Maggie Gallagher

Boundaries: I open up my Westchester Yellow Pages. Under entertainers, there is Nicole's agency, Gorgeous Strippers Plus, sandwiched between Bubbles the Clown and her Costume Characters and Muskrat Banjo Bands. Boundaries: Associated Press reports a Los Angeles aerobics club has introduced strip aerobics: "Some people may flash their butts, and one woman wears pasties and has been known to pull her bra down, but others might just pull up a T-shirt and then pull it back down, or even do the whole class entirely clothed."

A new University of Pennsylvania report says more than 300,000 American kids are involved in the sex trade. In Massachusetts, taxpayers pay for anti-AIDS lessons for high school teens that include instructions in safe fisting. Today's New York Times reports that a new Broadway play -- making scarcely a ripple, so well-trained are we in the sacred inviolability of arts -- has two 70-year-olds simulating sex, with full frontal male nudity. Watch Grandpa get it on stage.

It is not just parents who are having trouble with sexual boundaries. There is a porning of America taking place. The new social norm for the place of sex in society parallels the point of view of the average 18-year-old boy.

Parents, they tell us, are supposed to stop it. It is our job to protect our kids, no matter what. And so it is. But practically, parents alone, without help and reinforcement, cannot sustain sexual civilization all on our own. We need help from other parents and adults, from educators, clergy, advertisers and entertainers, and at key moments from the Chappaqua police department, who recognized that what took place in the Wiens' home was thankfully not just a moral outrage -- it was (still) a crime. It is the law, let us note, that in this instance made the boundaries clear.

It is indeed parents' job against all odds to protect our children from sexual degradation. And it is the job of a decent society not to leave us all alone in this task.


Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.



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