Thursday, May 23, 2019

Stop Throwing Out the Baby

There are some ideas that have been around a very long time, experimented on, varied—and then it turns out the original was the best idea all along.

We’re about to talk about some truths that are very nearly lost in today’s society, because of unwise throwing out of ideas, simply because they’re old. And this has led to some literal throwing out of babies with the proverbial bathwater.

An article was brought to my attention that I thought might be worth reacting to. The piece is for an online forum called Human Parts, which I hadn’t heard of before. Gabrielle Blair writes “Men Cause 100% of Unwanted Pregnancies.” 
image from here

Technically, she’s right. If you go ahead and read her piece, be forewarned that it’s explicit—not in a prurient way, but still not something you want to have up on your computer screen with a nine-year-old looking over your shoulder.

Blair points out that men can cause pregnancy with every orgasm, while a woman can only get pregnant, all things being healthy, during about 48 hours a month. Nature is not equal.

She also accurately points out that contraceptives for women have lots of negative side effects. Meanwhile, the most common contraceptives for men, condoms, are cheap, plentiful, and free of side effects. But men don’t like them. Because they cause slightly less pleasure. Here’s how she puts it:

Imagine a pleasure scale, with pain beginning at zero and going down into the negatives. A good back-scratch falls at 5, and an orgasm without a condom is a 10. Where would sex with a condom fall? A 7 or 8? So, it’s not that sex with a condom is not pleasurable, it’s just not as pleasurable. An 8 instead of a 10.
Let me emphasize that again: Men regularly choose to put women at massive risk in order to experience a few minutes of slightly increased pleasure.
She comes up with a rather radical solution: all men should get a vasectomy, which they can have reversed once they’re married and want to have children.

Yes, that’s radical. No, it’s not likely to catch on. Her point is that men ought to take on the responsibility, rather than women.

But here’s where we differ. She’s talking about which way men should go about mitigating the natural consequences of having irresponsible sex. That does nothing but perpetuate the actual root problem: men having irresponsible sex—and women allowing men to have irresponsible sex.

Here’s something that might seem mind-blowing for young people today: this issue has been part of the human race for all the millennia we’ve had the human race. That means people have had plenty of time to work out solutions. And there is one solution that actually works: absolute monogamy. (We've talked about the research of  Vico and Unwin before, here.)

That means no sex outside of marriage, and absolute fidelity within marriage. Not just for women, but also for men. In another word, that means chastity for both women and men.

Candace Owens (left) and Lila Rose on the Candace Owens Show
May 19, 2019 screenshot from here

This past weekend, Lila Rose, pro-life advocate, was on the Candace Owens podcast, and they had a conversation about this old idea of chastity. Lila Rose got married within the past year; she was a virgin up until marriage. She is 30. Owens is also 30. Her journey to conservatism comes from another direction.  She lost her virginity in high school. She lives differently now and regrets that:

Candace Owens: Because the person meant absolutely nothing to me, and I was doing it because I wanted to fit in. I was doing it because this was the normal thing to do, and you were considered weird if you didn’t do these sorts of things.  
And it’s not even just peer pressure from other students; it’s peer pressure from society. It’s everything that you’re seeing on TV. It’s everything that you’re being taught by your teachers.
Now I’m engaged. I wish I had waited. And that’s a really sad thing, and a weird thing, to say now, obviously, because I live a different lifestyle. But that guilt started creeping up on me before I got engaged.
Before I met my fiancĂ©, I was in a relationship, and I had this conversation where I was, “I think I kind of want to recommit myself back to God.” And my boyfriend at the time said, “No.” Like, if you don’t have—  And this is when I knew something was really wrong. Right?
Lila Rose: Meaning, “I’ll love you if you have sex with me.”
CO: That’s what I heard.
LR: That’s not love.
CO: I think his excuse, what he said to me was, “Sex is how people connect.” Right?
LR: It is, but with someone that you’re going to love lifelong, and you’ve given everything to. It’s more than that.
It ought to be more than that. Think about the difference between giving sex to a man who isn’t committed to you, in the hopes that he might come to love and commit to you—and to earn this chance, you risk pregnancy (not to mention STIs) without his support, just for a hope. Meanwhile, to him it means nothing but temporary pleasure.

Compare that to sex with a man who has already committed to stay with you forever—and has declared that to the whole world with a signed covenant. Then sex becomes the enjoyable expression of that love and commitment, founding an actual family. The social science data shows that sex is better for married couples, and enjoyed more often, than it is for singles. And among married couples who are religious and attend church regularly, they have the most enjoyable sex of any demographic.

As Lila Rose points out, outcomes are better for both women and men when they wait for marriage:

Outcomes meaning, your relationship happiness, your economic happiness, physical health—because of STIs, the potential for pregnancy when you’re not prepared for it. So I think that—  First of all that’s just the social data on that. But from a spiritual perspective, if we think sex is just an act you do, right, and all that matters in consent—  It’s all about consent today, right? All you need to do is consent, and then you’re good, right? That’s the #MeToo movement: as long as there’s consent, that’s good. We need consent. But consent is not enough. Sex should be about love. It should be about commitment. It should be about responsibility. And it is built to be about children.
This next part I thought was most telling:

And it’s only because we sterilize it. I mean, we use women—  Think about it. All these women our age and younger are taking birth control pills. They’re being told, “You need to sterilize yourself. You need to shut down your hormones in order to be sexually available to men.” I mean, that’s what that message is.
There’s something really wrong with a society that values sterility rather than fertility.

The sexual revolution of the 1960s was not progress; it was the repeat of a rebellion that has occurred in every failing society in world history.

A young man who’s a friend on Facebook (used to be a missionary here in Houston—and he’s an eligible bachelor saving sex for marriage, and good looking, strong, and outdoorsy, so there are such men available, just saying) said this wise thing a couple of days ago:

You can judge a culture on how they treat their offspring.
In other words: High rates of abortion is evidence we are not committed. Not committed to those we express we love. Making the most intimate activity a lie. Taking advantage of others. Willing to take a life to justify a lie.
This is our culture.
Abortion has never been about empowering women; it has been about causing women to do unspeakable evil in order for men to have irresponsible sex without consequences.

Of course we need to be against abortion—which is used for a reason other than inconvenience in only about 4% of cases. At least 86% of women having abortions are unmarried—and of those, it’s hard to know what percentage are nevertheless because the man doesn’t want to support offspring. Married women are seldom selfish enough to kill their offspring when a man is willing to work out a solution to give that child a family.

The vast majority of abortions happen because a woman has allowed a man to have sex with her when he is not willing to stay with her and raise a child, when he is not committed to her or her offspring.

The sexual rebellion is touted as freeing men and women from the restrictions on sex of former, old-fashioned times. But look at what has actually happened. A woman used to have the support of society when she expected a man to respect her and wait for sex until after he had committed to love her and stay with her. Now women are expected to pretend, along with men, that sex is meaningless pleasure that they of course want to indulge in. Consider the idea that a woman is expected to “put out” if a man has paid for a nice dinner. She’s expected to give her body to him, risking all that nature brings with it, because he fed her one meal? That’s all she’s worth? And it’s a monetarily determined exchange? That’s what we’re supposed to believe is sexual liberation for women?

Compare this to a man respecting a woman’s reputation so much that he would never compromise her; he loves her and asks for her to marry him before he offers or expects sex in their relationship. And then they work together to have a happy family life together from then on. Not only is the woman happier—and freer from negative life outcomes; the man is also happier and lives a more meaningful life (with better sex as a bonus).

We don’t need men to come up with more and better ways to get away with irresponsible sex with women. We need men to respect and love women so much that sex is returned to its proper place within the sanctity of marriage.

This—men who never have irresponsible sex—is the answer to ending sex trafficking—and the pornography industry related to it. It would be the end to rape. It would be the end to abortion except to save the life of the mother when saving both isn't possible. It would be the end to unwanted pregnancies. It would nearly be the end to children raised without fathers in the home. It would bring about the end to more than 90% of poverty in our society.

Chastity is one of those simple but not easy solutions. But it is possible. Been there, done that, lived that life. And it is what we should be teaching.

Teaching birth control in schools, while failing to teach the meaning of sex, says, “Of course you’ll have sex; of course there are consequences, but our society wants to ignore them. So try these sterilization methods while you’re too young to know better.” And we shouldn't ignore that this approach doesn’t get good outcomes. More than half of women getting abortions were using some form of contraceptives during the month prior to pregnancy.

If you’re cynical enough—and about Planned Parenthood, which provides a large portion of sex education curriculum, this is a natural assumption—you’d think they were touting contraception knowing full well pregnancies would result, so they’d get more money from abortions.

Is more sex education in schools the answer? No! Heck no! We need real sex education, controlled by the parent, and preferably taught by the parent. There may be good programs parents can use. I'm told Utah recently adopted a good program, but I haven't seen it yet. If it's good, wouldn't it be best as a resource to parents? Churches can help. But promoting sex without morality is a bad experiment we need to end.

Nor do we need sexual repression. We don’t need to pretend it’s bad or disgusting. But we do need to celebrate it as the extremely important thing it is, and therefore keep it within marriage.

Let's stop, as a society, valuing sterility as a means of getting more irresponsible sex. And return to valuing fertility—which is a sign of health and vitality not only for women, but for all of civilization.

Chastity—for both men and women—leads to thriving civilization wherever it’s tried.

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