May 10th 2008

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Labor abandons small business

EDITORIAL: Overhaul Australia's quarantine system!

HOUSING: How to make the Australian dream come true

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Daunting challenges for Swan's first Budget

AGRICULTURE: Behind the world's food shortage

NATIONAL SECURITY: Is it ever too early to foil a terrorist plot?

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Dial an anti-climax / Carrying a torch for China / Economic gobbledegook / Adolescent roulette... and culture shock / Zimbabwe

CHINA: Beijing spying apparatus gears up for Olympics

HIGHER EDUCATION: The high cost of free love

POPULATION: Russian life expectancy worse than Bangladesh's

MEDIA: ABC program's Castro whitewash

Point overlooked (letter)

Competition policy review (letter)

China's jackboot diplomacy (letter)

No voice for unborn at Rudd summit (letter)

Our next Governor-General (letter)

It's time to help boys (letter)

BOOKS: RISING '44: The Battle for Warsaw, by Norman Davies.

BOOKS: SILENT MOVIES: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture, by Peter Kobel

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The high cost of free love

by Bill Muehlenberg

News Weekly, May 10, 2008
Any values and beliefs youngsters may have been raised with at home are quickly assaulted on entering university.

Last week at Melbourne's Monash University, I found myself in the middle of something called the Sex It Up '08 sexual awareness week. I could have been forgiven for thinking I was in the middle of a red-light district. A large public student-union room had been turned into what looked like a brothel, complete with beds, sex objects and sleazy posters.

Later in the day, walking around the campus, a visiting friend commented, "Why are there hookers here?" He had just seen several scantily-clad and provocatively-dressed females walking by. I had to tell him that these were not in fact tarts but, alas, students dressing up for their Sex It Up activities.

It seems this was all part of an annual event that takes place at Monash University. Apparently, many other Australian universities have similar activities. The posters advertising the three-day event told of the activities students could enjoy. They included a "sex position display and competition", an interview with a stripper, a "pole diva's display", a sex toy demonstration, a fetish party, and many other such activities.


Of real interest is the fact that one of the major sponsors for all this was Sexyland, which happens to be a porn shop chain in Australia. All of which leads to some obvious questions: Why in the world should a university be in bed with the porn industry? Why is this case of sexual exhibitionism and debauchery even necessary at a university? Do parents even know that their sons and daughters are being exposed to such sleaze, complete with porn industry assistance? Are our tax dollars being spent on all this stuff?

No wonder our kids are turning out so bad when they leave home and head off to university. Any values and beliefs they may have been raised with at home are quickly assaulted on entering university. Of course, it is not just the rampant disregard for sexual norms and values; the heavy doses of secularism, atheism, relativism, nihilism and postmodernism which so often characterise Western higher education all have their corrosive influence on our young people.

It is one thing to have radical and controversial indoctrination taking place in the classrooms. But to have these clearly amoral and immoral extras thrown in as well makes it extra hard for any young person who wants to stay on the straight and narrow. But critics will simply laugh off such concerns. What is wrong with a bit of harmless sex, they will ask.

Well, most promiscuous sex is not harmless. Certainly, most casual sex is not consequence-free. There are very real consequences to the sexual free-for-all that the West has devolved into. Janice Shaw Crouse recently penned a piece on this issue, ("Straight talk about casual sex", American Thinker, April 20, 2008), and lays out what is at stake. Every young person, she argues, needs to know three truths about casual sex.

The first is that casual sex "impairs the ability to establish a lasting emotional bond. When natural human emotional responses are repeatedly denied, the person is hardened and the capacity to bond is weakened. Dr Donald Joy published groundbreaking research in the early '80s and has updated it periodically in the intervening years. He chronicles the ways that intimacy produces bonding. His research indicates that human beings respond to sexual intercourse by bonding, and they are driven to make that bond permanent and exclusive."

The second is that "casual sex leaves young people alone and lonely. Counsellors tell us that sexually active girls are three times more likely to be depressed than their abstinent peers. Among the boys, sexually active ones are depressed twice as often. Sexually active teens are more likely than their abstinent counterparts to attempt suicide (girls 15 per cent to five per cent and boys six per cent to one per cent). But the most telling fact is that the majority of teenagers, 72 per cent of the girls and 55 per cent of the boys, acknowledge regret over early sexual activity and wish that they had waited longer to have sex. So much for the cultural mantra that 'sex is no big deal'!"

The third is that "the so-called 'sexual revolution' has produced dramatic increases in sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). Sadly, 65 per cent of STDs appear in young people under the age of 25, and fully 20 per cent of all AIDS cases are among college-aged young people. In the US, over 15 million new cases of STDs appear annually, a number that is triple what it was six years ago. Having three or more sexual partners in a lifetime increases a woman's odds of cervical cancer by 15 times."

Dr Crouse continues, "Sexual intercourse can be an intense and pleasurable experience, but it is more - much more. Sexual intimacy triggers the strongest and deepest, most exhilarating passions in life. Its purpose is to bond a man and a woman into 'one flesh' in the deepest intimacy that human beings can share. Further, sex is designed to both create life and build a strong relationship to protect and provide for that life."

Free sex always comes with a price. She concludes, "It is impossible to ignore or dictate to nature. Young people need to choose carefully. Sex can never be free; choices always have consequences. We cannot expect young people to act responsibly when adults - whose thinking is sometimes clouded by their rationalisation of their own hurtful and toxic sexual experimentation - are irresponsible by not providing the best possible information to encourage self-discipline and self-control, which are the surest keys to young peoples' long-term well-being."

- Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures in ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at:

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