Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Sex ed and the culture wars

This is an unpredictably interesting review of an unpredictably interesting book. One snippet:

Luker traces the debate about sex education back to its invention by the “social hygienists” of the Progressive era, but she locates the source of present-day hostilities in the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, which she calls as “disorienting and historically important” as the French, American and Russian Revolutions. “Like them,” she writes, “it will continue to reshape human life in profound ways for many, many years to come.”

Another:

The advent of contraception and abortion may have allowed some women to pursue their dreams, but “by loosening men’s ties to marriage and family” it made those more interested in marriage than careers more likely to wind up as poor, single mothers. Luker also thinks that marriage is under stress, although, being a sociologist, she ascribes that stress to socioeconomic forces — the impoverishment of the working class, which makes the poor less able to afford marriage; the rise of a wealthy elite free not to worry about the vicissitudes of single parenthood — rather than to declining American morals. Luker even sees merit in abstinence education. While researching her book, she was stunned to learn how much pressure teenagers now put on one another to have sex. By making it a virtue to refrain, she says, “abstinence programs may in fact provide valuable social support for the idea that young people (young women in particular) don’t have to be sexually active if they don’t want to be.” They could create a “zone of sexual autonomy.”

Discussions - 1 Comment

Joe- I am running into a brick wall trying to replicate the reasoning behind this:

"by loosening men’s ties to marriage and family” it made those more interested in marriage than careers more likely to wind up as poor, single mothers."

First of all, it seems to me that both contraception and abortion have been around before the sexual revolution, just not for the average woman. Second, I want to know how they loosen anyone’s ties to marriage and family? There are many reasons to get married other than an unwanted child, and also, there are many, many people who get married and then have WANTED children after earlier using contraception, and possibly, after having had an abortion. Why are mens’ ties to marriage and family loosened any more than womens’?

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