Some interesting stuff in this thread about women and religion, particularly Artic Stranger's Post #40:
For men, women represent a loss of power. To fall in love is to give your heart away. If you give your heart away, you can be hurt...very badly. (There was a recent play where one character tells her daughter, "Don't be the one in the relationship who loves the most. That person gets hurt. You need to be the one who is loved the most. You wont get hurt then."
Throw in the sexual drive, and boom...you have a very threatened man. How does that song go? "When a man loves a woman..." (See song lyrics at the end of Post)
Then throw in the historical feeling of men that one of the worst things you can be called is "sissy" or "pussy" or some other term to denote that you were a feminine type man. (In ancient Rome homosexuality was rampant...well SODAMY was rampant, homosexuality did not exist... and it was considered fine to be the one screwing other men, but you did not want to be the one who was screwed by other men.) Sexuality is a fluid thing, and most women have some masculine characteristics, and most men have some feminine characteristics. Men are much less comfortable with their feminine side than women are with their masculine side. (These are tendencies, not iron clad rules.) So when the feminine appears in a man, he feels threatened, from within, but he can easily focus the threat outward to other women.
Now throw in religion. Let's take Augustine, one of the main culprits in the Christian wrong turn on sexuality. Augustine was a man obsessed with sex. He was the one who prayed, "Lord make me chaste, but not today." It was his attraction to his mistress that kept him from fully converting to Christianity. When he did convert he renounced her and his child he had with her.
Now as I was writing that last paragraph, I ALMOST wrote, "It was his mistress who kept him from fully converting." Notice how I almost put the blame on her. It was rather instinctual, and I had reframe my own thoughts. That "innocent" little slip is a habit for many men who want to devote their lives to God. The major impediment most will encounter will be their relationship with women. And since we are masters at self-delusion and self-justification, it is rather easy to see how the problem shifts from "I have a problem dealing with my desires about women" to "Women are a problem to me." When that move is made, men must be protect from women.
(And remember that sexual roles were pretty segregated at one time. A lot of what women did was a HUGE mystery to men. And we did not know as much about anatomy either, so even the way women were structured was a mystery. Where DOES that baby come from? What is the deal with all that blood?)
So eventually, to "protect" men from the effects of women, they eventually put them into one of two boxes; virgin saint, or whore. They are either helping us toward our goal of sainthood (usually by making an incredible sacrifice of their own sexuality, violently and graphically) or they are seducing us with their sexuality and are poison apples.