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Erotophobia is the fear of marriage and romantic relationships. Many bachelors, especially older ones, are sometimes thought to be erotophobes. The word erotophobia is derived from the name of Eros, the Greek god of romantic love.

Erotophobia is sometimes thought to be caused by strict standards for a marriage mate, overjudging of physical appearance, age limit in marriage in connection with the fear of aging (gerontophobia). Some claim feminist attitudes can form into erotophobia, though this is thought to be unsubstantiated, since there have been no studies to back this up.

Erotophobia sometimes involves a negative attitude toward anything related to sexuality, such as dating, touching, nudity, romantic books and motion pictures, attending marriage ceremonies, homosexuality, contraception, et cetera. The fear of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS sometimes can lead to erotophobia.

Erotophobia is a term that may also be applied—albeit controversially—to political or religious organizations or viewpoints that are concerned with limiting or restraining some aspect of sexuality. The leadership of the Catholic church and several Catholic-affiliated organizations—in particular those that venerate the Virgin Mary or other female saints—have been accused in various contexts of erotophobia or its equivalent. The veneration of the state of virginity in many instances verges on a degradation and abhorrence of sexuality.

See also: love-shyness, Marriage strike

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