Wow, I totally missed this one! In two previous TOB Tuesday posts last year (!!) I pointed out a 3 part series of columns by Dale O’Leary at Catholic Exchange answering the challenge posed to traditional sexual morality by the “Sexual Revolutionaries” of the last thirty years. After coming across these posts in a recent archive search I noticed that I never mentioned the third part, which was written last July and is just as wonderful and informative as the first two. I don’t know how I missed that! So now (better late than never) here are all three parts of O’Leary’s series on sexual licentiousness and the truth of the human person. Very well worth your time:
In part one she reviewed the examination of the fundamentally anti-person Sexual Revolution made by John Paul II in his book Love and Responsibility, a precursor to his Theology of the Body. This revolution’s utilitarian view of marriage and sexual relations has dehumanized the male/female relationship, causing men and women to see and treat each other as objects of their own selfish, sexual gratification.
In part two she examines the structure of a utilitarian relationship, its inevitable damage and the reaction of those who feel used.
Now, finally, in the third installment O’Leary looks at the flawed logic of the sexual revolution, its unintended consequences and the reaction it engendered.
The Sexual Revolutionaries initially argued that the restrictions of sexual freedom might have been understandable in a time when pregnancy outside marriage had devastating economic consequences and sexually transmitted diseases were rampant and incurable, but modern technology solved this problem. The pill, penicillin, and the new tolerance for out-of -wedlock birth, they argued, made the old prohibitions unnecessary.
This optimism has proven ill-founded, even with advances in contraceptives “unwanted” pregnancies have increased, the devastating effects of fatherlessness are undeniable, and abortion has not become “rare.” Pathogens have taken advantage of the pathways provided by promiscuity. Sexually transmitted diseases unknown only decades ago are now epidemic; some are incurable, some fatal.