Editorial: ‘Safe-sex’ ideology doesn’t protect Alaskan women

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Across much of our country, women suffer from high rates of sexual abuse and rape. The problem is nowhere more dire than Alaska, where nearly 40 percent of women report being victims of sexual violence at some point in their life.

In recent months, we have also learned of high levels of rape on college campuses across the nation.

The reasons for this abuse against our daughters, sisters, mothers, relatives and friends are varied but are often related to broken families, live-in boyfriends and alcohol and drug-induced passions.

These are the fruits born of a culture that has shaken off older ideas about the need to defend and honor women, about marriage being a lifelong commitment, and about sex belonging within the context of marriage. Cast off these values as dusty moralistic artifacts and the idea that sex is merely for pleasure begins to take hold.

This distorts and conceals the reality that sexual intimacy is meant to be the physical expression of deep, committed love between a husband and a wife who are open to becoming a father and a mother if or when their union leads to new life.

But when our public sense of sexual morality is stripped down to merely obtaining consent, sex comes to be seen as a recreational activity that can be enjoyed with an acquaintance at a weekend party.

To question the wisdom — let alone the morality — of this choice is a sure ticket to being accused of “imposing” your personal moral and religious beliefs on others.

In a post-Christian, post-natural law culture, the last thin trace of ethics is the mantra of consent. So long as sexual intimacy is consensual, then it is above reproach — to criticize it is to be “judgmental.”

This notion of consent, while maintaining a vestige of the idea that human beings are subjects, not objects to be used, still devolves into making people “consensual” tools. Once consent is procured nothing more is needed — no commitment, no tenderness, no respect for the wider circles of family, community, even human history, which for millennia has acknowledged that sex stays in marriage. So long as someone consents then nothing else is required because our modern culture abhors any trace of a moral structure that might limit choices, even when these limits guide us to what’s right and true and beautiful, where we find real happiness and freedom.

And here’s where the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s stripped-down attempt at sexual safety comes in.

Each year, as Saint Valentine’s Day approaches, Alaska’s largest publicly funded university rolls out a so-called “safe-sex” campaign that reflects the basest, most ethically-neutered view of sex, handing out free condoms and how-to sex kits.

This annual campaign is predicated upon a view of students as animals expected to yield to their sexual urges – as long as everyone consents and tries not to get pregnant or catch and spread sexually transmitted diseases.  Otherwise, nothing matters.

What sort of message does that send about respecting and defending the inherent God-given dignity in each other? Add to the mix alcohol and drug fueled passions and it’s hard to imagine this so-called sexual “ethics” making much of a dent in the alarming rates of sexual violence against Alaskan women.


'Editorial: ‘Safe-sex’ ideology doesn’t protect Alaskan women' have 2 comments

  1. February 2015 @ 8:44 pm Steven Eayrs

    Good article Joel, and to the point. There will always be those who ridicule moral standards, and issues that I have come to see so black and white, (and not 50 shades of gray). As a Christian it is, or should be, easy to see the importance of the marriage covenant. We are spared so much turmoil, grief, heartbreak, and lifelong remorse, by simply following some simple rules, set up by a God who has our best interest in mind. The marriage covenant is also used by Jesus as an example of his relationship with Him, as His bride. We are not his one night stand, his rape victim, or his sex toy. We are His bride… Something that can only be understood, by someone who observes and respects the covenant. Its a wonderful picture of true love and passion.
    Many would rather believe in a vengeful, jealous god, or possibly no god at all. And of course the personal gratification of sex, is left to a personal freedom and preference, with no restraints, or rules to follow.. They refuse to think that a world of monogamous sexual relationships is even possible. I believe there are many who believe like you, Andy. But I believe that God heals, redeems and changes hearts of the hardest men and women. I know its true personally. Yes there are many men who don’t have once ounce of respect for women, and never had it modeled for them, but they can and do change, in the light of a loving God. I know that from personal experience.
    To believe rules concerning our sexual conduct towards others or ourselves don’t exist, or are not for today, are not applying the same logic to this subject, as they do to so many other areas of life. All would agree meth will not better your life, driving while drunk is not a good idea, overeating and bad habits can kill you, being a bully is not acceptable, its not ok to murder, and on and on….. Its a fact that truths/laws/rules exist, and we all know they are there to protect us and others, and produce a better more productive society. The inability of the current political or socially correct world, to recognize these truths as absolutes, has never made these truths any more less true. Just gives us a gauge to how far we have traveled from the truth, in this present culture.

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  2. February 2015 @ 7:45 pm Andy Josephson

    This is a disturbing read. Very troubling. While there is some truth in the thesis: that sex might ideally occur within a loving and respectful monogamous relationship…the article is profoundly flawed and speaks to a world that does not exist. The reality is this: that some men, whether due to their own bad life experiences, abuse, anger, or unprocessed hostility, can become profoundly and even suddenly violent. Many assaults occur between complete strangers, obviously. Some, it is true, do occur between persons familiar with one another. But the article almost infers that, all will be well, and sexual offenses will disappear if people just behave, and live as they used to live. This is a fiction. The spread of this fiction fails to solve the problem or even admit that it exists.

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