Sexuality was gradually divided into smaller pockets of desire, and some preferences isolated as ‘perversions’. At the same time, the ethics of the confessional made it seem necessary to analyse and judge every sexual preference; power was created in this way for the benefit of the listener; in exchange the teller gained a system of knowledge, and the release of discourse. Power remained linked to sexuality through discourse and the importance of knowledge. The eighteenth and nineteenth century saw the classification of women’s bodies as ‘hysterical’, children’s bodies as ‘innocent’, family bodies as ‘ritual’ and ‘social’ and abnormal bodies as ‘medical’. “A sexuality without sex”: Paedophilia and the problem of repression in the current age. Feminists and Foucault: problems and sympathies. Male-repression, chosen sexuality, and the problems of sexual liberation movements; rebellion and convention: is there a sexual difference? Controlling the body. Conclusion.
Michel Foucault has become one of the most influential of the French philosophers of the twentieth century. While Foucault has been connected with both the postmodernist and post-structuralist movements, he was in essence a social theorist and historian, not unlike Lawrence Stone, although Foucault worked more on the interplay of ideas, while Stone concentrated more upon the impact of social alterations on family, sexual relationships, and society at large. While some may wish to study their fellow humans and as ‘does such a thing as human nature exist?’, Foucault instead concentrates upon how the idea of human nature has interacted with other parts of society.
In order to truly comprehend what it is that Foucault is saying about power and desire within repression, and (even harder) understand what he means by these terms, the reader must have some understanding of Foucault’s