Other Mechanisms of the Social Control of Sexual Behavior One of the prime goals of the Medieval Church was to repress the pleasure of sexual intercourse even within marriage. Married couples 'were always being exhorted to continence. If they disregarded the admonition, they were threatened with begetting monsters or at best children who were sickly." Married couples were to have sex in the minimum number of times necessary for procreation, in a restricted number of positions, with the minimum amount of pleasure, and could only be engaged in on certain days and times. Policing sexual violations was an important function of the ecclesiastical courts beginning in the Middle Ages and extending at least to the end of the 17th century. These courts were very active in 17th century England prosecuting cases of fornication, adultery, incest, and illicit cohabitation. Although the effectiveness of these ecclesiastical sanctions varied by region and period, there were examples of devastating consequences in which 'the victim was hounded by his fellows,
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