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  • The Sexual Revolution and its Victims

    by Anthony Esolen

    divorce_pic

    What strikes me most powerfully about the defenders of the sexual revolution is their immovable abstraction.  Always the matter is couched in terms of rights, or individual desires—what I want, what I may pursue.  That this sexual laissez-faire destroys the common good, by undermining families and rotting whole neighborhoods from within, seems not to matter.  Honest sociologists can give us the numbers, of children growing up without fathers or mothers, of the incidence of venereal diseases, of births out of wedlock, of delinquency and crime.  I think instead of the people I have known.

    I am thinking now of a cousin, whom I’ll call Danny.  We were about the same age, but already, when he was a little boy, Danny was something of a bully.  I’d see him pretty often, because we lived in the same town, and because the aunts and uncles used to visit our grandparents every Sunday afternoon.  My main memory of Danny from those days is that he pushed me around, I didn’t like being with him, and, somehow, my father wished his son was more like Danny and less like me.  I was bookish—not that we had any books in our house—and he was the typical boy, energetic and strong.  One day my father and his father were roughhousing with us, throwing us up in the air, and I didn’t like it.  Maybe I started crying, I don’t know.  My father grouched about it, at which point my mother, not given to such outbursts, told him to stop it and to leave me alone.  Looking back on it, I wish she hadn’t, but she meant well.

    My father shied away from me during those years, or maybe he was just exhausted when he came home every night from his high-pressure work.  He was a salesman on commission, working in the countryside.  He had to be better than his colleagues who worked in the towns, because he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford all the extra time on the road.  It was our only source of income, and there were already three children in the family.  I grew shy, and had a hard time making friends, though that problem was palliated by all our relatives who lived very near, and a neighborhood full of children whom you’d see every day in the summer.

    Danny had a hard time of it too, as I see now.  His father was a very nice man, but weak, and that whole family had too strong a taste for beer.  He drank, and his wife—my aunt, whom I saw no more than two or three times in my whole life, despite the fact that she grew up next door to my mother, across the street from where we lived, and was my mother’s best friend then—my aunt was a hard and unforgiving woman.  She harbored a grudge against Grandma, which was rather like harboring a grudge against Bambi’s mother, and refused to go to her house again, or to any of our houses.  She tried her hardest to keep Danny from going, too, but my uncle in a rare show of determination insisted.  That household must have been a regular boiler.  Danny’s behavior was in part a frustrated reaction to all this—and I began to understand it that way, even when I was young, because nobody, nobody could imagine a woman as bitter as his mother.

    Here is where people will say, “But this is exactly why we needed to remove the stigma from divorce, so that your uncle could escape the trap.”  I’m not buying.  We are talking about human beings here, not machines.  If a machine doesn’t work, you fix it, or you take it to the dump.  But men and women are bent double with sin: incurvatus, as Augustine puts it so memorably.  If the problem is sin—my uncle’s touch of sloth, his drinking too much, his weak will, my aunt’s perfervid wrath, her hardheartedness—then what you need is not a change of sexual scenery.  You need repentance and reformation.  To open the door to easy divorce is, first, to lower the cost of bad behavior while discouraging people from setting out on the really difficult path, and, second, to free the same people, unreformed, to marry others in turn.

    If this had been the 1950’s, my aunt and uncle would not have gotten a divorce.  Indeed, they might have had another child—Danny was an only child, and that too caused him much heartache—and they might have thrown the crockery at each other, but, Catholics both (and my uncle never missed Mass on Sunday), they would not have gotten a divorce.  Would they have spent the next forty years seething and snarling?  I don’t know.  I do know several couples in my close acquaintance who now enjoy very happy marriages precisely because, during times of extraordinary difficulty, divorce was not an option.  It’s surprising how practical people can become when they are in one life-raft together.

    But this was the 1960’s, so they did divorce.  Both of them married again.  For my uncle, that decision wasn’t all sweet.  It meant that he was ipso facto excommunicated from the Church.  He continued to attend Mass, but he did not receive Communion.

    From that time on, almost all the aggressiveness in Danny turned inside.  I say almost, because about once a year or so Danny would get into a fight.  He wasn’t tall, and he didn’t lift weights, and there were probably a lot of boys who were stronger than he was, but nobody wanted to be in his way when he lost his temper.  It was pure rage.  You couldn’t beat him in a fight unless you knocked him unconscious, and nobody did.  He kept coming at you, no matter the blood.  All his anger at the father he loved and the mother he loved and hated with a cold passion, all that came out in a flurry of punches.  It was the same way when he played tackle football on the playground.  Nobody wanted to be in his way, because he’d lower his head and churn his feet, reckless of what happened.

    Danny won some respect for that, but no real friends.  He was intensely lonely.  He had developed a habit of speaking very softly, hardly moving his lips, so that you’d have to ask him a couple of times what he was saying; it was the speech equivalent of micrography.  Only his cousins could put up with it, and, lucky for him, he had a few boy-cousins nearby, and my father.  We were what pulled him through, sort of.

    The woman his father married was the same sort as the first wife.  She was a bitter and hard and cynical.  She had a son from a previous marriage whom she doted on, so she couldn’t give Danny the time of day.  Danny resented her, and couldn’t stand the stepbrother, who was a martial arts expert, which he never tired of reminding people of, and a snob.  The man his mother married was cold and distant.  Danny never got any love from him, either.  Meanwhile, my uncle suffered a heart attack.  That ran in our family; bad genes, beer, and cigarettes.  He was supposed to take it easy.  One day—Danny was a teenager by then—we got the bad news.  My uncle had come home tired and feeling sick.  His wife told him he probably had eaten something that didn’t agree with him.  She ignored it.  He died later that afternoon.  We all believed that he might have lived if she had taken him to the hospital right away, but she didn’t want to be bothered.  She held the obligatory meal for the relatives after the funeral.  I never saw her again.  I don’t know that Danny ever saw her again, either.

    Danny’s mother was growing unnaturally jealous of her son’s friends.  He was sixteen, and she imposed a curfew on him—he had to be in by eight o’clock.  He had no money to spend.  He could not bring anybody to the house.  She did allow him to go to my house, and to visit some of the other cousins.  I saw her exactly once during all of these years.

    Danny worked at a summer job, and all of his money went to his mother.  She also kept a lid on the inheritance that his father had bequeathed to him.  Many years later, when Danny was in his twenties, he discovered that she had in fact rifled both the bequest and the money that he had brought home from all his jobs.  At that point—his chances of leading a normal life virtually nil—he broke with her completely.  He never spoke to her again.

    But during those rough teenage years something else was going on.  I hadn’t had an easy time of it, and was still very shy, but by then my father and I had grown much closer, and I even had a girl friend from my high school.  In the summer, Danny would come over sometimes, and then my heart would sink.  I liked him, but he was hard to talk to—he was hard to hear.  He always wanted to talk about his father, whom he missed and whose many faults he glossed over, because he knew that his father loved him, which was true enough.

    The excuse for coming over was our pool.  We’d go downstairs and undress and put on our bathing suits, and then swim for an hour, or play a kind of baseball game in the pool, and then go back downstairs and strip and put our clothes back on.  This was important to Danny in a way that I only half suspected at the time.  I wasn’t entirely comfortable.  That wasn’t his fault, though.  I was skinny and broad shouldered and fairly muscular from swimming a lot, but I also had a deformity which made undressing, even in front of a cousin, embarrassing.

    But he had to be there.  If I had snuck downstairs to put on my bathing suit before he did, he was visibly disappointed, and asked why I hadn’t waited for him.

    He longed so much to be affirmed as a boy, and had no father who could do that for him.  I am absolutely certain that if he had grown up now, he would have been counseled or enticed into a life of seeking by sexual means the masculine confidence he had been denied naturally.  Whether this would have taken a homosexual or a heterosexual form, I don’t know; I do know that the times were already going bad.  When Danny left his mother, he took up living with a woman many years his senior.  They never married.  He never had a child of his own.  Then she died.  The last I heard of him, he was an inveterate gambler, running through paychecks at the casino.

    At every step of his life, though, the sexual revolution wrought its harm.  It perversely rewarded the irresponsible behavior of his parents and his stepparents.  It had, even by then, made sexual activity among young people something to be expected, so that a lonely kid like Danny would constantly have to wonder about himself.  It had corrupted the popular culture, so that well-chaperoned and innocent CYO dances were a distant memory.  It set him up for a short-circuited sexual relationship with a mother-substitute, depriving him of the children that might have sweetened his advancing years.  It swept away all the institutions that used to bring boys together, as boys, to train them to be decent and well-adjusted men.  It raised him up in an anti-culture of faithlessness, as he would witness one sexual “relationship” after another dissolve by ill-will or boredom.

    It has brought us a world wherein people sweat themselves to death in the pursuit of unhappiness.  Some of those people, by the grace of God, miss their aim.

    The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
    Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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    • Deacon Ed Peitler

      Just about says it all. One case can be extrapolated tens of millions of times. And God continues to search and long for His lost lost children – because he truly is Father..

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    • hombre111

      I would agree whole-heartedly about the devastating impact of the sexual revolution and above all now in this time of the “hook-up” culture. But divorce is a much more complex question. In my extended family, there have been four divorces. With all of them, it was a move toward a better life, both for the spouse and for the children.

    • Phoenix

      For years I blamed my Dad for my folks’ marital problems. Then I grew up and got married myself. I got to know my mother, woman to woman, and guess what? She was not the victim I thought she was. My Dad has all the bluster and the drink. But my Mom’s digs were every bit as evil, however meekly delivered. So they were both deeply flawed people. What else is new? They’re still together. And they’re still the same. I’ve learned to love and forgive my Dad and I’ve learned to see my Mom in myself, and alter my manner before I say regrettable things. That’s what staying together gets you–a real healing of the family tree. Or at least the possibility. Divorce doesn’t teach. As Dr. Esolen said, many divorced people go on to marry another drunk, another abuser, another icey b&%$#. And I do think there are good reasons to seek a divorce–real danger in the home. But my parents stuck it out. It was awful. But I think it would have been more awful, no benefit, to have a stranger in my home, or to live without my Dad.

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    • poetcomic1

      My two cousins now in their late fifties and early sixties bore the brunt of the ‘sexual revolution’. Smart, pretty, intelligent young Jewish ladies who got abortions (of course) for the idea of having an ‘accidental’ baby was ‘unthinkable’. Both are very outgoing and loving with children and I feel would have been great mothers, even great single mothers (money wasn’t the big problem). Now, its way too late and neither will ever have children. One was divorced twice, the other in a twenty year relationship with a married man and when the married man FINALLY got divorced he dropped my cousin for a ‘newer model’. Their sexual revolution is over. They live alone, bitter, depressed and knowing that the only babies they would ever have they had killed,

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Esolen/1184164082 Tony Esolen

      My cousin, when he wasn’t prodded into a fight, which ended up being a notable occasion but very rare, was an extraordinarily gentle person. He was also very lonely. He was horribly served by the bad actions of adults — and that’s a common enough story too. He was a victim of the sexual revolution, as I see it. There are a lot of victims of that misery in my family and in my wife’s family. We have, between us, 81 first cousins (that is not counting spouses or children of first cousins), 52 aunts and uncles — lots of opportunity to observe what the bad habits of the time can do to ordinary people. Some of those ordinary people were blessed with decent temperaments, some weren’t; some stayed close to the Church, some drifted away. No one escaped unscathed. Some were plain ruined by it all. And then come the children … and families in complete chaos.

      • navyenduring

        Great article Tony, I wholeheartedly agree!

    • withhope

      I can relate to ‘Danny’s’ sense of isolation. My father died when I was quite young, but the ‘quietness’ of Danny’s father might not have helped. At any rate – when there’s only one child left in the home and a needy parent, however hard or kind-hearted, filtering life through one adult medium…and, poor Danny if there was only a civil-melt over an ice-cold hatred…children do need two constant parents, a loving mother and a father who aren’t starring (however consciously or unconsciously) in their own drama.

    • Deacon Ed Peitler

      Want to get a “feel” (excuse the pun) for what fruit has been borne by the sexual revolution of the 60′s and its deterioration of the moral law and destruction of the family? Simply do this: ask young people between the ages of 21-40 how many people they have had sexual intercourse with. Most will not even venture a guess but ask them to guess anyway. After they have told you, “Hundreds perhaps,” then ask them if they can remember all their names. They will fail miserably at this. Then ask them if they told the person they had sex with that they loved them during the act (most will have). Then ask them if they actually spoke the truth (i.e. that they did,in fact, love the person). They will look at you bemused. Then ask them if any of these sexual intercourse encounters ended in a pregnancy and in an abortion.
      You will have laid out before you the fruits of sexual “liberation,” contraception, radical feminism, no-fault divorce, abortion on demand, id’s run amok and all the rest. You will see what happens when you divorce love and sexual intercourse; when you divorce sexual intercourse from marriage; when sexual intercourse makes the “other”into a mere object to be used and not loved. You will also find a trail of drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, suicide, anomie. and more divorces.
      My conclusion:the experiment failed!

      • James K.

        The troll has been justly purged from the site, but her reply to this comment was partially correct. We haven’t yet reached the point
        at which the average person has had anywhere near hundreds of partners,
        and in recent decades the statistics on bad behavior have decreased from
        their 1970s peak.

        • MarkRutledge

          Whether the century mark is hit or not is beside the point. Even if counted in dozens, the salient point is the number of sexual partners is often high enough to be unknown to the poor young man or woman. While good the number may be down from a peak, it is still far higher than it could be, and far, far higher than it should be for a heathy society.

          • James K.

            Isn’t accuracy important? The average number of sexual partners is in the single digits. It should be one – we need to try to reform our society to make it one – but we need to be accurate in our data before we can. I would think people would find semi-good news to be cheering rather than trying to shout it down. The truth about our society is depressing enough – if I thought the average person I saw each day had slept with hundreds of people, it would be hard to bother even getting out of bed in the morning.

            • James K.

              Clarification – it should be one if married, zero if single.

            • http://profiles.google.com/jflare29 John Flaherty

              Accuracy only matters insofar as the difference between two particular numbers has relevance. I contend that any time a number of sexual partners rises above 3, you already have a serious disaster.
              After that, it makes rather little difference whether the actual number might be 13, 56, or 107. Bringing someone back from a moral abyss will be intensely difficult.

          • Candice

            I would suggest accuracy in numbers is important. As someone who grew up in a morally perverse home and spent the first 10 years of my life outside that home in those same morally depraved sins, I view numbers very differently. When someone says a “hundred” partners, I used to feel like my measly 20-something wasn’t a bige deal. When I found the average girl has four (FOUR!) I felt the weight of my shame for the first time. It was terribly important for me to see that normalcy did NOT include what I had been raised to believe. I realize now it should have been God’s standard that made me ashamed, but before I knew His standard (or would listen to it for that matter) it took this truth to shame me and make me start to quesion if what I had been taught was actual truth. Everyone is unique, yes, but for me the number made all the difference as the first understanding of my sins set in.

        • http://www.facebook.com/roseannetsullivan Roseanne Sullivan

          I suspect that the average college student who has lost the sense of the significance of sex probably has slept with a hundred partners. Even in the 70s, I knew a woman who made a list of every man she had slept with; at 20 years of age she had slept with 70, and no, she couldn’t remember their names. She wanted love but love wasn’t offered. She took the path that the world was telling her was the right one. To demand love and marriage before sex was described as prostitution. She is one of the victims of the sexual revolution.

          • http://www.facebook.com/roseannetsullivan Roseanne Sullivan

            I meant 60s, not 70s.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      One does not have to be a Marxist to recognise the economic factors that underpinned the sexual revolution, namely, the growing economic opportunities for women.

      This was facilitated by the technology that meant that simply running a house was no longer a full-time occupation; one only has to imagine living in a house without electricity – without fridges, freezers, washing machines, electric cookers (never mind microwave ovens) or vacuum cleaners – to see the change in the last hundred years. There is a reason that single people used to live in lodging houses or service apartments.

      Similar technical advances increased the range of work where men’s greater average physical strength did not give them a decisive advantage, although this was something that had been going on since the Industrial Revolution.

      An important cultural factor was, undoubtedly, the experience many women gained in working in traditional male occupations during WWII.

      No one will underestimate the importance of the Pill, but it should not lead us to neglect these other, more prosaic factors.

      • puffdaddy

        Are you saying that we were better off when women were drudges or were wealthy enough to have hired help? I’m not sure what conclusion you’re drawing.

        • MarkRutledge

          I don’t either. But there IS a point to be made about the effect of technological advances for women. This is what made working outside the home viable for middle class women, not so much the pill. Apologists for the sexual revolution praise the latter. Rather than respond with “yes, but…” we should correctly respond “no, technology…” We should not yield assent where none is deserved.

          • puffdaddy

            Right on. The fact of the matter is, there were really no “middle class women” before the 50s – technology and the post war boom made the middle class possible, not the pill (which came along later anyway). There was no real middle class in Europe or anywhere else either. There were two kinds of women pre 1950s: drudges and upper class women who employed them. Of course there were exceptions, but basically women had money to hire help or they did not. My father’s father died of pneumonia when the infectious disease swept through New England in the late 1920s. His mother had 9 young kids to take care of. Even if public assistance was available it would not have occurred to her to accept it – she felt entitled to nothing. She never remarried, not because she was Irish Catholic (and devout) but because there were no viable men available and “sacrifice” was called for anyway. She moved from Andover, Mass to NYC and went to work. Every one of her children went on to college and professional lives or owners of small businesses. So don’t talk to my father about today’s “single mother” and how tough it is – at 92 he will still laugh in your face. She would have not been a drudge had her husband lived; she would have employed some girl – a future drudge – from the community to help with cooking, laundry, the children, housekeeping and so on. My mother was a depressed 50s-60s housewife with a happy marriage but since the idea of housework was alien to her (she came from a family who employed help, even during the depression, since her father’s employer, a bank, had most of its investments in oil wells and other commodity products) she was not interested in spending much time engaged in it – like a lot of women of that generation. On the other hand middle class meant you could not afford full time help. She was lucky to find someone to iron shirts. She was much happier when her youngest, me, was in high school and old enough to allow her to enter the work force in the early 1970s. She worked until she retired in her 70s. Let’s not romanticize drudgery or falsely believe most women were engaged in it pre 1950. They were not. Today I meet a lot of young women and even those in their 30s and 40s who want nothing to do with the workforce, and who want to stay home if they can afford it. I see a resurgence of traditional family roles. Let’s see if the kids turn out better.

      • http://profiles.google.com/jflare29 John Flaherty

        I think you might be desperately inexperienced with life if you believe that electricity or gas have made housekeeping anything less of a full-time job.

        Economic opportunities for women HAVE changed, but the amount of time required to keep the average home clean hasn’t changed that much. Less physically demanding MAYBE, but not less time-consuming.

    • Krista

      Tony, you sound like an introspective human being, but your blog appears very judgmental. Everyone’s path is different. People should be in a committed relationship such as marriage for the long haul, but if it threatens their personal being, they may have to take a drastic measure such as divorce. We really only know part of anyone else’s story, not the whole thing, only God can know that and possibly the person. Not everyone who doesn’t have children has a lonely life in their later
      years. We have the freedom to spread our love and care to other beings,
      animals, good causes, etc.

      • Pilgrim

        I don’t think this article seems judgmental at all, unless you think “judgmental” means that a person articulates that certain actions are indeed good and/or right or bad and/or immoral. Divorce is bad – bad for spouses, bad for parents, bad for children. Separation may be necessary for the safety of a spouse or children, but let’s not take an exception and make it a rule. If marriage threatens their “personal being”? What does that even mean? And what happened to loving and honoring for better or worse? Widespread acceptance of divorce has wreaked havoc on our entire society, and vows aren’t taken seriously.

        Also, sure people have good causes to help them get outside themselves. But having one’s own children creates a necessity for one to get outside oneself, and can be a huge help to someone like Danny, even if he or she doesn’t realize a need for help.

      • navyenduring

        You miss his point. He showed in the article that these people were no more happier getting divorced and remarried. So many people today are on number three, four, five and still not happy. What people fail to realize is that marriage is a sacrament and the purpose is to help your spouse make it to heaven. I am a woman and health care provider and have seen the destruction of cheating spouses, sexually tranmitted disease and unrealistic expectation that the next one will make me happy. The only thing that makes us happy is to know God, to live like we know God and to give of ourselves to others even when it is difficult

      • Adam_Baum

        “People should be in a committed relationship such as marriage for the long haul”

        There are no other “committed relationships” other than marriage. Anything else is uncommitted-the very nature of an indissoluble, witnessed (public) and recorded promise is to ensure that there is no “I’ll still respect you in the morning” promises that are quickly and easily forgotten.

        “but if it threatens their personal being, they may have to take a drastic measure such as divorce.”

        But every divorce adds to the general skepticism about marriage and the vast majority are not pursued as matters of avoiding physical harm (I know, I used to read divorce decrees as part of a job.) Most are due to “irreconcilable differences”.

        It also encourages unions that aren’t well thought out (it’s more than the transient ardor of erotic feeling that make for mutually beneficial and durable marriages). The old adage marry in haste, repent in leisure has now largely been forgotten and replaced with, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll get a divorce-and serious people who value marriage are scandalized.

    • GrahamCombs

      But what I always keep in mind when I read one of these stories is that the left, instituitonal America, and the left in the person of this President and his feminist advisors will never recognize the wake of destruction, the lives ruined, a nation weakened and hobbled beyond the imagination of the previous generation. Feminism was always going to devolve into Ms Magazine via Playboy. And remember: Hef poured millions of his fortune in this revolution through his support of reproductive rights and abortion. There is nothing to distinguish Gloria Steinem from Hugh Hefner. Nothing.

      • navyenduring

        Amen!

        • GrahamCombs

          naveyenduring: Thank you. I don’t get many “Amens” in reply these days. I don’t know if your signature implies a Navy career, but both my father and my oldest sister served in the U.S. Navy and I have two Marine brothers-in-law. Thanks again.
          Graham Combs/Royal Oak, MI

          • navyenduring

            Graham, Yes I am in the navy as a nurse practitioner and have seen all too often what the sexual revolution has done to destroy the family from extramarital affairs to STDs, to depression and suicide over past abortions. I will always say Amen to the discipline of the military and especially the discipline over our passions which is why Christ set up His Church in the manner He did. Thank you for your families service and May God Have Mercy on the US in this coming election. That has been my daily prayer. God Bless, Mary Mary Powell

    • James K.

      If we can ignore the ridiculous trolls below, I have a question about
      the curfew. Wasn’t it actually an attempt to shield her son from the
      sexual revolution? After all, fear of sexual escapades (or of allied
      problems like drinking and drugs) is usually the main motive for a
      curfew. Eight o’clock seems reasonable for a school night, although
      much less so for a Friday or Saturday. And if the mother was as bad as
      depicted, It seems that although the divorce was part of the problem,
      Danny was likely to turn out messed up regardless.

      Also, is anyone involved with this (except Danny himself, whose
      currently living status is noted) still alive? I don’t know if I see
      the point of hanging out all this dirty laundry, especially when, as I
      said, it seems to be more just a story of awful people than directly on
      point as a story of the sexual revolution.

    • Deacon Ed Peitler

      For those of you who have expressed doubt as to the veracity of what I have stated about the sexual habits of younger adults all I can say is that I have indeed asked these questions to people coming in to see me for counseling regarding relationship issues. I am only reporting what they tell me. It is not unusual for an unmarried man in his late 30′s to tell me that he has had at least 100 partners. Obviously, this is a skewed population of people seeking counseling for serious enough relaitonship problems such that they seek help. But the devastation wrought by the ‘sexual revolution” is unmistakeable if you just scratch the surface.

      • navyenduring

        Deacon
        I as a health care professional have heard the same thing. This is not fiction but the new “norm” That is why today, so many think that abortion, homosexual marriage and the like are ok, despite having been raised Catholic. I also blame the sexual revolution on the economic situation. Whether people want to admit it, Pope Paul VI was so correct when he said contraception would result in the breakdown of the family. So many women today raising children alone with a disengaged father. He was prophetic. He said it would lead to abortion and the cheapening of life. How true and how sad

    • puffdaddy

      It seems to me that Danny’s parents would not have been more engaged with raising their son had they stayed together – the family sounds pretty dreadful to begin with so it’s hard to say how Danny would have turned out had they stayed together. Some children can overcome adversity better than others so he may have turned out the same either way. Moreover, I don’t get the sense that the parents were sexual adventurers; it just seems that divorce became more acceptable and they didn’t like each other and weren’t willing to work on improving their own relationship or the relationship with their son. They do not sound especially well educated, and that may have been more of a problem than the sexual revolution in this particular case. Where they married when they were quite young? Waiting longer to marry has some advantages that have little to nothing to do with acquiring sexual experiences. Danny’s relationship with an older woman seems to be more about looking for a parental figure and some parental reinforcement rather than sexual satisfaction so maybe Danny is not the best example of the tragedy of the sexual revolution, which I certainly think has created a lot of misery in both men and women. And let’s not forget, even Catholics have had premarital and extramarital sex for generations, generations predating the sexual revolution. Mainly these were wealthy people, poor people were less prone to engage in such risky behavior, and we have seen the taboos have been removed among poor people because of the sexual revolution, and that point was beautifully expressed in an excellent Crisis article, Strange Bedfellows: The Church and Secular Social Scientists on the Harmful Consequences of the Sexual Revolution by David Paul Deavel

      • Angelina Steiner

        Well, Danny did mentioned that he missed his father. No matter what, people should seek help and work out there problems before divorce (remarrying is an adultery according to Christ himself )because children are involve — and that’s the main gist of this article.

    • http://www.foxnews.com Mtxun

      I always knew that love untested, unproven, Un-COMMITTED, was no love at all. Vows are important because they are the strings that bind lives/hearts/souls together. If there is no commitment, there is no love.

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    • Ford Oxaal

      Why were all my comments deleted? And the things I wrote disappear from Disqus as well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/roseannetsullivan Roseanne Sullivan

      Prof. Esolen’s good story about this topic reminds me that because I saw so many lives being ruined since I was a young adult during the 60s and 70s I have always wanted to write a book titled, “Casualties of the Sexual Revolution.” The hurt to individuals and society is incalculable. A Survival of the Fittest mentality rules. The ones who somehow construct happy lives for themselves anyway in spite of the physical and psychological damages inflicted by a life of sexual immorality look down on those who don’t make it, as though those who lose don’t have the Right Stuff. The thing is, we shouldn’t have to be ace test pilots to navigate our personal lives. I returned to Catholicism partly because of its teachings about morality. Sex outside of God’s plan is not healthy for children or other living hunan beings.

    • Robert

      The sexual revolution has been taken to extremes we coulld never have anticipated in any previous era. Pornography and homosexuality are now considered mainstream behaviors and both are readily available even to young children. I feel that this all must be part of some vile social engieering project.

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