Thursday, March 28, 2013

The sexual revolution, in a graph

We've recently had a little tussle on this blog about PZ Myers' dishonest use of a graph of teen births in order to misrepresent the catastrophic consequences of the sexual revolution in America.

Here's a graph that the sexual revolutionaries don't show, and it tells the truth about the revolution:

Please read the article at the link. It's a superb detailed discussion of the enormous benefits that marriage confers to children, and the social and personal catastrophe of unwed childbearing.

Of course, not all of the horrendous rise in unwed childbirth is the consequence of the sexual revolution of the 60's and 70's, but much obviously is. Other factors include the explosion of welfare, "no fault" divorce, the growing ability of women to support themselves in the workforce, and the cultural devaluation of marriage.

Christian teaching has remained the same for 2000 years: sex only in marriage. It remains the best advice on the topic, and if followed, it would alleviate a massive amount of suffering.

The sexual revolution, and many societal changes that accompanied it, was an astonishing catastrophe.

Mary Eberstady observes:
The Sexual Revolution’s Predictable Results
 [There is a] unique intellectual denial that surrounds the sexual revolution. Everyone can now agree, thanks to many years of research, that smoking is bad for people; that too much food is bad for people; that alcohol in excess is bad for people; and that other behaviors need to be disciplined because science has convinced us they cause harm.
Yet the harms of the sexual revolution are also measurable — and prodigious. Fatherless homes, for example, are expensive; government often ends up picking up the pieces of the absent parent via welfare, subsidized day care, food stamps and other substitutes. 
This increases the tax burden on everyone, as well as increasing the numbers of people who need charity. Broken homes are also expensive in an even more important sense. They raise the risks for kids of emotional trouble, behavioral trouble, truancy, criminality and other outcomes that are statistically better avoided by the two-parent biological home. All this is well established by many years of sociological research. 
Those are just two examples of the downside of the revolution — and everyone could agree that these and other kinds of fallout were unfortunate, if the cause were anything other than something involving sex. 
But because so many people are so invested in the dominant laissez-faire view, which is that the revolution is off-limits for criticism, there is a fierce desire to avoid connecting those dots.

 Humanae Vitae was right. 


  1. And those are just the children BORN out of wedlock, not the children incinerated in Planned Parenthood's medical waste disposal units.

    There are probably plenty of reasons for this, but lack of contraceptives is not one of them. We have more contraceptives now than ever. Most are cheap and widely available, sometimes free. If it hasn't caused the spike, the availability of contraceptives and abortions certainly hasn't impeded it.

    I've noticed that "liberals" like to make a point by showing the declining teen birth rate. There is a reason they use teens rather than out-of-wedlock, and a reason they choose birth rates rather than pregnancy rates. The yardstick they choose is self-serving but ultimately meaningless.


  2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMarch 28, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Humanae Vitae was exactly right. In fact, I have a slide in my upcoming talk with a quote from H.V. on one side and a quote from Paul Ehrlich on the other.

  3. Anybody on this blog who

    (1) Never had sex out of wedlock?
    (2) Never used contraception?

    1. troy:

      And the relevance to our discussion?

    2. It's for my personal amusement. I enjoy seeing hypocrisy exposed.

      Now please answer these questions:

      (1) did you ever have sex out of wedlock?
      (2) did you or your partner ever use contraceptives?

      If the answer is 'yes' to either of these question, please explain why you disobeyed Christian teaching and tell us how you feel about going to hell.

    3. troy:

      Not living up to one's own standards is not hypocrisy. It's being human. We all stumble morally at times. None of us lives up to his/her standards consistently. That's not a reason not to have standards, and not a reason not to try.

      Hypocrisy is setting two different standards, one for oneself, one for others.

      Example: An atheist who in a time of crisis prays is not a hypocrite. He is just human, with human inconsistencies. An atheist who prays and believes that it is ok for him to do so, but not ok for others, is a hypocrite.

      None of this has anything to do with this discussion of the catastrophic results of the sexual revolution.

      Keep on topic.

    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMarch 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      "If the answer is 'yes' to either of these question, please explain why you disobeyed Christian teaching and tell us how you feel about going to hell."

      Your theology is almost as sophisticated as Dawkins', Troi.

    5. people go to hell when they don't confess. i think you just can't refute the blogger's point.


    6. Yo Troy,

      I certainly did. I slept with plenty of women, usually with condoms but a few times without. I also did a lot of drugs, got arrested a few times, totaled a few cars, and drank alcohol until my body nearly shut down. When I was at rock bottom I decided to start listening to that God fellow that my parents used to tell me about. Turns out he was real after all, and happy to have me home.

      I was a different person back then. That doesn't change the fact that the sexual revolution has consequences. Leftists are still in denial about this.


    7. Good for you, JQ.

      I don't buy the premise of the article, which seems to be that marriage causes an absence of child poverty. The negative correlation between child poverty and marriage is just that - a correlation.

      Couples can be responsible parents without being married or listening to that God fellow. My favorite example: my brother and his girlfriend (together 15 yrs) have 3 wonderful daughters. The only reason I married was to please my wife's folks. Didn't make my feelings for her grow stronger as far as I can tell.

      Don't fathers in the US have some legal financial responsibility for their kids if they bail on the mother and kids?

    8. Don't fathers in the US have some legal financial responsibility for their kids if they bail on the mother and kids?

      Yes they do. And most states have agencies set up specifically to monitor compliance and collect the money on behalf of single mothers.

    9. Thanks, anon, that's what I thought.

      I looked up the Dutch numbers, and it seems we're almost up there with the US blacks: 60% of first kids born out of wedlock - although the percentage is much lower for second and third kids.

      Yet poverty levels in the Netherlands are much lower than in the US. That's the really embarrassing take-home message from the article - the high US poverty levels. Not surprising given the shamefully low minimum wages and the huge inequality in the ever more feudal US society. But not to worry, Jesus will make it right in the afterlife, right?

    10. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMarch 28, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      Oh, I'm sure the government will take care of everything. They've done such a good job so far, why not trust them?

    11. I see that you're switching tactics here, Troy. Usually the argument goes that conservatives are just making crap up and that contraception has been a big success. Their preferred metric is teen birth rates. Now the argument is that rampant illegitimacy isn't such a bad thing.

      Here are some indisputable facts. Contraceptive devices are abundant, and some are cheap or even free. They have become more widely available since the 1960's, yet out-of-wedlock births are way, way up. This is occurring despite the fact that we now abort about a quarter of all pregnancies. Abortion is questionably safe (for the mother, not the child), very legal, and not at all rare. To me, abortion is the worst case scenario. It's better that the young parents deliver the child alive, but it's better yet not to make a baby in the first place.

      In the age of more contraceptive devices, there are more out-of-wedlock-births and more abortions. Isn't the first one supposed to prevent the second two?


    12. @JQ: I didn't know all that stuff about you. Sounds like you were the Prodigal Son. Welcome home.


    13. @troy

      Is Coitus interruptus using contraception?

      Troy (moronic) questions remind me of the guy who was accused of having sex with a dead woman. For his defence he said to the judge:

      "It was my wife, and I did not realized she was dead because she always was that cold!"

      Troy, go masturbate yourself, since this is the only way you can have sex!

    14. Peepee:

      Is Coitus interruptus using contraception?

      Yes it is. It's not the most reliable or safe method, though. I'm sure your parents weren't amused when they saw the little runt 9 months later.

    15. @troy:
      1. Yes.
      2. Yes.

      My story is much like JQ's. I had a very "sex-positive" upbringing, and my behavior (like that of my peers) was predictably destructive as I got older.

      How do I feel about going to Hell? I dread it, despise my own weakness, and put my trust in God's mercy. The mercy part is what's missing from your assumptions about Christian morality. And who could blame you? We Christians have done an abominable job proclaiming that most important part of the Gospel. In fact, I don't think we'd even be having this conversation if 20th century American Christians had adopted an attitude of mercy (rather than disdain and contempt) toward single mothers. People regard us as judgmental, sanctimonious, and selfish, and to a large extent that's our own damned fault.


    16. @JH:

      I had a rather wild youth as well. My marriage tamed me, because my wife is a saint and that's what I needed.

      We should most certainly adopt an attitude of mercy toward single mothers, and all sinners, including ourselves. But we have to be careful to tell the truth about sin, while loving the sinner.

      I think Pope Francis does it uncommonly well.

    17. Agreed. I think the new pope is just what we need right now.

      But we have to be careful to tell the truth about sin, while loving the sinner.

      I am increasingly convinced that liberal/conservative politics is a trick of the devil to derail Christianity. There should be no need for the word "but" when we discuss sin and mercy. Without sin, there is no need for mercy, after all. But liberals are so afraid of failing in mercy that they end up denying the reality of sin. And conservatives are so afraid of denying the reality of sin that they end up failing in mercy.

      American Christianity has been led into parallel heresies by the liberal/conservative political paradigm. Being led out of these heresies is going to be very uncomfortable for us on both ends, but also very, um, liberating.


    18. @JH:

      I agree wholeheartedly that there is no "but": fighting sin and giving mercy are of the same cloth. It is the core Christian moral law, and I think this is Francis' central moral message.

      You may be right about parallel heresies. The parable of the Prodigal Son seems to apply well.

      But do remember that, to use the analogy, that while the older son may have a cold heart at times, the younger son has proven quite deadly in our time.

      The excessive moralists and the abortionists are not on the same moral level.