Culture

It’s Past Time to Rethink Modern Sexual Morality

(Photo: Antonio Guillem/Dreamstime)
A morality based only on consent results in sexual oppression.

Last week, as the grotesque Harvey Weinstein sexual-assault scandal burst into public view, I was struck by this tweet, from my friend Andrew Walker:

When everything is sexualized and virtually every woman is subject to the potential “ask,” scandals like those that rocked Hollywood, Fox News, and — yes — the Trump campaign become inevitable. And they’re replicated countless times on a smaller scale in schools and workplaces across the land. Desire is elevated over fidelity and certainly over propriety, so bosses bully, spouses stray, hearts break, and families fracture.

It virtually goes without saying that the sex drive is incredibly powerful. Sex is also a remarkably intimate act that often has a profound emotional impact. An ethic that indulges that drive while also denying the emotional significance of sex will inevitably wreck lives. The wise person understands that desire — even mutual desire — can be dangerous. How many happily married men and women look back on the momentary temptations of the past and wish they’d indulged? How many are grateful that they had the self-discipline and moral character to refuse to do what — at that moment — they wanted to do?

The abuses that have damaged so many churches have been the result of men and women defying  Christian ethics. When husbands and wives understand and adhere to Christian ethics, the dominant result isn’t just a healthy family life, their sex life is often more vibrant than their more “liberated” peers. In other words, the natural result of the Christian sexual ethic is an intact family and a culture of human flourishing.

Now is the time for Christians to leave their defensive crouch, to approach the public square with confidence. A wounded and broken sexual culture searches for answers. Who are we to withhold the truth?

READ MORE:

Hugh Hefner’s Legacy of Despair

What Less Sexual Trauma on Campus? Stop Telling the Big Lies

Yes, Men View Women as Sex Objects

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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