Sexual Counter-Revolution by Scott Yenor

Planned Parenthood recently distributed flyers at ­Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, Washington. The flyers targeted eleven-­year-olds, informing them that they could have sex with anyone under the senesce of thirteen, and that their parents were not ­entitled to determine whether they took parentage control or were tested for sexually transmitted ­diseases. The kids could make up their own minds .
Flyers and sex-ed programs preaching ­sexual exemption are leading edges of a rotation that has been gaining baron over the West ’ sulfur moral resource for more than two generations. Liberals, feminists, and cheery activists press it fore .
Dishonest catchphrases of “ option ” and “ ­freedom ” are used to promote the revolution. But when it comes to marriage, arouse, syndicate, and arouse roles, the notion that option governs is constantly an illusion. Every company has a sexual constitution. With the tools of honor and pity, the sexual fundamental law shapes desire, guiding it toward certain experiences and expressions and away from others. It teaches citizens what it means to be a valet and what it means to be a charwoman. It determines the rate of marriage, sex, and child-rearing among the goods that people pursue .
Two ideologies shape the reigning sexual constitution : feminist movement and sexual dismissal. Feminist ideologues seek a world “ beyond ­gender, ” in Judith Butler ’ s words. This means explicate laws and enforcing taboos indeed that differences between men and women evaporate and socialization toward discrete sex roles is prohibited. Feminists seek a society in which women achieve emotional and economic independence from domestic duties and family life. In the avocation of female independence, sexual taboo that encourage enduring and monogamous marriage are themselves made taboo.

sexual liberationists want a company “ beyond repression. ” Boundaries must give way to enlightened, expressive sex until “ repression ” vanishes and people are detached to pursue arouse as they wish. Love is love. New taboo stigmatize as “ haters ” those who perpetuate traditional intimate mores .
New obstacles arise as progressive mores are adopted. Effort is redoubled. Eleven-year-olds must be taught to masturbate and to question their identities. Four-year-olds must sit on the laps of gay men dressed as sexualize women, who read painting books to them. Strictures against adult sex with children must be “ problematized ” —and finally overcome. Monogamy is ridiculed, called oppressive, and replaced with polyamory. The revolution keeps on rolling, “ beyond sex ” and “ beyond repression, ” toward the abolition of marriage and marital norms .
Conservatives and family activists have been standing athwart the intimate revolution shouting “ ­nature ” for decades—to little impression. nature imposes limits, but not in the way conservatives hope. True, males and females act and think differently from one another under our new sexual constitution, in a call on the carpet to the androgynous hopes of feminists. A supermajority continue to desire the antique discipline of monogamy and marriage, in a rebuke to sexual liberationists. But the perseverance of nature does not portend a refund to norms supporting marriage and family life. alternatively we get a newly man and a new charwoman, shaped by our new constitution. Neither is suited for marriage and family life as they existed under the erstwhile united states constitution .
therefore, we can not depend on nature entirely. Our new sexual fundamental law remakes sexual desire and inner relations, reshapes the sexes, builds modern institutions, and leads to a new hierarchy of human goods. Like a command-and-control economy, our re-engineered ways of being male and female work ill. Liberalized sexual mores disrupt the male-female dance. stable marriage becomes a luxury good. Family life frays. Both intimate relations and domestic life become dysfunctional .
The only option is counterrevolution .
Conservatives must establish systems of award and shame, pass laws, and buttress institutions that shape our natural inclinations in more humane and fruitful ways than does the sexual fundamental law that feminists and intimate revolutionaries have succeeded in building .
Second-wave feminists idealized “ the independent woman ” as described by founding mother of feminist movement Simone de Beauvoir. The freelancer charwoman does not need a man. She thinks her life incomplete if she does not undertake “ dangerous, ” “ creative ” work outside the family. Betty Friedan sold the public a version of feminist political orientation that was billed as moderate, but ruthlessly disparaged mothers and wives who dedicated themselves to homemaking. In The Feminine ­Mystique, Friedan asserts : “ The only kind of cultivate which permits ” a woman “ to realize her abilities amply, to achieve identity in society, is lifelong commitment to an art or skill, to politics or profession. ” The freelancer womanhood is besides sexually adventurous, not “ flash-frozen ” or awaiting male advances. Men will be relieved, Friedan insisted, when they no longer must provide for pendent, clingy women, or be responsible for intimate trigger .
great changes in child-rearing, the reorganization of the workplace, and the transformation of educational institutions have brought this new womanhood into being. Consider department of education, where girls outperform boys at about every degree. closely 70 percentage of gamey school valedictorians are female. Boys fail more, are suspended more, earn lower grades, are disciplined more, and are less probable to enjoy school. Females earn about 60 percentage of undergraduate degrees ( and have earned more than males since 1982 ) and a majority of master ’ south degrees and PhD ’ s. When men are overrepresented in disciplines such as engineer or physics, university leaders consider it a diversity crisis. Males are increasingly homeless and clueless in this female-­oriented earth. They will not be leaders of families, a lot less of a capital country .
Most feminists ignore these education gaps, since they compromise the feminist narrative that more must be done to cultivate female accomplishment. Hanna Rosin, in The end of Men and the Rise of Women, celebrates an “ education system that plays to girls ’ strengths ” : It rewards conscientiousness, verbal skills, the ability to focus, the ability to please those who assess, and a preference for multi­tasking. Roughhousing is out ; sitting still and talking are in. “ The qualities most predictive of academic success, ” Rosin writes, “ are the ones that have constantly made up the good girl stereotype. ” Her termination ? Boys should get with the platform and act more like girls. They already do, to some degree .
Institutions everywhere reinforce the sex ideals of the raw constitution and attack those of the honest-to-god. Our sexual constitution used to value an education that pointed girls to motherhood and homemaking ( among other things ). It rewarded sexual modesty and virtue. Both of these ideas are now subverted and stigmatized. Our institutions besides de-emphasize what boys are commodity at. patronize classes have all but disappeared in high school, while white-collar college-prep course of study are given priority. Girls much prefer clear expectations to open-ended exploration ( more suited to the natural tendencies of boys ). The girls, therefore, boom in task-specific, credentialing educational programs. College preparation, resume-building, finding dependable mentors and securing internships—young women lay out life plans for accomplishment. College graduation pictures replace marriage portraits on the walls of proud parents .
Workplaces become more cooperative and personal as women enter them. Employers show taste for employees so that all will feel affirm and validate. Sensitivity coach ensures that no one is uncomfortable. Fewer people have workaday jobs ; they have meaningful, fulfilling careers ( or sol they think ) .
This moral revolution brings about a new woman, but she is not independent as the feminists had promised. No homo being is rightfully independent : The new womanhood merely depends on different things than did women of earlier generations. She depends on credentials to set her on a career path. She depends on her workplace, where bosses affect the affirming ways of husbands and friends. Her network helps her arrive ahead in times of doubt. Like “ Julia ” in an Obama campaign ad in the last decade, she requires legal regimes and social programs to protect and provide for her in the ways husbands used to .
What Tom Wolfe decades ago called “ the hookup polish ” besides plays a crucial function in cultivating the newfangled womanhood. Feminists do not outwardly champion male exploitation of female promiscuity. But they recognize that career ambitions demand the delay in marriage, which in turn requires a loosen of intimate mores so that our lifelike desires for sexual union can be satisfied. “ Feminist advancement, ” Rosin writes, “ is largely pendent on hookup culture. ” It has emotional downsides, but there ’ sulfur no other manner for young women to have their careers and their sexual satisfaction, besides .
The erstwhile sexual constitution drew upon an Old Wisdom that made realistic assumptions about men, women, and sexual desire. Men desire more arouse than women do, but moral expectations once supported female modesty and sustained women ’ mho efforts to communicate the need for commitment before consummation by confining sex to marriage. ( These norms were often honored in the gap and varied in different diachronic periods. ) arouse within the horizon of enduring relations went with the texture of women ’ south nature. work force benefited, besides. They learned to subordinate sexual activity within enduring relations and to conform to female patterns of sexual desire in ways that pointed them away from adolescent preoccupations with sexual activity .
today ’ s intimate constitution, abetted by easy access to contraception and miscarriage, disconnects female sexual desire from marriage. Women not only have more intimate partners over the course of a life than they used to—they besides now claim to want more sexual partners. They engage in kinkier sex than did their predecessors. They are less likely to demand commitment before sex than they once were .
sexual deviation persists amid these changes. Women are still the gatekeepers of sex ( showing the perseverance of intimate differences ), but they keep those gates differently than they did before ( showing the influence of our modern sexual constitution ). Women have and want fewer sexual partners than men do. Women are much less satisfy with the hookup culture, since they are more likely to think arouse and commitment should go together. many women justly complain that it is hard to find a good homo who will commit these days, but the new sexual constitution justifies sex aside from marriage and commitment .
feminist movement has changed women profoundly, but in ways not always reproducible with their happiness. And it has changed men as good. With sex detached from commitment, men have less incentive to grow up. Their adolescence extends for a decade or more beyond physical maturation. As it does among women, the hookup culture besides creates winners and losers among men. Raw estimable looks and sex appeal become more valuable. Non-­cosmetic traits such as likeability, companionability, steadiness, and trustworthiness leveled the play field under the honest-to-god sexual constitution, which required sexual activity to be about more than sex. Those traits are less relevant in the hookup culture. This is one cause the new constitution gives emanation to a paradoxical combination, as greater sexual aggression coexists with less intimate activity among youthful men .
intimate liberationists hoping for a world “ beyond repression ” have long sought public bless for homosexuality. such affirmation liberates sex from all aspects of “ inhibitory ” traditional morality, including the connection between sex and reproduction. public adoption of homosexuality confirms the destruction of the old sexual constitution and points to the new one .
As society shifts from shaming homosexuality to cheering it, we get more of it. The homosexual is portrayed as creative, person who “ adds to diversity, ” while the straight person is described as conventional and a drag on our advancement toward a “ rainbow ” future. Young people get the message. Since 1970, the issue of lesbians and brave men hovered around 3.5 percentage of the american english population in most poll, and it remained there until the early 2010s. The percentage has skyrocketed in the younger birth cohorts, a testament to the might of our new sexual constitution. The share of the general population identify as homosexual increased from 4.5 in 2017 to 5.6 in 2021, according to Gallup polls. More than 8 percentage of millennials ( born between 1980 and 1999 ) identified as LGBT in 2017 ; by 2021, the number was 11.5 percentage .
The interfering public honoring of homosexuality ( remember the White House bathed in the colors of the Pride rainbow ? ) and elusive feign of heterosexuality shapes men and women in unlike ways, a testament to their natural differences. Men tend to initiate sex ; women tend to be attracted to men who take the first step. In man-woman relations, men seek license, and women concede ( or deny ) it. In this way, the sexes check one another. By line, same-sex relations exaggerate the sexual characteristics of men and women. Put male sexual initiators together, and there is a lot more sex. Studies show that men who have sex with men have far more life partners and have sex more frequently than do other groups. Put two sexual gatekeepers together and there is a bunch less sex. Data indicate that lesbians have far less sex than either gay men or straight couples. The condition “ lesbian bed death ” was coined for this reason .
This points to the trouble of sexual obsessiveness. Encouraged in everyone by the new intimate constitution, it is manifested most vividly in brave men. Though data on this question are barely ( illustrating how our modern intimate constitution punishes sociable scientific research that runs counter to its dogma ), the Center for Humane Technology conducted a survey of the happiness of app users. Users of Grindr, the gay dating app, were the least happy of all app users. ( seventy-seven percentage were unhappy with their lives ). Commenting on this survey, liberal web site Vox opined : “ We need to talk about how Grindr is affecting gay men ’ sulfur mental health. ” This confuses cause with consequence. human beings want to be thought of as more than bare sexual beings, yet our new sexual regimen insists that sexual orientation course is the central property of human identity. And public affirmations of homosexuality liberate gay men to participate fully in the supercharged environment of all-male sex. It ’ s not Grindr that immiserates ; it ’ s the raw sexual constitution .
Over the past thirty years, studies from around the global have observed that brave people have suicide rates somewhere between three and seven times higher than straight people. For a farseeing meter, estimable scholars held unanimously that our purportedly homophobic culture caused these higher suicide rates. Yet the suicide gap persists even after the homophobic culture has been dismantled and the new, affirming sexual fundamental law has attained big world power in public life. Sweden, ­Denmark, and the Netherlands are among the most sexually progressive countries in the West. A rush of studies from the mid-2010s show that homosexual suicide rates in these countries are still at least three times higher than those of heterosexuals .
If homophobia is not the cause, what is ? Andrew Holleran ’ s Dancer from the Dance, a novel about gay life style from 1978, a more honest meter, ends with the suicide of its aging gay protagonist. His life of party, drugs, and anonymous promiscuity failed to satisfy. He was left behind as he aged, exiled from the “ strange democracy whose merely ticket of admission was physical beauty. ” Does male homosexual love tend to be emptier than love between men and women ? If so, it would be unsurprising, given the character arouse and reproduction normally play in creating the most needed human community.

Women in love with women have their own problems. legally recognized lesbian unions in the Netherlands are twice a probable to break up as legally recognized unions between cheery men : In Great Britain they are two and a one-half times as likely. alike trends seem to hold in America. The reason flows from the natural differences between men and women. Women tend to put a potent emphasis on shared emotions in their intimate relationships. Without male reserve in this area—so frustrating to many wives—lesbian relationships tend to exhibit intense and much escalate aroused demands, which make relations impracticable over time .
The old sexual fundamental law stigmatized same-sex love, but this was no irrational prejudice, as many allege today. It marked an astute judgment about what makes for happiness and what makes for misery. Old Wisdom recognizes that male intimate hope disconnected from female demands for an aroused adhesiveness leads to indulgent overindulgence. Female sex disconnected from male obtuseness leads to escalating emotional demands. The rising rates of homosexuality among the young, encouraged under the new sexual constitution, indicate that we are heading toward silent greater unhappiness .
Changes in divorce jurisprudence play a cardinal character in the fresh sexual constitution. The old, fault-based approach to divorce attached men and women to family life. Women were protected when they devoted themselves to motherhood and minding the home. Society expected husbands to provide for their wives and children. With the imposition of alimony, men paid a punishment for infidelity or gross irresponsibility. The fault-based arrangement constrained the imaginations of men and women, encouraging them to overlook low-grade conflicts for the purpose of maintaining good-enough relations. Put crudely, the erstwhile government fostered munificence in men and endurance in women. The man ’ s tendency to wander was countered by the expectation that he would serve honorably as head of his family. A womanhood ’ randomness hope for social recognition was joined to her genius for relationships, as she basked in the achievements of her husband and children, made possible by her management of the family. marriage might not answer every human longing, but it tutored sexual differences to the benefit of both men and women .
When no-fault divorce was adopted in the early seventies, many worried that men would use their raw exemption to exploit women. It was thought that bosses would leave their wives for their secretaries. But the supposed top of no-fault divorce was deemed greater : Women would be able to get out of abusive, inattentive relationships. Liberalized divorce laws would, advocates hoped, contribute to egalitarian relations between the sexes and decrease sexual differences—central goals of the new sexual constitution .
The real result was otherwise. The new divorce government reshaped the imaginations of men and women, albeit differently—which was inevitable, given the built-in differences between them. When no-fault disassociate was adopted in the early on seventies, no one predicted that women would file for more than two-thirds of all divorces, normally citing low-level problems such as “ basic incompatibility, ” money issues, communication problems, and poor personal interaction—not physical maltreatment or abandonment .
This sport of nowadays ’ mho disassociate culture reflects a truth about female psychology. Studies of the “ Big Five ” personality traits show that emotions and community are more central to female than to male natures. Because women are more cooperative and eager to please than men, they take conflict more personally. Women are more emotionally demanding than men. In one study, 98 percentage of wives said they were dissatisfied because their husbands did not talk enough about their feelings and thoughts. Under today ’ s sexual fundamental law, all concerned must “ share their feelings ” and “ listen, ” and render early services that women naturally both hope and provide. Wives ’ needs are socially reinforced, giving them confidence that their judgments are tenable. She deserves better ! Given these ­factors—brought to prominence by the new sexual constitution—it is not surprising that women have become the less stable partners in marriage .
Across the western populace, women do worse economically after disassociate, whereas men do worse emotionally ( at least for a prison term ). Sociologists insist that economic harms to women shank from enduring wage discrimination. But the more persuasive explanation is that women are less competitive than men. They prize relationships more than “ succeed, ” which is tied to economic achiever .
nature contributes to the aroused damage divorce does to men. Men tend to be more bow out and critical—more abstracted from daily concerns and human relations—than women. Most of those who suffer from autism are men ! As a result, married men by and large have fewer friends than women. Their wives often provide social connections, and their family is their entrée to community. Through divorce, men tend to lose access to their children and to syndicate friends. They report higher levels of depression and other signs of sadness after disassociate than do women .
Under the old government, women were encouraged to recognize and appreciate that men are unlike. The Old Wisdom counseled them to turn to female friends for many of their emotional needs, while appreciating their husbands ’ loyalty. The newly sexual united states constitution subordinates parenthood, duties, and generative sex to companionship, emotional meanness, and personal emergence. today, ­emotional nearness has become the footing of a “ commodity marriage. ” Experts ( including church leaders ) blame marital adjournment on men ’ mho failing to meet their wives ’ emotional needs. “ happy wife ; happy life sentence ” is both a promise and a threat—and men much allow their wives to govern or go their own manner, to the long-run happiness of neither .
These changes in the legal model and cultural norms of marital life sentence have had profound effects. The code of the valet makes sense in times of outward female weakness and apparent male lastingness. At such times, men defer to and serve women as a manner of respecting their pendent condition as wives and mothers. today, by contrast, the demand that men be gentlemen has fiddling connection to sociable reality. nothing in the present culture of marriage, workplaces, or educational programs confers advantages on men. Men ’ s ­disadvantages are underlined by the respect accorded to gay men, the glamorous exemplars of the sexually meet and autonomous man, friend to all and enemy of none. In this air, male traits of aggression, self-assertion, and emotional absence are frequently overstate because untempered. No one is happy in this situation. Women ask where the good men have gone, and men are less capable of bearing responsibilities or even knowing what to do with their lives .
The old sexual constitution shaped men and women in countless ways. It enforced strictures against pornography, polygamy, and prostitution. Its rigid age-of-consent laws, its inheritance laws, and its laws concerning rape had authoritative effects. The newly sexual constitution has changed all of this, about constantly for the worse, for it produces, on balance, a great deal more unhappiness. The ways in which the new intimate constitution has weakened marriage, break families, removed commitment as a necessity for sex, and eliminated many of the fruitful checks that men placed on women and women placed on men are major reasons why many of the young are heavily medicated. deplorably, the prospects of countering feminism, homosexual rights, the no-fault disassociate revolution, and other aspects of the fresh united states constitution appear blue, at least in the inadequate terminus .
so, we must think long-run .
Public symbols are knock-down. They express and reinforce what our public honors. March is Women ’ s History Month. June is Pride Month. April should be declared Marriage Month. We need to celebrate digest, fruitful marriages, and we should honor parents who have raised children to responsible adulthood. And in Marriage Month we need a marriage flag and mighty symbols around which to rally .
Some bourgeois advocates for family life ace the polish and hungarian syndicate ­policies. These policies may be effective, but I guidance circumspection. economic incentives for syndicate life are less brawny than a public consensus that honors enduring, fruitful marriage. Advertisements that emphasize happy couples ( and ­unhappy loners ), happy mothers, and creditworthy fathers are often seen on television receiver and billboards in ­Hungary. Compare this to America, where entertainment features strong women, homosexuals, and ­gender-bending models. Those of us committed to building a new constitution, one that guides men and women toward greater happiness, must boycott media that promote the roll rotation. And we must support media that have the courage to be ­counterrevolutionary .
The counterrevolution we need requires more than public symbols and media subscribe. I can entirely offer extra preliminary thoughts about how it should proceed. First, the institution of marriage is collapsing among those without college degrees, contributing to corruption and despair among our fellow citizens, which in turn erodes middle-class life. Our new intimate constitution actively dishonor marriage, accelerating this erosion. We must be forceful and grim in our forwarding of marriage and heterosexual responsibility. Legislators should propose laws that make divorce more unmanageable to obtain. Immediate measures, such as making fathers the nonpayment parents in detention battles, would encourage women into sobering second thoughts about filing for divorce. possibly legislators should impose a “ drop the ball tax ” on disassociate, barely as we tax other socially harmful behaviors. The churches need to lead the way by reinvigorating taboo against divorce and cohabitation .
second, the connections between sex, pro­creation, marriage, and parental duty need to be rebuilt. Prohibiting miscarriage is an important mistreat in this focus. Renewing cultural stigma concerning contraception is another step. As feminists recognize, miscarriage and contraception guarantee exemption for the independent womanhood because they sever the connect between sex and reproduction. In social policy, we need to stop support pre-K and other surrogates for family life. Parents must be encouraged to accept basal duty for their children. fiscal hold should be provided through government payments made immediately to parents, not to programs that function as parental surrogates .
Third, we need a new gender political orientation, one that restores a feasible patriarchy. We can not go back in time to the old constitution, but syndicate life and marriage can be recovered on newly grounds. many sense the price done by the new intimate constitution but are anxious not to seem judgmental. They shy aside from enforcing the sexual taboo arising from the Old Wisdom. This needs to stop. The sexual rotation rolls over those who object feebly. We must engage an capable counterrevolution, a way of biography that dares to speak its appoint .
Feminists portray patriarchy as oppressive. But anyone who sees the universe earlier 1960 as merely and plainly harmful to women is a corruptible enemy of world. The decline of the old fundamental law has led to many abject women and otiose men. We need a counterrevolution that works for men and women, guiding natural differences toward expressions that are conducive to male-female cooperation and reciprocal support. educational institutions, frequently abetted by overeager parents, cheerlead for female professional success. This needs to stop. Schooling should emphasize a balance see of work and ­domestic life, a suit ideal for boys arsenic well as girls. We should consider mandate train in military schools for boys from broken homes so that they have a better casual of becoming marriageable men .
The new sexual fundamental law deems dissident policies that encourage women to work half-time. But being charged with heresy is a good sign when one seeks to foment a counterrevolution. half-time work allows women to prioritize class life during important years when they feel most sharply their calling as mothers. Three out of four women with children still in the home desire the flexibility to spend more meter with them. Promoting part-time work for mothers besides means re-emphasizing the role of husbands as providers and instituting economic policies that support them in that character .
We tend to think that men and women will always desire one another. But pornography and now arouse robots—two leading edges of the new intimate constitution—may be curing men and women of that desire. We must find ways to keep bum arouse from turning into asexuality. slowly access to pornography must be stopped, and sex robots should be proscribed .
But we will need still profoundly changes in the long term .
We need to sustain what remains of the censuring might of the old sexual constitution. Churches that cleave to biblical teaching are the last ­institutional holdouts against the rolling revolution in the progressive West. We all must work to stiffen the spines of church leaders on crucial doctrinal matters. Stigmatizing the excommunication of homosexual acts has played a central role in discrediting the Old Wisdom and ushering in the newfangled intimate united states constitution. We have no hope of restoring dignity to intimate life and stability to domestic liveliness if we do not insist that our churches sustain traditional prohibitions of homosexual acts.

The rolling rotation has overturned every view of gender roles, marriage, and family that our great-grandparents took for granted. It seems unstoppable. But this is to misjudge history. The intimate rotation was born in the imaginations of those who raged against what they perceived as inhumane moral prohibitions and stultifying social expectations. now that their revolution has remade our earth, we can see that it ruthlessly reorders female socialization to accord with the desires of elect women, leaves men ailing formed, cave marital stability, damages children, disorients young people with the promotion of homosexuality, and immiserates men and women alike. A counterrevolution must destroy this new constitution. The lawsuit is righteous and our indignation just .
Scott Yenor  is a professor of political skill at Boise State University and a Washington Fellow at the Claremont Institute ’ s Center for the american Way of Life.
effigy by drburtoni via creative Commons. Image cropped.

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