OneNews NowMarcia Segelstein
Writing in the Sunday bulletin, my priest recently decried the secularization of society, and specifically the relegation of sex to a mere biological function. "The conjugal act is sacred in that it has the potential to bring an immortal soul into existence," he wrote. Those words struck me as so clear and concise and profound. It was something I already knew, but had never thought of precisely in those terms. How is it that as a culture we've come to treat sex so lightly, to remove it so far from the realm of the sacred?
The answers are complex, but to a large degree can be traced back to one man: Alfred Kinsey. I've written previously about the work of Dr. Judith Reisman in exposing the lies Kinsey spread in his two seminal books, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Based on false data, Kinsey convinced Americans that they weren't who they thought they were, writes Reisman. With the help of a fawning media to spread the word, Kinsey undermined the Judeo-Christian foundations of marriage and family which had been firmly in place during those post-World War II years. Phony statistics "proved" that premarital sex and adultery were commonplace. If fidelity and chastity weren't really being practiced by others, why cling to what must be old-fashioned and outmoded ideas? A Pandora's box was opened, and the seeds of the sexual revolution were sown.
Undoubtedly many of us can attest either through personal experience or that of friends and family to the damage done to the baby boomers who bought into that revolution. "Free love" wasn't about love, it was about sex. It was about sex without commitment or consequences or even caring. Sex sacred? That idea got lost in the purple haze of a self-absorbed generation.
But back to Alfred Kinsey. As Reisman discusses in her latest book, Sexual Sabotage: How One Mad Scientist Unleashed a Plague of Corruption and Contagion on America, his legacy lives on for the next generation in the form of SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. It was Kinsey's followers who started SIECUS, now one of the foremost providers of "comprehensive" sex education to schools. In accordance with Kinsey's teaching that children are sexual from birth, sex is treated not only as a biological function, but a function to be encouraged. A comprehensive sex ed curriculum doesn't dwell on how babies are conceived. It teaches children all about the different ways they can give and receive sexual pleasure from others. Oh, and there's likely to be considerable information provided on practicing "safer sex," including hands-on lessons requiring students to put condoms on bananas. Imagine how difficult it would be to walk out of one of those classes believing that "sex" and "sacred" even belong in the same sentence.
In her book Epidemic: How Teen Sex is Killing Our Teens, pediatrician Meg Meeker describes the teenage patients she began to see in her middle and upper-income suburban practice starting in the 1990s:
- Fourteen-year-old Lori almost died in the emergency room from an abscess on her ovary caused by pelvic inflammatory disease, brought on by chlamydia contracted while having sex with her boyfriend. With one ovary removed and the other badly scarred, Dr. Meeker writes that it's unlikely Lori will be able to bear children.
- Seventeen-year-old Alex came into her office in serious pain from blisters caused by what turned out to be genital herpes. Dr. Meeker was able to given him pain medication and antibiotics, but she also had to explain to Alex that herpes is a virus and it would always be with him. The three girls with whom he's had sex had to be notified of their possible exposure. In a visit one year later, Alex confided to Dr. Meeker that he had considered suicide.
- Meg was a college freshman who'd started having sex at age 17 with her boyfriend. He was followed by another boyfriend, who was followed by two others "a coupla times with each." Now, at the age of 19, Meg had been diagnosed with several strains of HPV (human papillomavirus). Her pap smear showed the presence of precancerous cells, caused by the HPV. Part of Meg's cervix had to be removed to prevent full-blown cancer, and Dr. Meeker learned from the gynecologist later that it will be difficult for Meg to bear children.
There are consequences to sex: viruses, cancer, infertility, depression, to say nothing of unwanted pregnancies. When we present sex to teens as a smorgasbord of pleasures from which to choose, we condemn them to suffer the inevitable repercussions. And the worst of those may be the inability to recognize sex as profound and sacred.