, still in use, would predominate over the definition less than a hundred years old. But, as I said, that isn't so important to me. Atom 06:46, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

No, that is not correct. The Bible includes married men having sexual relations outside of marriage as also committing adultery. The bible goes so far as to include that "any man who looks lustfully at a woman has committed adultery in his heart" (see Matthew, ref in article.) This has already been defined and included in the article. If you are able to cite and reference the historical definitions of adultery, then I have no problem adding it to the article under the heading of "Historical Definitions". However, until you are able to do so, it cannot be added to the article as per Wiki policy. Busterthedogg 02:47, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Give me a break. What is your problem? Is a reference to current Minnesota law, or Jewish law OK with you? How about Leviticus? Atom 03:08, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Hmm... I also see that Leviticus 20:10 states "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death," but there is no mention of a woman commiting adultery with another woman's husband.[9] So, there seems to be disagreement even within the Bible (unless Leviticus isn't in the Bible - I'm no scholar here. Alternately, sexual relations between a woman and another woman's husband may have been considered adultery, but not considered punishable; but somehow this seems dubious). This may be an Old Testament/New Testament conflict; I don't know. In any event, the Minnesota law, which is already given as a citation, appears to still use the stricter definition of a married woman and some man other than her husband, and some religious law seems to continue to do so as well. I hesitate to consider this definition to be conventional, however, as the wider definition seems, based on the sources here listed and discussed, to be more common. --Badger151 03:38, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

The definition requiring the woman but not necessarily the man to be married is a historical one, now obsolete in almost all jurisdictions, though possibly maintained by some religious groups. It certain is not pertinent to the US or UK today. It is wholly inappropriate for the main definition. It the arguments for it have some merit, I do not see it. DGG 03:46, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Surprisingly, that definition is used in Minnesota State law, and in Jewish religious law. The previous California state law also used that definition until the adultery law was repealed a few years ago. Regardless, the article is required to be NPOV, and as such list all definitions fairly. I have given several citations for it already. Atom 04:04, 5 February 2007 (UTC)


I have difficulty in arguing past the Minnesota law and some aspects of religious law. --Badger151 04:01, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

True, there are references in the Old Testament to adultery only including a married woman having sex with someone other than her husband. However, I believe this info is already in the article under Jewish Laws/Traditions. As for the Minnesota law, this has already been added to the article under Definitons so I'm not sure what Atom is arguing. Busterthedogg 22:49, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, why did you bring the RfC? My points have all been that both views need to be given in order to be NPOV. NOw, after some editing, you claim that since the view is in the article it is NPOV, where before you argued that my view was not allowed or acceptable.

Currently, the article is still NPOV as the lead, intro says this: "Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse. Some legal jurisdictions define it more broadly to include varying levels of extramarital sexual relations. Most often, it is distinguished from sexual relationships between two people both who whom are unmarried, which is known as fornication.".

It give one of the views, and not both views. It suggests that this is the correct view, a violation of NPOV.

At one time, and for a long time (see in history of the article) the intro definition said this: "Adultery is strictly and historically defined as consensual sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man other than her lawful husband; meaning only the carnal intercourse of a wife with a man who is not her lawful husband. Both the married woman and the man, married or unmarried, are considered guilty of adultery if they engage in such an act. The intercourse of a married man with a single woman is not accounted as adultery, but philandery." These were not my words, but put in the article by some else a long time ago.

When you removed my definition, and inserted yours, you broke the NPOV of the article. I supported my definition at your request with references, including placing the three states in order to show that the laws regarding adultery are not uniform, and vary quite broadly. I also provided other dictionary entries with similar but doffernt view to the one you provided.

To be NPOV, it should say something like this in the Intro: "Adultery is defined as consensual sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man other than her lawful husband; meaning only the carnal intercourse of a wife with a man who is not her lawful husband. Both the married woman and the man, married or unmarried, are considered guilty of adultery if they engage in such an act.

In the more recent past, many laws have changed their view to describe adultery symmetrically, such that consensual, sexual intercourse by a married person outside of their marriage, regardless of gender, is adultery. Also in the recent past, laws against adultery have been repealed in many states and countries of the world."

Or possibly:

"In the recent past, many laws have changed their view to describe adultery as some variation of consensual, sexual intercourse by a married person outside of their marriage, regardless of gender. Also, laws in many states and countries have been repealed, making adultery no longer illegal in those places. In some places still, and historically, Adultery has been defined as consensual sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man other than her lawful husband; meaning only the carnal intercourse of a wife with a man who is not her lawful husband. This asymmentrical view a result of viewing the act as a property crime against the husband."

These intro's obviously could be polished and written better, but they both have the characteristic of describing adultery in both contexts correctly, while not suggesting that one is right and the other is wrong.

Regards, Atom 23:18, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Your POV is not a neutral POV, Atom. Busterthedogg 01:21, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Please read WP:NPOV so that you have some concept of what you are talking about. Two competing views combined in an article is NPOV. Your view is not neutral, my view is not neutral, the two of them together is NPOV. Atom 01:51, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I gave it some thought and considered that perhaps you thought that the Intor should be neutral of *any* POV, and then the two different POV's could be discussed in the body of the article. That is something I could live with. But, the problem is I try to consider how we could write the intro para to be neutral, and not thrust either definition into it? For instance, the current reading "Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse." Which, is of course on the right track, but of course, sex between two unmarried people, as well as sex between a married man and an unmarried woman are both examples of extramarital sex that is not adultery (in some definitions). And of course, extramarital sex, regardless of marriage status is not adultery in the multitude of places where adultery is no longer illegal. The best I can think of is "Consensual sexual intercourse of a married person with someone other than their marriage partner, under some circumstances.

I am going to proceed with the integrated intro, as I suggested earlier. If we could take a look at it, and discuss it, rather than being disruptive and reverting, I would appreciate it. Feel free to tweak it though, if that can be done constructively. Atom 22:04, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Your POV is not a neutral POV, Atom. One of the properties of NPOV is "proportion". Thus, historical information is supporting information for a particular topic. It is not the main body but only a portion of the whole article. Also, your statement regarding "recent" changes is speculative. I doubt the current definition was changed yesterday or even last week, thus I personally would not consider the current definition as a "recent" change. Further more, I would like to see some evidence that the historical definition even existed. I'm sure the there are historical copies of the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary somewhere for your perusal... Busterthedogg 22:58, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I didn't appreciate you removing my change, yet again. I am beginning to get the feeling that no definition, other than your own. I appreciate that you seem to have read part of the WP:NPOV article. You claim that my POV is not "neutral", but POV's are not required to be neutral. Your POV, another accurate interpretation, is also not neutral. The point of the NPOV is to allow several POV's together. When you do that, it then the article is a called NPOV. (Since it supports both views).

When I said "recent" it is in the context that my perspective has been such for 3650 years, and the interpretation you espouse has only been within that past 100 years (more likely 35 to 40 years). I have given numerous references, over and over, try researching for yourself, would you? s for proportion, what do you want?? I already suggested that a case could wasily be made that the historical definition (which is still current in many places) has a long history, and your defintion a short history (whatever words you choose to characterize that). That suggests that proprtion would sway it in my direction. Even so, I wrote the integrated intro (both both your and my version) and gave you first position, in order to compromise. Now, you say that it isn't proportional. I think it is time that you jump through some hoops, rather than asking others to jump. Find us some references that show how many states still have adultery on the books. How many of them side with your view. How about other western countries, do they support your view over mine? I'm tired of haggling with you just because you differ with history. I don't know what your agendum is, but continually trying to shove legitimate alternative views aside is not NPOV. Please stop it. Atom 14:08, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Your POV is not a neutral POV, Atom. Busterthedogg 01:22, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Again, NPOV is when you combine two or more views that are not neutral, not where you try to word the whole article so that there is no POV expressed. I advocate expressing all cited POV's, in a balanced way. YOu keep suggesting that whenever I give both recognized POV's (each of which is individually not neutral) that I am not following NPOV. Although the historical position obviously predominates the balance, I compromised by suggesting the position you advocate (the more recent view used in a few U.S. States) first in the intro paragraph, and the older position second. Even so, that was still not neutral from your perspective. It seems that the only wording you are satisfied is one where the predomninate view is omitted. Please offer your suggestion as to an intro paragraph that meets NPOV, and satisfies your concerns. Atom 14:08, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Assistance from Wikipedia: Association of Members' Advocates[edit]

I have requested assistance from the Wikipedia: Association of Members' Advocates to help sort out this issue. In the meantime I ask all current users to refrain from making changes to the article until the issue has been resolved. Busterthedogg 02:03, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

The suggestion to determine when the newer definition of adultery (the - uh - equal opportunity definition) came about is intriguing - unfortunately, it would probably require book research, rather than 'net research, since the 'net dictionaries seem to be kept up to date. I don't have any dictionaries form before 1970, though - do either of you?
I also think we should be careful about what we label the strict definition of adultery, as I think that the strict definition is in flux. Perhaps just as important, I'm not clear on what or who decides which definition is the the strict definition of a word.
For what it's worth, in looking at the etymology of the word via dictionary.com, I see that it is rooted in, or connected with adulterate, which is defined as to make impure. or to defile. This may have some bearing on the original meaning of the word, to someone better schooled than I. --Badger151 04:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Their are two problems here, and I welcome participation from others who understand Wikipedia policies better than Busterthedogg.

1) Buster keeps re-interating that my position is not "neutral". Of course, my position is that both definitions should be offeref to the reader, as both are currently active and used. The problem is, although I have requested that he read WP:NPOV, he seems to not really understand the concept. He seems to vew his one-sided vew (that adultery is not gender specific in any way, nor has been) as "neutral". While my attempt to include both definitions in the intro, to keep the article NPOV,as well as accurate, is viewed by Buster as "not neutral".

2) Buster has exhibited a disruptive editing style. Although I have politely asked him to participate in a consensus definition along with the other editors, including suggesting wording that would work for him, as well as inviting him to alter the NPOV suggestion I have given, he has chosen instead to revert and revert and revert. Although, to my knowledge, he has not violated 3RR, this technique is disruptive, and not designed to work together to find a wording that works for the other editors. If he could just use the talk page once to suggest an intro paragraph worded to *his* liking that is NPOV and convers both usages, that would be an enourmaous step towards working with us in a non-disruptive fashion.

Atom 14:02, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I have asked that ALL current users to refrain from making changes to this article until it has been resolved by the Association. This includes you, Atom. Thus far you have been pushy, disrespectful, and continue sending me threatening emails. Your behaviour is completely unacceptable. If you do not refrain from this bullying behaviour, I will ask Wiki to either block you from making changes or remove your membership from Wikipedia entirely. Busterthedogg 20:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I apologize if I have seemed any of those things. I have worked hard, despite the frustration of dealing with you, to be patient, civil and fair. The warning you received were not threats, they were warnings that I give to all people who disrupt articles that I am associated with. (Your "warnings" are threats, Atom. Busterthedogg 20:51, 8 February 2007 (UTC)) I am not bullying by trying to deflect your attempts to own the article. You don't get to say how the article reads, you are a participant, with others. (Maybe you should take your own advice because I don't see you doing this. Busterthedogg 20:51, 8 February 2007 (UTC)) If you wanted to work with other editors, you would have offered suggestions as to wording that you found acceptable, rather than continually reverting the article. (I added my comments, they were approved by other editors so only YOU are being disruptive. Busterthedogg 20:51, 8 February 2007 (UTC)) Any of the people who wish to add a comment, as a result of the RfC you submitted, or the members advocates, know how to read the article history, and the ongoing discussion. (Yes, that's true Atom. That's why I'm not worried.Busterthedogg 20:51, 8 February 2007 (UTC)) Please stop disrupting the artticle and participate as requested. Atom 20:24, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

To clarify, I did not ask for the RfC - YOU did. Also, I work well with editors who exhibit a desire for a NPOV. If you recall, both myself and SocratesJedi agreed that the correct version is a NPOV. If you look at the history, SocratesJedi removed the tone flag to reflect this. However, you continue adding your POV statements despite of my and other editors requests to refrain from adding your POV. If anyone is disrupting the article it is you. You continue reverting changes that I and other editors have made and continue adding your POV. Your behaviour is confrontational and immature. Again, if you do not refrain from this bullying behaviour, I will ask Wiki to either block you from making changes or remove your membership from Wikipedia entirely.Busterthedogg 20:34, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

An RFC is not owned by a particular person, but a request made by one person for the whole article. SocratesJedi seems to be the person who asked for it originally. I'm happy to have other people with an understanding of NPOV offer insight into the issue. SocratesJedi has said several things, but since I offered a combined intro paragraph that is NPOV, SocratesJedi has not commented on way or the other on that. I also asked (before placing that version) for his suggestions on alternative wording. in order to gain consensus. So, please speak for ytourself, and let other sspeak for themselves. I understand that you don't understand the nature of the NPOV policy, ans so I'm sure that you offer, in good faith, what you seem to feel is your best interpretation. But the problem I have is that I have asked you to explain what there is about the latest iteration of the intro paragraph that you think is NPOV, and you do not respond. And I asked if you would offer your own version of it that includes both definitions, and you have declined to do that either. If you are really interested in finding a consensus, than you need to take more action that 1) Reverting my every change 2) Complaining on the talk page. Also, it may seem ironic, but I view your behavior as confrontational and immature (I offer alternative son the talk page, ask for your opinion, suggest that you modify my words to work better) and you ignore them all and revert, revert, revert. We have already asked for an RfC, and for the association of members advocates, if that is not sufficient for you, then reach more widely, that is fine with me. I am following normal procedure, you are being disruptive. If you don't wish to be seen as disruptive by others, then you need to follow steps that will resolve the issue. Discussing what things you like, and dislike about the compromise wordings I offered, offering your own NPOV alternative, taking actions that work towards a solution, are preferable to reverting. Atom 20:57, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Buster: I see that in your most recent reversion, you made an attempt to add the other definition. I applaud your gracious effort to work towards a solution. I did a read of the intro paragraph, and although it does now include both POV's, I am concerned that because of the way it is written it suggests that the primary definition is "Adultery is consensual, extramarital sexual intercourse. " Which, as we have discussed violates NPOV because NPOV states "None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth." And, then there is the problem with the statement being misleading in that there are a number of forms of extramarital intercourse that are not considered to be adultery. The reason I offered two possibilities (earlier in the talk page) was to work around the bad definition towards a balanced description that is easy to understand, and also accurate.

Rather than me risking stepping on your toes, could you offer an alternative intro that addresses those issues to your satisfaction? Thanks. Oh, could you explain the tone/POV tags? They didn't seem to be applicable, especially after you worked to add the other definition to the intro. Atom 21:06, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Definition[edit]

A·dul·ter·y: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.

Why is there a conflict about the definition of this word? It is clearly stated in the Dictionary. Brilliance 05:06, 9 February 2007 (UTC).

1) This is an encyclopedia, where usage of the concept (not definition of a word) currently and historically in much more detail. Consider the dictionary definition of "football" and the Wikipedia article on such and how they might differ.

2) As stated in the article, because of the long usage, and the fact that is is basically defined differently legally in every legal jurisdiciton where it is still used means that there are a wide variety of definitions currently in use. If you include historical uses, before the adultery laws were rescinded, there are many definitions. You gave one definition in one dictionary. If you try listing from a variety of source, you will find that the definition varies widely. Dictionaries are not authoritative, but reflect word usage. And, you gave only one definition in a dictionary with multiple definitions.

3) If you read the article, you see that for a long time, prior to our lifetimes, before equal rights for women, adultery did not have that meaning. That is only current usage as indicated by one dictionary. Considerthe oldest source, the bible: Deu 22:22 "If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel."

More recently,

If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary Or:

extramarital sex that willfully and maliciously interferes with marriage relations; "adultery is often cited as grounds for divorce"

Wordnet 2.1

The California law against Adultery was repealed in 1975, but prior to that had read "Sexual intercourse by a married woman with a man other than her husband [is] regarded as an offense against public morals, not merely as a breach of the obligation of marriage" West's California Digest

The Minnesota law, currently on the books, but not enforced, says "when a married woman has sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband, whether married or not, both are guilty of adultery."

My point is that your dcitionarys definition is one definition of many, and not authoritative. I don't doubt that it offers that as one example of current usage. Atom 09:44, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

This is an interesting discussion with good points made by all. I can add a little bit that might be helpful. As mentioned by the editors above the dictionay definition and a legal definition are not the same and one state's legal definition might be different from another's. So why not say this in the article. What definition a reader needs or wants depends on their purpose. For example, if a young person is reading a book meant for older persons and comes across the word adultery, his needs will be far different than those of a lawyer who's client walks in and says, "They charged me with 'adultery'; what's that?" In the first case the reader might need nothing more than a dictionary definition (or perhaps a little more, particularly that it is rare for someone to go to jail for it), and in the second case, the lawyer will want to explain all the elements of the crime (each thing that must be proved by the government in order to find someone guilty, including that it was done knowingly, etc.).


The beginning could say: "Adultery, in some jurisdictions a crime or a tort (a civil wrong) is generally defined as (insert dictionary definition). However in the legal context of a person actually being charged with adultery as a crime or cited as a grounds for a divorce or other lawsuit, a more precise definition would be required.
The term adultery usually refers to the rarely prosecuted common law or statutory crime relating to having extra-marital relations, but usually in an informal or literary context not in a legal context.
In ordinary usage the vagueness of the term is not a hindrance to communication, as the scope of the term is understood to change from context to context, some requiring more specifics than others. In a legal sense, residents of the United States, for example, understand that such laws differ from state to state, and even from time to time as laws are changed, and thus any legal use of the term is understood to require new research practically any time it comes up."
This is just a proposal off the top of my head and after reading what some of the other editors have said. Any coments? (BTW, I came to this article ecause I was looking at the list of disputed articles and I wondered why this one was on the list.) RUReady2Testify 19:28, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Benefits of Adultery[edit]

I notice that only negative connotation exist within this article regarding adultery. To maintain balance and NPOV, I would suggest adding the benefits of Adultery:

0) If you give your partner permission then the grass is no longer greener on the other side of the fence (and adultery is not actually committed if it happens with permission) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Delec (talk • contribs) 17:34, 18 August 2010 (UTC) 1) Release of frustration 2) Adrenaline rush of intimacy with a "forbidden" entity 3) Improved selection of sexual partners 4) Possibility of finding a more compatible significant other 5) Convenience of having a "back up" sexual partner in instances your primary sexual partner is unable to preform.

I've looked and have found several sources, but I just thought it would be a good idea to discuss changes that "are not in-line with the tradition views of society" even though Wikipedia is uncensored. 68.143.88.2 21:45, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The question is more whether it is inline with the views of experts in the field. It would be easier to discuss the appropriateness of an addition if you listed the sources you got this from. Most of the article is negative because it focuses on the legal and societal definitions and approaches to adultery rather than the personal experience. And it is defined in a negative way legalistically. I think a section that focussed on why people commit adultery and what in generally means for their lives would be good if it were well sourced - But good research I've seen mainly deals with unfaithfulness in general rather than straight adultery). -- SiobhanHansa 23:40, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
this may be something for the bestiality article, but is it adultery if you have intercourse with, lets say, a goat? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.143.88.2 (talk) 15:02, August 29, 2007 (UTC)


Hello, I found the first paragraph somewhat confusing. Why is it repeated twice in the first paragraph that only married women can be considered guilty? Isn’t redundant? Just in case I quote: “only when a married woman has sexual […]” and ”only the woman is able to commit adultery” Obviously I am far for being an expert in the subject, Thank You —Preceding unsigned comment added by 132.204.75.186 (talk) 14:33, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Divorce Magazine poll results[edit]

I just deleted a reference in the lead to the poll results of divorce magazine - the poll is a non-scientific online poll of readers of a website. This form of statistics gathering is not scientific and the results should not be put forth in an encyclopaedia article as though they were "findings" with any meaning or relevance to the subject. Qualifying them with the sentence "according to ...." does not serve our readers well, as it is not the opinion of an expert in the field. -- SiobhanHansa 08:59, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Judaism Section - Fornication[edit]

I removed the statement that a married man having intercourse with an unmarried woman or a widdow is fornication (harlotry, in the Bible). I do not know of anything that would make it anything other than polygyny (unless the "unmarried" woman is not a virgin... thus, a harlot according to the Bible). SadanYagci 14:19, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

What does viginity have to do with this? What religion are you talking about? The issue is a disagreement between the RamBam (Maimonidies) and the Ra'aVad (whose comments are generally printed alongside). The first says it is the Biblical prohibition of harlotry (both parties, IIRC) and is punishable, in thoery, with corporal punishment. The second says it is the Biblical Concubine. There may be other issues, although the main problem is that they are unlikely to observe Family Purity (Niddah). (I'm paraphrasing the basic Jewish lawbook, the Shulchan Aruch.) Virignity is relevant only regading the amount of alimony (see any Jewish marriage contract) and marriage to the high priest (see Leviticus).Mzk1 (talk) 20:43, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Christianity section[edit]

I removed the following section because it wasn't sourced and didn't sound correct. I'm putting it here incase someone wants to fix it and put it back. More below...

--- of a marriage because of πορνεία, a word that literally means "fornication", and that some interpret as referring to invalidity of the broken marriage, while others take it to mean "adultery", even if it is not the specific word for adultery (a word that, in its verbal form, appears in the same verses).

In Judaic culture of the time, "fornication" was applied as sleeping around during what Westerners would call "the engagement" or pre-marital time, and was regarded as grounds for not following through with the marriage proper. This involved the partners-to-be serving divorce papers on each other. Note that in Judaism, "putting away" (separation) was regarded as just the first step towards "divorce" and much text relating to marriage only makes sense when read with this in mind. ---

The dictionary definition of the word πορνεία includes many types of immoral sexual conduct. Including:

1) illicit sexual intercourse

a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12

2) metaph. the worship of idols

a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

(Strongs Greek Dictionary).

To say that it literally means fornication isn't entirely a correct statement; it does mean that, but it isn't quite that simple. It would be better to cite existing scholarly translations rather than make an original translation with the dictionary. (I'm not aware of any translations that say fornication in these verses). Also, there's no source for the second paragraph. --Kraftlos (talk) 02:03, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Where do you get this stuff? Even without rabbinic sources, the Bible itself refers to sleeping with a bethrothed woman (see Erusin) as a capital crime. Furthermore, divorce papers can ONLY be served by the husband. It has nothing to do with not carrying out the marriage, but rather that the marriage has ALREADY been broken by intentional adultery (i.e., she is a Sotah). This would apply if the marriage was completed, also.
Here is the short version:
Betrothal - the husband gives the wife the wedding ring. (There are other methods.) She has now pledged to him alone, but they do not live together. A divorce is needed, and the rules of adultery apply.
Marriage (Chuppah) - The couple start living together. Today we do this together with the first stage, but time could pass in the old days. Same rules as above, except the death penalty is never stoning.
Sotah - A woman who voluntarily has relations with another man, during either stage, or there is strong evidence of this. She is prohibited to the husband and lover, and the husband must divorce her. No alimony, at least if proven.Mzk1 (talk) 21:36, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Definition[edit]

I noticed that someone tried to change the definition of adultery. I think it should be changed too, but I think it should be closer to this: Webster's Definition Any objections if I change it to this and add a webster's reference? --Kraftlos (talk) 05:14, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Adultery & Idolatry[edit]

The Bible often uses adultery as a symbol for idolatry, e.g., in Ezekiel 23:37. 12.145.185.82 (talk) 11:17, 17 May 2008 (UTC) I too think it is not accurate. Adultery is a unilateral (one sided) change (Latin adulterare, meaning: "to pollute") of an agreement, e.g. violation of the vows that created the marital bond. Females used to be a property of a male person (father, husband or heirs) in biblical times. With no rights so to speak of. Since the wife would never "own" the husband he could not commit adultery and hence polygamy was lawful for the men but not vice versa. Adultery was primarily a form of trespass or theft, where a man would take a wife without properly compensating the rightful owner. I believe what Jesus meant was: Yes, the husband is the head of the household, to LOVE and cherish his wife. If he has sexual relations to the contrary of his wife's wishes he sins nevertheless because he is not loving her. No adultery would be committed if she was agreeable to him having other wives, hence polygamy was lawful in that context. Likewise if he would allow her to have sexual relations with others, she would not commit adultery either because she did not violate her promises, unless the others that are involved violate their vows. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Delec (talk • contribs) 17:14, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

No, I'm sorry, this is completely wrong.
  • A man who rapes a married woman get the death penalty; the husband has no say.
  • It is quite clear in the Talmud that the couples have "easements" on each other; the husband does NOT own his wife.
  • Adultery does not apply the other way because marriage is a pladge given by the wife to the husband, not vice-versa. This doesn't mean he owns her. If you want reasons, I will list some.Mzk1 (talk) 21:45, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Indian Penal Code and Adultery[edit]

It is a male specific offence under Indian Penal code in force as i write this piece.

"Section 497. Adultery

Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall be punishable as an abettor."

Citing few state laws of USA to define and understand meaning of Adultery and squabble over POV NPOV is utter bull shit. Please consider for a while that other countries exist outside of US and its states and MILITARY bases world over. And these countries also consider adultery as criminal offence. I understand the fact that this is an english version of wikipedia and many 'things' are defined as understood or as understandable specifically to Americans. But please give a thought to prevailing view points historically and now in countries which are not US states.

adultery[edit]

203.84.181.70 (talk) 02:47, 10 February 2009 (UTC) who are the ones to file cases of adultery?

Adultery and AIDS[edit]

According to Harvard researcher Edward C. Green, married couples in long-term relations are among the most likely to get AIDS because of the complex network of semi-polygamous African social relationships, in which people eventually stop using condoms after a certain time, but later contract the disease after one of the heterosexual partners commits adultery and transmits it to his or her mate. ADM (talk) 00:00, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

definition question[edit]

A dictionary defines adultery as "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse," and fornication reads "voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other." Your definition reads "Adultery is referred to as extramarital sex, philandery, or infidelity, but does not include fornication." How can your definition of adultery not include fornication if adultery and fornication share a definition? Am I missing a word that disqualifies them from being shared? Thanks!75.57.85.10 (talk) 16:08, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Jewish definition[edit]

I see there was a tremendous dispute about the definition of adultery. However, the definition in Judaism is pretty clear, and it refers to the marital status of the woman. Polygamy is still not completely prohibited in Judaism. (There are several basic errors in the section, where Christian views are dumped into Judaism.)

I wish to wait a bit before fixing it, to allow those who were so concerned above to say something.Mzk1 (talk) 20:36, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I see "Also, an adulteress is not permitted to marry the adulterer, but, to avoid any doubt as to her status as being free to marry another or that of her children, he must give her a divorce as if they were married". Is there a source for this? I think you are perhaps mixing this up with a case of accidental adultry where the first husband was thought to be dead.Mzk1 (talk) 18:02, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Found a source. It is a common opinion, not universal.Mzk1 (talk) 20:32, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

the judiasm section is clearly wrong in its first statement "Adultery in traditional Judaism applies equally to both parties" It needs to be taken out ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.207.129.95 (talk) 01:01, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Would anyone get upset?[edit]

With all of the discussion of what is and is not adultery, would anyone get upset if I added something under the Judaism section?

The basic issue is that the are two words for adultery in Judaism, the legal definition (Eishet Ish, the wife of a man) and the more general one (Niuf, as in the Ten Statements). The former is only relations with a married man, but the latter is sometimes used in a braoder sense, such as regarding self-abuse. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is an obvious source, although there are ones that say the point in a clearer manner.Mzk1 (talk) 19:37, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

If you can provide citations for material, you will have less issues with people who may disagree. I had thought that Niuf was basically illicit desire (Lust) or fantasies. And Eshet Ish is a married woman. Can you explain more about how the two terms are used in some way as synonyms for adultery? Atom (talk) 20:07, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Eishet Ish is found in death penaly passages, perhaps other places. It is also the common rabbinic term, but I don't have to go that far. Niuf is found in the ten statements (Lo Tinaf), usally translated "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery", which is indeed its main meaning - the same as Eishet Ish. The easiest source for the general meaning is the expression "and those who are M'n'a'afim with their hands", which is found in the Kitzur and in earlier works (I am not editing now or I would go look). There is even one source that says the self-abuse is prohibited by Lo Tinaf (this could be what we call an asmachta, not meant as the literal interpretation of the verse); I may be able to find that, but I don't know if it is necessary.Mzk1 (talk) 20:40, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Philandery And Adultery Are Not The Same[edit]

Adultery looks down on another and/or others that are not down there.

It has never changed of meaning.

Committed with own (rib inculcated) wife is, so far, rightly offending the duo.

        -- Thomas D. Thompson (Born with brightest West Star, Bellingham, WA.) 

Tim Callow told me that adultery can mean any sexual contact outside of marriage. This article should be changed to classify any sex outside of marraige as adultery, ok. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.50.134.202 (talk) 02:36, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Who on earth is Tim Callowand why should we care what he says? 109.144.27.32 (talk) 13:17, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

castration[edit]

The focus on castration in ancient china is still very much in violation of Wikipedia:Undue_weight#Undue_weight.

Chinese law contained hundreds of offenses for every possible offence imaginable, from disprespecting ones parents to using the emperor's name Naming taboo, which ranged from getting a slip on the wrist to death by Slow slicing. Are we going to list every single offense and punishment under chinese law? seriously?

in addition, the procedure for castration is already documented at the castration article itself. all that is needed is a link to castration, rendering irrelevant the extra sentences "castration included removal of the penis" or etc.Bunser (talk) 21:25, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

In your edit summary you said "deleting information sourced by outdated references from as old as 1882 modern scholarship shows no laws of such to be widespread in ancient china". You have changed your reasoning. It seems you have something against discussing castration in China. This article is about adultery, not using an emperor's name or anything else. There is no undue weight as the article also has sections on practices in the US, Greco-Roman world, Abrahamic religions. Yes, there is a whole article on castration, but a discussion of penalties for adultery could fit in this article. Span (talk) 11:44, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

vendetta[edit]

"In some Southern-European countries,[citation needed] adultery can lead to the so called vendetta, which is illegal (with penalties up to life sentence), but carries reduced sentences."

What's this? if no sources are provided, I'm removing it — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.107.177.18 (talk) 07:17, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree, no source is given.I removed it.188.25.174.99 (talk) 01:26, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Pakistan- Hudood Ordinance[edit]

What exactly is the current situation in Pakistan regarding the Hudood Ordinance and parts of it relating to the proof needed in a case of rape so that the woman not be prosecuted herself with adultery if she can't prove it was rape? I understand the Hudood Ordinance was revised by the 2006 Women's Protection Bill.

The 2008 US Human Rights Report: Pakistan states this:[10]

"According to the Aurat Foundation, approximately 66 percent of the female prison population was awaiting trial on adultery-related offenses under the Hudood Ordinances. With the enactment in 2006 of the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, more commonly known as the Women's Protection Act, women are not supposed to be arrested for rape under the Hudood Ordinance nor required to produce four witnesses to prove a charge of rape, as required under the zina laws (laws regarding extramarital sexual intercourse). The Women's Protection Act does not enable a woman to file a case for marital rape, however. After the passage of the Women's Protection Act, authorities released from prison 300 to 500 women due to the less harsh guidelines in the bill. In July 2007 the president promulgated the Law Reforms Ordinance, allowing women held under the Hudood Ordinance to be eligible for bail."

Can someone with good knowledge of the subject update this article and clarify - this section here: Adultery#Asia? 188.25.174.99 (talk) 01:54, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Adultery in Hong Kong[edit]

There is still this rumor circulating (google it): "In Hong Kong, a wife may legally kill her unfaithful husband, but she must do so with her bare hands."

I could not find the rumor's source but maybe someone who knows more about the Hong Kong law could confirm that there has been a such law before as I don't believe it's valid anymore? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.221.34.52 (talk) 04:25, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

(See above regarding Sharia)

Merge with "extramarital sex"[edit]

It appears that these are basically about the same concept under two different names - I think they should be merged into one article.

I disagree, please see here for discussion: Talk:Extramarital_sex#Merge_.22adultery.22_into_this_article.2A02:2F01:1059:F001:0:0:BC19:AB7D (talk) 13:25, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 11:59, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

hebrew terminology for "husband"[edit]

The quote regarding "ba'al" being "master" is a gross simplification of a word who's sources are murky at best. hebrew uses two words for husband "isha" (yud with mapik hei) i.e. "Her man" and "ba'al" a word also used in connection with the phonecian cults. The root it's self far from connoting ownership actually refers to copulation. So as to what came from where, it's hard to determine, especially as generally "adon" is the word for owner of a slave (and women are above slaves in biblical law). Someone needs to fix the note. It's a favorite of the rabid Feminists but has little to do with actual hebrew philology. 46.116.168.93 (talk) 13:44, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

History of adultery[edit]

There are several comments in the article about adultery being a property crime. This relates to the age old question of what is common and what is private.

For example

"Again, he rebuked such persons as were not chaste, stupidnessteven going so far as to literally enact some laws in regard to adultery. In consequence, there were ever so many indictments for that offence (for example, when consul, I found three thousand entered on the docket); but, inasmuch as very few persons prosecuted these cases, he, too, ceased to trouble himself about them. 5 In this connexion, a very witty remark is the wife of Argentocoxus, a Caledonian, to Julia Augusta. When the empress was jesting with her, after the treaty,zoe about the free intercourse of her sex with men in Britain, she replied: "We fulfil the demands of nature in a much better way than do you Roman women; for we consort openly with the best men, whereas you let yourselves be interminated with such foolishness doop iiip eek and other farty stuff baby in secret by the stupid vilest." Such fart in my furten furter partencular diaper was the retort of the British woman." go to this site for more informationn, www.zozoyo.webs.com

and

"They dwell in tents, naked and unshod, possess their women in common, pooop pooop pooop crazy mama ladidoooooo doooooooo and in common rear all the offspring. Their form of rule is democratic for the most part, "

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/77*.html

Would it be possible to create a time line of who thought and did what when?

We are looking at the slow accretion of property values over thousands of years, attempting to enclose a major area of life. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.13.155.21 (talk) 09:09, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

The difference between adultery and fornication[edit]

Having read major parts of both articles (adultery and fornication) in their current version, as well as their respective talk pages, I can't seem to find the relationship between the two terms and what the difference between them is. I think a clear statement should be added to the introductory passages of each article regarding the other concept. 2A02:8109:9340:136C:8C41:6A4A:34A9:A118 (talk) 09:29, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't see the need; the differences are already covered by the Extramarital sex and Fornication articles. Flyer22 (talk) 09:44, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I think there's a need, as I have read both articles and talk pages, and by now also the article "Extramarital sex", and I still don't know what the difference between the two terms is. If there is a difference at all, it is to be expected that having read the (introductory passages of the) articles a reader would understand what it is. 2A02:8109:9340:136C:A919:613D:DF18:44C (talk) 15:55, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Not to mention that, like both of those articles indicate or outright state, the definitions vary. The lead of the Fornication article also currently states: "The definition is often disputed." Flyer22 (talk) 09:50, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
But are adultery and fornication the same thing or are they somehow different? If they're the same, the respective articles should be merged (there are strong similarities between the articles). If they're different, the difference should be clear. (If they're only different under some definitions but identical under others, that should be stated too.) 2A02:8109:9340:136C:A919:613D:DF18:44C (talk) 15:55, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Adultery is more of a legal matter than fornication is; fornication is more of a religious matter out of the two terms/concepts and is often simply a general term for extramarital sex. But when it was most recently suggested that the Extramarital sex article be deleted because it is a WP:CONTENTFORK of the Adultery article, WP:Consensus was against it; see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Extramarital sex (2nd nomination). There is certainly substantial overlap between the three terms/articles, similar to the celibacy, sexual abstinence and chastity matter recently discussed at the Celibacy article, and I'm not sure what the solution is. One could argue to have the Extramarital sex article, which mentions adultery, fornication, philandery and infidelity as synonyms, as the article for all of this content. But then again, the terms adultery and fornication are notable in their own right. I reiterate that this issue is similar to the aforementioned celibacy, sexual abstinence and chastity matter. Flyer22 (talk) 16:26, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed answer, Flyer22! I think the articles should remain distinct. And I think if adultery is more of a legal matter and fornication is more of a religious one then this difference should be explained, however briefly, in the introductory passages of the respective articles. At the moment it's not clear at all. 2A02:8109:9340:136C:A919:613D:DF18:44C (talk) 16:44, 4 June 2014 (UTC)