This morning, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill, Glenn links two posts, the first by 1970s bombshell Raquel Welch who observes:
In stark contrast, a lack of sexual inhibitions, or as some call it, “sexual freedom,” has taken the caution and discernment out of choosing a sexual partner, which used to be the equivalent of choosing a life partner. Without a commitment, the trust and loyalty between couples of childbearing age is missing, and obviously leads to incidents of infidelity. No one seems immune.
But, what really caught my attention was this in neoneocon’s (must-read) post:
Now we have to worry about rampant promiscuity among teens and even preteens, and the deep psychological and even physical damage it can cause (such as STDs). Girls who once were protected by the mores of society and their own fear of the shame of pregnancy are free to enjoy sex—but how many of them are really having all that much fun, and at what cost? How many of them have the maturity to understand what they want and with whom they might be happy? How many are giving in to the age-old pressures of popularity and the needs of teenage boys?
Emphasis added. I would say the pill has been a mostly good thing. It helped launched the sexual revolution which, in turn, made it easier for gay people to start being more open about our sexuality. But, this revolution while mostly a good thing, was not entirely a good thing. It did have some downsides. And these two smart women get at some of the issues we all wish to brush under the table when discussing sexuality.
Past social mores, while often oppressive, did serve a certain purpose. But, some served only to censure folk like us. We are grateful for the lifting of the social stricture on homosexual conduct. But, I wish to draw your attention to the part of neoneocon’s post that I emphasized. Too many of us try to write off the psychological consequences of hooking up. We say that the shame we feel is only a social construct and so try to wish it away.
But, it’s real and often recurring.
I just think we need to consider the psychological consequences of hooking up. (more…)