[E]arlier generations of Americans waited longer to have sex, took fewer sexual partners across their lifetimes, and were more likely to see sleeping together as a way station on the road to wedlock.
And they may have been happier for it. That’s the conclusion suggested by two sociologists, Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, in their recent book, “Premarital Sex in America.” Their research, which looks at sexual behavior among contemporary young adults, finds a significant correlation between sexual restraint and emotional well-being, between monogamy and happiness — and between promiscuity and depression.
Which is more probable: unhappy people sleep around, looking for something they are missing in their lives, or sex is so evil that every time you have sex with someone you are not going to marry your life is destroyed?
This correlation is much stronger for women than for men. Female emotional well-being seems to be tightly bound to sexual stability — which may help explain why overall female happiness has actually drifted downward since the sexual revolution.
The females, with their female minds, are unhappy without a man to give them emotional stability. They will become depressed and promiscuous. Because of the sex. Ross Douthat expects us to accept this stupidity because he believes it down to the bitter, shriveled lump of pain he calls his soul. Women are not individuals to him, they are not people, they are "women." They are something else, something not, something deeply wrong and wicked and nauseating.
Someone, almost certainly Mrs. Douthat the elder, opened up Young Master Douthat's head and poured in the most repressive, hysterical, self-loathing Christianist bullshit they could come up with. And now Douthat looks around him in horror at all the screwing and partying and drinking and exploration, the failures and the wonders, the pleasures and the human pain, and it makes him want to throw up. You remember this classic:
One successful foray ended on the guest bed of a high school friend’s parents, with a girl who resembled a chunkier Reese Witherspoon drunkenly masticating my neck and cheeks. It had taken some time to reach this point–”Do most Harvard guys take so long to get what they want?” she had asked, pushing her tongue into my mouth. I wasn’t sure what to say, but then I wasn’t sure this was what I wanted. My throat was dry from too much vodka, and her breasts, spilling out of pink pajamas, threatened my ability to. I was supposed to be excited, but I was bored and somewhat disgusted with myself, with her, with the whole business… and then whatever residual enthusiasm I felt for the venture dissipated, with shocking speed, as she nibbled at my ear and whispered–”You know, I’m on the pill…”
I'd feel sorry for the poor bastard if he weren't trying to shove his emotional problems down our throats.
Among the young people Regnerus and Uecker studied, the happiest women were those with a current sexual partner and only one or two partners in their lifetime. Virgins were almost as happy, though not quite, and then a young woman’s likelihood of depression rose steadily as her number of partners climbed and the present stability of her sex life diminished.
When social conservatives talk about restoring the link between sex, monogamy and marriage, they often have these kinds of realities in mind. The point isn’t that we should aspire to some Arcadia of perfect chastity. Rather, it’s that a high sexual ideal can shape how quickly and casually people pair off, even when they aren’t living up to its exacting demands. The ultimate goal is a sexual culture that makes it easier for young people to achieve romantic happiness — by encouraging them to wait a little longer, choose more carefully and judge their sex lives against a strong moral standard.
I prefer Kathryn Jean Lopez's honesty to Douthat's sly attempts at manipulation. At least she says directly that she wants men to control women's bodies. And she says straight out that she wants to use the government to enforce her own religious laws. Douthat emulates the serpent in the Garden, all slippery words and "I'm only thinking of you."
It’s also what’s at stake in the ongoing battle over whether the federal government should be subsidizing Planned Parenthood. Obviously, social conservatives don’t like seeing their tax dollars flow to an organization that performs roughly 300,000 abortions every year. But they also see Planned Parenthood’s larger worldview — in which teen sexual activity is taken for granted, and the most important judgment to be made about a sexual encounter is whether it’s clinically “safe” — as the enemy of the kind of sexual idealism they’re trying to restore.
Liberals argue, not unreasonably, that Planned Parenthood’s approach is tailored to the gritty realities of teenage sexuality. But realism can blur into cynicism, and a jaded attitude can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Social conservatives look at the contemporary sexual landscape and remember that it wasn’t always thus, and they look at current trends and hope that it doesn’t have to be this way forever.
In this sense, despite their instinctive gloominess, they’re actually the optimists in the debate.
Blah, blah, blah keep your legs closed slut. Let's go back to that happy time pre-Pill when women had no power.
The Pill was our 14th Amendment. We will never, ever go back into dependence again, and seeing Ross Douthat preach from the pulpit of The New York Times is not going to change that. When is this simple fact going to penetrate Christianists' thick skulls?
Why can't we have better elite? Or at least a less neurotic one?
Mother always did like Richard best.
ADDED: Heh, everyone already had a bash at this pinata.