We spend so much time here talking about chastity in the context of homosexuality, I thought we’d give the heterosexuals a good treatment for once. A non-member friend of mine, who is herself devoutly religious in her own faith, which has similar standards of sexual purity of ours, was living with her boyfriend. This was as frowned on in her faith as it is in ours, so she was doing it on the downlow, hiding it from her parents and family. She had a pretty stormy relationship with her boyfriend, who was not fit to be a husband let alone a father, and they had a nasty fight which led to a breakup. Two weeks after her breakup, she found herself pregnant, despite having taken all the usual precautions to prevent such an occurence. So now she is looking at two very bad options: abortion, or single motherhood.

I decry double standards that wink at sexual indiscretions in men while condemning them in women. But it is nevertheless a biological fact that women will always pay a heavier price (in this life at least) for sexual immorality. They bear a disproportionate share of the burden with unplanned pregnancies, they bear a heavier financial burden upon divorce, greater infertility from venereal diseases, and they suffer more emotionally with the “hookup culture” that is supposed to remove the commitment from sex.

The sexual revolution was supposed to herald a new era of freedom, of pleasure, of free love. It was supposed to free women, and men, from the chains of unhappy marriages, give children loving homes, and allow everyone to share themselves sexually with no consequences. The unrestricted right to abortion is supposed to be a “woman’s issue”, but its availability hurts as woman as much as a man, because it makes it more easy for a man to evade his responsibilities. When in the past a shotgun wedding would have been hurriedly arranged (or at least requirements for providing for the child), now, a man can just as easily say, “I don’t want this child. If you want to have it, you pay for it. I’ll pay for the abortion, but that’s all” and evade his responsibilities. It’s hard to see how this is an improvement, or how (for women at least) this is more freedom than before.

Meanwhile, 40 years after the advent of no-fault divorce laws, the returns are in, and divorce appears to be a pretty serious catastrophe for children.

The effects of pornography are much more controversial, but I think it can only add to marital dissatisfaction when you are comparing your spouse to an (airbrushed, surgically-enhanced)playmate model.

Isn’t all this sexual freedom great?There are over a million abortions a year, almost a million families broken up over divorce a year, and many children abandoned or born out of wedlock. True, many of these trends are going down, which is a wonderful thing.

More subtle effects are perhaps just as significant, like postponing childbirth and women delaying childbirth for their careers. These have consequences of higher infertility and less parental involvement at home. These are more subtle, but much more common even than divorce.

It kind of puts what we argue about here a lot in perspective. Since there are only around 7 million people who are homosexual, there are many millions more people affected by heterosexual unchastity than there are by homosexual unchastity.

But it should also give us pause. Any of us may in certain moments yearn for a way to gratify our emotional and sexual needs with someone else. We wish, as people have wished for since ages past, for this to be free of consequences. But for all of us, gay or straight, it remains a wish. Back in the real world, much as Satan would like to mask it, the choice to be unchaste has real, and often permanent, consequences. The law of chastity is as important in our age, with birth control pills, no fault divorce, abortion, mountains of porn available at the click of a button, as it has been in any other.

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  1. avatar

    Two options?

    Has no one ever heard of adoption?

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    ?I don?t want this child. If you want to have it, you pay for it. I?ll pay for the abortion, but that?s all? and evade his responsibilities.

    In most, if not all, US states (don’t know about other countries), a man cannot demand an abortion. Also, if you father a child then you are legally liable to provide child support until the child turns 18. If you don’t pay it willingly then they will garnish your wages. Child support not only includes a monthly payment; but, you are liable for 1/2 of their medical expenses, etc.

    I understand with what you are saying. I just thought I would point out that men are not getting off as freely as they once did.

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    I realize this is a little off topic, but the ‘only 7 million gay people’ has my attention. 7 million gay people where? In the USA? In the world? My google research indicates more than 7 million gay people in the USA, and clearly much more than 7 million in the world.

    Your point is right, though, it would be wrong to give unduly attention to people hurt by violations of the Law of Chastity by gay people. More people are hurt by straight people who break the Law of Chasity.

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    I know! I said the same thing to her! She got this angry look in her eyes and said, “How could I give my own child up?” People have a really narrow idea about what true love means. But you listen to feminists who champion abortion, and they try to claim that surrendering a (living) child to a loving, capable couple is more emotionally damaging than terminating a pregnancy. For instance that book quotes this woman as saying,

    It?s hard to convince others about the depth of it ? I?d have an abortion any day of the week before I would ever have another adoption?or lose a kid in the woods, which is basically what it is. You know your child is out there somewhere, you just don?t know where.

    This article talks a lot about the disproportionate effects the sexual revolution has had on women. She puts her finger on it here, when she says the abortion debate we’re having for today’s culture should focus somewhere else:

    We have been focusing on the wrong part of the narratives. The endings of these stories, with their dangerous abortions and forced adoptions, may have little bearing on the world of today. But their beginnings, with all the emotions and impulses and desires that have always combined to leave some women pregnant when they don?t wish to be, are as timeless as anything in human history. They reveal something about the eternal and dangerous nature of being female, and because of this, they merit a great deal of our attention. The way these stories begin tells us as much as we ever need to know about the profound and complex decisions women make when they decide to have sex… Women will always have emotional needs that they can fill through sex, and men will always use those needs to their advantage. But men will never bear the brunt of sexuality. The toll of sex?the anguish that it can produce, the consequences of it?falls on women alone.

    I think it’s wrong that men never feel any consequences from living as a sexual libertine, but I have to agree women bear the brunt of it.


    Agreed that legally a man has very few rights. In many ways the legal system is tilted against men; but interpersonally, I think it’s still true that a man has a lot of power.

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    Full disclosure: I’m a heterosexual man in a 10-year marriage in which we have been unable to have children. Obviously that’s going to color my viewpoint, but I’m still going to throw a little hand grenade into this: your friend is being exceedingly selfish. From her POV, her emotional wellbeing is more important than what is best for the baby. Too bad she couldn’t have had a little foresight on this before she decided to shack up. As to this:

    I?d have an abortion any day of the week before I would ever have another adoption?or lose a kid in the woods, which is basically what it is. You know your child is out there somewhere, you just don?t know where.

    This is factually specious. The birth mother has all sorts of say in terms of where the kid ends up–assuming it isn’t a Baby Moses case where the infant is dropped off at a hospital or fire station, she can basically call the shots in terms of who gets the baby.

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    I know! I said the same thing to her! She got this angry look in her eyes and said, ?How could I give my own child up?”

    That is a very illogial statement on her part. She doesn’t have a problem killing her child before birth but has a problem giving the child up to a family who would most undoubtedly love it. Sad, sad statement. It basically says that it is all about me and what I want. Hopefully, others who care about her can help her realize how UNSELFISH of an act adoption really is.

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    More data, this time from a British study: “Single and cohabiting women are increasingly much more likely to commit suicide than married women, a Whitehall report showed yesterday. It found that those who do not marry were killing themselves at three times the rate of wives. “