What Happens When Sex is the Crown Jewel of a Society?
Let’s be clear (and honest) about one thing. The primary motivating factor for most of what happens in our society is sex.
You don’t have to agree with me; but good luck refuting that statement. Just consider how advertising would be different if sex wasn’t a factor. How would product marketing be different if sex wasn’t an issue? How would the music industry be different? How would fashion and movies be different?
If sex wasn’t an issue at all it’s very safe to say our society would be vastly different. But because sex is the primary motivating factor in much of what takes place sex is also the goal, or end result for much of what happens. This makes sex a very dangerous weapon in the hands of anyone seeking to recreate the social or political landscape in America.
A recent article at The Week discussed this issue and the implications of sex as the primary difference between traditionalist religious people from others. The question was asked, if sex is removed from the picture, “what are we talking about?” The answer was given:
“The answer is: nothing. We are talking — and fighting, and slinging mud, and spewing bile — about nothing but sex. And in particular, about two competing, largely incompatible visions of the proper place of sex in a good human life.”
Therein lays the struggle our society is currently faced with. For some the role of sex in a “good human life” is paramount to identity, health, and well-being. So much so that people are willing to alter the centuries-old definition of marriage and family to make sure sex is given its place of supremacy. Never mind that kids might be harmed by the selfish desires of adults, let’s just go ahead and deprive them of life with a mother or father. Because, you know, equality and all.
But this is the logical result of a war to undermine not just a traditional view of sex, sexuality, gender roles, marriage and family, but the inherent meaning in each of these aspects of human life. It’s not simply about seeing people as equal – even opponents of marriage redefinition readily acknowledge the dignity and worth of homosexuals. This is about preserving the tangible, innate qualities found in what makes us male and female. No society has ever successfully lost what it means to be male and female and survived.
But as the article points out we are no longer concerned with preserving society and doing what is best for kids, now we simply care about “what feels good.” Our only qualifier is whether or not everyone consents:
“Welcome to sexual modernity — a world in which the dense web of moral judgments and expectations that used to surround and hem in our sex lives has been almost completely dissolved, replaced by a single moral judgment or consideration: individual consent. As long as everyone involved in a sexual act has chosen to take part in it — from teenagers fumbling through their first act of intercourse to a roomful of leather-clad men and women at a BDSM orgy — anything and everything goes.”
So we’ve removed any semblance of morality, right, wrong, or even common good in favor of group think and social acceptance. As long as we can get enough people to agree with us, we will willingly bring harm to others and society at large to get what we want. And even if people don’t like our position, we will lobby Capitol hill with threats of lawsuits until someone makes a law supporting our position. Then it’s just a matter of forcing everyone else to agree – whether they like it or not.
Is this dangerous? Does this tactic pose any threat for us as a society? Is there any reason to adhere to traditional views regarding sex, sexuality, and human nature? The article answers those questions for us:
“But I submit that underlying such views is something deeper and more worthy of reflection — namely, a series of contentious but not implausible assumptions about human beings. What are those assumptions? That we are flawed, weak, needy, sinful creatures. That we can’t be trusted — especially when it comes to sex, which arouses our most intense physical longings and desires, and insinuates itself into our imagination and emotions, badly warping our judgment in the heat of the moment. That these longings and desires, left untamed by firm strictures on our behavior, will lead us to wreck our lives, our culture, our civilization. That sex is profoundly dangerous.”
Yes, sex is dangerous. Evidence of this fact cannot be refuted. Only the most naïve and absurdly ignorant person does not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that sex is dangerous. So why are we, as a society, elevating such a dangerous aspect of our humanity to a place of prominence without the necessary safeguards to protect ourselves?
If all we need as a society to guide our sexual desires is consent where does that train stop? Do we press on toward affirming polyamorous “families” that desire multiple partners and parents? Do we speed towards legalizing adult-minor sex because, after all, they are capable of consent? What if we just mandate that marriage is whatever each person decides and family is defined by each group of people? What could go wrong?
If those questions are troubling here is some asked in the aforementioned article:
Is the ethic of individual consent sufficient to keep people (mostly men) from acting violently on their sexual desires?
What will become of childhood if our culture continues down the road of pervasive sexualization?
Do children do best with two parents of opposite genders?
What about three, four, five, or more people in a constantly evolving polyamorous arrangement?
Can the institution of marriage survive without the ideals of fidelity and monogamy?
All of these questions need answered, and sooner rather than later.
But one thing is for sure. If we determine that sex is better left unfettered and unbounded by any societal constraints we can reasonably conclude that our society will falter and fail. Marriage and the nuclear family have been the bedrock of every great society and as they abandoned those cornerstones their society came crashing down. There’s no reasonable reason to assume America will be any different.