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Back to December Ed Reporter
Education Reporter
NUMBER 191 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS DECEMBER 2001

Modern Sex: Liberation and Its Discontents
Modern Sex: Liberation and Its Discontents 
BUY this book
Modern Sex: Liberation and Its Discontents; Edited by Myron Magnet, Ivan R. Dee Publishers, 2001, 210 pps, $28.50

Modern Sex is not a contemporary "how-to," but a sobering collection of essays on the sexual revolution's tragic consequences. Articles by six respected authors, including Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Kay S. Hymowitz, and Wendy Shalit, originally published in the Manhattan Institute's prestigious City Journal, expose the painful and costly failure of the sexual revolution.

Since its beginning in the 1960s, the sexual revolution has successfully promoted the fallacy that, if people would only forget their sexual inhibitions, they would be happy and fulfilled. But as Modern Sex demonstrates, the unhappy truth is that sex has become more mechanical and without commitment, the family is weakened, children are sexualized at ever-earlier ages, and relationships between men and women are often shallow and temporary. Instead of the "promised bliss," writes City Journal editor Myron Magnet in his introduction, "what you see after all the coupling is a profound sadness."

Modern Sex demonstrates that the centuries-old concept of sex in concert with romance, morality and marriage has not been lost by accident. Feminism played a critical role in its destruction, insisting that traditional "gender roles" are imposed upon women by social convention fabricated by and for men. Ironically, as Barbara Whitehead points out, while women have been the sexual liberation movement's "principle ideological advocates," men have been "its principal beneficiaries."

Whitehead notes that there was one area in which the feminists were unsuccessful; they failed to realize the natural desire of most women to have babies. "If single women had the right to abortion, they also had the right to have and keep their babies. Thus the right not to have a baby bacame the right to have a baby."

Another sad result of the sexual revolution is the corruption of children through sex education. In her essay, "Sex Ed's Dead End," Wendy Shalit notes that the desensitization begins in kindergarten, with condom lessons by 9th grade. In "Tweens: Ten Going on Sixteen," Kay Hymowitz writes of "pregnant 6th graders" and oral sex among 7th and 8th graders.

Author/ philosopher Roger Scruton offers this remedy for our woeful situation: "bring back shame and stigma."

Call 212/599-7000, or visit www.manhattan-institute.org


 
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