Thursday, April 12, 2007

How Not To Deal With Sexuality -- Act Like An American

It seems to me the debate in America over human sexuality seldom rises above the sophomoric. For instance: We endlessly argue over whether abortion is good or evil, but almost never discuss ways to reduce its frequency.

That’s like arguing over whether car accidents and train wrecks are good or evil, without discussing how to reduce their occurrence.

What’s true for abortion is true for teenage pregnancies, STDs, and even issues like rape and incest. Again, we’re like college sophomores who can’t quite get pass the moral questions to focus on the nuts and bolts of solving those problems. Americans think of themselves as a practical, competent, “can do” people, but that doesn't seem so true of many Americans when dealing with problems of sexuality.

Why do you suppose Americans can't get their act together on sexual issues?

Does anyone know if the British are just as bad?


Mystic Wing said...

Judging from a large number of British colleagues I periodically work with, I'd say they are actually more hung up sexually than Americans, if that's possible.

I do rather admire the Italian ease with sexuality, though.

It's an excellent question—why are Americans so terribly repressed on these subjects. It's as though we're still living out our Quaker/puritan beginnings, 300 years later.

Brendan said...

Americans (and British) are afraid of human sexuality which operates outside the controlled boundaries of reason, and create all manner of social and psychological constructs to repress it.

We cannot confront that on which we are afraid to even cast our gaze.

sahra said...

There was talk recently in the UK of the ridiculous idea that a cash bonus would be given to all pregnant women who went to an abortion clinic, and left having decided to have the child and give it up for adoption.

Paul said...

Hi Sahra! Welcome to Cafe Philos, my humble blog and evil den of iniquity!

Seems to me the UK proposal partly closes one can of worms only to open up another.

Do you guys think American and British attitudes towards sexuality will become more rational as the century progresses, or are we going to backslide?