Scam Artists and Sex Education

Scam Artists and Sex Education, by Carl Trueman.

One of the oddest aspects of the sexual revolution is its tendency to present the problem as the solution. For instance, during the 1980s, the least acceptable response to the AIDS crisis was the promotion of abstinence. Promiscuity was held to be normative, opponents of it were decried as idiotic and prudish, and any acceptable solution had to be built on these foundational truths.

Thirty years on, the failed pattern continues. Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that researchers are calling for sex education to reflect the increasing range of sexual activity in which young people are engaged. The change in sexual habits is presented not as a problem, but as a reality to be accommodated.

This makes perfect sense, given the divorce of sexual activity from any kind of moral framework or personal narrative. As sex is essentially amoral (except when consent is absent—and then it is only the violation of consent, not the sex, that is immoral), so the education that surrounds it is amoral, too. …

Yet why should sex education be “tailored to the realities of young people’s experiences,” as the article says? Why not address instead the factors that determine those experiences, by putting sex back in its rightful place, within an appropriate moral framework? The “tailoring” of sex education to patterns of behavior divorced from morality is one of the things that brought on the current situation. …

The sexual revolution … promised freedom; it has brought us a moral and social deficit, evident in broken families and damaged bodies.

The problems of sexual activity divorced from morality are implicitly acknowledged by those who are involved in maintaining the myth of sex’s amorality. The spate of sexual harassment accusations in Hollywood and beyond provide ample evidence that sex is not merely recreational, but has deeper significance. …

The notion that sex can be pursued as recreation, isolated from a larger relational and moral context, is an obvious scam. But we keep getting mugged by reality.

hat-tip Stephen Neil