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The Sexual Revolution: What Went Wrong - November 2018

posted Nov 8, 2018, 7:23 PM by RSO The Fenwick Review

By Anonymous

It seems that we are starting to subtly backpedal on many of the leaps towards progress we have made in recent history (particularly the 20th century) because we realize what we once thought was progress is actually destructive. The Sexual Revolution, in particular, stands out as a prime example of a reach for respect and equality that, in many aspects, took those virtues away. Many components of the Sexual Revolution have led to some of the most challenging problems people, and specifically young adults, face.

First, one of the most visible effects of the Sexual Revolution is the widespread acceptance and prescription of “The Pill.” While the benefits and risks are widely debated, the medical community has accepted the birth control pill as Gospel. They use it as a band-aid solution for additional issues young women deal with while simultaneously promoting it as the most legitimate form of contraception (second only to the IUD). If so many women are on the pill, what is the problem? For one, many women begin taking birth control hormones as teenagers; according to one study done by Reuters, approximately “eighteen percent of teenage women ages 13 to 18 filled prescriptions for oral contraceptives in 2009.” The first time a doctor recommended hormonal birth control to me, I was twelve. Young women are hardly developed before they begin to take regular doses of hormones, which many of them will take for years on end. We do not even like to drink hormones in our milk, so why does it make any sense to put regular doses of hormones into our bodies for years without blinking? For many, the answer is fear.

Second, that fear of pregnancy and loss of respect for motherhood can also be accredited to the Sexual Revolution. While unplanned pregnancy was one of the great fears that led to the development of birth control and, in part, the Sexual Revolution, the irony of it all is that women are more afraid of an unplanned pregnancy than ever. The Women’s Movement that coincided with the Sexual Revolution put women in the workplace, which is monumental and ought to be appreciated. But the culture of working women led to many people looking down on motherhood as less than a career - as if women are not living up to their potential or succeeding if they become mothers. Young women are so afraid to have children because there is glory in a career, but shame in early motherhood.

Third, another destructive component of the Sexual Revolution is the liberal view of sexual relationships that led to modern day “hookup culture.” The increasingly lax view of sex has perpetuated it in the form of casual one-night stands. Attempting to eliminate emotions from sex has caused feelings around it, committed relationships, and interactions with the opposite sex to warp. Emotions only become more confusing and misunderstandings more likely to happen, especially if snapchat usernames are exchanged. As a result, kids are growing up with sexual pressure coming at them from all sides. Part of hookup culture is the expectations that society and we, ourselves, place on our peers and friends. Women are expected to have sex, but not too much sex. Men compete with their peers to be seen as sexually, and therefore, generally, competent. As a result, we are all boxed into some kind of shame, while our sexual actions and abilities are examined as some sort of measure of our value as people. This is why millenials do not have a clear idea of true feminine and masculine virtues. These virtues have been twisted into things that become toxic: in hookup culture, we are all just using each other.

Fourth, an offshoot of hookup culture is one of the most well-known effects of the Sexual Revolution: the increasing occurrence of sexually-transmitted diseases. It is estimated that one in four college students will contract an STD during their time at school. I mean, yikes. So gross. Nothing more to say about that one.

Fifth, there is less respect for religion, the sanctity of marriage, committed relationships, the unborn, and women. Things that we once saw as sacred are now seen as disposable, for they do not align with the way people want to have sex. Just like everything else in a culture of instant gratification, we want pleasure like our fast food (immediately! yesterday!), or if we are particularly patient, our Amazon Prime shipping (two days is tolerable, same-day is preferred). When we treat sex and love in this way, we cheapen it, we make it less valuable. We dilute the greatness of marriage when we try to imitate it, only resulting in a knock-off. When we women try to “have sex like men” we are just exhausting and hurting ourselves to even the score, just to say we are “equal.”

Sixth, a sub-effect of viewing people as disposable is a normalization of abortion, and therefore, an increase in abortion. According to the World Health Organization, approximately  40 to 50 million people are aborted each year; 125,000 people are aborted each day. This is the world’s greatest poverty; we run a 125,000 person deficit each day worldwide. The selfishness on part of our culture, large institutions with larger lobbying budgets, and the media prey on terrified women in difficult situations.

Seventh, and last, is another sub-effect of the objectification of people as a means to an end: rape culture. When we start to treat each other as disposable and worthless, we step into dangerous territory. People are complex, multi-dimensional, and full of value and potential for greatness. When we look at anyone and simply see an opportunity to fulfill our sexual desires, it is a massive oversight of the value another person carries. When we see other people as objects, our culture loses its humanity.

So, what are we to do? We should backpedal on destructive activities and change what we can to create a healthier view of sex in society. For example, the medical community should be encouraged to explore holistic medical treatment for ailments young women face. Natural Family Planning should be more accessible to all people and recognized as the credible pregnancy prevention and health tracking method it is. We need to start talking about sex and sexuality in a way that does not pose sex and morality as mutually exclusive. We must reframe sexual education so that it can be informative and not posed as a battle between abstinence and Godless” sexual teaching. We have to start appreciating mothers for what they are: heroes who shape human beings through hard work and endless effort. We must start respecting each other, regardless of sexual rumors and reputations on college campuses. And, most importantly, we must make a conscious effort to view people as full of worth rather than just sexual potential.

These are big problems that require big changes, but if respect grows, so can solutions. Perhaps the “modern woman” will not have to use people to feel equal to men, and men will not use people to feel manly.