What Is Free Sex Selling?

 - Many people today weren't around (or at least weren't of age) during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Then, "free love" (unbridled sex) became a central theme of the liberation from all authority. There's no escaping the resultant saturation of our culture with sex: Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs and magazines like CosmoGirl pitch teens with messages and images that many consider pornographic. The airwaves and the Internet are clogged with sensual and sexual debris.

In recognition of Valentine's Day and the week which has been designated by sex educators and the condom industry as "National Condom Week," we take up the issue of premarital sex. What has society's supposed delivery from sexual restraint delivered us? The research on everything from out-of-wedlock births and STD's to today's psycho-social wasteland of opposite-sex relationships seems to show us that we have been sold a bill of goods. According to Michael A. Fletcher, writing recently in The Washington Post, "Americans are less likely to marry than ever before, according to a new study, and fewer people who do marry report being 'very happy' in their marriages." Cohabitation's connection to fear of marital failure and loss of marital satisfaction has been well established. But that just represents some of the findings.

If you're a member of "the choir," then mine the personal nuggets and motherlode of research found here--enrich your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. If you have your doubts about more conservative sexual mores, open up to the whole debate. If you still think "free sex" really is free, read on in our special focus.

Special opportunity: Discuss your personal concerns about relationships, sex, marriage and dating with a theologian/family counselor. See below.

—Byron Barlowe, Editor/Webmaster, Leadership University

Feature Articles:

The Problems:

Safe Sex and the Facts
Raymond G. Bohlin, Ph.D.
Sexually transmitted diseases are at huge epidemic proportions. Young people especially need to be informed of this epidemic and the necessity of choosing abstinence until marriage as the only truly safe sex.

School-Based Health Clinics and Sex Education
Kerby Anderson
The alarming rate of teenage pregnancy should prompt us to examine how schools contribute to it. This essay suggests that school-based clinics don't work; current sex education doesn't work, and condom dissemination doesn't work. What works is abstinence.

Myths Surrounding Cohabitation
All About Cohabiting Before Marriage
From All About Cohabiting Before Marriage, a Web site dedicated to a full disclosure of the subject, including research on the social, medical, psychological and relational impact. Many of the reasons people live together out of wedlock are poorly reasoned or just plain false.

Sociological Reasons Not to Live Together
All About Cohabiting Before Marriage
The sociological arguments against cohabiting are many, including, "Those who have 'trial' marriages do not have better marriages," and "Those having premarital sex may be fooled into marrying a person who is not right for them."

Psychological Reasons Not to Live Together
All About Cohabiting Before Marriage
The psychological arguments against cohabiting are compelling. They include: "Those who live together before marriage abuse each other more often and more severely than dating couples or married couples," and "Those who live together before marriage suffer from greater depression and anxiety."

Sex as Salvation: Not Mere Vice
Charles Colson
In his incisive way, author and radio commentator Chuck Colson reveals a porn studies course at a formerly Christian school, representative of academic hyper-sexualization that transcends disciplines. He sheds light on the question, "How did undergraduates go from studying Homer to creating pornography?"

The Pornography Plague
Kerby Anderson
This essay describes forms of pornography and then documents the psychological and social effects. It also examines legal issues and provides a biblical perspective on sex.

Some Perspectives and Solutions:

Subversive Virginity
Sarah E. Hinlicky
Sarah E. Hinlicky, admitted young virgin, sends a bombshell counterculture message: virginity is cool! This article has been picked up by many publications for reprint.

Now for Some Good News
Frederica Matthewes-Green
Feminists helped launch the Sexual Revolution. The author shows recent evidence that more and more young people are disagreeing with the assumptions behind sexual liberation.

A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue
Book Review by Sarah E. Hinlicky
Hinlicky is impressed with this book and resonates with the premise: everyone benefits when women are modest, despite the cultural pull to liberate and freely fornicate. She summarizes some of Shalit's thinking on the dynamics of female shamelessness.

Romances with Wolves: For Guys Only
An honest essay about women, sex and dating--from a guy's perspective. Points to something even better than sex.

Sex and the Search for Intimacy
Dick Purnell
Today, the word intimacy has taken on sexual connotations. But it is much more than that. It includes all the different dimensions of our lives -- yes, the physical, but also the social, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects as well.

Special Opportunity:

Dr. John Stoll, Executive Director of A.S.K., Inc., a professional counseling and Bible teaching organization, is making himself available via email to those who have specific questions in the areas of dating, sex and commitment, and marriage. Over the past 45 years he has been a professor in five Christian Colleges/Seminaries, as both a Theologian and Marriage and Family Therapist. For the past 18 years he has been the Director of a Christian Psychological Clinic in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. A complete resume is available.

Send an email to Dr. Stoll.

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