The Changing Effects of Sexual Freedom

October 9, 2008 | NeW Staff

We can’t turn on the TV, look through a magazine rack, or listen to the
radio without hearing or seeing some sex mentioned in a casual way. The
sexual revolution that took place in the 1960s and 1970s has clearly
left its mark on American culture. This is especially apparent in how
open and free teachers have now become in teaching children about sex
at younger ages. On the surface, Americans seem comfortable with the
sexualizing of society and the freedom to act and do what ever one
pleases, but looking beyond this, we have to ask ourselves if this
mentality is in fact true.

Wendy Shalit, the author of A Return to Modesty: Discovering the
Lost Virtue and The Good Girl Revolution: Young Rebels With Self-Esteem
and High Standards, recently participated in a New York Times column,
“How to Think About Sex? A Freakonomics Quorum.” 
Shalit articulates the
deep implications of sex and discusses the effects that we now see as a
result of sexual liberation. It is a stark contrast to what freedom and
liberation should produce. She writes,

“Our new repression is emotional
repression — the repression of romantic hope — and its burden rivals
the old repression. At least with the old parietal rules, those who
wanted to have sex could sneak into the dorms; but today a girl who
objects to the new doctrine of ‘flaunt your body’ and ‘be jaded about
sex’ is ridiculed and labeled a prude.”

Shalit ends by giving a vision for what she thinks the response to this

“I predict that the young girls who were raised to feel they had
to be ‘sexy’ and ‘hot’ at age four are going to be giving their
daughters very different advice.”

And that’s exactly what NeW aims to
do: to counter the current culture by challenging the common
perceptions of sex.

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