Page 6, 27th February 1998

27th February 1998
Page 6
Page 6, 27th February 1998 — Change the sexual climate

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Change the sexual climate

A REPORT OUT this week noted that more than ten per cent of all girls in Britain between the ages of 13 and 15 — under the age of consent, please note — sought contraceptives from family planning clinics. The number is three times that of eight years ago. At the same time as more young people are using contraceptives, the number of British girls of the same age undergoing abortions is the highest ever, and the highest in Europe. In other words, sexual activity is rife in the under-aged teens. At one time a Lothario had to work hard at the art of seduction — now it is handed to him on a plate.

It would appear that for the majority of the British public there is nothing much, or at all, wrong with this state of affairs, for it beggars belief that most of this sexual activity goes on without the knowledge or consent of the parents.

A more rigorously enforced law may help to deter some males, particularly older men, from engaging in sex with young women. But it will hardly make much impression on the thousands of young people in their "relationships" or on their "one-night stands". The solution has to be more radical than the law: as much a revolution in national mores as was the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the one that started the rot. In those days the cult of "liberation" involved the

jettisoning of attitudes which were considered to have been simply handed down from the time of closed and hypocritical societies. In the pursuit of thinking through moral laws for oneself, to be able to make them one's own rather than simply to accept them from others, the result has been that virtually all sexual morality has come to be considered of private concern — or more likely, of no concern at all. Thinking for oneself has turned into not thinking at all.

The lure of imagined romance and the demands of adolescent hormones require the tightest controls, not a blind eye, and certainly not the indulgence of advertisers, broadcasters, magazine editors and other manipulators of culture. Their responsibility is equal to that of parents and teachers, for they help to create the climate of sexual laissez-faire which abounds. When they regard under-age sex as distasteful and repugnant as they do public hanging and flogging, the cultural climate may begin to change. If they can influence the young to realise that marriage is the only appropriate condition for the physical consummation of sexual love, then the outlook may be happier than it would be if marriage is to be disregarded. Monogamy has to be made to look attractive. For it is the condition that God has created for the flourishing of his people.

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