In 1934, British ethnologist and social anthropologist J.D. Unwin wrote a book titled “Sex and Culture.” It was based on a study he made of 86 societies over 5,000 years of history. This is an old study, and some have blown it off because of its age, but when you look at America today, Unwin’s statements are demonstrably true. His conclusion was:
“There is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on both pre-nuptial and post-nuptial continence.” (In other words, purity before and after marriage.)
He went on to say that as long as the leaders of society “demanded sexual restraint” the society remained energetic and dominant. When the society became sexually permissive, forsaking sexual monogamy and encouraging premarital and extramarital sex and divorce, the society became less productive economically, scientifically, and artistically.
As our society throws off sexual morality, we see it starting to crumble and fulfilling Unwin’s observations. The political mess in America today shows the deteriorating nature of our country. Many of our politicians, and even religious leaders, engage in immorality. Lying is the accepted and even expected practice. Sex and culture are connected.
Consider these facts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the American Sexual Health Association:
*Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in America–half among young people aged 15-24.
*One in six Americans aged 14 to 49 is infected with herpes.
*One in four teenage girls in the U.S. has at least one STD. Every eight seconds, a teenage girl contracts an STD.
*Chlamydia is running at roughly 2 million treated cases a year. Since it doesn’t show any symptoms in most people, the figure is actually much higher.
*Undiagnosed STDs cause 20,000 women a year to become infertile.
*Gonorrhea infections are at 800,000 new cases a year.
*From 1900 to 2000 the divorce rate in America increased by 700%.
*Every year over 400,000 American teenagers become pregnant–most out of wedlock. In 1960 5% of American babies were born out of wedlock. Today that number is over 40%.
*Half of all American children born today will live with a divorced or never married parent by age 18.
Critics of the Bible maintain that the biblical teaching about sexual conduct is out of date and unwise. Promiscuity and casual sex are promoted in movies, television, and music. Our population seems to have been lulled into the notion that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are no longer an issue because medical science can cure anything.
Unwin was surprised by his findings concerning sex and culture. He did not take a religious stance and “offered no opinion about rightness or wrongness” of sexual mores. However, we want to say that following biblical morality is not only the best for individuals, it is also the best for society.
— John N. Clayton and Roland Earnst © 2020