The Harmony of Yin and Yang

Chinese Sexual Philosophy
  • Fang Fu Ruan
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (PISE)


The concept of Yin-Yang is essentially simple, yet its influence on Chinese culture has been extensive. There is no aspect of Chinese civilization—including philosophy, medicine, sexology, politics, government, literature, and art—that has not been touched by this simple, powerful idea. According to Yin-Yang philosophy, all objects and events are the products of two elements, forces, or principles: Yin, which is negative, passive, weak, and destructive, and Yang, which is positive, active, strong, and constructive. It is quite possible that the two sexes, whether conceived in terms of female and male essences, the different social roles of women and men, or the structural differences between female and male sex organs, are not only the most obvious results of the workings of Yin and Yang forces, but major sources from which the ancient Chinese derived these concepts as well. Certainly, it was very natural for the Yin-Yang doctrine to become the basis of Chinese sexual philosophy.


Sexual Intercourse Confucian Tradition Yuan Dynasty Chinese Classic Sexual Union 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fang Fu Ruan
    • 1
  1. 1.The Institute for Advanced Study of Human SexualitySan FranciscoUSA

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