The U.S. has had a change in sexual morality since the early days of the country. All sorts of rules that were set up about sex, such as marriage being good, fidelity being good, premarital and extramarital sex being not so good, have changed, at least among some of the population.
Now should we get upset about this? When we look at some traditional societies on this planet, where women cannot leave the house without a male relative, or must wear clothing that hides everything but their eyes, or must undergo painful operations on their sexual organs so that they don’t feel pleasure, we might admire our progressive forward thinking morals by comparison.
But lets look at our society, and ask whether the decline in rules and barriers has been all good.
That there is a decline, there is no doubt. Lets take an example from the popular economics book Superfreakonomics This book says that at least 20% of men born between 1933 and 1942 (the good old days of morality) had their first sexual experience with a prostitute.
Twenty years later that number has dropped to 5%. But what is the reason for this drop? The reason is that they can get their sex from young women their own age who are now willing to have sex before marriage. And the percentage of men who do this is more than 70%.
So what is the price of all this?
In a 2010 column, Phyllis Shlafly states:
“In the not-too-distant past, we had a society where husbands and fathers were the providers for their families. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock babies born last year (41 percent of all births) and their unmarried moms now look to Big Brother as their financial provider.”
The decline of marriage is not only the biggest social problem America faces today, but it’s also government’s biggest financial problem.”
“The decline of marriage is the major cause of the growth of the welfare state. This year, we the taxpayers are spending $350 billion to support single moms, and this amount increases every year.”
“That’s only the start of the costs because social problems come out of female-headed households: crime, drugs, sex, teen pregnancies, suicides, runaways and school dropouts.”
Says an entrepreneur in Wellesley, MA: “I am hiring girls out of high school who can’t do math, spell, or write a coherent sentence…they engage in sex indiscriminately and have abortions without remorse…”
When I told the statistic of 41% of children being born out of wedlock (25% brought up by a single mother) to my brother, he dismissed it all as “its just a problem for minorities”. But that is not true. You can look at the statistics on the internet to see that whites have the problem, though minorities have it worse.
On top of these problems, one can ask about the emotional turmoil brought about by intense premarital relationships that break up. I could see that happen to a friend of mine from college who had once told me that “sex is beautiful”.
When barriers fall, you get all sorts of phenomena going on that would have been unthinkable.
For instance, Judith Reisman, in a WorldnetDaily column of Dec 20, 2005 says: “Anyone notice the number of female teachers arrested lately for sexually abusing boys and girls? Yes, more and more females – often teachers who are moms — are sexually abusing school children. Mama bear not only doesn’t protect her little cubs from predators, she is increasingly violating them.”
And when women were assigned in large numbers to the warship USS Eisenhower in 1994, so many became pregnant that the vessel was dubbed “The Love Boat”. Can we take a pregnant warrior seriously?
Now of course the sex-urge has not changed since 1776, and extra-marital, pre-marital, and other such phenomena have always been around. But when the barriers and rules that have been set up fall, we go into free fall and the results are, obviously not wonderful.
In fact, the institution of marriage in America is taking a major hit, for various reasons. Many middle-class people simply are not getting married. And if they are married, a bad economy often has them deferring children. I saw a news article that says people are getting more dogs and cats, and less children. This is good news for Purina-dog-chow-Inc, but not for society. There will be less children to become the working adults that keep society going, and 41% of the children that are born are growing up in a single-parent household.. But…
“With no-fault divorce since the 1960s, that can be divorce for no reason at all. The reasons wives divorce their husbands can be legitimate or illegitimate—adultery and abuse or lack of intimacy, growing apart, or having found someone more exciting. And because it’s no-fault divorce even when there might be actual fault, the spouse left behind is often treated unjustly in dividing income and property, and frequently regarding custody of the children.”
“Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps because sex outside marriage is now so readily available no one need buy the cow, the percentage of married people ages 35 to 44 has declined precipitously over the last 40 years… The percentage of children growing up in fatherless families—a chief risk factor for social pathologies—has risen concomitantly… On the plus side of the ledger, these negative trends don’t affect the college-educated as severely. College-educated women have significantly higher rates of marriage and lower rates of divorce than women without college degrees. The bad news is that such women, who tend to marry late, have far fewer children.”
Charlotte Allen also says that the “hookup culture” lasts long past college years. And I read (in a magazine article in 2013) that in one upscale high school in Washington D.C. hookups are common, supposedly because these super kids have no time for real relationships. They have a night of sex, and then they act in school as if nothing has happened. The author of the article seems to think that the main thing wrong with this is that the students miss out on the finer ingredients of real relationships, but I wonder myself – if you have multiple “partners” in high school, won’t you have multiple partners after you are married? Do I want to be friends with, or work for, someone who sleeps around with several people before he even has his first job?
Anthropologist Peter Wood looked at Bowdoin, a college in Maine where the majority of students “hook up” and observed that a fairly large number of the female upperclassmen appeared to regret having been part of the hook-up culture. One of the regrets came from the discovery that the Bowdoin men are more interested in the new women on campus. Many of the female upperclassmen experienced a diminishment of their desirability, as they were replaced by fresh recruits to the hook-up scene. Peter Wood’s main point is that we are designed so that sex and attachment should go together. His article is here
I read that in the sixties, the very radical left group, the Weathermen, had lots of free sex. Somehow, it didn’t make them lovable. In fact, an infiltrator from the FBI described them as full of hate. They had so much hate, that they constantly attempted to bomb people to smithereens, including soldiers and their dates at a dance.
Peter Wood thinks that we are in the current situation because of a mix of factors – technology that separates sex from the babies that usually follow, a welfare state on the poor end that makes single motherhood a viable option and a student class on the wealthy end that has the leisure and money for consequence-free pleasure. I would add that there is a decline in religion and any other barriers that used to exist.
My guess is that people who engage in sex indiscriminately, develop attitudes that demean human beings in general.
In my own experience, which is truly amazing, I was degraded and humiliated sexually by a truly nasty bunch of Americans. They did because they despised me, and disliked me, and because I had originally degraded myself with no help from others. But what were they trying to do – make me descend to their level?
I think that the kind of sexual sadism might not occur among people who had a Victorian attitude toward sex. And that would be a good thing.
3. SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Hardcover – Oct. 20, 2009)
4. Phyllis Schlafly: http://townhall.com/columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2010/06/15/social_issues_vs_fiscal_issues?page=2