Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

How secular leftists misuse science to normalize sexual anarchy

Jay Richards tweeted this article Touchstone magazine.

Here’s part of it:

Here is how the Mead Method works. It has four easily memorized steps. You begin by proving that some behavior is natural, in the sense of being enjoyed by primitive people, who are assumed to be far closer to the basic human realities than we are. As the Chronicle’s writer put it:

Less than 50 years ago, Canela women, who live in Amazonian Brazil, enjoyed the delights of as many as 40 men one after another in festive rituals. When it was time to have a child, they’d select their favorite dozen or so lovers to help their husband with the all-important task. Even today, when the dalliances of married Bar ladies in Colombia and Venezuela result in a child, they proudly announce the long list of probable fathers.

Then you find some way to show that the behavior works. If to our overdeveloped modern eyes it looks like self-indulgence or sluttishness, it is actually a rational and effective way of living. An anthropologist quoted in the article claims that the more possible fathers a child has, the more men will take care of him and his mother. As the writer put it, “Fooling around appears to have helped our ancestral mothers equip their little ones for success—the sexual equivalent of reading to them every night or enrolling in the after-school chess club.”

Having established to your satisfaction that the behavior is not only natural but effective, you then declare that all such behaviors are just social constructions anyway and ours (the modern, still sort of Christian way) is really not nearly so common as we would like to think. To do this the writer quotes an anthropologist who studied tribes in Paraguay and Tanzania, who said, “This model of the death-do-us-part, missionary-position couple is just a tiny part of human history. The patterns of human sexuality are so much more variable.”

At this point, the case is often strengthened by caricaturing the present. That “missionary-position couple” is supposed, I think, to suggest “dull.” It can be strengthened even more by not stopping to ask what the patterns found in history might actually be. Perhaps there are only a few patterns, and contemporary marriage an expression (as it seems to be) of a dominant mode by which human societies try to restrain the destructive effects of human sexual desire and direct it to social ends.

Finally, you imply, without quite saying it, that the primitive behavior would work just as well for us, it being (though a social construction) more natural and all. The writer does this with quotes, like this one from a William Crocker of the Smithsonian Institution: “Multiple lovers, that’s just part of the life. It’s recreation, just like races and running. It’s all done in the spirit of joy and fun.”

The Margaret Mead Method, in either its original or modified form, is a very useful method . . . if you’re a creep. It proves—to the standard of the man with his pants halfway off and the woman who has gotten a better offer than her husband the couch potato will make, anyway—that sexual libertinism is natural and sexual restraint unnatural, and since being natural is always good, you ought to let go and have fun, just like the jolly party girls of the South American tribes.

This is why Coming of Age in Samoa made Mead famous. You want to have an affair with the babe next door? Well, those darling little Samoans living in a state of nature are doing it all the time, and look how happy and fulfilled and innocent they are. Margaret Mead said so. It’s scientific. You feel guilty? You’re a modern man afflicted with Judeo-Christian guilt, but just ignore it—socially constructed and unnatural as it is—and enjoy the pleasures nature and evolution have provided for you.

I am afraid this is the idea these stories almost always promote, whatever insights into the nature of a fallen creation they provide. They begin with reports of young Samoans having free and joyful sex among the palm trees, and end with middle-aged Barney desperately betraying his wife at the Hampton Inn.

Now this is supposed to be a hopeful, helpful blog post, so let me give you some advice.

There are things you can do to get around the older people who try to sell you this in school and in the culture. You have to do your own research, and learn the consequences of getting rid of the rules around sexual conduct before you break them.

First, read Romans 1, and understand that people who are doing evil things feel better about what they are doing if they can get you to approve of it, celebrate it, and subsidize it. So keep that in mind when people are telling you that something wrong is “right”.

Second, understand that people who are teaching you in school often portray themselves one way in class, but in actual fact, their private lives are totally messed up. It’s tempting to give them more respect than they deserve.

Third, it’s good to be think critically about what you see in the culture, and to read history in order to gain a perspective that allows you to judge what is seen as normal in your own time.

Fourth, it’s good to read studies to find out what happens next, should you take some course of action that is “normal”. For example, it’s a very good idea to research the link between the number of premarital sexual partners and divorce rate.

Fifth, you should be skeptical of people who misuse science in order to push an agenda. Just understand where they are going and then see if they might not be abusing science to get there. It happens all the time – just look at how global cooling / global warming has been used to justify increased control of energy development and consumption by government.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , ,

How much do we pay as a society for removing the rules around love and marriage?

Dina sent me this UK Daily Mail article.

It says:

The cost of family breakdown to the country has shot up by more than £10 billion a year since 2009, a study found yesterday.

It put the price to taxpayers in 2015 of clearing up the damage after families fail and looking after the separated adults and children at £47.31 billion.

The bill takes in the cost of benefits, health and social care, housing, policing and the courts, and the price of failure in the education system of children hurt by divorce or the parting of their parents.

The Relationships Foundation think tank said that the money spent because of family breakdown amounts to three per cent of the economic product of the country and each taxpayer will have to contribute £1,546.

The bill has risen from £37.03 billion since the costs were first calculated in 2009. Over the past year alone, despite falling costs for policing, vandalism and disciplinary problems in schools attributable to family breakdown, the cost has risen by £1.55 billion.

Now the further along we go into the sexual revolution, the more the rules slip off and the more the costs go up. But don’t try to tell any secular leftists that marriage is necessary to keep government small and tax bills low – they are so committed to “anything goes” moral relativism when it comes to sex that no restrictions of any kind are acceptable to them.

Let’s see some more numbers from the United States.

Divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing cost U.S. taxpayers more than $112 billion a year, according to a study commissioned by four groups advocating more government action to bolster marriages.

Sponsors say the study is the first of its kind and hope it will prompt lawmakers to invest more money in programs aimed at strengthening marriages. Two experts not connected to the study said such programs are of dubious merit and suggested that other investments — notably job creation — would be more effective in aiding all types of needy families.

There have been previous attempts to calculate the cost of divorce in America. But the sponsors of the new study, being released Tuesday, said theirs is the first to gauge the broader cost of “family fragmentation” — both divorce and unwed childbearing.

The study was conducted by Georgia State University economist Ben Scafidi. His work was sponsored by four groups who consider themselves part of a nationwide “marriage movement” — the New York-based Institute for American Values, the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, Families Northwest of Redmond, Wash., and the Georgia Family Council, an ally of the conservative ministry Focus on the Family.

[…]Scafidi’s calculations were based on the assumption that households headed by a single female have relatively high poverty rates, leading to higher spending on welfare, health care, criminal justice and education for those raised in the disadvantaged homes. The $112 billion estimate includes the cost of federal, state and local government programs, and lost tax revenue at all levels of government.

Now I blog a lot about the kinds of behaviors that cause marriages to break down – all of which are pushed by radical feminists. We have the sexual revolution, recreational premarital sex, no fault divorce, single mother welfare, and so on – all of these things make it easier for people to break up and harder for them to see relationships as self-sacrificial and permanent. Opening the door to gay marriage is just another redefinition that will remove marital norms like permanence and exclusivity. The more unstable marriage is, the more it creates expensive litigation. The more children grow up without fathers and/or mothers, the more we have to pay in social programs.

Love is a serious business.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

It’s Sex Week on major university campuses

Time for students to learn all about drunken immoral pre-marital sex, thanks to your tax dollars.

Let’s start with the College Fix‘s report on the “Sex Ed Warrior Queen”.

They write:

When Megan Andelloux comes to campus, no object is off-limits for being sexualized – including a genitalia-themed puppet.

The clinical sexologist and former Planned Parenthood educator, known professionally as “Oh Megan” and a self-described “Sex Ed Warrior Queen,” encouraged Vanderbilt University students to masturbate in their seats even as she spoke during an interactive sex workshop Tuesday on campus.

“Want to Be Brilliant in Bed?” was sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center…

She led a workshop at the University of Tennessee last year that described an orgasm as a “political act,” as The College Fix reported.

[…]Andelloux did not shy away from graphic details or descriptions of “sexual adventures” throughout her workshop.

[…]Andelloux also expertly demonstrated how to put on a condom using only her mouth, according to a female student who stayed for the entire two-hour workshop and asked not to be named.

Very important to note sexualizing college students is a “political act” sponsored by the Women’s Center. That’s where this stuff comes from – feminists. And this is what universities do with their money – it’s not to teach you how to program in Java or C#, it’s to make you accept the left’s view of sexuality and reproduction.

Next up, Campus Reform reports on feminism at the University of Utah.

They write:

Students at the University of Utah can win a year’s supply of birth control, including pills or a vasectomy, this week during Sex Week events.

According to a promotional flyer from the public school, U of U’s Center for Student Wellness, Students for Choice, and Planned Parenthood have partnered for this year’s Sex Week, beginning on Feb., 9.

“The more events you attend, the more chances you’ll have to win a year’s supply of the birth control or STD protection of your choice,” the flyer reads.

The flyer says that the birth control options are limited to those offered at Planned Parenthood, which are: 365 condoms, a 12-month supply of pills, one Intrauterine Device (IUD), four Depo-Provera shots, one diaphragm, one vasectomy, 12 NuvaRings, 52 OrthoEvra patches, one Implanon, or information on fertility awareness methods.

The events include a wellness fair, panel discussions, and a showing of “ Obvious Child,” a movie about a young woman who chooses to get an abortion.

[…]Katie Stiel, program manager at the Center for Student Wellness, told Fox 13 that Students for Choice “went through the appropriate channels” to get funding for the events and it would not be removed from campus or cancelled.

Note that Christian clubs and pro-life clubs are being de-funded and disbanded by student governments, but using taxpayer dollars for this is no problem!

Last one is actually not about Sex Week, it’s about feminism magazines.

This is from the Federalist:

True confession: Until last week, I had never read Cosmopolitan magazine. I actually kind of like fashion magazines, as a genre: The more spacey-eyed, pouting women in $900 shoes slumping against helicopters parked on yachts the better, I always say! That said, I tend to shrink from those fuschia-flecked, scantily clad drugstore nightmare sheets that screech at me to “HAVE BREAK THE BED SEX!!” when I’m just trying to mind my own business and buy some freaking dental floss.

The genius of Cosmo, of course—and, I suspect, the reason it’s the most popular magazine for young women in America—is that it will breezily suggest 131 creative ways to WEAR NOTHING BUT THAT FREAKING DENTAL FLOSS whilst you DRIVE YOUR MAN BATTY IN THE BOUDOIR. So with Sex Week arriving at the Federalist, I decided to enter uncharted territory. I would not only read Cosmo, but I would try its sex tips!

Here is her conversation with her husband:

ME: Here’s one. [Reads headline aloud.] “I Basted My Boyfriend Like a Sexy Thanksgiving Turkey!”

I did garner some male feedback on Cosmo’s rather earnest and disturbing sex-advice column.

HIM: Um.

ME: “I Took My Boyfriend to A Dominatrix!”

HIM: Nope. [Refrains from making eye contact, which is puzzling, as I did not just order a fancy and intimidating Cotes Du Rhone.]

ME: “I Covered Myself in Food For Sex!”

HIM: [Looking up.] Hey, didn’t George Constanza do that once on “Seinfeld”? No, no, wait. He just wanted to eat a sandwich while having sex.

[LONG PAUSE.]

HIM: This is getting ridiculous.

ME: “I Tried All the Sex From ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ in 1 Weekend!”

HIM: Who are these people?

That article made me laugh.

If you’re a young marriage-minded man of some means, and your heart is set on marriage and children, you will have to search far and wide to find a young, unmarried woman who desires the same. Young unmarried women don’t want marriage and children, they want free birth control and kinky sex. It’s “adventurous” and marriage with children is “boring”.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Should Christians support feminism?

I am going to link to a post on Lindsay’s Logic in a little bit, but first I want to tell you a little bit about her so we can see if she is a good judge of feminism.

About the author:

Hi, I’m Lindsay. To tell you a little about me, I am a Christian, a wife, a mother of two girls, a homeschool graduate, a future homeschooling mom, a young-earth creationist, and a biologist. I started blogging in order to post my thoughts on a variety of worldview topics. These include such things as inalienable rights, conservatism, marriage and family, creation/evolution, abortion, Biblical apologetics, and Bible study. I also post recipes from time to time.

She has a Masters degree in biology and used to teach biology before becoming a stay-at-home homeschooling mother.

Here is her post on feminism. I count many problems with feminism in her post, but I just want to focus on a couple and urge you to click through to read the rest.

First the intro:

In some of my past posts (see here and here), I have pointed out some of the problems with feminism in passing. I keep getting comments that I’m wrong about feminism and that it’s just about equality and rights for women. However, I think many of those who call themselves feminists don’t realize what the movement has become. They haven’t kept up with the times.

Feminism may have started out as a movement to secure equal rights for women, but it has gone far beyond that today. People wanted to keep the movement going, even though equality has already been achieved, so they had to invent new horrors to rally people around their cause.

Thus, modern feminism does indeed see mothers being at home with their children as archaic, patriarchal, and oppressive. They elevate women in the workforce as being “strong women” while pointedly never referring to stay at home moms as such. They subtly (or not-so-subtly) tell women that stay home that they’re weaker or being controlled in some way.

Feminists have a negative view of sex, which leads to sex-withholding:

In the realm of sex, some of the more radical feminist leaders view any and all sex with a man as rape. Yes, they have actually said that. Even short of that, the very idea that a man must beg and cajole his wife for sex and she has all the power to say yes or no – widely passed off as normal in media of all kinds and praised as “equality” by feminists – is completely emasculating and degrading to men.

I think today a lot of women use premarital sex as a way of getting what they want – usually acceptance and attention. But if they marry, and no longer have to worry about “earning” the acceptance and attention, the sex stops. I think Lindsay is right to link to feminism.

One more:

Even worse, feminists are now framing the “equality” debate in terms of access to abortion. They speak of abortion as a “women’s rights issue” and tell us that those who oppose abortion want to keep women in subjection. Apparently, they think women cannot be equal to men unless they can kill their children in the womb and thus avoid the uniquely female consequences of sex.

There’s no question that feminism is wedded to the idea that in order for a woman to be able to do the same things that a man does, she needs to be able to terminate her unborn children.

Last one:

What’s more, feminists of today love to point out the many duties of men (such as getting a job) while denying that women have any duties. They pretend that a woman’s greater empathy and emotional bent is an unqualified good that men are simply deficient in (while saying that men are better than women at anything is widely considered taboo). They insinuate (if not outright say) that women are more spiritual and more naturally good, and so on. It’s everywhere. Our society is full of mostly subtle, and sometimes blatant, knocks against men while elevating women. Today’s feminists not only praise this as an accomplishment, but are pushing for more.

This one is important because so many Christians believe that the solution to every problem is for men to “man up” and enter into relationships with self-centered women because the women desire them to. But the ability of a man to engage in a long-term project like marriage-parenting is negatively affected by preferential treatment for women in the schools and in the workplace. The harder it is for him to do well in school and in the workplace, the less comfortable he feels about making a commitment to marrry and have children. Also, who wants to marry a woman who has been taught to be self-centered? Most men won’t want marriage, if that’s what marriage is. Men have needs, too.

Click through and read the whole thing. I’m sure you’ll find out something you didn’t know about feminism as it is today.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

New study: couples that delay sexual activity experience higher quality relationships

Relationship stability, quality, communication, satisfaction

Relationship stability, quality, communication, satisfaction

From Family Studies, news about TWO new studies.

Excerpt: (links removed)

[T]wo recently published studies call into question the validity of testing sexual chemistry early in dating.

My colleagues and I published the first study a few years ago in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology. This study involved a national sample of 2,035 married individuals who participated in the popular online couple assessment survey called “RELATE.” We found that the longer a dating couple waits to have sex, the better their relationship is after marriage. In fact, couples who wait until marriage to have sex report higher relationship satisfaction (20% higher), better communication patterns (12% better), less consideration of divorce (22% lower), and better sexual quality (15% better) than those who started having sex early in their dating (see Figure 2). For couples in between—those that became sexually involved later in their dating, but prior to marriage—the benefits were about half as strong.

[…]These patterns were statistically significant even when controlling for a variety of other variables such as respondents’ number of prior sexual partners, education levels, religiosity, and relationship length.

The second study, by Sharon Sassler and her colleagues at Cornell University, also found that rapid sexual involvement has adverse long-term implications for relationship quality. Using data from the Marital and Relationship Survey, which provides information on nearly 600 low- to moderate-income couples living with minor children, their study examined the tempo of sexual intimacy and subsequent relationship quality in a sample of married and cohabiting men and women. Their analyses also suggest that delaying sexual involvement is associated with higher relationship quality across several dimensions.

They discovered that the negative association between sexual timing and relationship quality is largely driven by a link between early sex and cohabitation. Specifically, sexual involvement early in a romantic relationship is associated with an increased likelihood of moving more quickly into living together, which in turn is associated with lower relationship quality. This finding supports Norval Glenn’s hypothesis that sexual involvement may lead to unhealthy emotional entanglements that make ending a bad relationship difficult. As Sassler and her colleagues concluded, “Adequate time is required for romantic relationships to develop in a healthy way. In contrast, relationships that move too quickly, without adequate discussion of the goals and long-term desires of each partner, may be insufficiently committed and therefore result in relationship distress, especially if one partner is more committed than the other” (p. 710).

The rest of the post talks about two reasons why this works: improved partner selection and prioritizing communication and commitment. Improved partner selection occurs because you haven’t committed too much too soon (sexually) and you have time to let things play out to see if you really fit with the other person. And if you take sex off the table, then you have to use other means in order to build emotional intimacy – communication, service, support, etc.

That’s two studies, and there’s a third. Dina sent me this article from the UK Daily Mail about a new study showing the importance of chastity for relationship quality and stability.

Excerpt:

New couples who jump into bed together on the first date do not last as long in relationships as those who wait a new study has revealed.

Using a sample of almost 11,000 unmarried people, Brigham Young University discovered a direct correlation between the length and strength of a partnership and the amount of time they took to have first have sex.

The study showed that those who waited to initiate sexual intimacy were found to have longer and more positive outcomes in their relationships while those who couldn’t help themselves reported that their dalliances struggled to last more than two years.

‘Results suggested that waiting to initiate sexual intimacy in unmarried relationships was generally associated with positive outcomes,’ said the report authored published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

‘This effect was strongly moderated by relationship length, with individuals who reported early sexual initiation reporting increasingly lower outcomes in relationships of longer than two years.’

The study examined four sexual-timing patterns: Having sex prior to dating, initiating sex on the first date or shortly after, having sex after a few weeks of dating, and sexual abstinence.

Each one of these fields yielded different results in relationship satisfaction, stability and communication in dating situations.

Here’s another recent study that shows that if a woman has more than her husband as a premarital sex partner, her risk of divorce increases.

His findings:

Using nationally representative data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, I estimate the association between intimate premarital relationships (premarital sex and premarital cohabitation) and subsequent marital dissolution. I extend previous research by considering relationship histories pertaining to both premarital sex and premarital cohabitation. I find that premarital sex or premarital cohabitation that is limited to a woman’s husband is not associated with an elevated risk of marital disruption.However, women who have more than one intimate premarital relationship have an increased risk of marital dissolution.

Here’s another study that makes it even more clear.

Findings:

Data from the 1988 US National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) were utilized to assess the impact of premarital sexual activity on subsequent marital stability. Among white NSFG subjects first married in 1965-85, virgin brides were significantly less to have become separated or divorced (25%) than women who had not been virgins at marriage (35%).

[…]The lower risk of divorce on the part of white women with no premarital sexual experience persisted even after numerous intervening and background variables were controlled.

This study supports what the Bible says about chastity and premarital sex:

1 Cor. 7:8-9:

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to stay single as I am.

9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

The idea of “burning” here has to do with sexual desire. Here Paul tells all unmarried people that if they cannot control their sexual desires, they need to get married. Why? Because Paul assumes that one cannot fulfill this sexual desire outside of the marital bed. While Paul would love for them to remain single (1 Cor. 7:7), he believes that sex outside of marriage is a destructive sin and cannot be used as a gratifying release of our sexual passions.

If you’re going to talk to a young person about sex, it’s a good idea to use these studies to explain what you lose by having sex too early in the relationship. Although they may respond with anecdotes to refute studies, studies are important because they represent LOTS of data points, not just one or two cherry-picked cases. My view on all this is the Bible’s view – no sex before marriage. But when talking to people about this issue, I find it useful to have evidence ready in order to be convincing in every way possible.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , ,

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