Where Have Nine Decades Brought Us?
In no area of human life has there been such drastic social change as in that of sex.
Prior to the First World War, it was illegal in the United States to publish, sell or distribute a book of instruction on the subject of sex.
After World War One an avalanche of books, pamphlets, magazine and newspaper articles, teachings on sex, descended on the public. Yet in all this, the most vitally needed dimension of knowledge was missing.
This missing dimension in knowledge has not been revealed by religion, by the medical fraternity, by the “authorities” on the subject nor by higher education. It is a million times more valuable than the technical—physical knowledge. The latter, without the former can be, ultimately, disastrously fatal!
Today we live in a different world. Sex is everywhere discussed, and almost as promiscuously indulged. But the new “freedom” is by no means limited to the sexual response! The modern plunge has dived much deeper than even a modern society is aware!
First, take a swift overview of “progress” from the vantage point of the 1980s! Then a surprised (to those of 30 and below) glance back into the pre-World War years as it had been for some 4,000 years! Our camera zooms now into the Western world before and after – two divergent human societies!
The facts of life as we speed through the ‘80s have not hit us suddenly in a 24-hour day or a single week! The deadly contrast is not so apparent – because it came on us gradually over a period of nine decades – three full generations.
The “New Morality” world was spawned after the turn of the century. It developed from the embryo stage during World War One. It surged mostly among teens unnoticed by their parents on past World War Two .The emergence of television after that war gave the trend great impetus. Acceleration sped that downward plunge. The “New Morality” really surfaced during the ‘60s and blossomed into full bloom in the ‘70s.
Where are we now – in the year 2015?
In the United States, each year 750,000 girls ages 15-19 become pregnant. Conditions in England, Sweden and Western Europe rival this.
Today, with the avalanche of sex literature and sex education published since World War One and with sex everywhere freely discussed, the teens are indeed “wise” in sexual discussion and sexual experience, but still woefully ignorant in sex knowledge.
And of course they receive little or no sex education from their parents. The gutter-knowledge acquired from their peers is woefully inadequate. Yet they are “wise in their own conceits.” Like the boy whose father in agitated embarrassment said, “Johnnie, I think it’s time we had a talk about sex.” “Fine, Dad,” came the answer. ‘What’d you like to know?”
The foundational bulwark of any healthy stable and permanent society is the family unit.
Not long ago a third of marriages in the United States resulted in divorce. Today the divorce rate is swelled to one half of all marriages!
Before World War One it was a rare married woman who worked away from home. Today less than 13% of U.S. families include a working father, homemaking mother and one or more children! What would Abraham Lincoln think of that? Or even a Theodore Roosevelt? Or a Woodrow Wilson!
Millions of American men and women avoid marriage altogether – yet live together, either as unmarried heterosexuals or as homosexuals.
Today “authorities” say “change in partnership may be seen as predictable, understandable and even desirable. We’ll back away from the notice of lifelong marriage.”
Loosening attitudes toward sex, shout the “experts,” will help propel these changes. With legalized abortion, and improved contraception, sex will be equated with fun, pleasure, enjoyment, but not babies!
Since it is a basic truism that a solid family structure is the foundational bulwark of any stable and permanent society, this fact means only one thing – civilization as we know it is on the way down, and out – unless that great “Unseen Strong Hand from Someplace” soon intervenes and saves today’s sick society.
Bear in mind the present world in revolt is in rebellion against much more than pre-21st century sex repression. And the modern downward spiral of humanity involves a much wider area than sex alone.
Today the family structure of Western life is endangered by much more than illicit and promiscuous sex. Along with the modern sex rampage of adolescents has come other addictions that titillate, arouse, stimulate and please the physical senses.
Accompanying sexual indulgence has come, into teen life, alcohol and other drugs, tobacco, modern XXX-rated movies, gangsterism and violence.
They look for every pleasing, stimulating sensation. Some appeal to the sense of feel. Some to sight. Some to hearing – like hard rock and rap music with the sensual beat and the rhythm. Some to the sense of smell. People smell tobacco smoke. But you cannot taste smoke! But the smell of tobacco smoke becomes addictive in the nostril, and affects body and mind in the lungs, as marijuana, opium and other smoke affects the mind, and stimulates. One gets “high” and experiences new sensations. Heroin and other hard drugs even more so. Nearly all who become hooked on the hard drugs started on marijuana.
The movies bring “pleasures” through the sense of sight and of sound. Kids spend hours a day before the “one-eyed monster.” It provides a ready-made day dream. And misuse not only dulls the mind, television has been a prime medium by which the antifamily conspiracy has injected its deadly poison into juvenile and adult minds.
Make no mistake, television is an industry devoted to entertainment – pure and simple! Of course one finds occasionally on television a truly educational and/or worthwhile program or documentary. But television is a business for profits in America. It provides entertainment so that people have “commercial” selling goods and services thrust before them. The entertainers and announcers who are themselves primarily entertainers – say before a “commercial break,” “Stay tuned,” or “We’ll be right back – don’t’ go away.” The viewer is literally forced to allow the commercial huckster to inject his sales pitch into the mind.
Another modern evil – seldom recognized as such – is the working wife and mother.
Family life has undergone a radical revolution! Teens have sex games at home in bed while Dad and Mom are at work. Children do not eat with parents. They seldom go to movies with parents. Parents have their lives, associates and friends apart from the children. Parents don’t think of teaching children, being with children, maintaining a family relationship! Parental responsiblity is totally neglected. In due time parents are going to be brought to account for this neglect of basic responsibility.
The young people of today have little awareness of the sex and family conditions in pre-war years. In fact, until 1914 there had been little basic change for some 4,000 years! The prior- to- 1914 years were as different from today’s world as day is from night!
Parents then, even as now, taught their children nothing about sex. They themselves knew nothing! Their parents never had taught them! Besides, it would have been too embarrassing! The commonly accepted dictum was, “Keep our children innocent through ignorance until marriage – then instinct will teach them.”
But instinct did not teach them. Humans, unlike animals do not come equipped with instinct. Blindly, with a smattering of gutter-acquired mis-knowledge, the newly married blundered their way into disillusionments, shattered dreams, bitter resentments, and frustrations – and, too often, the divorce courts, although divorces were still a rarity.
True, a very large percentage of girls were kept “pure.” The girl, up until 1914, who lost her virginity unmarried, had also “lost her honor.” Of course a double standard had developed. Every man wanted a virgin for a wife, but a majority were less careful about male virtue. Yet the girl who had “gone the limit” was “damaged goods.”
Those under 30 today know little about prevailing attitudes and sexual behavior prior to the two world wars. Contrariwise, if a girl who died at age 22 prior to 1917 were resurrected suddenly back to life today, she would be appalled! – horrified! – at the prevailing attitude and behavior of 22-year-old (or even younger) girls today!
Just what are the generally unrealized facts? What was the real origin of the then traditional Christian morality?
And conversely, what triggered the moral revolution – the so-called “New Morality”? How did today’s moderns come to accept present attitudes and behavior patterns? What has finally, after thousands of years of the “sex-is –shameful” repression, plunged the world into prevalent sexual “freedoms”?
What, after all, are the true values? Was the pre-World War concept better for humanity? Is the present “New Morality” really advancement – really better for those who are swept along with it?
People who lived prior to the 20th century would be aghast if they could see life as it is lived today. Up until World War One people believed in marriage and family life. Marriage was “until death do us part.” Any other status or life-style would have been strange and shocking. But what brought this drastic change?
We will answer this perplexing question in future installments of Love, Marriage and Sex. Be watching for their postings on the cognwm.org website.