is a term of religious origin used to characterize certain sexual acts.
The term is most commonly used to describe the specific act of anal sex
between two males, or between a male and a female. The term
"sodomy" also may include non-coital sexual acts such as oral
sex and other paraphilia. It is sometimes used to describe human-animal
sexual intercourse (bestiality). Laws forbidding certain types of sex
acts have been found in some pre-modern cultures and are prevalent in
some industrialized nations as well.
term sodomy derives from the name of the ancient city of Sodom,
which according to a common interpretation of the Bible,
was destroyed by God for its misdeeds (see Sodom and Gomorrah). In
today's common language it identifies the practice of anal or oral
modern use for the term, is where one human being takes advantage of
another for financial gain, involving lying and deception. More
usually, referred to in legal cases involving planning departments and
sometimes used in modern language with Buggery, the two terms
essentially describing similar lewd acts or acts of rough
Examples: a) He was buggered by the evidence b) She was sodomised
What Is It?
is most commonly legally defined as any contact between the genitals of
one person, and the mouth or anus of another. As mentioned above, the word has its origins
in Christianity. It is sometimes used to mean sexual deviation, though
in legal contexts it is defined as above. Throughout history,
"sodomites," mostly male homosexuals and bestialists, have
been punished by a largely theocratically controlled government, in
hopes of stamping out "ungodly practices" that might bring
divine retribution against Christian society. In medieval Europe,
intercourse between a male field worker and a noble woman was legally
considered "sodomy," as it was thought to cause a poor
harvest. The history of the concept of sodomy is tied to the Church in
most every case.
there is no federal sodomy law, though some federal land falls under
maritime jurisdiction, which may have sanctions in some cases. 25 states
do not have sodomy laws. 5 states have laws pertaining to homosexual
sodomy only, and the remaining 20 states, plus the
District of Columbia, have laws covering all sodomy,
even between heterosexuals.
some states have titled their sodomy statues
(and others): "Crime Against Nature"
of Columbia: "Sexual Psychopaths"
"Unnatural & Lascivious Act"
"Sodomy & Buggery"
"Unnatural or Perverted Sexual Practices"
"Deviate Sexual Conduct"
For Homosexual Conduct
five states with sodomy laws pertaining to homosexual conduct only....
twelve states with the toughest maximum penalties are...
LIFE in prison for repeat offenders, 15 otherwise
Island 20 years
10 years, homosexual offenders only
Carolina 10 years
DC 10 years
6 years, homosexual only
5 years MINIMUM penalty
States With Sodomy Laws
epistle of Jude in the New Testament, however, echoes the Genesis
narrative and recalls mainly the sexually immoral aspects of Sodom's
sins: "...just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities,
which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural
desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal
fire" (v. 7, ESV). The phrase rendered "unnatural desire"
is literally translated "strange flesh," but it is not
entirely clear what it refers to. The ESV translators supply one
plausible paraphrase in making the phrase refer to the illicit sexual
activity of the Genesis account (cf. the language of the epistle to the
Romans 1:21-32), but another theory is that it is a simply reference to
the "strange flesh" of the intended rape victims, who were
angels, not men.
first known use of the term sodomy used in a more general sense
to mean "crimes against nature" is found in the writings of
Jewish historian Josephus (circa A.D. 96) as he summarizes the Genesis
narrative: "About this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of
their riches and great wealth; they became unjust towards men, and
impious towards God, in so much that they did not call to mind the
advantages they received from him: they hated strangers, and abused
themselves with Sodomitical practices" (Antiquities 1.11.1).
The final element of his assessment goes beyond the Biblical data, even
in the New Testament. Despite the inaccuracy, this meaning is the
primary one used today.