Censorship drives perversion. Always and everywhere. When we drive sex out of the mainstream we guarantee that all sex is, by definition, deviant.
- Chris, of Atomic Cinema, http://www.cinebizarre.com/essay_eroticphil.htm
Moral issues, more than any other, bring out the mysterious and contradictory parts of human nature. The topic of sex ranks up with the top contenders as best example.
First of all, most of whatever morality each of us has was not born with us. What we were born with--what almost all of us humans have in common--is what we call ethics: what's right, what's wrong. Most ethics that travelled into us with our genetic heritage has to do with survival of our own species. Most of that dates back to prehistory.
We don't allow murder because with such small numbers as our species had in its early years, with so many predators and so little natural protection, we needed as many of us around to defend each other from attack and other forms of danger as we could possibly find.
We don't allow stealing from each other--though some cultures consider it sharing if it's for food or protection--because our basic possessions were part of our ability to survive in a harsh world.
We don't allow cheating each other because that breaks any possibilities for trust. Survival depended on trusting each other. Even today we enter into marriage, new jobs and mortgages believing that we can trust those we have agreed to associate our lives with.
We look after our young, our elderly and those who can't fend for themselves because each plays a role in the ultimate story of survival of our species and has throughout our existence as a species.
We learn morality mostly from our parents but also from our other family members, our teachers, our community associations and our peers. For example, ethically we disapprove of cheating, but morally we have a paradox if the cheating is on a spouse or someone to whom we have pledged our family allegiance. Nature, through our hormones, tells us that we should spread our DNA as widely as possible, meaning that we should have sex with as many members of the opposite sex as we feel is advantageous to that cause. Nature also tells us that we should contribute to and take responsibility for raising any young that those sexual unions produce.
Morality tells us that if we have agreed to be responsible for any young resulting from a marriage, we should also be prepared to commit ourselves monogamously to one mate. Why do we believe that? Because we have been taught that since childhood. That, it seems, is sufficient for most of us to remain monogamous with our spouses and to ostracize or otherwise punish those who insist upon following only those two dictates of nature--spread your DNA and look after the young you produce. That morality was learned, it's not natural.
While ethics tells us that we must not murder our own kind, morality dictates that we must pay a penalty for doing that wrong. Even those who believe that people who commit the sin of murder will pay the consequences after death--usually in hell--insist that the sinner must also pay as high a penalty as possible here on earth. Paradox or not, that is how morality works. Morality never pretends to make sense. It only insists that rules someone else made must be followed because they were to taught to us as children. "It's the way it has always been," whether that be true or not.
Morality says that sex and public displays of sexuality are deviant and sinful. Why? Because we have been taught that these are examples of debauchery, the beginning of the end of respectability. Respectability, of course, is also taught. It varies from one time period to another and between cultures.
Public examples of sex (such as in the cinema) and sexuality will destroy us, so the lessons that we are taught go. These lessons are taught most vociferously by religions whose leaders intend to control the behaviour of their followers. The easiest way to do that is to make some things that come to us naturally, sinful. No examples exist of history or studies showing that a culture was destroyed because it descended into chaos as a result of public sex and sexuality.
Moral forces insist that prostitution is wrong and that prostitutes and their clients should be punished. The best example that this teaching is wrong is in The Netherlands where prostitution was made legal and controlled for health factors, then cases of rape dropped dramatically. And permanently, as their records show.
Prostitution, sex movies, internet pornography and phone sex provide solutions for those whose natural sexual needs are not or cannot be met by whatever associations people have with their intimate partners (if any). Nature tells us through our hormones that sex is right and normal, only the forces of morality--bigots with white jackets and self designed haloes--say that sex is wrong, must be hidden, must be denied (even if sexual perversions take place in private among them).
Does this mean that we should allow our communities to become modern day Sodoms and Gomorrahs? No. We can avoid that happening by simply teaching our young people about sex instead of trying to hide it while they learn about sex from people who have something to gain from teaching them the wrong lessons. Wherever parents fail to teach their children in a timely fashion the lessons the young ones need, others will be there to help the kids into some real perversion, usually through lies and with selfish motives.
Sex is natural. Get over it. Moreover, if you believe that something relating to sex is wrong, teach it to your children. At the same time, teach them how to accommodate themselves around their natural desires and the community need to maintain certain levels of safety (such as by using condoms) and practicality (don't have unprotected sex if you can't take responsibility for children you conceive). Kids want to learn about life lessons. It's what they know inherently they should do.
Masturbation may be a poor substitute for sexual intercourse with someone you love, but there is no valid reason to say it's wrong. Is it any more right to tell kids that they might not be able to have children when they become full adults or that hair will grow on the palms of their hands if they masturbate--to lie--than to let them release their pentup hormone-based emotional confusion so they can get on with more socially acceptable activities?
We only have censorship because we don't teach our children what is right and wrong and trust them to do what is right. Those forces that purvey activities and products that we believe are morally wrong only do so because we fail to teach our children what is right and wrong and why the wrong things are harmful to themselves and to society. The purveyors of anti-social products and activities satisfy the needs created by the failure of parents to do the most important job they were put on earth to do: teach their children life lessons.
Deviance happens not because so many bad people want to warp the minds and bodies of members of society. Deviance happens because the good people of that society fail to do what they should to ensure the safe continuance of our species into the next generations.
Teach the children. Preaching to the adults seldom works in the short term, never works over a long period of time.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to teach their children what is both ethically and practically right and wrong before they turn to those with ulterior motives to find answers we don't want them to receive.
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