The forgotten and misunderstood history of the Sexual Revolution

By Jonathon Van Maren

In the introduction to my ongoing series on the history of the 20th century, I noted that one of my intentions was to focus on areas that I had not covered in my 2016 book, The Culture War, but to instead cover unexplored territory. The most recent two articles in that series–one on the Vietnam War and the other on the Civil Rights movement–cover two aspects of the 1960s and 1970s that I hadn’t examined in The Culture War, but before I can move on to my next essay, which will be an analysis of how the Sexual Revolution led to the secularization of the West, we do need to summarize the Sexual Revolution once again. To that end, I am publishing Chapter 1 of The Culture War, which summarizes the Sexual Revolution, for those of you who have been reading along. For those of you interested in reading the whole book (there are subsequent chapters dealing with porn, hookup culture, abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, religious liberty, etc.), you can purchase a copy here.

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The forgotten and misunderstood history of the Sexual Revolution

The 1970s blew to smithereens an entire structure of sexual morality. Revolutions like that do not last forever. They cannot. But the ending of a revolution is not the same thing as the restoration of the old order. It is the institutionalization of a new one.

–David Frum, How We Got Here

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The Sexual Revolution and the new normal

There is no series of historical events that has impacted every human living in the Western world today—and even beyond—more than the Sexual Revolution. And yet, while many are certainly familiar with the term, almost no one can explain what the Sexual Revolution is. Internet pornography, legalized abortion, the gay liberation movement, hook-up culture, contraception, public nudity, transgenderism, and threats to religious freedom are all either part of or the direct result of the Sexual Revolution. Television, the film industry, advertising agencies, academia, the media, and the music industry have all been shaped by the Sexual Revolution, and play an incessantly active role in promoting it. We are so saturated by these influences that rarely do we even notice. We simply take it for granted that this is the way things are, often without questioning how or why these things came to be.

For example, consider hook-up culture on campuses, now considered the norm and lionized in dozens of stupid campus comedy films. When I was attending Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, it was just accepted that the binge-drinking that took place was accompanied by casual sex—and if that wasn’t happening, it wasn’t for lack of effort on behalf of the students. There was even a “Campus Hook-Up Bingo” game in the student newspaper, featuring great places to have sex like the baseball diamond and the lecture halls. One student had reportedly managed to convince someone to have casual coitus with him in every one of these locations.

I had discussions about campus hook-up culture often. One friend demanded to know why I wasn’t sleeping around. I responded with a question: “How many of the people that you were with do you wish you hadn’t hooked up with?” After a pause, the thoughtful response: “Most of them, I guess. Maybe even all of them.” Another classmate demanded to know how I could call myself a “dude” if I wasn’t “sleeping with chicks.” I simply asked him whether it took more of a man to keep one woman happy for a life time or dozens for ten minutes. To that one, I got an arched eyebrow, an appreciative chuckle, and no follow-up questioning.

The thing that shocked me? Almost none of them had considered the idea that perhaps waiting to have sex with someone you loved, inside of marriage, was worth it. Not one. Hook-up culture is the new normal. It is Christian sexual ethics that are the counter-culture. And it is imperative that we understand what happened to make it so.

As I travel across North America speaking on abortion and pornography, one of the things I often hear is a hopelessness and despair that the West is being flattened by the juggernaut of spreading moral decay. There is a feeling among many people that the restriction of religious liberty, the continued legality of abortion, and the redefinition of marriage are inevitable.

This is, of course, one of the most prominent and successful strategies of the secular left—they create an aura of inevitability while concurrently demonizing all those who oppose this new and mangled “progress” as Neanderthals on the cusp of being left behind by history. That inevitability becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because many people don’t realize that the various battles in the Sexual Revolution actually all correlate to one another—that what we are seeing now is the end game of an incredibly vast and well-planned cultural project.

Forgotten history

To understand the Sexual Revolution, it is essential to first understand the academic underpinnings that paved the way for the massive social change that swept the West during the 1960s and beyond. And the fact is that almost nothing you’ve heard or been taught is true. History has been presented to us in a deliberately false way. As George Orwell once noted, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

In today’s culture, knowledge of history is itself fast becoming history. Late-night hosts have been known to make comedic hay of this growing cultural Alzheimer’s by asking people in the street mundane questions such as “Who were our allies in World War II?” to hilariously cringe-worthy responses.

But there is a distinctly unfunny side to our forgetfulness. We are very much at risk, as the old saying goes, not just of repeating history because we have forgotten it, but of repeating it without even being aware that we are repeating it. It was this point that veteran Canadian journalist and author Ted Byfield, now in his eighties, emphasized over and over when I spoke with him some time ago. “We are swiftly abandoning many of the fundamental social and moral principles upon which our civilization is based,” he said. “That is, we’re zealously cutting off the branch we’re sitting on…very few people, whether educated or uneducated, know where those principles came from, and how we came to embrace them. We are dangerously ignorant of our own heritage and history.”[1]

Byfield is right. When I began researching the social history of the West several years ago, I found myself consistently stunned by the simple fact that much of what I’d been taught—or at least led to believe–was untrue. While many university professors are lovely teachers and impressive academics that I count myself privileged to have met, there are also many aging hippies who abandoned their communes after the first good rainstorm for a more fertile way of disseminating their ideology—academia. In lecture halls in front of thousands of students, they sell their own version of how history has unfolded, leaving most of us completely unaware of how things have actually happened.

I’ve thought of this often since completing my own degree in history—Christian parents struggle against the influences of the culture to inculcate their children with traditional values and a Christian worldview, and then often pony up tens of thousands of dollars to universities just to give their faculties four years to dissuade them of this worldview.

This has often created in Christian parents a despair as they see their children drift farther and farther from their beliefs, heritage, and worldview—and these parents are often not equipped with the arguments to explain how their children are being sold a false bill of goods.

And they are. Consider, for example, a woman who could quite accurately be called “The Mother of the Sexual Revolution.”

Margaret Mead and 1928 Coming of Age in Samoa

Margaret Mead was a young anthropologist with a set of very specific ideological goals. She set out to help anthropology professor Frank Boas of Columbia University prove a thesis: that a person’s upbringing and environment shaped a person’s actions to a greater extent than genetic factors did. Together with another young scholar named Ruth Benedict, Mead set off to research the indigenous peoples of Samoa, spending nine months there—and the result of their time there was her 1928 book Coming of Age in Samoa.

The so-called revelations in this book left many in the academic world both thunder-struck and ecstatic. Margaret Mead described an idyllic island Eden in which people lived in an almost utopian harmony, with very little competition with one another and, most importantly, no draconian moral codes that restricted people’s sexual behavior. Rather, teenage Samoans had many sexual partners and were encouraged to engage in this free love South Seas hook-up culture. As Margaret Mead wrote admiringly, a young Samoan girl, “thrusts virtuosity away from her. … All of her interest is expended on clandestine sexual adventures.”[i]

In other words, Christian morality and natural law were nothing but a hoax or a dangerous social construct.

The impact of this book cannot be underestimated. According to one historian (writing in Ted Byfield’s epic history of Christianity The High Tide and the Turn[2]), “This would prove the most highly circulated anthropological book ever written. It became required reading for all first-year anthropology courses, and played a key role in shaping sex education, criminal law, government social policies, and the popular view of acceptable sexual conduct.”[ii]

In other words, it changed everything.

As John Horgan put it in the Scientific American, Mead’s book “posed a challenge to Western sexual mores, which according to Mead inflicted needless suffering on young men and women. The metatheme of Coming of Age and all Mead’s subsequent work was that the way things are is not the way they must or should be; we can choose to live in ways that make us happier and healthier. Her writings helped inspire feminism, the sexual revolution, the human potential movement and other countercultural trends during the 1960s.”[iii]

It is mind-boggling to realize when looking at the body of “scholarly work” produced by people such as Margaret Mead that brought about such cataclysmic changes in traditional sexual mores that most of this work was shoddy research and wishful thinking. (For example, Margaret Mead’s daughter later revealed that her thrice-married mother had many sexual relationships with women, including her fellow anthropologist Ruth Benedict. When she left for Samoa in 1926, Mead informed her husband that, “I’ll not leave you unless I find someone I love more.”[iv]) Yet academic communities, eager for any shred of “evidence” that could disprove Christianity, seized onto Mead’s work as yet more proof that Judeo-Christian values were outdated at best, and damaging at worst.

Much of Mead’s work has since been revealed to be a hoax. Mead set off with conclusions she needed to prove, and simply found the information she needed to substantiate those conclusions, never living with one Samoan family or learning the language in her entire nine-month stay. Her information on the sexual culture of the Samoans, it turns out, came almost entirely from two young girls.

Mead, working on several projects at once, found herself running out of time to interview adolescent girls. So instead, she decided to befriend two of her female Samoan companions, win their trust, and then obtain from them the information on Samoan sexual culture that she needed. She did not realize that by asking the sensitive and explicit questions she was asking, she was breaching Samoan code of etiquette—and the girls responded by playfully feeding Mead precisely the type of information she wanted to hear. Mead was triumphant, feeling sure that her friendship with these girls had led her to discover the real truth about sexual customs in Samoa. The girls thought the joke they had played on the nosy Western anthropologist was quite funny. Little did they realize that their playful joke would end up informing entire fields of academic study in North America, with decidedly unfunny consequences.

When scholar Dr. Derek Freeman decided, years later, to follow up on Mead’s research and travel to Samoa himself, he found that virtually all of her conclusions had been wrong.[3] Samoans held to a very strict, if not puritanical, code of sexual ethics. There was no South Seas hook-up culture. He even tracked down the two girls Mead had based her analysis of Samoan sexual practices on. As Byfield puts it: “He found these individuals, by now elderly women, and reminded them of Mead’s visit. They began to giggle in embarrassment, he reported, recounting how they had told that white lady such awful lies and stories, not expecting her to believe them. They were sorry now to have so misled her, they said.”[v]

Many in academia, seeing the foundation of so much of their worldview threatened, have savaged, personally maligned and slandered Freeman and other Mead critics. But most of them are now forced to admit that her work on the Samoans was fatally flawed. Unfortunately, our culture has already heeded the wishful thinking of Margaret Mead to such a great extent that much of the damage she has caused cannot be undone.

The Kinsey Reports

Mead was not the only one – another famous scientist, Dr. Alfred Kinsey, soon followed in her footsteps. His name will be immediately recognizable to most university graduates – he is heralded as the “Father of the Sexual Revolution.” Originally a zoologist who specialized in studying wasps, Kinsey decided to branch out into a new field, that of “sexology.” His resulting work, the Kinsey Reports, captured the imagination of the American people like nothing else had. His 1948 Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and his 1953 Sexual Behavior in the Human Female were cultural game-changers.

TIME magazine marveled at the reaction in its March 1, 1948 issue: “It weighed nearly three pounds, its 804 pages were a dreary morass of technical jargon and statistical charts, it cost $6.50. But last week the U.S. was taking to Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, commonly known as ‘the Kinsey report’ the way it had once taken to the Charleston, the yo-yo and the forcing two-bid. Not since Gone with the Wind had booksellers seen anything like it. Out less than two months, it had already sold 200,000 copies.”[vi]

It was the content, of course, that fascinated and perhaps titillated those who flocked out to purchase Kinsey’s work. Everything that anyone had ever known about sex, it turned out, was wrong—because most of the country was engaging in sexual behavior that was at best immoral by traditional standards, and at worse deviant and downright shocking. Kinsey wasn’t advising people to engage in these behaviors in his Kinsey Reports—at least not explicitly—he was saying that everyone was already engaging in them.

This too is taught in history classes as fact: My professor of American History taught our class during my first year in university that the Sexual Revolution hadn’t actually happened—because Kinsey revealed that everyone had been scandalous hypocrites all along. No one had ever really believed in or bothered to adhere to Christian morality in regards to sexuality—and our society just needed Alfred Kinsey to come along and break the conspiracy of silence.

Just like Margaret Mead, however, Kinsey had more personal reasons for turning from the study of wasps to an exploration of sex. As one writer noted recently in a New York Times review, “Kinsey presented himself to the world as a scientist and a conventional husband and father — Professor Kinsey, whom even his wife called Prok.[4] It was an essential disguise for a man exploring controversial territory, but he was in fact far more complex. James H. Jones, a historian at the University of Houston, reveals in…[a] rich, awkward biography that Kinsey was energetically bisexual — Jones says ’homosexual’ despite Kinsey’s continuing sexual relationship with his wife — and a serious masochist. Kinsey also organized group sex among his senior staff, their spouses and outside volunteers, which he observed and had filmed, evidently to condition his investigators to their work and bond them together under his paternal authority as well as to record sexual behavior directly.”[vii]

And research they did. According to David Kupelian in The Marketing of Evil:

Funded by the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation and based on thousands of interviews, Kinsey had “discovered” that while American men of the World War II “greatest generation” pretended to be faithful and monogamous, virtually all of them—95 percent—were, according to 1948 law, sex offenders. Specifically, Kinsey claimed that 85 percent of males had intercourse prior to marriage, nearly 70 percent had sex with prostitutes, and 30-45 percent of husbands had extra-marital affairs. Moreover, from 10 to 37 percent of men had engaged in homosexual acts, according to Kinsey. In fact, the oft-repeated claim that one in ten human beings is homosexual—a cornerstone of the “gay rights” movement until it was debunked—came directly from Kinsey’s published research. In endless and graphic detail, Kinsey painted a picture of Americans as being amoral sexual animals in search of constant gratification.[viii]

When researching the true history of the Sexual Revolution and the cataclysmic cultural changes that swept the West over the past fifty years, it is constantly inferred that Christians have an inherent bias, making up a consistently noticeable double standard. That bias, of course, is their Christianity, which provides the lens through which they see the world and the foundation that underlies their work. Today more than ever, any opposition to abortion, pornography, or hook-up culture is often dismissed outright by intellectuals, the media, and the political establishment as Christian theology rather than evidence-based fact. The idea that those two concepts could coincide is ridiculed, although never disproven.

However, those intellectuals whose work supposedly debunked essential tenets of Christianity, especially in the area of sexuality, are bestowed with secular sainthood. Their biographies often read more like hagiographies, and even as their followers openly admit that cultural figures such as Margaret Mead and Alfred Kinsey were themselves flagrantly adulterous and promiscuous bi-sexuals, this obvious bias is never highlighted as evidence that they may have had powerful personal interests underlying the conclusions they brought forward.

A further and far more horrifying bias is evident in the historical treatment of Dr. Alfred Kinsey: The media, the scientific community, and the authorities ignored the fact that Kinsey facilitated the brutal sexual abuse of many children in his quest to prove that all human beings are sexual from birth until death. This information was not highlighted publicly until scholar Dr. Judith Reisman decided to take a look at Kinsey’s research on child sexuality, which forms the foundation of modern sex education.

Her resulting book, Kinsey, Sex and Fraud is so devastating that it requires, as she asks of the reader in the book, the suspension of disbelief. Alfred Kinsey not only invented and falsified much of his data—he facilitated brutal sex crimes against children:

Kinsey solicited and encouraged pedophiles, at home and abroad, to sexually violate from 317 to 2,035 infants and children for his alleged data on normal “child sexuality.” Many of the crimes against children (oral and anal sodomy, genital intercourse and manual abuse) committed for Kinsey’s research are quantified in his own graphs and charts. For example, “Table 34” on page 180 of Kinsey’s “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” claims to be a “scientific” record of “multiple orgasm in pre-adolescent males.” Here, infants as young as five months were timed with a stopwatch for “orgasm” by Kinsey’s “technically trained” aides, with one four-year old tested 24 consecutive hours for an alleged 26 “orgasms.” Sex educators, pedophiles and their advocates commonly quote these child “data” to prove children’s need for homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual satisfaction via “safe-sex” education. These data are also regularly used to “prove” children are sexual from birth.[ix]

The simple, chilling fact is that Alfred Kinsey and his companions actually defined children screaming, thrashing about in pain, passing out, and convulsing as “orgasm.” Most of these children were too young to speak, so the only way they could express themselves was by showing just how much they were suffering. And, stop-watches in hand, the Kinsey men recorded their reactions as evidence of child sexuality. The evidence of those sex crimes would then be used to justify many things we now take for granted, like modern sex education.

It is not an accident that in all likelihood, you’ve never heard of the truth behind the Kinsey Reports. Just as with Dr. Derek Freeman and his expose of Margaret Mead, the intellectual heirs of the Sexual Revolution have come out defending Dr. Alfred Kinsey fiercely by attempting to discredit and defame Dr. Judith Reisman in whichever way they can. Beginning in 1983 when Kinsey co-author Dr. Wardell Pomeroy refused to debate Reisman’s findings on CNN and instead threatened to sue her, CNN’s Crossfire, columnist Patrick Buchanan, Phil Donahue, and many other media outlets were threatened by the Kinsey Institute with lawsuits should they interview Dr. Reisman or feature her work.

Ten years later, Reisman discovered that the Kinsey Institute (which defines itself on its website as working “towards advancing sexual health and knowledge worldwide” and that “for over 60 years, the institute has been a trusted source for investigating and informing the world about critical issues in sex, gender and reproduction”) had been distributing defamatory materials about her, informing people that her research was not peer-reviewed (it was) and asking universities to forbid her research. Included in these materials was a warning to the recipients that the information should “not be attributed to the Kinsey Institute.”

The Kinsey Institute has had to fight Dr. Judith Reisman’s revelations tooth and nail—because time and time again, she’s illustrated that virtually everything about the Kinsey Reports is inaccurate and unreliable. Some time ago, I spoke with her about her book in which she systematically takes apart what she refers to as “Kinsey’s defaming of the Greatest Generation”:

  1. [Dr. Kinsey’s team] ‘forced’ subjects to give the desired answers to their sex questions, 2. Secretly trashed three quarters of their research data, and 3. Based their claims about normal males on a roughly 86 percent aberrant male population including 200 sexual psychopaths, 1,400 sex offenders and hundreds each of prisoners, male prostitutes and promiscuous homosexuals. Moreover, so few normal women would talk to them that the Kinsey team labeled women who lived over a year with a man ‘married,’ reclassifying data on prostitutes and other unconventional women as “Susie Homemaker.”[x]

Dr. Reisman, unfortunately, is often a lone voice crying in the wilderness. The cultural elites are determined to hide the fact that the intellectuals that provided the framework for the Sexual Revolution were frauds. Instead, Kinsey is celebrated in Hollywood bio-pics and held up as one of our society’s most influential thinkers. Unfortunately, he is.

The liberation of sex from love

It is impossible to underestimate the scale, speed and impact of the Sexual Revolution, set loose by the carefully orchestrated campaign Kinsey and his cohorts embarked on. There are many theories as to why a generation across the West—the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and beyond—decided to abandon the Judeo-Christian codes of sexual morality that had been the standard, to one extent or another, for well over a thousand years. It may have been the fact that a generation who had survived the Great Depression and fought World War II tried too hard to ensure that their children had everything, and literally spoiled them. It may have been the fact that official religion had not fared well through two world wars and its association with nationalism, and that Christianity was less and less a part of people’s personal lives. It could be that the Vietnam War, with the US government drafting young people who wanted no part in it and sending them off to fight in the jungles a world away, was the final straw in an already stirring rebellion against authority that galvanized the Left across the Anglosphere. In all probability, it was a combination of all of these and more. But whatever it was, it changed everything for everyone.

A young man named Hugh Hefner led the charge, launching Playboy in December 1953, the first step in mainstreaming pornography. He had been inspired by the work of Alfred Kinsey, writing later that, “If Kinsey had done the research, I was the pamphleteer, spreading the news of sexual liberation through a monthly magazine.”[xi] Hefner married in 1949, but the marriage did not last long as he began to live out the “liberation” he championed. He separated from his wife in 1956—according to biographer Steven Watts, their marriage had been marked by Hefner’s hedonism: “wife-swapping (Hefner slept with his sister-in-law), bisexuality, orgies, homemade porn films and serial affairs that go unmentioned here. Hefner had a bedroom next to his office and had taken to wearing his pyjamas to meetings as the boundaries between work and pleasure broke down.” His divorce was finalized in 1959, and Hefner soon publicly advertised himself as the playboy embodied by his magazine.[xii]

In short order, Playboy faced even cruder competitors as Penthouse and Hustler emerged, abandoning the veneer of sophistication Hefner tried to maintain for Playboy and selling precisely what the customers were looking for: Raw, crude, and unattached sex. After all, everyone knew that no one bought Playboy for the articles—that was a joke that everyone was in on.

With the lid of Pandora’s Box irreparably twisted from its hinges, pornography began to seep in everywhere—and women disinterested in visual porn began to drive a market for new obscenities. Novels like 1972’s The Flame and the Flower and 1974’s Sweet Savage Love, sex-drenched novels with graphic rape descriptions, sold millions of copies, the precursors to the soon-to-be booming Harlequin “romance” industry and the 50 Shades of Grey craze. It’s hard to discern whether or not these books were so popular because of changing attitudes on sexuality, or if these novels were part of the cultural engine changing those attitudes in the first place. Whatever the case, polls soon highlighted the fact that while Kinsey may have had to lie in the early 50’s about American attitudes towards sex, Kinsey’s prophetic deceits were becoming a reality of American life.

With the invention and dissemination of the birth control pill aiding the process, sexual promiscuity exploded into North American life. In his brilliant history How We Got Here, subtitled The 70’s: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life—For Better or for Worse, author David Frum lays out just how swiftly views on sex were transformed:

As late as 1972, when the National Opinion Research Center first began probing male and female sexual attitudes, a solid majority of American women condemned premarital sex as immoral…only 20% said that premarital sex was ‘not wrong at all’; almost twice as many men, 35 percent, did so…

Between 1970 and 1980, those lingering inhibitions flew straight out the window. Feminists like Germaine Greer championed promiscuity as a means to break women’s ‘doglike’ devotion to men, and the young women of the 1970s listened and obeyed. More than two-thirds of the women who turned eighteen between the end of the Korean War and the Kennedy inauguration acknowledged sleeping with only one man as of their thirtieth birthday—their fiancée or husband, presumably…

Between 1972 and 1982, the proportion of American women who fully or conditionally endorsed premarital sex jumped by nearly 20 percentage points, to 58 percent, with fully 36 percent of women now espousing the ultra-permissive view that premarital sex was ‘not wrong at all.’ Tentatively at first, but with rising confidence, women were claiming unrestricted erotic freedom. Their parents sighed and shrugged their shoulders. In 1967, 85 percent of the parents of college-age young people condemned premarital sex as morally wrong; by 1979, only 37 percent of parents still held out against the trend of the times.[xiii]

Those numbers have not improved, and in our society today, the very idea that sex would be confined to a monogamous, heterosexual marriage is considered quaint and outdated, if not dangerous and “repressive.” Overt sexuality is virtually everywhere—as with all revolutions, the carpet-baggers and the profiteers were the first to show up. As corporations realized that “free love” was on the “free market,” they began to utilize sex as the most powerful tool in their arsenal. What pornographers and porn novelists could do, they could do, too. Newsweek magazine commented on the trend in 1967, as businesses, corporations and marketing firms began to get bolder:

The old taboos are dead are dying. A new, more permissive society is taking shape. Its outlines are etched most prominently in the arts—in the increasing nudity and frankness of today’s films, in the blunt, often obscene language seemingly endemic in American novels and plays, in the candid lyrics of pop songs and the undress of the avant-garde ballet, in erotic art and television talk shows, in freer fashions and franker advertising. And, behind this expanding permissiveness in the arts stands a society in transition, a society that has lost its consensus on such crucial issues as premarital sex…marriage, birth control and sex education; a society that cannot agree on standards of conduct, language, manners, on what can be seen and heard.[xiv]

It is hard to fully comprehend just how far our society has come since then, but one example may help to highlight it: In the early 1900s, people would be arrested for indecent exposure should they decide to expose too much skin on the beach—or anywhere else. It was generally accepted that civilized people covered up, and that immodesty was not a virtue. In fact, when designer Louis Reard announced the release of his new bathing suit design, the bikini, in 1946, not a single fashion model would agree to wear it for him. Instead, he had to hire a stripper to model it for a rather shocked and scandalized public.[xv] Today most Christian families—even those who would consider themselves conservative—have been so brainwashed by the non-stop hyper-sexualisation of everything around us that they don’t even consider the bikini shocking or unacceptable. Most Christians don’t think twice about teenagers heading off to hang out together wearing virtually nothing. That the Christians of a short 60 years ago would be busily arresting most of the Christians of today for public indecency is a powerful testimony to how far the Sexual Revolution has advanced.

Since the 1960s, this is the cultural water we’ve all been swimming in. Hollywood, the music industry, television—each of these push the envelope with increasingly explicit sexuality of all forms. As each boundary comes down, the “artists” of our day plunge forward to the next one—and very rapidly, we all become used to it. Who can say anymore that they are shocked by sexually graphic billboards or advertisements? Who doesn’t take it for granted that virtually every corporation and industry is going to use sex, innuendo, and scantily-clad models to sell virtually everything? It’s very hard to be shocked or appalled by anything when you’re bombarded by it, day in and day out. Instead, we become acclimatized to the culture and simply accept the new normal. What poet David Muar wrote of pornography certainly applies to our culture generally as well:

Attributing pornography’s growth to demand by individuals ignores what we know by experience: if one walks down the street and sees ten images of women as sexual objects, one may certainly be able to reject those images; yet it is also true that one will have to expend a greater amount of energy rejecting those images than if one saw only five or two or none at all. Assuming that human beings have only a limited amount of energy, it is obvious that the more images there are, the harder it will be for the individual to resist them; one must, after all, expend energy on other activities too…The greater the frequency of such images, the greater likelihood that they will overwhelm people’s resistance. This fact is known, of course, by all those involved in advertising and media, and is readily accepted by most consumers—except when it comes to pornography.[xvi]

That, of course, is precisely how the sexualization of our culture has worn so many people down. When the academic and author Allan Bloom was trying to explain the marriage of the Sexual Revolution and the corporations in his 1987 masterpiece The Closing of the American Mind, he painted a picture of the modern teenager that resonates still:

Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.[xvii]

From the bedroom to the street

“There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” a tousled, sweaty-looking Pierre Trudeau told a clump of reporters outside the Canadian House of Commons in 1967. It was, history now tells us, an iconic moment. Trudeau’s phrase rapidly became a slogan: “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation”—which, in turn, was becoming a secular dogma.

Across North America and the morally ravaged husk of what was once known as “Christendom,” the sexual fascists demanded that we all recognize that the only Truth was that there was no Truth, the only absolute was moral relativism, and that the churches slam their doors and keep their meddlesome standards of morality to themselves.[5] They were seemingly oblivious to the fact that they were imposing a new morality of their own—one without a foundation, without objectivity, and completely based on feelings. It was philosophical iconoclasm, if not vandalism; as future Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau noted wryly in the same interview, the libertine legislation he was proposing (the 1969 Omnibus Bill that decriminalized abortion, homosexuality, and liberalized divorce) “knocked down a lot of totems and [would override] a lot of taboos.”

Traditionally speaking—from the Victorian era (inaccurately famous for flaunting prudishness) to shortly after the Second World War—Western civilization was generally of the opinion that being civilized meant acting civilized, and that one of the prime indicators of that was the general lack of public disrobing as well as a consensus that love-making should remain an intimate experience behind closed doors. Then the Sexual Revolution arrived, with all that it entailed—the gay liberation movement, the radical feminist movement, and the indiscriminate propagation of “free love.” All of these considered public nudity as a means of making a point, however mysteriously.[6] While Trudeau and countless other less eloquent culture warriors “courageously” spoke up for their right to live life without irritating inhibition and claimed to be removing the State from the bedroom, what they actually did was open the bedroom door and invite it onto the streets.

We’ve gone from one extreme to the other. On the one side of the spectrum there is mistaken prudishness: the damaging idea that sex is somehow shameful. On the other side, we have objectively crude and wildly exhibitionist Gay Pride Parades and so-called Slut Walks. These are not considered to be optional festivals hosted by tiny minority groups. No, politicians who refuse to attend events like the Gay Pride Parade are loudly called out as heretics by the high priests of the New Moral Order, which is of course not an order at all, but a proud lack thereof. They don’t want the State to be outside the bedroom anymore, they want the State in the bedroom—loudly applauding the acts they see taking place, refraining from any judgement but one of approval, and perhaps even paying for pills and bits of latex to ensure that such acts do not go awry and result in reproduction or infection.

We’re now ordered to close the church door, but open the bedroom door. Morals and values have no place in public, while at the same time the Sexual Revolutionaries demand that we fund their practices with our tax dollars, and that churches accept (if not endorse) their practices without moral condemnation. It would seem that there is such a thing as bad churches, but no such thing as bad sex. “Good sex,” of course, means simply that at least one of the humans engaging in the interaction experienced some measure of fleeting enjoyment. A highly subjective and meaningless way of describing something—as G.K. Chesterton once noted, “The word ‘good’ has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.”

Public nudity is accepted in many places, but any reference to God and the Moral Law are definitely not, as governing bodies consistently confuse freedom of religion with freedom from religion. Prayers are not welcome in public, but privates are. The Emperor has no clothes, and is quite enjoying it—so long as the chilly breezes of moral truth don’t leak out of drafty cathedrals to cause shriveling discomfort.

It is shocking to consider just how far today’s society has fallen from what is considered suitable for public consumption and what is not. It borders on the absurd—a public Christian prayer might offend a non-Christian, but a simulated orgy disguising itself as a parade surely will not offend anyone. Many cities fund the Gay Pride Parade, which regularly features nudity among other bizarre displays of sexuality.

This new morality, to paraphrase David Frum, believes it more honorable to fornicate in the mud of Woodstock than to fight in the mud of Guadalcanal. This new morality, as the coming chapters will illustrate, is one with dangerous consequences. As is proven by the shattered corpses of aborted pre-born children brought about by millions of frivolous coital encounters, the Sexual Revolutionaries may not have found something they’re willing to die for. But they have found something they’re willing to kill for.

Our Brave New World: Sexual “rights” replace all of our other rights

When abortion activists came shrieking with rage at Canadian Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth’s suggestion that a committee examine human life in the womb in 2013, he was somewhat surprised. When the Canadian government kowtowed to feminist hysteria and shut down his colleague Mark Warawa’s motion to condemn gender-selection abortion, Woodworth noticed a trend—and coined a new term. What we’re seeing is “abortionism,” he told me in an interview. “Abortionism” is essentially a philosophy that raises abortion to a sacred status, above all other democratic principles. I agree with Mr. Woodworth, but I think the problem goes much deeper than abortion. Abortion’s now-sacred status is symptomatic of something far more sinister: the sweeping success of the Sexual Revolution. So-called “sexual rights” are now considered to be the most important “rights” our society has, and take precedence over all other rights, regardless of how fundamental they are.

Freedom of speech? This is now a quaint concept that does not apply, for example, to any sort of pro-life activism, especially and ironically on university campuses, once lauded as the marketplaces of ideas. Pornography, nude demonstrations, and virtually any form of sex-related activism is welcome—unless you happen to be opposing something, in which case it is not. When I was in university, for example, our “Cemetery of the Innocents” display was trampled and destroyed by a student politician who then took to the campus paper to refer to us as “the Hitler Youth.”  On campus after campus across North America, feminists respond to pro-life activism the same way: Shut down the debate. Almost every pro-life activist I know has been censored on his or her university campus in some way or another—and usually with the endorsement, if not assistance, of the university administration.

The same applies to the right to educate your children as you see fit. Increasingly, the adherents of the Sexual Revolution are realizing that in order to get the upcoming generation of Christians to accept the New Sexual Order, they will have to force it on them. Specifically, mandate new “sex education.” Christian schools and home-schoolers frustrate them, because they can no longer teach children about masturbation and anal sex in fifth grade. As Wendy Shalit highlights in her magnificent book A Return to Modesty, much of the public education system is now the systematic destruction of innocence. And if the powers that be have their way, soon you won’t be able to opt out.

Religious liberty is being dispensed with at an alarming rate as well. After all, our culture has abandoned religious values. Once we’ve chiseled and hacked the last of the Ten Commandments monuments from in front of the last courthouses, we can put those quaint beliefs in the trash can alongside it. Businesses that disagree with gay marriage are being forced to shut down. Churches in Denmark have already been ordered to perform gay weddings, and there’s no reason to think that such things won’t soon begin to happen here in North America. Our tax dollars are used to fund Pride Parades that resemble public orgies. The Sexual Revolutionaries are not, for the most part, about living and let live. They are about compulsory acceptance.

All rights are now subject to sexual rights.

How We Got Here

The Sexual Revolutionaries didn’t just change history. They rewrote it, because that’s what revolutionaries always do. This struck me vividly when I was traveling in China, and our tour guide, a pretty young woman named Anna, was taking my friend and I from the Forbidden Palace to Tiananmen Square to Mao Tse-Tung’s Mausoleum, where the dead dictator still lies in state in a glass-covered coffin. After listening to Anna praise Mao for hours, I asked her how she could possibly believe he was good for China when, by some estimates, he presided over the deaths of nearly seventy million people.

First she was irritated, and then agitated. After informing me that Mao was a great leader, she ended our discussion by announcing, “Denying Mao would be like denying Communist Party!” And with that, historical truth was placed firmly in the backseat to ideological obligation.

In order to understand the sex-driven lunacy and carnage that has gripped our culture on virtually every front, we have to put history back in the front seat. We have to honestly analyze and understand how we reached this point, so that we can begin to realize what we can do—not to return, but to rebuild. To equip our children and the upcoming generation with the truth of what has actually taken place, and why it is that we believe what we do.

This is precisely what Ted Byfield told me when I asked him what young people could do to begin the process of cultural renewal. Read history, he told me urgently. People will be stunned to find out what actually happened—“they will be astonished at the things we’ve done in [the last] century that made no sense at all. What should be emphasized in your generation is to find out what happened. In other words, read history.”

He’s right. Once we know what has happened, we will have a better sense of what is happening, and have vital context for the spreading social decay we are witnessing. That decay, as we will see, has become our culture’s new normal.

***

[1] Ted Byfield was for decades the voice of social conservatism in Canada, with his magazines The Alberta Report and The BC Report as well as many books detailing his opposition to the decline of Christian values in society at large. Influential in both journalism and politics, he could best be described as Canada’s William F. Buckley.

[2] Ted Byfield’s twelve-volume series The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years is the best overview of Christian history to surface in decades, providing an eminently readable and comprehensive narrative.

[3] Freeman’s book Margaret Mead in Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth lays out his findings in exhaustive detail.

[4] An affectionate combination of “Professor” and “Kinsey.”

[5] Relativism: Feet Planted Firmly In Mid-Air by Greg Koukl and Dr. Francis Beckwith is an essential read on the topic.

[6] A feminist baring her chest to protest misogynist men defining her worth by it has always struck me as somewhat counter-productive.

[i] Ross Amy, Paul Bunner, Colman Byfield, Link Byfield, Virginia Byfield et al, The High Tide and the Turn, (Edmonton: The Society to Record and Explore Christian History, 2013),64

[ii] Ross Amy, Paul Bunner, Colman Byfield, Link Byfield, Virginia Byfield et al, The High Tide and the Turn, (Edmonton: The Society to Record and Explore Christian History, 2013),64

[iii] John Horgan, “Margaret Mead’s bashers owe her an apology,” Scientific American, October 25, 2010, accessed May 2, 2016, http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/margaret-meads-bashers-owe-her-an-apology/

[iv] Paul Shankman, The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy (Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009), 86

[v] Ross Amy, Paul Bunner, Colman Byfield, Link Byfield, Virginia Byfield et al, The High Tide and the Turn, (Edmonton: The Society to Record and Explore Christian History, 2013),69

[vi] “Manners and Morals: How to Stop Gin Rummy,” TIME (March 1, 1948):16

[vii] Richard Rhotes, “Father of the Sexual Revolution, New York Times (New York, NY), November 2, 1997

[viii] David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil, (USA: WND Books, 2005), 133

[ix] David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil, (USA: WND Books, 2005), 134-5

[x] David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil, (USA: WND Books, 2005), 138

[xi] Christopher Turner, “Hugh Hefner in six volumes,” The Guardian, July 17, 2010, accessed May 2, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/jul/17/hugh-hefner-playboy-biography

[xii] Christopher Turner, “Hugh Hefner in six volumes,” The Guardian, July 17, 2010, accessed May 2, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/jul/17/hugh-hefner-playboy-biography

[xiii] David Frum, How We Got Here: The 70’s: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life—For Better Or For Worse, (USA: Random House, 2000), 190-1

[xiv] Dr. Judith A. Reisman and Edward W. Eichel, Kinsey, Sex and Fraud: The Indoctrination of a People, (Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 1990), 84

[xv] Rose Eveleth, “The Bikini’s Inventor Guessed How Much It Would Horrify The Public,” Smithsonian Mag, July 5, 2013, accessed May 2, 2016, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-bikinis-inventor-guessed-how-much-it-would-horrify-the-public-6914887/?no-ist

[xvi] Pamela Paul, Pornified: How Pornography is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and our Families, (New York: Holt Paperbacks, 2006), 50

[xvii] Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 74-5

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