It’s not news to anybody these days — not if they watch any television or glance at the covers of the magazines lining the checkout counters at the grocery stores — that we live in a sex-saturated society where supposedly the majority of young people are “doing it,” more often than not without “benefit of marriage.” The “Playboy philosophy” is trumpeted by a thousand voices that glamorize casual sex, while most of the shrinking mainline churches present pitifully watered-down messages about morality that confuse rather than clarify. Academic institutions, particularly the women’s studies programs, promote the idea that marriage is optional and young people are advised to “just do it!” The secular mantra, heard from middle school on up, is that sex will make you popular and happy; it’s great recreation that is free and fun.
There is a mountain of media out there promoting a phony philosophy about the joys of casual, risky sexual experimentation; one need look no further than the junk advice featured in magazines like Cosmopolitan to see just how pernicious it is. Even the “Dear Abby” column in many daily newspapers spreads the expectation of sexual activity even for the youngest of our teens. This assault will not be neutralized until a brigade of those who know better find their voices to convince today’s Sex in the City generation of young women that only discipline and restraint — it is having an attitude that says, “I won’t mess up my tomorrows by fooling around today” — will open the gateway to achieving their dreams and ambitions.
Well, the time for some straight talk about casual sex is long overdue. Every young person needs to know the following three truths:
Truth #1: Casual sex impairs the ability to establish a lasting emotion bond. When natural human emotional responses are repeatedly denied, the person is hardened and the capacity to bond is weakened. Dr. Donald Joy published groundbreaking research in the early 80s and has updated it periodically in the intervening years. He chronicles the ways that intimacy produces bonding. His research indicates that human beings respond to sexual intercourse by bonding, and they are driven to make that bond permanent and exclusive.
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