Politics & Society
October Mon 01, 2012
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Professor Gerry Bradley made a spot-on observation here at Public Discourse that one of the underlying forces driving the HHS abortion, contraception, and sterilization mandate is the current federal ideology of “equal sexual liberty,” embracing the notion that “women will and should have lots more sexual intercourse than they have interest in conceiving children. … [that] sexual license should never impede a woman’s lifestyle, at least no more than it does a man’s.” Elsewhere, I have identified such a position as “sexual expressionism” or “sexualityism” and have defined it to include also the suggestion that sex should not only be free of the slightest reflection on its link with procreation, but also free of commitment, or even the real possibility of a relationship between the man and the woman involved.In this essay, I propose to examine this ideology, not only from a woman’s perspective, but also from the best scientific evidence we can currently lay our hands on. I will suggest that the insidious “twofer” the White House is currently proposing—trampling religious freedom in order to promote sexualityism—is even worse than doing the latter alone.First, it should be noted that sexualityism is no more than a theory about a claimed cause of women’s happiness—i.e., that its growth is directly proportional to women’s ability to express themselves sexually without commitment and without the possibility of children. The HHS mandate stands on this theory. In a world of easy availability of birth control and abortion, the only reason for a federal mandate for a “free” and universal supply is to try to send the sexualityism message. The White House has all but come out and said: “women of America, vote for the incumbent this presidential election year because he supports women’s equality and freedom, which he understands to include at the very least nonmarital and nonprocreative sexual expression.” Why else choose Sandra Fluke—an affluent, single, female law student, who demands a taxpayer-subsidized, 365-day supply of birth control as the price of female equality—as your spokeswoman? While every savvy media outlet understands the political theater going on here with the whole “war on women,” anti-Republicans message, still when the White House uses its powerful bully pulpit to send such a message, cultural damage is done.The theory of sexualityism has now had four to five decades to prove itself. There has been a massive expansion of “sexual liberty” on a nationwide scale. Consequently, by this time, observers (and policymakers) with an objective bone in their bodies who believe in the scientific method, would now be searching for a net improvement in the reported happiness and freedom of women. If they did not find one, they would discard this theory about women’s happiness and search for another. But the opposite is happening: the federal government is seeking to expand sexualityism—even while it appears to be at odds with what all known social and human sciences tell us. Simultaneously, it is claiming that groups and individuals who support practices that are closely associated with human happiness and freedom (religion and marital sexual intimacy) are irrational and unscientific.
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