In sociology, seduction (also called inveigling or wheedling) is the process of deliberately enticing a person to engage in some sort of behavior, frequently sexual in nature. The term may have a positive or negative connotation. Famous seducers from history include Cleopatra, Giacomo Casanova, and the character Don Juan. [cite book | author=Greene, Robert | authorlink=Robert Greene (author) | title=The Art of Seduction | publisher=Penguin Books| year=2003 | id=ISBN 0-14-200119-8]

Seduction involves temptation and enticement, often sexual in nature, to attract or influence the behavior of another. Traditionally, the word implies leading someone astray into a behavioural choice they would not usually make unless excited into a state of sexual arousal, as when a person lures another into a sexual relationshipFact|date=April 2007. In contemporary usage, seduction is also frequently used broadly as a synonym for the act of charming someone—male or female—by an appeal to the senses. The seducing agent may even be nonhuman, such as music or food. Seduction is a popular motif in history and fiction, both as a warning of the social consequences of engaging in the behaviour or becoming its victim, and as a salute to a powerful skill. In the Bible, Eve was a seductress who convinced Adam to eat forbidden fruit, a situation directly related to her verbal seduction by Satan to pick it in the first place; the Sirens of Greek myth lured sailors to their death by singing them to shipwreck; Cleopatra beguiled both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony; and Persian queen Scherazade saved herself from execution by story-telling. Famous male seducers, their names synonymous with sexual allure, range from Casanova to James Bond. In biblical times, because unmarried females who lost their virginity had also lost much of their value as marriage prospects, the Old Testament Book of Exodus specifies that the seducer must marry his victim or pay her father to compensate him for his loss of the marriage price: "And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins." [ [ "Book of Exodus", Chapter 22] on]

English common law defined the crime of seduction as a felony committed "when a male person induced an unmarried female of previously chaste character to engage in an act of sexual intercourse on a promise of marriage." A father had the right to maintain an action for the seduction of his daughter (or the enticement of a son who left home), since this deprived him of services or earnings. [ [ Mary Ann Mason: From Father's Property to Children's Rights: A History of Child Custody ] ]

In more modern times, Frank Sinatra was charged in New Jersey in 1938 with seduction, having enticed a woman "of good repute to engage in sexual intercourse with him upon his promise of marriage. The charges were dropped when it was discovered that the woman was already married." [ [ Hollywood Behind Bars - Frank Sinatra Mugshot ] ]

Biological point of view

Thierry Lodé, a French biologist, proposed in his book [Thierry Lodé La guerre des sexes chez les animaux, une histoire naturelle de la sexualité" Eds O Jacob, Paris, 2006] that seduction could result from the supranormal stimulus. The trend towards exaggeration is a fundamental biological component which explains the exuberance of certain sexual traits; for instance: the peacock’s tail and the uca crab's pincers. Sexual selection and sexual conflict could amplify the maintenance of extreme specific characters by intensifying sexual desire. The bilateral symmetry is also an essential characters in life. Most animals prefer to mate with sexual partners exhibiting symmetric pattern. Actually, symmetric traits are largely altered by growth and health, and asymmetry often reveals genetic problem or immune system (MHC) deficiencies.

ee also

* Beauty
* Courtship
* Charisma
* Eros (love)
* Flirting
* Persuasion
* Physical attractiveness
* Romantic love
* Seduction Community
* Confidence Dynamics


* Baudrillard, J. (1991) "Seduction". New York: Saint Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-05294-4
* Casanova, G (2002 [1894] ) "Story of my life". London: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-043915-3
* Kierkegaard, S (1997) "The Seducer's Diary". Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01737-9


External links

* [ "The memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt"] : e-version of the rare unabridged London edition of 1894 translated by Arthur Machen
* [ "Seduction timeline, cycles & trends"] : A chronology of Seduction & Sex.
* [ Seduced: Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now] Showed at the Barbican Art Gallery from 12 October 2007-27 January 2008, an exhibition exploring the representation of sex in art through the ages.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • seduction — Seduction …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • séduction — [ sedyksjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XIIe, rare av. XVIIe; lat. seductio 1 ♦ Vx Action de séduire, de corrompre. Dr. pén. Séduction dolosive, par laquelle on amène une femme (par manœuvre frauduleuse, abus d autorité ou promesse de mariage) à consentir à des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Seduction — Séduction La Proposition, de William Adolphe Bouguereau. Parfois appelée flirt ou, plus rarement, marivaudage, la séduction est un jeu entre deux ou plusieurs personnes, où chacun s’efforce de susciter de l attirance puis des sentiment …   Wikipédia en Français

  • seduction — I noun allure, allurement, attraction, bait, bewitchment, blandishment, cajolery, captivation, coaxing, corruptela, corruption, defilement, enchantment, enticement, fascination, inducement, inveiglement, invitation, lure, persuasion, seducement,… …   Law dictionary

  • Seduction — Seduction …   Википедия

  • Seduction — • The inducing of a previously virtuous woman to engage in unlawful sexual intercourse Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Seduction     Seduction      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • seduction — Seduction. s. f. Action par laquelle on seduit. Seduction de la jeunesse. la seduction est manifeste. il employa l argent & les promesses, & tout ce qui peut contribuer à la seduction des esprits …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • seduction — (n.) 1520s, from Fr. séduction, from L. seductionem (nom. seductio), noun of action from pp. stem of seducere (see SEDUCE (Cf. seduce)). Originally with reference to actions or beliefs; sexual sense is from 1769, originally always with women as… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Seduction — Se*duc*tion, n. [L. seductio: cf. F. s[ e]duction. See {Seduce}.] 1. The act of seducing; enticement to wrong doing; enticement to fail in some duty. [1913 Webster] 2. Specifically: (a) The offense of inducing a woman to consent to unlawful… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • seduction — [n] enticement allurement, attraction, cajolery, come on*, inducement, lure, persuasion, tantalizing, temptation; concepts 7,19,22,68 …   New thesaurus

  • seduction — [si duk′shən] n. [MFr < LL(Ec) seductio < L, a leading away] 1. the act of seducing or the state of being seduced 2. something that seduces …   English World dictionary

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