WALSH: The Sexual Revolution Is A Catastrophic Failure. It's Time To Give Up On This Experiment.

View of a portion of the audience as they watch a performance at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, Bethel, New York, August 1969.
Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images

It's the kind of headline we're used to seeing at this point. STD rates are at record highs among young adults in California, according to a new report. The STD epidemic has reached historic proportions across the nation. This is just another rotten, putrid fruit to fall from the decaying tree of the sexual revolution.

It is long past time to declare the sexual revolution — the only significant legacy of the Baby Boomer generation — a catastrophic failure. It promised us free love and happiness, but it did not deliver. Instead, almost immediately, it delivered AIDS, and then it delivered gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia by the truckload.

It delivered the destruction of marriage and the family, as divorce rates took off like a rocket right on the heels of this glorious revolution. Though they remain extremely high, they have been dropping recently. But this trend is offset by the fact that many people in my generation have simply given up on marriage entirely. Divorce was merely the first consequence of our enlightened sexual attitudes. The next step, underway as we speak, is the dissolution of marriage as an institution.

It delivered dead children. Lots of dead children. 60 million dead children and counting. It delivered unwed pregnancies, as the rates of out-of-wedlock births soared when the revolution took hold. It delivered a nation of porn addicts and fatherless children. It turned our university system into an orgy of debauchery and drunkenness. It ruined all that it touched, and then it came back around and pulverized everything into dust. It is, without question, one of the worst things to ever happen to mankind. Also one of the deadliest.

An interesting thing, this "free" love. It's a freedom that brings only misery and death. It's a freedom that doesn't seem very free at all. How could things have worked out this way?

Well, because they could not have worked out any other way. Sex is a powerful thing. When you treat it like a game or like a commodity to be bought and sold, you lose everything that makes it beautiful and intimate. You trade the joy of sex for mere pleasure. Pleasure was already included in the joy, so all you have done is lost the better, richer, deeper thing and settled for what lies on the surface.

But sex retains its natural power, even where it loses its joy. It still has the ability to create and destroy life. It still, no matter if we want it to or not, involves our emotions and our souls and our whole beings. When you play around with this mighty thing, and refuse to pay it the respect it is owed, only disaster can follow. The "old way" saved sex for the confines of a committed marriage because that is the safest context for it. That is the only form of "safe sex" that really exists. It is in marriage that sex can be fully, truly — and safely — enjoyed.

It's really quite a logical position to take. Here is this act that requires you to fully expose yourself to another person and be entirely vulnerable with them. It can bring great pleasure, but it can also be the most effective means to transmit awful diseases. It will likely cause you to feel an emotional attachment to the other person. Or else, if you do it with the wrong person or in the wrong context, it may cause you to feel a deep disgust and shame. Oh, by the way, this act can also make babies. Now, the question: should you do it with a stranger?

The stodgy old puritanical fundamentalist answers: "No, of course not."

The sexual revolutionary answers: "Yeah, sure, what could go wrong?"

Everything could go wrong, actually. And did.

Maybe it's finally time to give up on this insane experiment. We gave it a try. It didn't work out so well. We don't need to spend another half-century proving the point.

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