Sexuality & Civilization

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Only societies that have successfully sublimated rampant male sexuality into marriage have built civilization.

The world is filled with countless cultures but only one civilization. A civilization eschews violence in favor of voting and replaces bullets with ballots. A civilization respects and values its women, escorting them onto the lifeboats before the men. It values life and protects it by advancing the study of science and medicine. It lifts its citizens from drudgery by promoting a vibrant economy. It prefers beauty to vulgarity and gentleness to brutality. Its basic unit is the family.

Every society that has successfully achieved civilization has learned that indulging human desire in unrestrained fashion leads both to personal and societal calamity. Everybody knows that overeating with no self-control is bad. People all recognize that alcohol without moderation brings massive problems. Yet, when it comes to sex, many feel that unrestrained indulgence is liberating and progressive. The tragedy is that unbridled concupiscence does more to rot the fabric of a society and erode the spirit of its citizens than almost anything else.

–Rabbi Daniel Lapin,
Saving Civilization,
https://rabbidaniellapin.com/saving-civilization/

A Schizophrenic View of Sex

6838-9c6f-43c5-bd1d-44e022344395Some people try to treat sex as an animal act. In a scene from the movie A Beautiful Mind, the brilliant but socially inept mathematician John Nash approaches an attractive woman in a bar: “Listen, I don’t have the words to say whatever it is that’s necessary to get you into bed, so can we just pretend I said those things and skip to the part where we exchange bodily fluids?” He learns quickly, from the imprint of her palm on his face, that reductionism does not work well as a pickup line.

Schizophrenic is the best way to describe modern society’s view of sexuality. On the one hand, scientists insist that we are organisms like any other animal, and that sex is a natural expression of that animal nature. The pornography industry (which in the U.S. grosses more money than all professional sports combined) happily complies, supplying sexual images of the famous and the anonymous to anyone willing to pay.

But when people truly act out their animal natures, society frowns in disapproval. John Nash gets slapped for telling the truth. A few states in the U.S. allow legalized prostitution, but no parents encourage their daughters to pursue such a career. Hollywood may glamorize adultery onscreen, but in real life it provokes pain and a rage sometimes strong enough to drive the wounded party to murder the rival or jump off a bridge.

The root cause of this schizophrenia is the attempt to reduce sex between humans to a purely physical act. For humans, unlike sheep or chimpanzees, sex involves more than bodies… [A]ny rape counselor knows that the real violence occurs on the inside and may lead to years of depression, nightmares, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction. Victims of abusive relatives and pedophiliac priests testify that something far more than a body gets hurt when a trusted adult abuses a child sexually. Decades later, suffering persists.

–Philip Yancey