Promiscuity is dangerous

Kathlyn Hotynski

What happens when a guy and girl ‘hook up?’ There are many possibilities, because the term itself doesn’t have a clear-cut definition. According to a 2001 study of college women entitled, “Hooking Up, Hanging Up and Hoping for Mr. Right,” hooking up is described as “explicitly allowing sexual interaction without commitment or even affection.” It happens on college campuses, usually between a guy and girl who don’t know each other, but the same guy and girl can continue to hook up for a period of days, weeks or even months. Hooking up can involve anything from kissing to having sex. To reiterate the main point of all of this:

“… it takes place outside the context of commitment.”

In another age, things like this were referred to as ‘cheap thrills.’

According to the sexual revolution, men and women were encouraged to be ‘liberated’ from the repressive moral standards of their elders. This worked well, especially coming on the heels of the free love movement, which fought against the Judeo-Christian ethic of reserving sex exclusively for marriage. In the new zeitgeist, marriage is an antiquated system of control perpetuated by the patriarchal elite, and morality is the burden of responsibility that represses natural sexual desire. Right?

Let’s see if that idea holds true. Of the respondents to the aforementioned survey, 62 percent said that hooking up made them feel “desirable,” which makes sense in the context of our “liberated” culture. However, it also made 64 percent feel “awkward,” 44 percent feel “disappointed,” 27 percent feel “empty” and 23 percent “exploited.”

Should women really be feeling compunctious sentiment? Quite the contrary; they should feel empowered and free. Either these women just don’t get it, or it’s our culture that’s got it wrong.

Margaret Sanger described the enjoyment of sexual freedom as “the only method” by which someone finds “inner peace and security and beauty.” She also had this to say about overcoming societal problems: “Remove the constraints and prohibitions which now hinder the release of inner energies, and most of the larger evils of society will perish.” Was she right?

Since 1969, the marriage rate has dropped by nearly 50 percent. The number of unmarried couples living together (cohabiting) is 10 times larger than in 1970. About one in every three marriages ends in divorce. Around 65 percent of sexually transmitted diseases appear in people who are under the age of 25. The number of STD cases among sexually active unmarried women is six times higher than among married women.

Now, before you’re tempted to say that I’m confusing causation with correlation, think about the rationale of the sexual revolution: men and women are encouraged to abandon inhibition and be sexually free. Since inhibitions and moral codes seem to get in the way of having sex with whomever and whenever, they are tossed aside.

Consequently, unmarried people are having more sex. The increase in said sexual activity carries the increased risk of unintended consequences, such as STDs and unwanted pregnancy. Lest I look at this through too much of a pragmatic view, there’s also emotional detachment and lack of fulfillment from having sex. Once upon a time, sex meant giving yourself to your husband (or wife) and expressing your love in that way. But nowadays, saving sex for marriage has become unfashionable. We’re doing it now, darn it, and if you tell us that we can’t, then you’re a patriarchal dictator seeking to hold everyone to an outdated moral code. The only thing that this scene needs is a British peasant hollering about “the violence inherent in the system” and we’re set.

Forgive my sarcasm, as this is a weighty matter.

My point is that the cost of the sexual revolution is more than some thought it to be worth. Even Margaret Sanger could not find fulfillment in her own ideals of sexual liberation – she went through two marriages, many lovers, a drug addiction and relied upon astrology and psychics to find the meaning of life.

The college girls who look for relationships based on physical encounters with strangers might not get a phone call the next day, if any call at all. Even if they do get the phone call and a relationship develops, is it worth the risk of getting STDs, and is it worth the fact that you’re surrendering yourself to someone who has no idea who you are?

There is a more excellent way than the hedonism in which our culture is inebriated. Men, you don’t need to have sex with every woman you see to attain manhood. Women, you don’t need to let yourself be objectified by men, your friends or even yourself.

There is an increasing number of people who are choosing the road less traveled. Dawn Eden’s book, “The Thrill of the Chaste,” gives a gritty, realistic look at our society’s pursuit of sex as the be-all and end-all of relationships, but also elaborates on redemption.

It’s Women’s History Month, folks. Let’s remember that “liberation” led us down a path full of consequences that hold us in much tighter chains than morality ever did.

McCormick is a freshman English education major and a columnist for The Spectator.