The American Sex Revolution by Pitirim A. Sorokin, published in 1956

Lazuli Waves

Woodpecker
I recommend reading this book, in which Sorokin argues that society's sex obsession will lead to dire consequences. It's quite interesting especially given that it was published in 1956. The following are some quotes that caught my attention.

“Civilized societies which have most strictly limited sexual freedom have developed the highest cultures. In the world of human history not a single case is found in which a society advanced to the Rationalistic culture without its women being born and reared in a rigidly enforced pattern of faithfulness to one man. Furthermore, there is no example of a community which has retained its high position on the cultural scale after less rigorous sexual customs have replaced more restricting ones” (page 110-111).

“When the ruling group and the society as a whole relax their code, within three generations there is usually a cultural decline, as was the case in the later stages of the Babylonian, the Persian, the Macedonian, the Mongol, the Greek, and the Roman civilizations, as well as at the end of the Old and the Middle Kingdoms and of the New Empire, and during the Ptolemaic period, in Egypt. Considering that prenuptial chastity and strictly monogamous marriage, for women at least, are a maximum reduction of sex freedom (next to absolute celibacy, which if general would lead to the extinction of the group) we find that among civilized societies those which have remained strict in their sexual codes for the longest period have reached the highest levels” (page 111).

“Unwin finds that the Babylons, the Egyptians, the Athenians, the Romans, the early Arabians, and the Anglo-Saxons had a strict monogamy during the early period of their social expansion and cultural and intellectual growth. The authority of the pater familias over the members of his family, and of the husband over his wife (manus mariti) was unlimited. Sexual life was confined within marriage, and the mores were chaste and temperate. Violations of the prescribed rule of conduct did occur now and then, of course, but they were few, and were unanimously disapproved and severely punished. These limitations of sexual activity permitted such societies to accumulate an enormous reserve of social energy which found its outlet in creative growth,--intellectual, aesthetic, religious and social. Hence there occurred a vigorous expansion of these societies, accompanied by an astounding ability to defend themselves against its enemies” (page 112).

“Most instructive is undoubtedly the radical attempt of the Soviets to eliminate “capitalistic” monogamy and to establish complete sexual freedom as a cornerstone of the Communist economic and social regime.

During the first stage of the Revolution, its leaders attempted to destroy marriage and the family. Free love was glorified by the official “glass of water” theory: if a person is thirsty, so went the Party line, it is immaterial what glass he uses when satisfying his thirst; it is equally unimportant how he satisfies his sex hunger. The legal distinction between marriage and casual sexual intercourse was abolished. The Communist law spoke only of “contracts” between males and females for the satisfaction of their desires either for an indefinite or a definite period,--a year, a month, a week, or even for a single night. One could marry and divorce as many times as desired. Husband or wife could obtain a divorce without the other being notified. It was not even necessary that “marriages” be registered. Bigamy and even polygamy were permissible under the new provisions. Abortion was facilitated in state institutions. Premarital relations were praised, and extramarital relations were considered normal” (page 113-114).

Still more frequently has this cycle been repeated during revolutions and other major disorders. We have seen that such violent upheavals are usually marked by conspicuous demoralization and by sexual excesses. In the first stages of a revolution, the ideologies and precepts opposed to demoralization and senseless destructiveness are considered counter-revolutionary and are pitilessly persecuted. In the second stage, such teachings often become the recognized guideposts in taming the forces of anarchy, and are then accepted as the dominant currents of thought and action in the reconstruction of society, culture, and the way of life during the post-revolutionary period” (page 130).

“Still less attention is paid to the progressive sexualization of our culture, institutions, and the way of life. We often spend vast amounts of money, energy, and time in fighting various social maladies, yet we do little to stop any further increase of sex freedom. We don’t tolerate excessively dangerous political, social, or economic anarchy, yet we seem to be tolerant of sex disorders…does it represent a symptom of our incapacity to free ourselves from a deep addiction to promiscuity” (page 131-132)?

“If we are unaware of the real situation, it is high time we awakened from our ignorance. If we have lost the capacity to resist, it is urgent that we gain it. If we expect blessings from sex anarchy, it is vital that we cast aside this foolishness and look soberly at the sorry state of affairs. For there is a dangerous hue of serious trouble on the horizon. Our sex freedom is beginning to expand beyond the limits of safety, beginning to degenerate into anarchy.

“Preceding chapters have shown a rapid increase of divorce, desertion, and separation, and of premarital, and extramarital relations, with the boundary between lawful marriage and illicit liaisons tending to become more and more tenuous. Still greater has been the deterioration of the family as a union of parents and children, with “fluid marriages” producing a super-abundance of physically, morally, and mentally defective children, or no children at all” (page 132).
Our trend toward sex anarchy has not yet produced catastrophic consequences. Nevertheless, the first syndromes of grave disease have already appeared.

The new sex freedom, of course, is only one factor, in the drift toward social revolution and political disorder, toward international conflict, toward a general decline of creativity and irremediable decay of our culture. There is a whole constellation of other factors: organization, social mobility, overdeveloped social differentiation, rapid cultural change, and especially the disintegration of the sensate system of values of Western Civilization. However, the sex factors and the accompanying disorganization of the family are among the most important contribution to these pathological phenomena” (page 133).

At the present time, the magnificent Sensate house built by Western man is crumbling, and the new Integrated system of values is not yet built. Hence the crises, tensions, and conflicts of this age” (page 134).

[With regarding to the sex revolution causing a decline in cultural creativity]
“Feeble also is the creativity today in the fine arts. Our writers receive more than full share of Nobel prizes, but only because the literary inspiration in other Western countries is even more feeble. ‘When there is no real fish, a crawfish is a fish,’ says a Russian proverb” (page 148-149).

“…sex love has always been viewed as the crowning act of an infinitely rich, beautiful, and transfiguring love of man and woman; as one of the greatest joys of human life, and the noblest way of a unification into one “we” of the individual “egos” of the lovers; and, finally, as the necessary means for perpetuation of human race. With the exception of the “athletes of God,” and the ascetic saints, control of sex love by the rational and suprarational forces of the total man has not aimed at the suppression of this great value of human life, but at the prevention of its falsification, degradation, and misuse” (page 157).

“In your premarital youth dedicate all your energy to the fullest development of your physical, mental, moral, and supraconscious potentials. Concentrate especially on the cultivation of your particular creative talent. Master all the technical skills required for a good craftsmanship, especially for a creative leadership in the field of your specific aptitude. Side by side with mastering these techniques, give full freedom to your imagination, to your supraconscious and rational mind to conceive something new, important, serviceable, or truly great in your chosen field; be it one of the crafts, agriculture, or horticulture, industrial or clerical work, housework, science, philosophy, fine arts, religion, ethics, social service, sport, professional, economic or political activity. There is always room for constructive activity or for some creative achievement” (page 159).

“Some anthropologists have pointed out that 70 percent of 250 preliterate and little advanced societies studied allowed to its youths considerable freedom in premaritial relations, and by this argument try to prove the benefits of sex freedom. To the contrary, this freedom is probably one of the reasons why these societies have remained primitive, have not been able to create any great culture. On the other hand, we have seen that preliterate groups which have gone on to achieve civilization have usually prohibited premarital and extramarital relations during the period of their creative growth” (page 166).

The fact has to be stressed in view of the morbidly exaggerated importance of the sexual love in the total love and life of the married given by many of our men and women; and in view of an insane over-inflation of the role of pathological and biological details of sex intercourse by contemporary texts on marriage and love, by the marriage counseling agencies by the courts and the press, and even by some ministers of God. In their evaluations, sexual love is made the main, sometimes the only form of love that exists; sexual satisfaction is depicted as the main value of marriage and the family and is used as the only measuring stick of happiness or unhappiness of marriage. The orgasm and other details of sexual intercourse are often set forth as objective criteria of compatibility or incompatibility of the married parties, as the main reasons for divorce, as an excuse for extramarital liaisons, as a ‘scientific basis’ for justification of sex debauchery, and so on. This fantastic inflation of the importance of these details is one of the many symptoms of the sex obsession of our time. Only in the atmosphere of sex anarchy is such a distortion possible. In a wider, nobler and richer conception of the total love, their importance shrinks to a modest part in the greater value of the total love and in the still larger value of a grand conception of the united life of the married.

Since a notable proportion of our women and men are infected by the sex obsession, and since they marry hastily and over-value the sex love in their married life, many of them are frequently tempted to indulge in extramarital liaisons. If they want to enjoy total love and to live the grand scheme of married life, they should avoid situations that induce the extramarital disloyalties. If alcohol weakens their self-control, as it often does, they should abstain from cocktails and other intoxicants. If reading of erotic literature and newspaper sex stories stimulates the disloyal impulses, they should not read such literature and papers. If seeing sexy movies, plays, television shows, or pictures intensifies such desires, they should not submit to this sort of conditioning. The same is true of dancing, and attending night-clubs and similar places permeated by a sexual atmosphere” (page 171-172).

“As a natural fulfillment of a happy marriage, husband and wife want to have children. Except when the married are gravely defective mentally and physically, they should do so, for many reasons. Childless marriages and families are truncated, semi-fulfilled unions. They not only fail in maintaining the human race, perpetuating the parental families, and transmitting the cultural heritage from generation to generation; but they also not give the plenitude of happy married life, especially when the couple becomes old. The elderly childless couple often find themselves lonely and unfulfilled, in a sort of cold psychosocial vacuum devoid of the heart-felt warmth of loved and loving offspring” (page 176).

“As mentioned, the transfiguration of ourselves is inseparable from that of our culture, institutions and social life. For the purposes of an ennoblement of our sexual order, the main change of our cultural and social universe consists in an essential desexualiation of our fine arts, press, radio, television, recreations and sports, of our science and philosophy, social and humanistic disciplines, our ethics and law, economics, politics, of our total was of life. Parallel with the desexualization of these cultural values, our family and educational institutions, beginning with the nursery schools and ending with the universities and adult education, our economic and political institutions, and even some of our religious establishments, need to be cleansed from the dregs of sexual pollution and other poisonous elements that infect them” *page 179).

Desexualiation” means here a liberation of our culture and institutions from the dregs of sexualilty, but not from the sexual love in all its meaning aspects: comic and tragic, sunny and dark, noble and debased. It does not matter which of its numerous aspects is selected as a topic of literature of play, painting or sculpture, music or ethics, philosophy or religion, science or law. What matters is, that it not be identified with a mere physiological intercourse of male and female organisms” (page 131).

“According to ‘the law of polarization’ both of these opposite trends are to be expected to be present in our social life. This law states that when a society experiences some frustration of calamity or emergency, the bulk of its members who in normal conditions are neither too saintly nor too sinful, tend to split and polarize, some becoming more religious, more moral and saintly, while the others become more irreligious, more cynical, sensual, and criminal. In this way the ethically mediocre majority of the normal times moves toward the opposite poles of religious and moral ennoblement and degradation. This ethical-religious polarization has almost invariable occurred in all societies of the past when some important frustration, catastrophe, or emergency has fallen upon them” (page 133).

“Cleansed from the sexual poisons, our women and men will regain not only their vital, mental, and moral sanity, but also the full integrity of the total person, enjoying the grace of total love at its happiest, noblest and best. These total persons can hardly fail to develop and release a vast stream of creative forces for rejuvenating and recreating our culture and social life. The renaissance of our culture and social institutions in its turn will retroactively exert an ennobling and creative influence upon the total personalities. Through this mutual invigoration of the person, the cultural, and the social creative forces, the whole human universe will be improving and progressing from the initial kingdom of the human animal through the more and more ennobled kingdom of man, to the magnificent kingdom of the semi-divine Man-creator” (page 186).
 
Thank you for posting. I'm probably off base here although I did my best to read everything above. I guess I feel compelled to write this. I think they current state of oversexualization in our society is causing tremendous damage. A simple value distribution, assume a normal distribution, explains everything. At least a significant enough amount of people fall out of a zone where access to mates is sufficient. This is the most damming of all indictments. You are left out of the gene pool. To assume people do not internalize this is ignorance of the first order. Personally, I was very lucky, I have plenty of notches, but, the casual sex game is a game of numbers. Meaning, you have to ask for sex a lot. The highest game is to get the girls to come to you, but, that's another story. That said, the numbers are relentless and apply even to the chaddest or Chads. You will go home alone, you will be rejected. It wasn't so much the rejection, rather, the alone part that I recall. All I did was to imagine how that emotion might feel for someone less fortunate than I, in sexual appeal, looks, charm and all that. My emotion lasts from 2:00 AM to about 3:30 or 4, whenever I'd pass out from the drinking. I'd get over it and knew that I'd get a girl tomorrow or next weekend. But, that emotion for less fortunate was presumably stronger and lasts for months, years, for some, an entire lifetime. There is absolutely no remorse on part of our cultural elite when it comes to sex...they continue to insist on only more and more sex. As follows, they create more and more pain.
 
Lazuli Waves said:
..........

“Civilized societies which have most strictly limited sexual freedom have developed the highest cultures. In the world of human history not a single case is found in which a society advanced to the Rationalistic culture without its women being born and reared in a rigidly enforced pattern of faithfulness to one man.
The author lost me right at the start with this ^.
If that was true then the Islamic countries would be the most civilised, successful and advanced.
And Afghanistan, under the Taliban, would have be the pinnacle of such modernity. Instead, it became a hell-hole.
 

Easy_C

Crow
ffs said:
Lazuli Waves said:
..........

“Civilized societies which have most strictly limited sexual freedom have developed the highest cultures. In the world of human history not a single case is found in which a society advanced to the Rationalistic culture without its women being born and reared in a rigidly enforced pattern of faithfulness to one man.
The author lost me right at the start with this ^.
If that was true then the Islamic countries would be the most civilised, successful and advanced.
And Afghanistan, under the Taliban, would have be the pinnacle of such modernity. Instead, it became a hell-hole.
To the contrary. Their laws are rather permissive in that regard for the males compared to successful societies. Both Catholicism and more traditionalist protestant sects enforce strict, lifetime monogamy on the male.

Islamic dogma is that the man is allowed not only to have multiple wives, but they're also supposed to be able to have sex slaves captured from the infidels who can be swapped and sold as they feel like. Research in this area is fairly unambigious in their conclusions that there's a strong correlation between societally enforced monogamy and societal achievement.
 
^ffs

No, he said civilized societies to start, which excludes islamic societies. That's also proven by the fact that they never advanced to a "rationalistic culture" in sentence two. The rationalism in islamic societies (invention, knowledge, books, etc) was always produced from jews and christians and/or those learning from them. That this didn't persist shows that overall, they were never hospitable to these ways of life.
 

Horus

Ostrich
Gold Member
Even if it were a truly monogomous society, the civilizational benefits of this would be cancelled out by the rampant rates of cousin marriage.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Easy_C said:
ffs said:
Lazuli Waves said:
..........

“Civilized societies which have most strictly limited sexual freedom have developed the highest cultures. In the world of human history not a single case is found in which a society advanced to the Rationalistic culture without its women being born and reared in a rigidly enforced pattern of faithfulness to one man.
The author lost me right at the start with this ^.
If that was true then the Islamic countries would be the most civilised, successful and advanced.
And Afghanistan, under the Taliban, would have be the pinnacle of such modernity. Instead, it became a hell-hole.
To the contrary. Their laws are rather permissive in that regard for the males compared to successful societies. Both Catholicism and more traditionalist protestant sects enforce strict, lifetime monogamy on the male.

Islamic dogma is that the man is allowed not only to have multiple wives, but they're also supposed to be able to have sex slaves captured from the infidels who can be swapped and sold as they feel like. Research in this area is fairly unambigious in their conclusions that there's a strong correlation between societally enforced monogamy and societal achievement.
Not to mention that in some Islamic societies sodomy is fine for the one doing the penetrating, and in some, there's the child raping too. How this came to be or how they justify it, I have no idea, but it's well documented.
 

Days of Broken Arrows

Crow
Gold Member
He's half right. Our society is obsessed with permissiveness when it comes to sex.

FOR WOMEN ONLY.

Women are allowed to do anything, more or less. The media and institutions say women are not to be judged by what they wear, if they have kids out of wedlock, whether they've done porn, whether they have two partners, etc.

Men, on the other hand, aren't allowed to respond to modern women's overt sexuality. It wasn't this way when Sorokin wrote the book in the 1950s.

These days, women can parade around in mini-skirts and "skyscraper" heels, but if you look at them sideways at work or suggest they're dressed inappropriately, you're the one who is in trouble because "slut shaming."

That little phrase is just one example of an entire category of linguistics feminists have employed to assure women can't be judged. Control the language and you control the minds.

Pop culture is a good metaphor for modern-world morality. Women's music today is aggressively sexual. They make movies like "Hustlers" and "Charlie's Angels" where women either steal from men or degrade them. But if a man makes any work of art that's less-than-celebratory about women, they get protested and banned (i.e. "Blurred Lines," which was actually pretty toothless).

In short, what Sorkin didn't count on was the vile, anti-male hatred of post-1960s feminism. All of this can be summarized by a classic "maxim" once written by Heartiste/Roissy:

"The goal of feminism is to remove all constraints on female sexuality while maximally restricting male sexuality."
 
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